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Flight questions - departure out of Barcelona vs. Sevilla

Hello all - Planning a trip to Spain for approx. 3 weeks next March. We're flying from Detroit to Barcelona and ending up in Sevilla. I just started looking at prices for flights. Shocked to see that it's triple the cost of flying home out of Sevilla (which would be booked as a multi-city flight) rather than a round trip out of Barcelona. Does that sound right to all of you? If so, do we take a flight from Sevilla to Barcelona, spend the night and then fly home out of Barcelona? Sorry if this is a "duh" question but just really surprised to see the difference in cost.
Looking forward to your advice - Mary

Posted by
1201 posts

I don't know if it sounds right or not, but Barcelona has transatlantic flights, whereas Sevilla is only short-haul. Since flying from Seville will mean a change anyway, you could get a Barcelona return and just buy a cheap separate ticket for the domestic part from Ryanair or Vueling, etc. But if you're doing that, and have to change anyway you could try flying back to America from any British or European airport that also has flights from Seville and perhaps the multi-city option will be cheaper. Or, perhaps better, consider train from Sevilla to "X" (e.g. Madrid,). Personally, I'd include a reasonable break between the short flight or railway journey and the longer one in case of delays on the former.

Posted by
3284 posts

I live in MN, a DELTA hub. I'm assuming your best options might be with DELTA, as well. There are few European cities I can get to at a reasonable cost. Usually, London, Paris, Amsterdam and often Zurich. Every once and a while Rome or Vienna. I would expect that a flight out of Sevilla would be exorbitant for me. I agree with Nick. I would return from Madrid. It's just about 4 hours via high speed train service. I would spend a night in Madrid for a fun break and to provide a buffer for any issues with your travel from Sevilla.

Posted by
17868 posts

Fares are highly origin-specific as well as destination-specific, and I don't know your origin airport. This year I wanted to begin my trip in Andalucía and finish up in London. In the end I flew into Madrid rather than Seville or Malaga because it saved about $500.

I'd check fares for flights into Madrid and Malaga to see if either is about the same cost as Barcelona; Madrid in particular might not cost more than Barcelona, and it's a lot closer. I would want to be in a hotel in the city from which I was departing on the night before the flight, because if something goes wrong (train strike?) and you miss the return flight, a last-minute one-way ticket home would probably be very expensive.

Posted by
6553 posts

It's a long way from Seville back to Barcelona--1 hr. 40 minute flight. And I'm not seeing any direct flights from Detroit into Spain. I do see flights from Seville to and from Paris, Frankfort and Munich airports.
I would suggest you catch an inexpensive flight from Seville to Paris on Vueling or Ryanair and taking a direct flight back from there.
You don't say who you're flying over on, but if your original airline partners with Lufthansa you could fly them through Paris and then home on the same ticket.

Posted by
53 posts

Thanks all for your speedy replies - right now it seems to make sense to fly from Seville back to Barcelona and then Delta back to Detroit. Please correct me if I'm mistaken. A round trip ticket from Detroit - Barcelona - Detroit is ok. I suppose I could look into flying from Seville to Madrid to Detroit but it's probably pretty much the same. I really should have done more investigation on flights before posting this silly question!!

Posted by
6098 posts

We took the high speed train to Madrid, stayed a few nights and flew to US direct from there. There is a a way to connect to Madrid Airport from train.
Or connect through BCN.

Posted by
1514 posts

I suggest using Google flights to search DTW-BCN and MAD-DTW. I picked a random 3 week trip in March and found plenty of options. Just watch the layover times - some of the choices give barely an hour to transfer flights (not enough time in any airport, IMHO) - as well as the fare rules ("basic" economy is always the cheapest).

Also, cost shouldn't be the only factor. Pencil out the total travel time it will take for various options. So, for your idea of buying a round trip DTW-BCN, consider the total time spent getting from Sevilla to Barcelona, including travel time to airport, time for security, flight time, time getting into Barcelona again (unless you stay at airport) and repeating all those steps for the next day's flight out of BCN. Compare it to a DTW-BCN/MAD-DTW scenario where you take a 4 hour train (or 1.5 hour flight) from Sevilla to Madrid. Not saying one is better than the other, just something to consider. By the way, I personally chose the latter option for my Spain trip (flew in to Barcelona, back home from Madrid, taking the train from Sevilla to Madrid the night before my flight home).

Posted by
17868 posts

It doesn't take 4 hours to travel from Seville to Madrid by train. There are many departures, and the travel time usually falls between 2:30 and 2:45.

Posted by
3284 posts

Just double checked, I was mistaken and acraven is correct. Also, the train ride is quite a pretty one.

