We would like to do round trip flight to Barcelona but are ending our tour in Madrid. What is the best way to get back to B arcelona airport please? To arrive and depart from different airports adds a lot to airfare. Thanks.
When are you traveling?
Surprised an open jaw flight is adding that much cost to the airfare as it is a fairly common approach.
the AVE high speed train from Madrid to Barcelona is 2 1/2 hours, leaves several times per day. Purchase your ticket 60 or so days in advance (not changeable) and you might be able to secure a 45 or so euro price...to that add the airport express bus in Madrid to the Atocha station, 5 euros, 1/2 hour and the expense and time in Barcelona from the Sants Station to the airport. Think there is a bus for that as well....
Before committing to the roundtrip flight, I would try again to test fares for a "multi-city" flight itinerary (not two one-way tickets). Full fare on the fast AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona goes up to 107 or 126 euros per person in 2nd class. However, Spain does have significant advance-purchase discounts if you buy train tickets up to three months ahead. The Renfe site now accepts PayPal, but is otherwise hard to use with US credit cards. www.petrabax.com is a US web site offering similar advance discounts.
Pippa, I think you do not know how to search for open-jaw flights. Use the "multi city" function on Kayak to find the best fares, then go to the airlines' website to actually book. Do NOT use two one-way flights.
Looking at random dates in September. I found it is actually cheaper to fly from Portland into Barcelona and back from Madrid than to fly RT to Barcelona. Actual costs for flights with one stop each way:
US Air: $1233 RT to Barcelona, $1229 to fly into Barcelona and back from Madrid
Air France/KLM: $1474 to fly RT to Barcelona, $1308 to fly into Barcelona ad back from Madrid.
No need to return to Barcelona after the tour at all.
On my recent trip it was significantly cheaper to fly into Madrid and out of Barcelona. But even if it is more, you still have to compare that to the cost of getting back to Barcelona and the time spent backtracking. Is that the best use of your limited vacation time?
If you do backtrack, I'd highly suggest flying since you'd be flying home right away. You can usually find pretty cheap flights within Spain.