Cheap flights to Barcelona, Spain
There are plenty of options for cheap flights to Barcelona, Spain. Here we offer a few tips on how to get the best deals.
1. Flight Comparison Sites
Use one of the many flight comparison websites that will show you several airline and flight options. Some of these allow you to include alternative dates and airports near your home and near Barcelona; this can save you a lot of money. Some show tags saying something like “Flexible? Save xxx euros”
Before booking be careful to ensure you are not accepting:
- An indirect flight through connections at other far away airports; some sites let you specify direct flights only.
- A flight from alternative airports, unless these are suitable for you. It takes at least two hours to get to Girona from my house, but only twenty minutes to El Prat. (Fancy flying from Reus Airport at 06.00?)
Some of these webs redirect you to others to make the booking; not all of them have English versions. American sites tend to show absurd options at ridiculous prices.
in English, Spanish and Portuguese. A Google search will unearth many more.
2. Book in Advance
Barcelona is a very popular destination and there’s not much hope of getting cheap flight to Barcelona if you wait till the last minute. Flights booked in advance can be ten times cheaper than others booked a few days before.
Availability is obviously much more limited the longer you wait and many direct flights quickly fill up, especially around the holidays. Comparison websites may then offer ridiculous routes and have you flying around Europe all day unless you check the route carefully.
Some low-cost routes are handled by other airlines and what may seem to be a recognisable low-cost company may have a flight “operated” by a regular airline that will take you to their hub where you spend the day waiting for a connection. Again, check carefully before booking.
If you do need to book late, you could search for last-minute bargains, especially if booking flight and accommodation.
, available in several languages.
3. Book departures for mid-week and avoid public holidays
Cheap flights to Barcelona, Spain are more difficult to find just before, after and, of course, at weekends. Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays if you can when there are more cheap flights. The same goes for public holidays both in your home country and in Barcelona. Check the
holiday calendar to make sure thousands of Barcelonans are not returning home after a local holiday on your planned departure date.
4. Cheap flights to Barcelona leave early or late in the day
These flights are worth investigating, especially from Girona Airport.
Because there are fewer flights and so fewer buses to Girona, you might have to get the same bus for a flight at 8.00 as you do for one at 6.00, so you ought to double-check there’s not a cheaper, earlier flight you could take instead of hanging around the airport as the day breaks over the car-park…
The first buses leave for Reus Airport and Girona Airport at 03.45, so you’ll probably need to book a taxi to get to Estació del Nord or Sants in plenty of time. The last buses from Girona and Reus reach Barcelona Estació del Nord and Sants at about 1.30 in the morning.
These flights have the obvious disadvantage of making arrival and departure more problematical and exhausting than usual.Be aware you may need to spend a day recovering from your cheap flight and bus journey instead of enjoying your time in Barcelona.
Be especially careful of your belongings when arriving at the bus stations, above all when it is late. Beware of people offering help with your bags and, if you must use the lift, make sure you do so in the company of other passengers from the bus.
The last time I arrived at Estació del Nord there were two very obviously shady characters hanging around on the lookout for an opportunity to make off with someone’s bags, or rob them. They disappeared momentarily when the security guard strolled by with his fierce dog but quickly reappeared.
The driver will not open the luggage compartment until everyone is off the bus, but make sure you get your luggage without delay.
See how to avoid thieves and pickpockets' tricks here…
5. Cheap flights to Barcelona using alternative departure and arrival airports.
These days with small companies using previously semi-abandoned airports, there are plenty of alternatives for departures and destinations. Years ago, flying from the North of England meant Manchester; now you can fly from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Doncaster, East Midlands, Birmingham and even Humberside.
However, you should check carefully how much it will cost and how long it will take to get to the airport of your choice. This is especially important if you’re looking at early and late flights to save money.
Transport to the airports closest to Barcelona is quite good and efficient and a return ticket from Reus to Barcelona costs 26 euros and the Girona to Barcelona ticket costs 21 euros.
6. Check and check again what you are buying
Recently, a flight from London Heathrow to Barcelona el Prat and back, booked two weeks in advance with British Airways cost 150 euros.
This includes a 23 Kg suitcase. You can carry hand luggage aboard measuring 56 x 45 x 25 cm and a laptop, briefcase or handbag. You can check in on-line at no cost, although if you book from Spain they charge 10 euros. Drinks are free and there is 76cm of space between seats.
On the same dates you can fly by Ryanair from Standsted, London to Girona and back.
If you count the cost of 20 Kg luggage the flight costs (when I looked) about 170 euros, excluding the 15.50 euros travel insurance but including taxes and Visa card fees.
You can carry a single 55cm x 40cm x 20cm piece of hand luggage that must contain any handbags, cameras or laptops you take on board. Legroom is limited.
You must also add the 21 euros return bus ticket between Girona and Barcelona and the extra travelling time.
I’m not arguing in favour of either airline here; I’m simply pointing out that it’s wise to check all your options before buying, especially if –as most people do–you want to bring a suitcase.
Here are some links to information on Airports at or near Barcelona:
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