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Booked our flights at a good rate

Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
I've been checking round trip air fares periodically from our home in Indianapolis to Madrid, departing mid Sept and returning late October (2021). The rate has consistently been $1,100 to $1,200 per person which is the rate we paid for our cancelled 2020 camino (fortunately we received cash refunds). It's been awhile since I checked rates, so I did today and was surprised and pleased to see that rates have dropped. The lowest rate per person was $662, but this does not allow seat selection and costs for checked in bags. We will check on at least one bag since we have trekking poles, scissors, and a knife. For $130 / person more ($792 total), we can make seat assignments and each have a checked bag and there is no fee for schedule changes. So I pulled the trigger and am very pleased with this rate!

Of course, we are taking a chance that travel restrictions may still exist this fall. However, vaccines are now available to citizens in our city age 70 and above, and we'll be next in line for COVID vaccine (we're both age 63). Crossing our fingers that all will go well. Bob
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
We are planning on departing on Sept 1st non stop to madrid and got a great fare a few hundred dollars cheaper than yours out of EWR. We can cancel and reschedule as well. Flying out of smaller cities is always more expensive and EWR is a hub for UA.
Also got health insurance, which c an be changed until 2023 for no fee. so, why not take advantage of the fare.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
Just booked American Airlines/Iberia. for my 13 September - 1 October Leon-SdeC walk -- great low fare from RIC to MAD Barajas 4, one checked bag, pickable seat assignments (important for me!) and refundable. Seriously! The game is afoot.

ADDED a day later: my reasoning is the same as Marbe2's, see item 9, below.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Truly hope it works out for you.
Did you consider the cost of buying those items in Spain vs the $130, before you start walking?

I think the question will be about the number of Spaniards vaccinated across the regions you want to walk. They still haven't ascertained if those vaccinated can still be carriers or not. If that has not been solved by the date of your flights, then it will depend on the local population carrying the protection offered by the vaccine. So here's hoping that they get enough shots into arms in Spain.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
In addition to the Covid/vaccination situation I have to wait until my son and his fiancée decide when to have their wedding. It was scheduled for last June, but they think that June 2021 will be too soon, and are thinking of September. Hopefully I can start making plans by late May. If not Que sera, sera.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
There will be plenty of naysayers...... Even the hope is great to have.....
It’s worth dropping $700 - if you’re fortunate enough to have it - simply to have something in the diary to look forward to. There are reports in the UK of significant demand for holidays for September and beyond by the 50+ age group who are clearly of the view that, once vaccinated, they’ll be OK.

it’s reasonable to think that - for example - Spain and Greece, for whom tourist income is significant - will open up as soon as they can, but the financial and mental cost of the pandemic, in addition to the mortality, is such that they may err on the side of caution IMHO.

I’m staying flexible, sitting on the cash and hoping the vaccination rolls out ASAP.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
It’s worth dropping $700 - if you’re fortunate enough to have it - simply to have something in the diary to look forward to. There are reports in the UK of significant demand for holidays for September and beyond by the 50+ age group who are clearly of the view that, once vaccinated, they’ll be OK.

it’s reasonable to think that - for example - Spain and Greece, for whom tourist income is significant - will open up as soon as they can, but the financial and mental cost of the pandemic, in addition to the mortality, is such that they may err on the side of caution IMHO.

I’m staying flexible, sitting on the cash and hoping the vaccination rolls out ASAP.


@henrythedog I booked for Sept 1st. True it is a gestimate. But my reasoning is threefold. First, that it is still summer and that by summer the warm weather virus threat may be less as more folks will be outdoors; second, the vast majority of folks should be vaccinated (in USA and Spain) 7.5 months from now; and third, tourism supports Spains economy and she would likely be open for business.

Nevertheless, we will not go, if we perceive we would be placing others, or ourselves, in harms way. We booked accommodations that can be cancelled free of charge,. We did so because we anticipated even more folks wanting to walk then! Insurance and airfare can be moved without penalty. Therefore, we saw no real downside to booking now and taking advantage of the great fares.


I do not believe one will be able to fly, by then, without proof of vaccination, and people will stll be required to use PPE..so pack those masks! 😄😄😄
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
@henrythedog I booked for Sept 1st. True it is a gestimate. But my reasoning is threefold. First, that it is still summer and that by summer the warm weather virus threat may be less as more folks will be outdoors; second, the vast majority of folks should be vaccinated (in USA and Spain) 7.5 months from now; and third, tourism supports Spains economy and she would likely be open for business.

Nevertheless, we will not go, if we perceive we would be placing others, or ourselves, in harms way. We booked accommodations that can be cancelled free of charge,. We did so because we anticipated even more folks wanting to walk then! Insurance and airfare can be moved without penalty. Therefore, we saw no real downside to booking now and taking advantage of the great fares.


