Cheap Flights to Madrid and Barcelona- from $356 Total Roundtrip

by on June 15, 2011 · 47 comments

in Continental, Mileage Runs, star alliance, United, US Airways

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Spanair is a Madrid based Star Alliance carrier that does not fly to the US. However, they do file codeshares with their US based Star Alliance partners and from time to time their codeshared flights can be very cheap. It seems like they’ve loaded some extra cheap fares that may be of interest to many of you.

So far I’ve found total roundtrip prices from the following cities:
Boston: $356 on Orbitz

$356 total from Boston on Orbitz

New Orleans: $396

New Orleans to Madrid for $396 total roundtrip

Los Angeles: $502

Los Angeles to Madrid for $502 total roundtrip

San Diego: $551

Most flights are operated by US Airways, which actually has a pretty solid transatlantic Airbuss 330 product (with personal TVs at each seat in coach).

These are Spanair W fares, so make sure they credit to your airline before purchaing. From the looks of it, W fare earns 100% Elite and Redeemable miles on Continental, United and US Airways.

To find the cheap fares I used and checked out the “Matrix” for cheap Spanair flights. You can also use -> flight search -> Enter in your city and then either Madrid or Barcelona-> Select flexible dates from now until October and then see if a cheap Spanair fare pops up. The calendar view only shows fall dates, but as showed- this fare is more widely available. Feel free to comment below if you’ve been able to book a cheap ticket from your city.

Spain is a wonderful place to visit, so this could be a really fun mini-mileage run opportunity. The cheap fares seem to be available from non-Star Alliance hubs, so don’t be surprised if its not available from your city. However, poke around and see if you can get it to load from a neighboring airport.

Feel free to check out this Flyertalk thread for more information. Hat tip to msp2msy for posting this great fare!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Peter

    So tempting!

  • Paul

    Found a flight from IAD -> MAD direct 9/29-10/5 on Air Lingus/United.
    total cost: $290 + $496 taxes. How on earth are the taxes almost $500!!!???

  • studio253

    Great find from Boston!! I was just impressed that I grabbed $536 BOS-HNL with AA in September and was able to use my SWUs for me and my wife. Happy she doesn’t look here I don’t have enough time off for two vacations :-)

  • The Points Guy

    @Paul- you have to choose the Spanair option for these low fares. It may not be available from IAD, but try BWI/DCA or even RIC to see if they have it loaded

  • UCC

    If they are US-operated flights, W on Spainair doesn’t mean anything. What’s important is the US fare bucket it books into.

  • Kendra Bailey Morris


    Seeing the same thing. Certain hubs have FAR less taxes. DC was showing over $500 taxes as well IAD to MAD in both October and November.

  • The Points Guy

    @UCC sorry but you are wrong. When you book a Spanair ticket, its all about the Spanair fare class. Per the charts I linked in the post, Spanair W fare earns 100% when you credit to those three airlines. Thats how airline tickets work. Even though you are physically flying on a US Airways plane, your frequent flyer miles depend on the actual ticket purchased

  • Steve S

    Those taxes are a killer. Any good dates from NYC area?

  • Angel

    For DC I found BWI-BCN (PHL) for $396 AI at the end of October….so it is there! Hurry before is too late!

  • David

    The lowest fare I found was PHL-BCN at the end of October, but that was for nonstops @ $340 ai. Now it is routed through MAD for $377.

    BWI-BCN is pricing out at $433. The fares are slowly creeping up, as availability dries!

    I am only finding availability for BWI/PHL in late-October, however.

  • John

    Can’t seem to find these fares.

  • Cam

    I found roundtrip to Madrid on Air Canada from Phoenix for $566 using Travelocity as TPG advised.
    Offer good from end of August thru October, 2011. Plenty of availibility from Phoenix.

    I would buy but I’m already headed to Tokyo in September.

  • Kris

    Booked it! Two tickets at $350 each for mid November from Boston… can’t wait!!

  • modernhaus

    “Spanair W fare earns 100% when you credit to those three airlines”

    Just to clarify, do you mean that if I book this trip with Spanair and put in my frequent flyer number during the purchase, I will earn 100% of the mileage credit on my United or Continental frequent flyer account?

    From San Diego there is lots of availability at $520 with taxes to Barcelona (I only checked August dates)

    Thank you! I love your site!

  • The Points Guy

    @modernhaus- correct- you will earn 100% elite and regular miles if you add your Continental, United or US Airways frequent flyer number to the reservation.

  • Mike

    Hey Guys, do we get the 24 hour cancellation policy on these tickets like we would on US air flights or does that not apply?


  • heidi B

    Woot Woot! Super excited just booked two tickets from boston! I missed out on the april promotion with delta so I’m excited to do this trip plus its around octoberfest so I’m heading to munich for a couple days to experience that!

  • Anthony

    @Mike I called travelocity, the agent specified there is a 24 hour cancellation period for all airfare tickets bought, but the language on these specific tickets contradicted that when I got to the purchase screen. That scared me off. I would love to have official clarity on this.

  • Mike

    I confirmed the same! 24 hour cancellation for Spanair so book away…..but dont take my flight :)

  • Anthony

    I believe the deal is over. Didn’t hop on this one but thanks to TPG for the heads-up!

  • Anthony

    Cancel that. Sorry!

  • Mike

    Deal is gone for much of DC but you have to get creative!

    Boston’s is still on and locked it down 19-24 with 4 friends! Hope to see others there smiling on the 3:30pm flight out of Philly!

