Deal Alert: Nonstop Premium Economy Flights to Spain From $789 Round-Trip
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.
If you're looking for a more comfortable ride across the Atlantic but don't want to pay for business class, premium economy might be the perfect compromise. And right now, Oneworld carriers are offering some excellent premium economy fares between New York City and both Barcelona (BCN) and Madrid (MAD). These flights are available on American Airlines, Iberia or British Airways aircraft, but you can mix-and-match the operating carrier with the marketing carrier in order to maximize your mileage earnings from the trip. More on how to do so after the flight booking examples.
Flights on American Airlines are on its newly retrofitted Boeing 777-200, which I got a chance to check out on its first flight after retrofit, and more recently from London to Miami (review coming soon). The seat is decent for premium economy, but the soft product was surprisingly good.
Flights on Iberia are on the airline's new Airbus A350, which will be launched on international flights for the first time in August. While we haven't gotten a chance to check that out, the premium economy product on the airline's A340 was solid.
Airline: American Airlines, Iberia, British Airways
Routes: JFK to BCN/MAD
Cost: $789+ round-trip in premium economy
Dates: September-March 2019
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN) nonstop on American for $789 round-trip:
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) nonstop on Iberia for $794 round-trip:
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN) with 1-stop on Iberia for $823 round-trip:
Maximize Your Mileage Earnings
If you're trying to earn AAdvantage elite status, you're going to want to either book Iberia/BA-marketed flights, or book the American Airlines flights using special fare techniques to maximize your Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) and award earnings. To illustrate the difference, here's how the round-trip nonstop American Airlines flight would credit with and without special fares:
|AA Premium Economy JFK-MAD round-trip||AA.com||AA Special Fare||Difference|
|Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs)||11,493||11,493||0|
|Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)||700||1,532||832|
|Redeemable Miles (general)||3,500||7,662||4,162|
|Redeemable Miles (Gold Elite)||4,900||10,727||5,827|
|Redeemable Miles (Platinum Elite)||5,600||12,259||6,659|
|Redeemable Miles (Platinum Pro)||6,300||13,792||7,492|
|Redeemable Miles (Executive Platinum)||7,700||16,856||9,156|
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
H/T: The Flight Deal