I do not believe one will be able to fly, by then, without proof of vaccination, and people will stll be required to use PPE..so pack those masks! 😄😄😄
I think it’s good to look forwards, and I do so with increasing optimism. If your plans are flexible you’ve got all the benefit of having something to anticipate without any risk. Good luck.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I notice a few here mentioned having free cancellations on their airline tickets and I am curious whether this is un upcharge at the time of booking, or if this is being offered as an incentive to customers in order to sell tickets, knowing that booking early is a gamble due to covid...any comments?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I notice a few here mentioned having free cancellations on their airline tickets and I am curious whether this is un upcharge at the time of booking, or if this is being offered as an incentive to customers in order to sell tickets, knowing that booking early is a gamble due to covid...any comments?
Possibly a cheap way to maintain cash flow. On looking up a few websites it seems that by buying such tickets you can only exchange to other flights, no refunds. Seems a sensible way to go, especially as they are discounting prices. Here's hoping the companies are still in business when the actual day arrives 😁.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
October 2020
I've been checking round trip air fares periodically from our home in Indianapolis to Madrid, departing mid Sept and returning late October (2021). The rate has consistently been $1,100 to $1,200 per person which is the rate we paid for our cancelled 2020 camino (fortunately we received cash refunds). It's been awhile since I checked rates, so I did today and was surprised and pleased to see that rates have dropped. The lowest rate per person was $662, but this does not allow seat selection and costs for checked in bags. We will check on at least one bag since we have trekking poles, scissors, and a knife. For $130 / person more ($792 total), we can make seat assignments and each have a checked bag and there is no fee for schedule changes. So I pulled the trigger and am very pleased with this rate!

Of course, we are taking a chance that travel restrictions may still exist this fall. However, vaccines are now available to citizens in our city age 70 and above, and we'll be next in line for COVID vaccine (we're both age 63). Crossing our fingers that all will go well. Bob

We booked our flights yesterday on American Airlines. We got it for 814 RT. We got checked bags and seat assignment as well. We booked for beginning of October. I am sure rules and regs will change again. As of now, we will be required to have a negative PRC or Antigen test to return the United States. We will need to figure out to do that in Santiago if it is still necessary then. Keeping fingers crossed for this Fall. Stay safe everyone.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
My tip is to look into the fares that Level Airlines offers at https://flylevel.com

From North America you can fly from Boston, NY and San Francisco to Barcelona (also to other cities on caminos but you still have to connect in Barcelona). A check I just made showed a number of SF outbound flights in September at $187 and returns in October at $145.

P.S. Last year I was looking for cheap Boston to Argentina fares. Covid stopped my looking really hard. Before quitting though the cheapest fare I found was through Level. By buying a ticket for a short stay in Barcelona (because we like spending time there) and then flying from there to Buenos Aires.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I notice a few here mentioned having free cancellations on their airline tickets and I am curious whether this is un upcharge at the time of booking, or if this is being offered as an incentive to customers in order to sell tickets, knowing that booking early is a gamble due to covid...any comments?

It depends upon what ticket you by? I am an United Explorer Club member and use UA or a partner (lufthansa) almost exclusively for long flights. it makes sense for us because EWR, UA hub, is the most convenient airport from our home, almost straight highway driving - 1’20” from my home. We can use their UA club for free too. More important to us, the configuration of seating on the plane fits our needs. We purchase In tourist class a row with two solo seats on the side of the plane. This way, we don't have to be concerned about the germs-of a third person so close. Usually, I puchase the basic ticket (free 1st bag for members) and then reserve the side seats for about $30 per seat. I paid, with seats, and 1 piece of luggage included , less than $500 for a non-stop flight, (RT) to MAD.

This ticket allows changing the ticket (no time limit). It does not mention refund. However, we always immediately take out private insurance to nullify any possibility of a pre-exsisting condition. So, if we were unable to go on our end because of illness, we would get the refund from the insurance company. If UA went out of business, then Visa Card would reimburse or so might the insurance company. Otherwise, changing the ticket is sufficient for us. In addition the health insurance can be shifted until 2023 without penalty...so I am pretty confident about our planning. Of course, each of us has to evaluate our unique circumstances.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I've been checking round trip air fares periodically from our home in Indianapolis to Madrid, departing mid Sept and returning late October (2021). The rate has consistently been $1,100 to $1,200 per person which is the rate we paid for our cancelled 2020 camino (fortunately we received cash refunds). It's been awhile since I checked rates, so I did today and was surprised and pleased to see that rates have dropped. The lowest rate per person was $662, but this does not allow seat selection and costs for checked in bags. We will check on at least one bag since we have trekking poles, scissors, and a knife. For $130 / person more ($792 total), we can make seat assignments and each have a checked bag and there is no fee for schedule changes. So I pulled the trigger and am very pleased with this rate!

Of course, we are taking a chance that travel restrictions may still exist this fall. However, vaccines are now available to citizens in our city age 70 and above, and we'll be next in line for COVID vaccine (we're both age 63). Crossing our fingers that all will go well. Bob
Why pay for a luggage charge? If I may suggest you could buy a perfectly good pair of poles for 30 euros or even a little less and l bought a really good knife for 8 euros in Pamplona. I paid 30 euros total for both. I used my poles every day and they held up just fine. Same for my knife. Just a suggestion
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
My tip is to look into the fares that Level Airlines offers at https://flylevel.com

From North America you can fly from Boston, NY and San Francisco to Barcelona (also to other cities on caminos but you still have to connect in Barcelona). A check I just made showed a number of SF outbound flights in September at $187 and returns in October at $145.

