Wow, what a lot of options on arrival...
I recently arrived in Barcelona's T1 terminal building. The terminal opened in 2009 as part of the Catalan (regional) Government's push to make Barcelona an international "hub" airport - rather than being a spoke to Spain's dominant player, Madrid Barajas. Terminal 1 is literally MILES away from the previous airport building (now called Terminal 2).
So, which airlines fly into Terminal 1?
Singapore Airlines do .. three flights a week!
Terminal 1 is home to most of the legacy carriers at Barcelona Airport and also, fortunately, to Vueling Airlines. I say "fortunately", since Spanair, Spain's No 2 scheduled airline was the main occupant of Terminal 1, until it went bust in January 2012. Vueling (a low-cost carrier) has grown to take over many of Spanair's old routes - helped by code-sharing with Iberia (who own a whopping 45% of Vueling). You'll also find international legacy carriers like Air France, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Delta among others.
Once you’ve cleared the arrivals hall at Barcelona Airport, you come out into a truly massive arrivals halls. Directly in front of the arrivals hall doors, you’ll find a coffee bar and beer parlour, head right and round the back of this catering establishment to head towards the on-airport car hire desks.
Goldcar Car Rental and SOL-MAR car rental Barcelona Airport?
Both SOL-MAR and Goldcar operate Barcelona Airport car hire. Both have chosen, despite the desks being available, to operate in an off-airport shuttle format. This is due to the very high airport fees. Follow this link for the instructions on the “inter modal” station underneath the arrivals hall area at Barcelona Airport's Terrminal 1 car rental desks.
Feeling hungry or thirsty?
Lot's of snacks in here...
As we head round the back of the coffee shop, there is a nifty convenience stall called “Airport Market” stocking snacks, fresh fruit, juices etc. There’s also a Barça football club store…
Keep heading towards Car Rental desks
Keep following the signs for car rental...
Left or Right?
For some (utterly bizarre) reason, the on-airport car rental companies at Barcelona Airport are divided into two groups on opposite sides of the arrivals hall. Although I’m sure it looked good on the architects plans, it’s pretty wierd. Anyway, let’s do the whole lot from left to right.
Notice how there are two sides to the car rental hall...
Avis Rentacar - Barcelona Airport
The Avis desk at Barcelona Airport
The Avis Rentacar desk at Barcelona Airport is located on the extreme left of the left-hand group of desks. It’s not really visible from within the arrivals hall at all. If you’re heading that way, look for the Hertz desk first which is clearly visible.
National ATESA / Alamo car rental – Barcelona Airport
National ATESA / Alamo desks : Barcelona Airport car hire
The National ATESA / Alamo car rental desk is in position #2 on the left hand and is located between Avis car hire desk and the Hertz Rentacar desk at Barcelona.
Hertz Rentacar – Barcelona Airport
The bright lights of the Hertz desk : Barcelona car hire
In pole position on the left-hand corner, Hertz are easily spotted – thanks to their bright yellow signage. Customers with Advantage Rentacar in Barcelona Airport, don’t need to visit the Hertz desk, just jump down to the section about where you collect the car in Parking Block C.
To the right, Europcar & Sixt
Only two car hire companies to the right...
The Europcar and Sixr car rental desks are located on the opposite side of the car hire arrivals hall than Hertz or Avis.. it's easy (if you know what you're looking for...)
Europcar Car Rental – Barcelona Airport
The Europcar car hire desk at Barcelona Airport
The Europcar is easily seen from arrivals, it’s on the corner of the right-hand group of car rental desks at Barcelona.
Sixt Car Hire – Barcelona Airport
No mssing Sixt in their orange neon corporate colours...
The Sixt desk is located to the right of the Europcar desk and is easy to spot since it has the typical Sixt illuminated orange neon signage.
There are two empty car rental desks at Barcelona’s Terminal 1 – despite the desks (and parking facilities) being available, the airport has not been able to persuade any car hire company to operate them. This is due to the eye-popping sums that AENA (The Spanish Airport Authority) charges car hire companies. Nationwide operators like Hertz (or Goldcar Car Rental from Alicante) pay literally hundreds of millions of euros in fees and often up to 10% of their revenues at some of the bigger airports.
Goldcar Barcelona Airport car hire
The Goldcar depot serving Barcelona car rentals
Incidentally, both SOL-MAR and Goldcar operate (very successful) car rental bases at Barcelona, using shuttle buses to collect customers. If you’ve booked with these car hire companies, please follow the instructions on our car hire voucher. You’ll need to go downstairs to the “inter-modal” underneath the arrivals hall and find the correct bus bay. I’ve done a separate article on arriving into Barcelona on public transport to explain all these options..
When you’ve collected your car keys
You're looking for Parking A for car rentals..
When you’ve collected the keys to your hire car, you need to find the on-airport rentacar pound. This is located in the the public parking area. Parking is divided into several multi-storey car parking buildings. On-airport car hire companies at Barcelona (remember, Avis, Alamo, Hertz, Europcar or Sixt – not Goldcar or SOL-MAR) vehicles are parked in Parking A (or “PA” as some of the signs call it).
To reach Parking A, you have to first walk past Parkings C and B (another quirk) but it’s very straightforward.
Downstairs to car rental
It's downstairs from the arrivals level...
The rentacar parking áreas are located on levels 0 and 1 of Parking A – the arrivals level of the airport is Level 2, so if you’re travelling light, you can just walk down a flight of stairs, there are several lifts/elevators for those who are more fully-loaded.
That's all folks...
That’s it : there are a myriad of different ways to get out of Barcelona’s Terminal 1 – if you want to use public transport like the AEROBUS, taxi or indeed train – you should check out my article on public transport connections from Barcelona Airport T1!
Don't forget to check out CarJet's car hire prices for