A guide to low cost airfare to Spanish destinations from the USA & Canada

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing where you want to study in Spain and when you want to travel is the price of airfare. Over the past few years airfare prices throughout the world have decreased significantly with the upcoming of the many new low cost airlines and it is today easier then ever to find get a good deal when flying to Spain but you still have to do some thorough search.

When calculating the price of your trip to Spain, you should understand that airfare may cost as much as 50% or more of the total bill. For those coming to Spain for just a short time period, 8 weeks or less, the airfare price can really impact when you should arrive in Spain and where you should choose to study. For longer terms of study, the airfare price might be more level and unchanging, or the destination might take priority over the one-time cost of airfare.

In general, there are a few time tested truths about airfare that can help you to get a good deal.

  • Airfare prices during peak tourist times are higher. In Spain this is usually May or June through August.
  • Buying airfare 2 to 4 months in advance can work out to a better price.
  • Looking for flights through a variety of major European hubs might help to secure a better price.
  • Flying on Sundays and Mondays tends to cost more and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are known to be cheaper in general.
  • Buying your tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday might work out in your favor as airlines engage in bidding wars that have just peaked.

In addition to navigating the airfare maze it is also important to consider how your chosen destination in Spain will impact your airfare. Students who choose to stay in cities other than the 2 or 3 biggest cities in Spain should expect to spend extra money traveling to city.

When researching your individual city, you should weigh the price of traveling to your city by plane via a small budget airline, which is available in most UniSpain cities, or traveling to your city by bus or train from Madrid or Barcelona. In some cases the airfare is cheaper or more convenient than making your way to a bus or train terminal.

A final option to consider is if it beneficial to fly into a small nearby airport and commute to your final destination. For example, you might find a good deal flying into Alicante or Malaga and then consider taking the train or bus onward to destinations like Valencia from Alicante, or Seville, Cadiz or Granada from Malaga.


Low-cost Airlines

Airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet offer a great way to save money on your journey to your Spanish language school destination. In many cases these airlines operate flights from major European cities to several of Spain’s large and medium-sized cities. While these flights may offer major savings, sometimes flights lower than 20€, there are a few caveats that might make you reconsider using a low-cost airline. Here are a few factors to be aware of:

  • Airlines often operate out of secondary airports in major cities that are quite far from the city center and other international airports making connecting flights challenging.
  • Baggage restrictions can be strict so it is advised that you read the guidelines carefully before committing and be sure you can follow the rules.
  • Flights are often operated only on certain days and times, sometimes only once a week, so plan to be flexible or opt for the more expensive flight from a standard flight carrier.

You could get lucky and find a great deal with nearly any airline, but in Spain Easy Jet and Ryan Air are known for their rock bottom prices. Quite often it is cheaper to fly from major North American cities to airports in London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or other major European destinations instead of directly to Spain. If you do your research and pay careful attention to the terms and conditions, you might find a great deal flying on one of these airlines between Spanish cities and other major European destinations that offer international flights to and from the U.S.A. and Canada.


Easy Jet

Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Ibiza, and Malaga Many major European destinations including all London airports

Santiago de Compostela London Gatwick, Geneva

Seville London Gatwick

Tenerife South Airport (bus travel is required to school location on the north of the island in Santa Cruz) London Gatwick and several other England airports


Ryan Air

Alicante Barcelona El Prat

Gran Canaria: Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, and secondary airports in major cities like London Luton, London Stansted, Germany Frankfurt Hahn

Seville and Malaga Barcelona El Prat, Ibiza, Valencia, several other cities and islands in Spain, and secondary airports in major cities like London Stansted, Paris Beauvais, Frankfurt Hahn, Stockholm and Oslo (Malaga only)

Tenerife (Santa Cruz, north airport) Barcelona El Prat, Madrid

Tenerife South (take bus to Santa Cruz) Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, multiple Spanish cities, and secondary airports in major cities like London Luton, London Stansted, Frankfurt Hahn

Valencia smaller Spanish cities and islands, and secondary airports in major cities like London Stansted, Frankfurt Hahn, Paris Beauvais

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