Posted by
53 posts

Flying from Seville to Madrid is almost twice the price as it is to fly from Seville back to Barcelona. So by not spending another night in Barcelona, I can take a morning flight from Seville, arrive in Barcelona at 10:30am and get on a flight from Barcelona to Detroit at 12:15pm. I really don't see the need to fly to Madrid rather than Barcelona. So think that will be the plan......

CL - I've read your post a couple times. I must be missing something or not understanding what you're trying to tell me. Does my plan above make sense to you?

Posted by
3284 posts

I don't know why anyone would fly from Seville to Madrid. It's an easy train ride. With a flight you have to get to the airport which is usually in a location less convenient than a train station, two hours early. With a train, usually 15 minutes before departure works just fine.

I would price out open jaw, into Barcelona and out of Madrid. You would want to buy the train tickets for Sevilla to Madrid in advance for savings, otherwise the ticket is about 70euro/each.

Posted by
17868 posts

Mary, assuming you're thinking about buying a separate ticket just from Seville to Barcelona, I think that is a very scary idea. I would not under any circumstances attempt to fly from Seville to Barcelona, arriving at 10:30 AM, when I needed to make a 12:15 PM flight to the US. You should check the website of your transatlantic carrier, but the usual advice is to be at the airport, in the check-in line, 3 hours before scheduled departure. I flew home from Barcelona in 2016, and on that occasion I needed every bit of the 3 hours to make my flight.

A 10:30 AM landing time could easily make it almost 11 AM when you get off the plane, even if there is no delay. That's nowhere near early enough unless you are prepared to grin and bear it if you miss the flight home and have to buy a last-minute one-way ticket at the walk-up fare.

Posted by
14210 posts

CL's suggestion is to fly open-jaw into Barcelona and home from Madrid. Take the train - under 3 hours - from Seville to Madrid the night before your flight. Generally the 2 flight options are about the same price.

Posted by
53 posts

Thank you Acraven - you caught a big mistake in my plan. I'll either give us a 3 hour window between flights or look into the idea of a train from Seville to Madrid and then fly out of Madrid. Many thanks.

Posted by
17868 posts

A 3-hour gap wouldn't be nearly enough for me. Your first flight could be delayed, or it could arrive at a gate that is a very long walk from your departure gate. With unconnected tickets, I don't know whether you'd be able to avoid going outside security to check in. If you have a checked bag you'll almost certainly have to claim your luggage and re-check it. My policy is to spend the last night before a transatlantic flight within an affordable taxi ride of the departure airport. That protects me from delayed inbound flights and trains, a local-transit strike, etc.

Posted by
20899 posts

Something is off with your search -- I am seeing RT Detroit, mid-March, to Barcelona for $877 and $1087 to come home from Sevilla instead of Barcelona. That is a $200 difference. You are going to be hard press to get back to Barcelona for much less plus lose a whole day. We rarely do RT so much prefer the open jaw ticket.

Posted by
53 posts

Frank - thanks for looking at prices for me. Yes, I do also see that price returning home out of Seville. BUT....I want to fly Delta and I want to pop for the new "premium select" seating. The flights out of Seville that offer these seats are very few and are $3,300! Can't afford that. Out of Madrid is cheaper ($1581) for some reason. Yes, those pricey seats are probably not worth it but this is probably our last overseas long trip. It's our 40th anniversary and I'm spending way more than usual. We're both too tall and too old to sit in economy for this long haul!!! Been there, done that many times. Due to one of the many helpful posts on this thread, we'll take the train from Seville to Madrid, spend the night and fly home from there. Many thanks friend!

Posted by
486 posts

Mary: I just ran DTW - BCN on 03/04/20 and returning SQV - DTW on 03/25/20 with the following prices:
1. KLM & AF - $924 each RT economy,
2. Delta - $3,020 RT economy.
Looks to me like AF or KLM want your business since you are routing through their Hubs at AMS or CDG. The actual planes whether they are Delta or KLM / AF do not change. You should be able to get miles on Delta even though you are booking on KLM or AF. I would book on them and not look back.

Posted by
53 posts

Thanks Ed! I will certainly check out KLM flights but my dates are set 3/7-3/26 since I've booked my accommodations. As stated in my above post, I'm splurging on the "Premium Select" seating for the first and last time. We're just too tall and old for the economy seats and this is probably our last long haul overseas flight. Been there, done that on economy seating, but splurging on this one.
I'll get on the KLM website now and see what I can find - thanks for your kindness!

Posted by
486 posts

Mary: okay I see the issue, Premium Economy right now is pretty much of an American carrier deal, especially American, Delta and United. Airlines like KLM / AF are entirely Business or Economy Class, that will definitely skew your prices. It becomes more of an apples to oranges comparison.