We’ve been promoting cheap flights with Star Alliance carriers from Barcelona to the USA quite frequently in the past. It seems as if the Spanish city has become a hotspot for discounted fares. But typically it is the destinations on the east coast, such as New York or Boston, that will get you a great deal. This time the offer is for a trip to San José in California. Round-trips are available at prices starting around €270.
This is, of course, a Basic Economy fare and therefore does not include any checked bags. If you need to bring more then a carry-on, prices will go up. Also, this fare is only so cheap when you have extremely long layovers on the inbound flight. You can either use this opportunity to explore Montreal and Vancouver, if you choose to fly with Air Canada, or e.g. New York and Denver, if you’re flying with United.
Should you not be willing to take one of these adventurous outbound flights, and want to get there quicker, you’ll have to pay roughly €70 more. The inbound flight is always quite direct.
Search & Book
The fare rules do not state an expiration date for this deal. The offer is valid for trips during the weekend, commencing during the following travel periods:
- March 2nd – April 8th
- April 18th – May 14th
- October 14th – December 11th
The minimum stay requirements won’t allow you to return earlier than 7 days after your departure from Spain. If you want to spend more time in the USA, the maximum will be 12 months. Please note that an ESTA will only be good for 90 days.
Google Flights (instructions) can be a great help when searching for discounted seats, even though in this case, it is not always 100% accurate. As soon as you’ve settled for a date, you can either book directly using our Travel Dealz flight search to compare prices and maybe save a little extra.
Star Alliance Light Fares
This is a Star Alliance fare that does not include check-in luggage. Additionally, some other disadvantages may apply, especially when flying with United:
Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian
Lufthansa Group airlines call this fare Economy Light. You can select your seats during the check-in process. While these airlines still allow Star-Alliance-Gold customers to bring one 23kg bag, it is said that this benefit will soon be eliminated without much warning.
The long-haul United Basic Economy allows Star-Alliance-Gold customers to fly with 2 x 23 kg luggage, or even 3 x 32 kg if you’re a MileagePlus frequent flyer. Nevertheless, there are other restrictions:
- You cannot reserve your seats. Even at the time of check-in, you’ll be automatically assigned a seat, which you cannot change.
- You’ll be the last one to board the plane (except if you’re a frequent flyer).
- Additionally, if you’re a MileagePlus-customer:
- No free Economy-Plus upgrades
- Only 50%
PQMinstead of 100%, and only 0.5 PQS per flight
- No modifications (e.g. Same Day-Changes) possible
- Upgrades are not permitted
On flights with Air Canada, there is also a Basic Economy, but it is not quite as restrictive as United’s. If you have a Star-Alliance-Gold-Status, you can give up a 23 kg luggage, and Air-Canada-Altitude status holders can even be allowed up to 3 x 32 kg.
Other restrictions include:
- You can reserve seats, but at a higher price than usual for Economy.
- For Air Canada Altitude customers:
- 25% miles for transatlantic flights, none for domestic.
- Upgrades are not permitted.
- From Prestige 25K onwards you can select your seats.
If you feel that these restrictions are unbearable, you should book over the airline’s website, such as Lufthansa.com, and select the rate that includes luggage for roughly €100 more.
Information & Tips for California
California is located in the south-west of the USA and is a popular holiday destination for tourists from all over the globe. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Highway 1, Yosemite National Park, etc… – there’s a lot to attract tourists to the state oh-so prominently featured on the silver screen.
Flights from Europe and especially from Germany to California are often quite cheap. Deals between €200 and €300 (checked luggage is an approx. €100 surcharge) to the west coast are meanwhile nearly the norm, offers in Business Class are unfortunately somewhat less common. The most relevant airports for international air traffic are Los Angeles [LAX], San Francisco [SFO], Oakland [OAK] and San Jose [SJC].
Best Time to Visit
Temperatures in California are quite warm and moderate all year round, but if you want to go to the beach you should aim for visiting between May and October, here the water temperatures are best for taking a swim. In the inland and in the desert regions temperatures can reach more than 40 degrees Celsius in the summer, especially in Death Valley (one of the hottest places on earth!). Caution is advised in these temperatures.
All Dealz for California