Barcelona BCN United Airlines Zurich Zurich ZRH

United San Francisco to Barcelona $296-$321 round trip Aug-Oct

United Airlines has Basic Economy tickets from San Francisco SFO to Barcelona BCN priced at $296 in August and September to $321 in October. Prices rise to upper $300s/low $400s from late October. These cheap flights tend to have long outbound layovers in Newark or IAD or Zurich. Personally, I look at a potential 12 hour daytime layover in Zurich as a bonus feature of the cheap ticket.

Parc Guell, Barcelona

United Airlines San Francisco SFO – Washington IAD (10.5 hours) – Barcelona BCN – Zurich ZRH (5.5 hr layover) – SFO

$295.53 round trip  Monday Aug 19 – Wed Aug 28

Long layover in IAD gives time to visit the National Zoo

The main problem I see with this August itinerary is a 6:25am flight out of Barcelona. I hate early morning flights at that time since it seems like a wasted hotel night.

United Airlines San Francisco SFO – Zurich ZRH (10.5 hours) – Barcelona BCN – Zurich ZRH (5.5 hr layover) – SFO

$307.23 round trip  Sun Sep 29 – Fri Oct 11

This itinerary has an all day layover in Zurich arriving at 10:20am and departing 9:00pm. That is plenty of time to take the airport train into downtown Zurich and spend 8 hours touring the city.

Zurich by the Zurichsee/Lake Zurich on March 2013 daytime layover

Still have to deal with that 6:25am flight out of Barcelona though to get back to SFO.