Airfare to Madrid in March?

Old Jul 19th, 2005, 04:45 PM
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Airfare to Madrid in March?

I am starting to plan our trip to Spain for the week of March 24-April 2 flying from Columbus, Oh to Madrid. Usually we drive to Cincinnati to fly direct, but there is not a direct flight from Cincinnati. I am finding prices of $675 round trip on ITA via Delta. We have been to Europe several times this year and I'm wondering if this is a decent fare for that time of year? Our dates are pretty solid due to our occupations. I know it's early, and anything can happen, but looking for a general opinion. thanks!
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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March is a bit early for the mad tourist rush, so you should be able to do better than that, surely? I know from Atlanta to Barcelona or Madrid Delta is $620 right now in Sept. and Oct., and the last half of December (add $30 for weekend dates). I would expect similar fares from NWA and other airlines from your neck of the woods.

But in these times of spiraling fuel costs, historical flight prices don't mean as much as they usually do.
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 05:08 PM
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Predicting off-season fares from Ohio (or Indiana or Kentucky) is enough to drive any sane person crazy (and no less maddeiing to guess peak season fares!)

You might well do $150-200 better, and maybe not. Keep your eyes peeled for deals from Washington (IAD or BWI), as you might be able to make that worth your while. Watch also for deals to London (maybe via CLE or PHL or CLT? but actually via anywhere) since LON-MAD deals can be had. And rarely, there will be unusual deals from Canton/Akron or Dayton.

Last of all, try posting, and keeping up with the Cheap Flights forum on www.eurotrip.com - - heed carefully the advice of Don, the moderator there.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I know it's hard to predict prices, but I appreciate the answers. I'll check out the other site-thanks rex!
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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I flew RT to Spain from East Coast US at the end of March last year, and I paid around $550 or a bit less, as I recall. Coming from Columbus will add on something, most likely, so that doesn't seem outrageous to me -- and fuel costs are higher this year. I think you might find something a little cheaper, but I don't know usual fare from Columbus. I had to search a lot for the plane and routing I wanted, as I was doing open-jaw. I flew into Seville and out of Madrid. The Seville flight was the problem as there were only a couple reasonable connections from where I lived that involved only one stop -- London or Paris. I flew BA going over, and Continental coming back, as they have a nonstop from Madrid to Newark, and from there a short hop home for me. I knew once I got into the US at Newark, even if that plane were late or some problem, I could get home from there easily by train or plane, if I had to.

There aren't many nonstop flights to Madrid except from NY that were feasible for me -- none. I live in Washington DC and you'd think there'd be a nonstop from here to Madrid, but there wasn't, which is why I had to go through either London or Paris. The flight through Paris on Air France was actually a little cheaper, but the connection time was too short for my comfort.
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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I found roundtrip tickets from NYC to Barcelona(via Madrid) on Iberia in mid-February 2005 for $378. Bought the tickets in October or November.
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 06:39 PM
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nothing cheesy about that . . . =D>
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 07:06 PM
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You're welcome, Gree...
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 08:35 PM
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My parents paid about $600 from Houston for late April this year, with tickets issued about 2 weeks before actual trip. I saw fares as low as $490 for their dates back in Feb/March.

$675 is on the high side, and there's really no hurry to book now. Wait until January and February, and I'm pretty sure you'll find cheaper fares than $675.
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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Thanks everyone! I thought it might be a little high, but after flying to Italy last June and paying quite a bit for a flight, I wasn't sure. Thanks again.
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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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I got my tickets for Spain in December of last year. (Won the airfare, so I didn't have to pay for them) Because the company I won them from wanted to secure the airfare before the end of the year, there was no "wait-for-the-rate-to-get-better-period", and it really worked out for the best.

I'm leaving from the West Coast (LAX), and my only request was not to fly in or out of NYC. The company originally stated that I would have to pay taxes on $950.00 round trip airfare for two people (what they figured the cost of the airfare would be). There was absolutely no way the travel agent could find airfare for that. And I've been checking periodically throughout the year and I have never seen airfare that low for the period we are going. (late Sept/early Oct) The lowest price I was able to find, and this in the travel section of the newspaper which I'm always in doubt of, was something like $590.00 with lots of restrictions. When I check the internet, I get anywhere between $750 - to well over $1,000 per person. Our tickets cost just over $800 per person through British Airways. (would have been slightly cheaper - I think somthing around $600.00 - with US Airways but they were facing bankruptcy at the time)

So, from Ohio and for that time of year, I doubt it will get much lower. But then I could very well be wrong.

It doesn't hurt to keep checking and make your reservations when you see the rates start to go up.
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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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No offense to Chele60, but unless you have looked at fares in given markets - - a lot - - it really is difficult/impossible to infer fares from one region of the country to another. There isn't a straightforward relationship even in fairly narrow regions. I try not to make any/too many statements about placs I have not lived, or had occasion to study fares (many of us have followed the "bellwether" fares from NYC, BOS, PHL, WAS and ORD because it ocasionally makes sense to fly from there withOUT a "connection").

I have seen fares under $400 quite routinely from Columbus (or other IN/KY/OH originations) in late March for most of the 90's and 2000-2002. Since 2002, that figure seems to "translate" to $475-575.

But... and this is why it is so difficult to predict - - I have only surveyed a random sampling of destinations in Europe in any given year, and the best-priced destinations stuck in my brain (I was wiling to go where the deals were, on more than one occasion) - - if I had been looking for more specific destinations, I might have been left with the memory of frustration - - of a place I wanted to go, but couldn't find a deal.

I think you could see deals well under $600 and maybe under $500 for CMH-MAD for late March 2006. But will they be availaable for your exact dates, and not come and go before you catch them? Very hard to predict.
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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 02:52 PM
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The problem is also that some people are assuming this is a low period and demand will be real low. For Spain, it can be very peak period due to Easter and Santa Semana festivities. That's when I went, and both planes and hotels are very full at that time. Also, due to hot weather, Spain is not necessarily a peak destination in August. When I went, I flew back HOly Week and there were not bargains.

However, I believe next year Easter is later in April, so that should not be a complicating factor in this case. However, the idea that March is always going to be cheap is just not true.
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