I arrived at Malaga bus station yesterday (from Nerja) and noticed as we went to the parking bay that the display board on the airport transfer bus stand was showing the next bus arriving in 10 minutes.
Ideal - or so I thought! 15 minutes later it was still showing 10 minutes, but I knew there was a train in eight minutes.( They go to the airport at 13, 33 and 53 minutes past the hour.) It was pouring with rain but I took the chance and ran for the entrance to the shopping centre across the road. To get to the airport train keep straight on through the centre, past the main station and large booking office on your right, almost to the end of the building. Here on the right are the two platforms, 10 and 11. Number 11 is for the airport, number 10 takes you one stop into downtown Malaga.
Pay machines dispense tickets (and change) and a one way ticket (an IDA) to the airport costs €1.70 as against €3 on the bus. Trains are punctual, roomier, and are much quicker and far more comfortable than the buses. In future I won't be bothering with the bus shuttle service, either way.