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
Air Canada San Francisco – Montreal YUL – Barcelona BCN – YUL – SFO
Watch out for Seat Selection Fees on Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines
Swiss Airlines San Francisco SFO – Zurich ZRH – Barcelona BCN – ZRH – SFO
Ignore the $618 fare shown in the initial search. It changes to lower $593 fare when you click ‘Continue’ link:
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.
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.