Flying into Madrid or Barcelona?

Mar 4th, 2010, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Flying into Madrid or Barcelona?

Does anyone have experience flying into Madrid or Barcelona from the US (probably Atlanta, GA)? I would like to fly on a Buddy Pass (standby) around the first week of July but I don't know which flights are likely to be less full. Flying standby, you can only get on the flight if there is an empty seat. Does anyone know whether Madrid or Barcelona is more likely to have empty seats in July?
lcarr is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 08:43 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
I know that both cities are usually very full at that time of the year so don't get too hopeful.July is peak season besides spring break for travelers. The person giving you the buddy pass should have told the worst case scenerios-personally I would just buy a cheap ticket now and know that you have a positive seat.
The trouble with buddy passes are that you are the last to get on and those seats also go by the seniority of the employee. Everyone I know that has buddy passes to give are like me and have learned that it is better to have your friend buy a ticket so that they have a seat instead of sitting at the airport for days and having to shell out for hotels,meals,etc. that they hadn't counted on.If you are using a buddy pass you have to use them to places like Moscow in winter to be assured that you can get on with no problem. Good luck!
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 01:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Buddy passes can be a great way to see the world. Or a great way to see the airport for days on end.

If you do try to use Buddy passes, keep your options open and flexible. To be able to be flexible don't check bags. If you don't get on your chosen flight, you probably won't be allowed to try for other ones if you have a checked bag.

Personally, I would go to the airport and try to get on the first viable option to get CLOSE TO your destination. If the BCN flight departed first, I would try that flight first, and then the MAD flight.

I might even try the CDG flight first if it departed before the others. (One departs before the BCN and MAD flights.)

If Spain is definitely where you want to end up, you may want to consider flying out of JFK. Delta flys from JFK non-stop to Valencia and Malaga in addition to Barcelona and Madrid.

Airlines use empty seats on later flights to rebook misconnects and denied boarding passengers. So even though a flight looks good a few days prior to your planned flight, it can fill up on the day of departure. (This is another reason I try to catch the first flight even if it were fully booked.)
misterfuss is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 03:15 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The only problem with Misterfuss's suggestion of going to a nearby airport first is that when you start adding in train or extra plane flights(bought at the last minute) it starts to get pricey.Buddy pass people cannot buy reduced rate tickets so if you are going to Paris/CDG you are going to have to buy another ticket to BCN or MAD at the last minute and those are going to be pretty expensive.

Also,in summer you usually better have some type of hotel or hostel reservation in Spain so you really cannot just wing it.Like I said in my previous thread-you go to a great city in the opposite season...Rome,Madrid or Barcelona in January;Buenos Aires in July-you get the idea.
dutyfree is offline  

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