Star Alliance Carrier Spanair Ceases Operations

by on January 28, 2012 · 8 comments

in star alliance

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Spanair, a Star Alliance carrier based in Barcelona, ceased operations yesterday stranding thousands of passengers. As many of you know, Spain is one of my favorite destinations and while Spanair didn’t have US routes, they made Spain very accessible via connections when flying Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa and United to Europe.

If you have Spanair tickets, you should seek reimbursement from the credit card issuer or travel agency where you purchased them. Even better, if you had trip insurance, this may be covered, so read your policy carefully.

Otherwise, if you have Star Alliance awards booked with Spanair flights, the frequent flyer program that issued the ticket should work with you to change your award, free of fees since this is an extraordinary circumstance.

If you are currently affected by this and have any information to share, please comment with your experience. I actually flew Spanair from Madrid to Barcelona last March and wrote about my thoughts here.

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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  • mike

    I booked a flight for august 2012 from Venice to Barcelona on my Amex Gold. Looking back at my credit card records, I can’t find that they ever billed me. Is this standard? I would have assumed my card would have been billed.

    Assuming I can locate the charge, should I approach Amex, or attempt to get through to Spanair for a refund?

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Josh MacDonald

    My wife and I flew with them multiple times for our honeymoon, VCE – BCN – AGP – BCN and even got upgraded, nothing spectacular but still not bad

  • Neal

    I’ve flown Spanair before and thought it was decent service and have 2 tickets in June from HAM-BCN but will now have to rebook. Hopefully the Vueling website gets back up and running so I can rebook.

  • Carlosfisch

    i have 75K points in Spanair Plus (equivalent to 5 flights from MAD to NYC). any recommendation?

  • Buck Smith

    My wife and I flew Spanair BCN-MAD last spring following a cruise. I found the tickets on Travelocity for $29 each, plus some taxes, at a time when the high-speed train was charging ten times that much. I wondered at the time how Spanair could stay in business charging those prices. I guess the answer is: they couldn’t.

  • Fernandez Alex

    I’m also affected with 120K point not used. I was going to use it to fly with my family this next summer. I’m also looking how to recover it.

  • Michael

    What a mess! We had a flight booked for Monday, when my wife noticed the news on Friday night at midnight. (Spanair announced at 8:00 PM Friday night Spain time that they were shutting down immediately, with the last flight around midnight or so that evening.) We were flying using Continental miles from La Coruña to Chicago, and the first leg (LCG-MAD) was on Spanair. Got on the phone immediately with Continental, and thankfully the agent was able to change our flights, now going from La Coruña to Lisbon on TAP Air, but leaving a day earlier. We were very lucky; in addition to Spanair disappearing, Iberia pilots are also on strike, and there is reduced service throughout Spain. The earliest we could get to Madrid on Monday using Iberia (the only other airline from LCG to MAD) was in the afternoon, well after the connecting flights had left, so that’s why we had to leave a day earlier. Again, though, we were lucky and got things sorted out–I’m sure many people have been left high and dry with this really cruel act on the part of Spanair. (We had to be in the US no later than Monday night, so it was critical for us to get the new flights, even if we had to leave a day earlier, which really messed up our packing and planning.)

  • Helen

    Tried to claim for Spanair tickets through credit card (AMEX) but they refer me back to airline. What are our rights when paying with a credit card? Helen

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