Air Travel

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TRAVEL TIPS

Air Travel

Flying time from New York to Madrid is about seven hours; from London, it's just over two hours.

Regular nonstop flights serve Spain from many major cities in the eastern United States; flying from other North American cities usually involves a stop. If you're coming from North America and want to land in a city other than Madrid or Barcelona, consider flying a European carrier.

There are a few package-flight options for travel to and within Spain. Iberia, for example, offers the Iberia Plus Internet club, which can offer exceptionally low fares.

The Europe By Air E-Flight Pass offers the lowest-fare tickets within Europe to more than 170 destinations on 18-plus airlines. There are no blackout dates, no charge for reservation changes, and no fare zones, but be aware that these passes are nonrefundable.

A number of low-cost carriers operate from the United Kingdom to Spain such as Monarch (www.monarch.co.uk) and flybe (www.flybe.com). They provide competition to the market's main players, easyJet (www.easyjet.com) and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com). All these carriers offer frequent flights, cover small cities as well as large ones, and have very competitive fares. Attitude Travel (www.attitudetravel.com/lowcostairlines), Skyscanner (www.skyscanner.net), and Wegolo (www.wegolo.com) are comprehensive search sites for low-cost airlines worldwide.

Contacts

Air Europa. 844/415-3955; 902/401501; www.aireuropa.com.

Iberia. 800/772–4642; 901/111500; www.iberia.com.

Transportation Security Administration. www.tsa.gov.

Airports

Most flights from North America land in, or pass through, Madrid's Barajas Airport (MAD). The other major gateway is Barcelona's Prat de Llobregat (BCN). From the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, regular flights also touch down in Málaga (AGP), Alicante (ALC), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), and many other smaller cities.

Airport Information

AENA. This company operates, and provides traveler information about, all Spanish airports. 902/404704; www.aena.es.

Flights

From North America, Air Europa flies to Madrid; American Airlines, part of the Oneworld Alliance, Iberia, and US Airways fly to Madrid and Barcelona; Delta flies direct to Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga (June–September). Note that some of these airlines use shared facilities and do not operate their own flights. Within Spain, Iberia is the main domestic airline, but Air Europa flies most domestic routes at lower prices. The budget airline Vueling heavily promotes its Internet bookings, which are often the country's cheapest domestic flight prices. The earlier before your travel date you purchase the ticket, the more bargains you're likely to find. Air Europa also has flights from Spain to other destinations in Europe. Air Europa and Iberia Express also serve destinations within Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

Iberia runs a shuttle, the Puente Áereo, offering flights just over an hour long between Madrid and Barcelona, every 30 minutes (more often during peak travel times) 6:45 am–9:45 pm. You don't need to reserve; you can buy your tickets at the airport ticket counter upon arriving or book online at www.iberia.com. Passengers can also use the self-service check-in counters to avoid the line. Puente Áereo departs from Terminal T1 in Barcelona; in Madrid, the shuttle departs from Terminal 4.

Airline Contacts

Air Europa. 844/415–3955; 902/401501; www.aireuropa.com.

American Airlines. 800/433–7300; 902/054654; www.aa.com.

Delta Airlines. 800/221–1212; 800/241–4141; 913/754146; www.delta.com.

Iberia. 800/772–4642; www.iberia.com.

Iberia Express. 901/111500; www.iberiaexpress.com.

United. 800/864–8331; www.united.com.

Within Spain

Air Europa. 902/401501; www.aireuropa.com.

Iberia. 901/111500; www.iberia.com.

Vueling. 807/300745; www.vueling.com.

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