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Why have transatlantic airfares to Spain gotten so cheap?

Why have transatlantic airfares to Spain gotten so cheap?

Old Jun 10, 19, 7:09 pm
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Why have transatlantic airfares to Spain gotten so cheap?

I've been amazed at how many transatlantic airfare deals I'm seeing to Spain. Sub $300 airfares are now nothing unusual, especially from the East Coast of the USA. Both Madrid and Barcelona routinely have these sales, and today, you can also go the Canaries, Mallorca and Ibiza for that price (just not in peak summer). Why so cheap suddenly? Too much competition?
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Old Jun 11, 19, 7:23 am
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First of all, transatlantic fares are very cheap this year anyway. I am taking the family to the West Coast this summer, Saturday to Saturday in August and the fares are the cheapest, by a long way, that they have been in ten years of doing this.

The specific answer to the question is LEVEL. The more general answer is Norwegian.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 8:24 am
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Both LEVEL and Norwegian have flooded the market with capacity and cheap fares. Enjoy while it lasts
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Old Jun 15, 19, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Both LEVEL and Norwegian have flooded the market with capacity and cheap fares. Enjoy while it lasts
But is that just Spain? I know the departure taxes from Spain are lower than many other European countries, but there's nowhere else that you can consistently get sub-$300 fares.

BTW, expenses on the ground aren't that high either. Like I've booked tickets to BCN for a visit to Catalonia and the south of France. A week's automatic transmission car rental is under $150 if you shop around on skyscanner. Hotel expenses, particularly at highly-rated b&b's and gites, are less than half the price of comparable USA accommodations.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
But is that just Spain? I know the departure taxes from Spain are lower than many other European countries, but there's nowhere else that you can consistently get sub-$300 fares.

BTW, expenses on the ground aren't that high either. Like I've booked tickets to BCN for a visit to Catalonia and the south of France. A week's automatic transmission car rental is under $150 if you shop around on skyscanner. Hotel expenses, particularly at highly-rated b&b's and gites, are less than half the price of comparable USA accommodations.
ARN has also been consistently cheap due to DY, and LON tickets aren't bad either if you book far enough in advance. OTOH LON has always had relatively inexpensive options due to all the high-paying J pax, cross-subsidizing cheaper TATL Y fares.

Spain, however, is a different market, and TATL LCCs have made a big dent in the fares by adding capacity, forcing traditional airlines to match. Also, you have to remember that if nonstops are cheap, one-stops, less attractive than non-stops, will also be cheap. You have plenty of traditional and LCC options for 1-stop flights, and some (e.g. TP) provide consistently cheap 1-stop fares to/from MAD, forcing IB/UX to match.

BTW. BCN/MAD/LIS-SFO/OAK is of specific personal interest and BCN-SFO/OAK has been consistently cheaper than MAD-SFO (IB) due to DY on the route. Now, with LIS-SFO, we'll see how this dynamic will change, as TP tends to compete on flights ex-MAD quite well.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 7:39 pm
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Mid to late August MAD fares were below $250 this weekend from the East Coast. Crazy.
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Old Aug 7, 19, 11:48 pm
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TAP is in on this game too, for less than $1200 for 2 people we are flying SFO-LIS-MAD-LIS-SFO
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Old Aug 8, 19, 7:00 pm
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These crazy low cost transatlantic fares to Spain are continuing. And seem to be spreading to France and other Western European cities. Spain still tends to be the cheapest. Not a week goes by without a sub $300 airfare to Spain.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 6:50 pm
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Seems like you have to be in NYC or WAS or BOS to get the sub $300 fares though.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by realworld View Post
Seems like you have to be in NYC or WAS or BOS to get the sub $300 fares though.
They do seem to be largely from the East Coast, but not exclusively. From the NYC area, the fares to Spain are now in the LOW $200s on a fairly regular basis. It's nuts. And I'm seeing fares to Paris in the mid $200s.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 5:33 am
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Spoiler alert: Many of these prices (good as they are, no doubt about it) are "no frills" - a frill being defined by the airline as an assigned seat and a suitcase in the hold. At IB rates that seat you want could be as much as €30 each way, and a piece of checked luggage €25 each way. Still good value, however.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by spainflyer View Post
Spoiler alert: Many of these prices (good as they are, no doubt about it) are "no frills" - a frill being defined by the airline as an assigned seat and a suitcase in the hold. At IB rates that seat you want could be as much as 30 each way, and a piece of checked luggage 25 each way. Still good value, however.
You are correct. It's very good to carefully investigate what you're buying. Sometimes, but not always, elite status can make the experience a bit better.

Personally, I can easily survive a transatlantic journey with just a rollerboard and a "personal item" (none of the "real" airlines have gone below that -- yet). It can be slightly annoying if I want to bring back a few bottles of wine, but so be it. The seat assignment thing is more annoying -- but lots of European airlines don't give "normal" coach pax free advanced seat assignments! Even elites!
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