Star Alliance $564-$579 SFO to Barcelona Dec-May

Star Alliance airlines including United, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Swiss have dropped ticket prices for San Francisco to Barcelona down to $564to $624  round trip for departures from December through May 10. Air Canada flights are cheapest at $564, but not too many dates. United is the best deal for $579.

An itinerary with all Swiss Airlines operated flights is $594 round trip. Lufthansa or Swiss have the advantage of connecting directly from SFO to Europe rather than Air Canada in Canada or a USA gateway with United. I prefer to be in Europe if I get stuck with a missed connection, and suffer the delay in Europe, not Newark.

But the problem with Lufthansa and Swiss is they both charge for self-selected seats. Swiss charges $29 for a seat across the Atlantic and $11 for intra-Europe. Add $58 for at least some assurance you won’t be flying 12 hours in the middle seat. Lufthansa is even more at $35 for long-haul flight seat selection and $11 intra-Europe.

So the real deal here is with United Airlines and Air Canada flights for free seat selections.

United Airlines  San Francisco SFO – Newark EWR – Barcelona BCN – Newark EWR – SFO

$578.76 round trip  Fri April 21 – Sat April 29

SFO-ZRH $579 UA Apr21-29


Air Canada San Francisco – Montreal YUL – Barcelona BCN – YUL – SFO

$564.07 round trip Friday May 5 – Saturday May 13

SFO-BCN $564 AC May5-13


Watch out for Seat Selection Fees on Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines

Swiss Airlines  San Francisco SFO – Zurich ZRH – Barcelona BCN – ZRH – SFO

$593.33 round trip  Sat May 6 – Sun May 14

SFO-BCN $618 LX May6-14

Ignore the $618 fare shown in the initial search. It changes to lower $593 fare when you click ‘Continue’ link:

SFO-BCN $594 LX May 6-14

But then you have to add $58 to $80 for seats. Personally, I don’t pay for seat assignments on flights under 3 hours. I can handle a middle seat for that amount of time.

$651.33 round trip with $29 seats each way for transatlantic flights.

SFO-BCN $651 LX May6-14

Lufthansa is even more expensive at $35 for long-haul flight segment seat selection.


Norwegian low fares under $400 round trip to London or Stockholm and a separate ticket to Barcelona looks like a better alternative at those seat selection prices for Lufthansa and Swiss.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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