Everything you need to know to find your way around
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page…" Augustine of Hippo
Airports! Love them or hate them, it’s difficult to avoid them - especially when you live on an island. Most of us have to use Palma Airport fairly regularly, whether we are picking up or dropping off friends and family, or travelling ourselves. Many of us commute regularly to other parts of Spain, to other countries in Europe or even further afield, so we do get to know our airport very well indeed!
Personally, I really like Palma Airport - the buzz of excitement, all those comings and goings, emotional farewells, joyful reunions - all human life is there! People-watching opportunities abound, and who wouldn’t want to share the enthusiasm of those setting off to visit loved ones or to see the world, and those flying in to our beautiful island with the expectation of an enjoyable holiday ahead of them!
Airport Services and Facilities #
Palma de Mallorca Airport is the third busiest in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona in terms of volume of passengers, carrying over 29 million passengers in 2018. It is operated by the state-run AENA and offers most of the facilities you would expect in a major airport such as catering outlets, duty free shopping, a pharmacy, newspaper and gift shops, a tourist information office, car hire offices, airport transfer companies and currency exchange.
- There are ATMs located on the ground floor in arrivals and on the 2nd floor near the check-in area.
- Smokers will be pleased to know that there are three designated smoking areas - outside on the 2nd floor garden terrace landside, and after security (airside) there are two indoor areas for smokers; one in Module C, and one in Module A after passport control.
- On the second floor garden terrace and on the ground floor near Exit A there are two fenced in pet relief areas for those travelling with their dogs. These are dog walking / toilet areas complete with drinking water for your pets.
- There is a fast lane priority access to security. This is sometimes included in preferential air ticket prices, but it can also be booked online through the AENA website at a cost of €4 per person. On this website you can also pre-book the VIP Airport lounges, and the AENA official airport car parks.
Affordable Mallorca Tip: As in many airports, food and drinks can be rather expensive, but an affordable option is Restaurante Sa Cala - landside near exit A on the ground floor. They do a 3 course lunch menu including water and bread for €9.95. Also, if you are carrying a reusable water bottle you can refill it after going through security at drinking fountains outside the public toilets on the way towards Module A.
Transport links - How to get to your destination on arrival in Mallorca #
There are many car rental companies in the airport, but please note during high season, from mid-June through to mid-September, it is best to prebook your car to avoid disappointment. It is also best to prebook if you need a child or baby seat.
Taxis are metered and are usually readily available, with some adapted for wheelchair users. Occasionally a queue builds up but you don’t usually have to wait very long.
The most affordable transport option, the public bus service, operates from the airport as follows:
- Route 1 to Palma City and Port
- Route 21 Can Pastilla, Playa de Palma S’Arenal and S’Arenal
- Line A11 to Palmanova, Magaluf, Santa Ponsa and Peguera
- Line A32 to Inca, Alcudia, Platja de Muro and Can Picafort
- Line A42 to Manacor, Portocristo, Sa Coma, Cala Millor and Cala Bona
- Line A51 to S’Arenal, Llucmajor, Campos, Santanyí, and Cala d’Or
For a full list of bus stops please check out the AENA website which also has links to the timetables and fares for the above services.
Parking Information #
AENA operate the official on-site car parks at the airport including the multi-storey car park opposite the airport terminal building. The 4th floor of this car park is classed as ‘Preferential’ and has higher parking charges than the other floors. For long stay parking with AENA the best deals are to be found online, and for regular use it is possible to have a subscription which brings down the cost.
However there are also several other parking options at varying distances from the airport, and all have shuttle buses to the terminal building. One of these is Park & Fly, an affordable and easy to use service open 24/7 with no prebooking required. Located near the airport petrol station, they are not too far away and have regular shuttle buses to the terminal building.
For those who want to park just long enough to do a pick up, AENA offer 15 minutes free parking using the green lane and parking in bays on the road outside the multi storey car park. This is signposted "Express Llegadas". However, if you go over the 15 minutes even by one minute you will find the charge is as much as about 30 minutes in the normal multi storey car park, so it is only worthwhile if you know that the person you are picking up is on time. Likewise in departures you can park free of charge for a maximum of 15 minutes in order to drop someone off.
Assistance for persons with reduced mobility #
I could not write about Palma Airport without mentioning the kind, friendly (and often multi-lingual!) people in the yellow shirts who provide the excellent assistance service. There is sometimes a misconception that airport assistance is only for people who are confined to wheelchairs. In fact this service is available to all who need some extra help whether they find it difficult to walk long distances, have an injury, ongoing illness, or if they are blind or deaf. Passengers requiring the service are advised to get to the airport at least 2 hours prior to their departure time and can be met on arrival at the airport, or at the check in desk, and the assistance personnel will escort them through a designated assistance security point, to the gate and on to the aircraft if necessary.
It is the same for incoming passengers - they are met at the aircraft, helped with their luggage, and taken to an agreed meeting point or to their vehicle. This is a free service and should be booked at the time of booking the air tickets. It is possible however to add it on to an existing booking or to arrange it directly with AENA with at least 48 hours notice. The main assistance desk is located at the back of the 2nd floor check-in area.
Beware of the Point of No Return! #
One final piece of advice to those arriving at Palma Airport, please be careful when leaving the baggage hall - it is surprising how many people rush out to check on their car hire, or to have a smoke, and think that they can go back in afterwards to collect their family and their bags! Please remember that the baggage hall is within the secure area, and once outside, you are not allowed to go back in! There is a notice to this effect on the floor inside each of the exit doors. It consists of a yellow strip across the floor which states in various languages ‘ATTENTION - No return area’. Don’t get caught out!
By Cas Dollamore
18 June, 2019