    Good luck to others trying to lock them down!
    - Mike

  • Ben

    Thanks for the heads-up. Booked 2 tickets MSY-PHL-BCN. Was going to do a dream *A trip in F but will just go for the miles and EQM slumming in Y instead.


  • AeroplanGuy

    “@modernhaus- correct- you will earn 100% elite and regular miles if you add your Continental, United or US Airways frequent flyer number to the reservation.”

    What about Air Canada? Would I get 100% regular miles if I add my Aeroplan number to the reservation?


  • The Points Guy
  • Frank

    Does anyone know what the cost would be to cancel and reschedule the flights…It is only $750 for two round trip from my airport to Madrid…but I can’t go when the flights are available..but a 200$ charge each to change flights would be worth this cost!!!!

  • The Points Guy

    @Frank- they charge a fee AND a re-fare, so don’t try to go that route.

  • Frank

    Thank you, great deal, the dates don’t work out…how is it going with my next years trip?

  • AeroplanGuy

    “@aeroplanguy- looks like only 50%..

    Pity. Still a great deal; booked Seattle to Madrid in November for $570. Thanks for the tip!

  • Laura

    Can’t seem to find anything below $695 r/t from either DCA, IAD or BWI to MAD. But I’m searching for November, so probably the deal is only good through end of October. Thanks for the heads up, though!

  • John


    Normally, you are correct, that earnings are based on ticketing carrier, but on Star Alliance, earnings are actually supposed to be based on operating carrier. In this instance, I believe it’s what fare class US has this. Seems Spanair is mapping to US as W too though.

  • Heidi

    Deal is back just got an alert so hurry up!

  • Hannah

    Can I upgrade the US Air/Spanair W fare to Envoy class with United or Continental miles? US Air doesn’t have the Economy Plus seating like United, right?

  • David

    Fiance and I booked a flight in December for $360. BWI-PHL-MAD

    I put my UA number in there, but my only concern is that I’ll only get 91 (or whatever) miles for BWI-PHL part, and I’ll need every mile to requalify for UA 1P. I trust TPG, but John seems awful sure of himself. Anyone have the final word?

  • Joe

    FYI, for those folks going out of BOS, thee commuter flight to PHL has a terrible on-time record (and there’s only 1 hour built in between flights). Advise you get there early and hop an earlier flight on standby to PHL.

  • Hannah

    I booked BWI -> PHL -> MAD in early November for $360. Appeared to still be some availability for late in October but not much.

    Does anyone know how to reserve seats on these Spanair flights? From what I could tell from Spanair’s website, they only allow you to select seats 36 hours in before departure but US Air appears to be reserving seats for these flights. Since it’s a codeshare flight, can I reserve a seat through US Air, even though fare purchased through Spanair?

  • David

    If you call USAir with your USAir flight number and departure date, they can look up your confirmation number and assign you seats.

  • john

    @TPG I think you may be wrong on which carrier’s class matters for mileage credit on partners. While on Oneworld and Skyteam the marketing carrier is what matters, I’m positive that Star credits based on *operating* carrier only. I know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s the way it is.

  • keith

    just booked bos to mad via philly for early october at the $357 price through expedia. then i think its easy jet to Marrakesh for a visit….

  • Courtney

    Just booked through travelocity, BOS-MAD via PHL mid-Oct, $357. What a great find, thanks!

  • heidi

    Beware that some of the tickets purchased today and yesterday are not being honored. I booked a flight this morning with orbitz for 357$ and they canceled it this afternoon saying the airline didn;t confirm the ticket. Called spanair and they said a lot of the tickets were being canceled because US Airways didn’t want to honor the fare.

  • Hannah

    Yes, beware of the Orbitz search when the same fare isn’t showing as available on Travelocity or Expedia. I booked the Orbitz flight hoping it was a fluke and I could still get the $360 fare deal but a few hours later, I received an email from Orbitz saying the fare was no longer available. That was last night and yet it still shows in the Orbitz search results!

  • keith

    Similar fare issues here: I had booked through Expedia last night. This morning, I received an email from Expedia saying they couldn’t confirm the ticket and to call them.

    I called and apparently some magic happened as Expedia confirmed my flight, but I see now that the $357 fare is wiped out of the system.

  • Montacute

    I booked with Priceline on the 16th and although I got a confirmation and ticket number, they cancelled the next morning. Numerous calls to Priceline and a conference call with Priceline and Spanair have yielded nothing. Spanair is claiming they wanted to run a sale but since it doesn’t fly out of the US, all the flights are on USAir metal and after the 2nd day US Air refused to honor the price. I don’t see how any of this has anything to do with me when I had bought a confirmed ticket with Priceline. Priceline needs to honor my ticket and work out the problem with Spanair on their own. Priceline is denying the slightest amount of responsibility. Brian, any advice?

  • Austin

    I booked a ticket from BWI-BCN then MAD-BWI through Orbitz for $360. The same thing happened to me, they sent an Orbitz confirmation and then Spanair/US refused to honor the price and Orbitz refunded the money. I called Orbitz and gave up. I then Tweeted them and they issued all in our party a $150 credit for the next Orbitz booking. I would recommend doing the same.

  • Montacute

    @Austin, I’ll give that a try, but that is still really disappointing when the next cheapest BWI-BCN ticket is $400 more.
    I had the same itinerary as you did.

  • Montacute

    Looks like Travelocity and Expedia are honoring the airfares no matter when they were purchased. Orbitz and Priceline are refusing. What a bunch of weasels. I will never use them again because of this. How is SpanAir changing their minds about this fare my problem once I’ve purchased my tickets?

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