Though legislation is coming in to simplify airline booking processes, it is still not easy to make sure you are getting the cheapest flights. Follow this step-by-step guide to make sure you get the cheapest airfare.
Time Required: An hour
- Book your flights as far in advance as possible - at least four months, if possible.
- Use a price comparison site, such as Vayama, as a guide, but also visit the airline websites themselves, as price comparison sites aren't always completely up to date. The good thing about Kayak is that you don't book through them - they send you directly to the airline's website, where you will get the most up-to-date prices.
Compare Prices on Flights with Vayama (book direct)
- Be flexible with your dates. The Spanish have lots of holidays and your chosen dates may fall on one of these, which may push the prices up.
- Try to fly mid-week. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest days to fly.
- Be flexible on your choice of airport. Spain has lots of airports and many of them are quite close together. See this Map of Spain's Airports.
Ryanair and easyJet are the budget airlines with the most flights to Spain in Europe. Ryanair claims to be the cheapest, but this isn't always the case. See Alternatives to Ryanair Routes
- Don't take the first price you see when booking as the final price. Airlines calculate their prices in different ways and you never know how much you are going to pay until you come to the final 'confirm payment' page. Only then will you see how much you are being charged for baggage, checking in, credit card fees, etc.
- Remove all 'optional' extras. The insurance deals they offer are never as complete as stand-alone travel insurance - so reject any pressure the airline puts on you to accept their offer. Also take off any 'speedy boarding' - it is pointless, as you will just have to sit on the plane for longer (in those horribly cramped seats). If you have a debit card, pay with that as credit card bookings normally cost more.
- Check your baggage allowance and travel light. You will normally have to pay for each bag you check in, but this doesn't increase your total weight allowance. If you later decide that you need more bags, log on to the airline's website (details should be in your confirmation email) and pay in advance - you'll only get charged more at the airport.
- Remember to factor travel to your final destination into your final costs. Flying with Ryanair to what they call "Barcelona (Girona)" and "Barcelona (Reus)" when you want to visit Barcelona will push your costs up as you have to get from Girona and Reus to Barcelona, which is 100km away.