USA: Star Alliance Flights Starting at €231 From Spain (East & West Coast; Cabin Bags Only)

USA Flagge Bruecke

Star Alliance members Lufthansa, Swiss, and United are all offering very cheap tickets from various Spanish airports to many US destinations. There are cheap destinations on both coasts of the United States. All connections require at least one change of planes in either America or Europe. You can find travel dates both in 2021 and 2022.


These tickets are not refundable. While Lufthansa allows one date change without an additional fee, you’d still have to pay the fare difference.

Touristic travel to the USA should be possible again from November 2021 onwards for fully vaccinated Europeans.

Our calendar shows all available dates for flights from Madrid. You can also search for flights from other Spanish airports, but you’ll have to guess the availability for those. You can still use the dates for Madrid as an orientation.

Here are the destinations that we found:


SWISS will first fly you to Zurich, and Lufthansa will either take you to Frankfurt or Munich for its long-haul connection. There are also direct United Airlines flights from Madrid with a stop in Newark. Either way, the service that you can expect is very similar on all airlines – complimentary food & snacks. Even the flight times tend to be rather similar. You can generally fly from other major Spanish airports like Barcelona…

Search & Book

This deal has no expire date, though the travel periods are somewhat limited. You need to respect the following time frames to get the quoted prices:

Outbound flights

  • August 29, 2021 – December 15, 2021
  • January 8, 2022 – April 6, 2022
  • April 19, 2022 – June 16, 2022
  • August 28, 2022 – December 14, 2022

Inbound flights

  • September 6, 2021 – December 16, 2021
  • December 19, 2021 – December 25, 2021
  • January 8, 2022 – April 9, 2022
  • April 19, 2022 – June 25, 2022
  • September 5, 2022 – December 15, 2022

A minimum stay of six days is required to get the lowest fare. You can find available dates on Google Flights and our own calendar above, before then booking directly on Lufthansa’s website.


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.

United Airlines

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% PQM instead of 100%, and only 0.5 PQS per flight
    • No modifications (e.g. Same Day-Changes) possible
    • Upgrades are not permitted
Air Canada

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 or and select the rate that includes luggage for roughly €100 more.


The tickets are issued in booking class K. To give you an example, a United round trip from Madrid to Miami via Newark would get you:

  • 7,026 Avios on Aer Lingus AerClub
  • 4,684 Miles on Asiana Club
  • 4,684 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • 4,684 Miles on Azul TudoAzul
  • 4,684 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
  • 4,684 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
  • 4,684 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
  • 4,684 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • 4,684 Miles on South African Voyager
  • 4,684 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • 4,684 Points on SAS EuroBonus
  • 4,684 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
  • 4,684 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
  • 4,684 Miles on Air India Flying Returns
  • 3,894 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
  • 2,810 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
  • 2,342 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
  • 2,342 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
  • 2,342 Miles on TAP Miles & Go
  • 724 Award Miles + 146 PQP on United MileagePlus
  • 584 Award Miles + 2,344 Tier Miles on Miles&More
Data provided by Without guarantee on correctness.

Aegean Miles+Bonus or Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles are probably among the best options to credit these flights, though that really depends on your usual flight pattern. For some, for instance, Thai Royal Orchid Plus may be a better option.

Information & Tips for USA

The USA offers many sights, natural wonders and cultural significance. Thanks to numerous airlines offering flights across the Atlantic, it is always pretty inexpensive to get there. Alternatively, you can also cross the Atlantic by boat.

Immigration, ESTA & Visa Requirements

The USA has one of the strictest entry regulations in the world. Most EU citizens, among others, are lucky to be able to participate in the so-called Visa Waiver Program. If you get an electronic entry permit (ESTA)  for approximately €20, you don’t need a visa for entry.

The Best Time to Visit

Due to its sheer size, the perfect time to visit the USA varies greatly from region to region. In winter, Florida is very popular due to the mild temperatures. In the summer the West and East Coasts are flooded by tourists which drives up the prices for hotels and flights and during the Indian Summer in late autumn New England is a very popular destination. The hurricane season between July and September can be dangerous in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida and the southern states are regularly struck by these tropical storms. Blizzards occur from the East Coast to the Midwest during the winter months and regularly put air traffic and public life on hold.

Climate diagram for New York City, New York (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)
Climate diagram for Los Angeles, California (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)
Climate diagram for Miami, Florida (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)


The US dollar is widely used throughout the world and accepted as a currency in most tourist hotspots worldwide. That being said, carrying cash isn’t necessary in the US, all you need is a credit card! These are very common in the USA and are accepted pretty much everywhere without any issues. If you already have a credit card in your wallet, you should make sure that it does not charge a foreign currency fee if possible. Carrying a few dollars in cash doesn’t hurt though. You might need cash e.g. for the bus ticket if you want to buy it directly from the driver. Most of the time you even have to give exact change.

→ All Dealz for USA

Cover Picture: Andrew Shelley

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Comments (2)

  1. Dave says:

    I wish Skyteam would offer something similar

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