P.S. Last year I was looking for cheap Boston to Argentina fares. Covid stopped my looking really hard. Before quitting though the cheapest fare I found was through Level. By buying a ticket for a short stay in Barcelona (because we like spending time there) and then flying from there to Buenos Aires.
The current flights, as I understand it, are only with Iberia.
Seem as though there was some sort of financial collapse.

In my older years, I only book directly with an airline...even if it is slightly more expensive. My experience has been if one uses mega search engines like Skyscanner, or Kayak, on a regular basis, one can find fares that are as competitive to major hubs as discounters. And when your flight needs to be changed or a flight is cancelled when one is overseas, it is much easier to deal directly with the airline rather than a discounter. In addition, many discounters add on charges for notifications, and changes beyond what airlines do.
That said, it never hurts to look!😀
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Why pay for a luggage charge? If I may suggest you could buy a perfectly good pair of poles for 30 euros or even a little less and l bought a really good knife for 8 euros in Pamplona. I paid 30 euros total for both

I always check a bag for a couple of reasons. One is for my poles. I have Pacer Poles, which I love, so I wouldn't want to use a different kind. And secondly,
I always do a bit of pre and post Camino traveling so I send my suitcase to Santiago with my extra clothes.
I've been lucky enough to be able to pay for my tickets using my air miles. Standard fares on most carriers include one checked bag. I usually fly on United, and since I have their credit card it gives me one free checked bag even on its discounted "basic" fare. I haven't flown on any discount airlines to Europe, but I would pay the extra to check my bag.
In my older years, I only book directly with an airline...even if it is slightly more expensive. My experience has been if one uses mega search engines like Skyscanner, or Kayak, on a regular basis, one can find fares that are as competitive to major hubs as discounters. And when your flight needs to be changed or a flight is cancelled when one is overseas, it is much easier to deal directly with the airline rather than a discounter. In addition, many discounters add on charges for notifications, and changes beyond what airlines do.
I completely agree. And it's pretty rare to actually find a third party selling a ticket that's substantially lower priced than directly from the airline.
Many times the low fares advertised by third parties don't even exist because they don't have "live" pricing. Oftentimes you think that you are purchasing a ticket, but if you read carefully you are making a "booking request" at that price. This means that the 3rd party can contact you after you have made payment and say "we're sorry, we couldn't purchase your ticket at that price, it's now XXX dollars, pounds or euros more. They then quote you a price that's the same or more as the airline.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I always check a bag for a couple of reasons. One is for my poles. I have Pacer Poles, which I love, so I wouldn't want to use a different kind. And secondly,
I always do a bit of pre and post Camino traveling so I send my suitcase to Santiago with my extra clothes.
I've been lucky enough to be able to pay for my tickets using my air miles. Standard fares on most carriers include one checked bag. I usually fly on United, and since I have their credit card it gives me one free checked bag even on its discounted "basic" fare. I haven't flown on any discount airlines to Europe, but I would pay the extra to check my bag.

I completely agree. And it's pretty rare to actually find a third party selling a ticket that's substantially lower priced than directly from the airline.
Many times the low fares advertised by third parties don't even exist because they don't have "live" pricing. Oftentimes you think that you are purchasing a ticket, but if you read carefully you are making a "booking request" at that price. This means that the 3rd party can contact you after you have made payment and say "we're sorry, we couldn't purchase your ticket at that price, it's now XXX dollars, pounds or euros more. They then quote you a price that's the same or more as the airline.
Regarding poles
I do not use pacer poles, but my quality Leki poles are trusted companions on the Caminos, especially on downhills. I once bought an off brand pair of poles when my luggage was delayed in Austria. After two days of hiking in the Austrian Alps, one pole bent. I never used cheap poles again. In addition, some models are stronger and lighter and their handles have different feels and composites. So, like shoes , I like to bring what I train with. Fortunately, I do not have to pay for a checked bag, but if I did, I would use my own equipment.
 
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Grousedoctor

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
We, too, just bought tickets to MAD on American Airlines for the end of August. As Bob, commented, I, too, saw that airfares had dropped recently. So, fingers crossed that Europe reopens to us for a fall Camino! Although I’m redeeming miles for this trip, I did double-check with AA regarding the refund policy. If we can’t travel due to COVID and have to cancel this trip, our miles will be redeposited. Nonetheless, mostly for peace of mind, for $28 each, we also purchased the trip insurance that was offered. With a bit of good fortune, we’ll be on the Primitivo come Sept. 1.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Seem as though there was some sort of financial collapse.

I pulled up Fly Level and found a near USD 465 economy fare from San Francisco to Barcelona for November 2021 (as far ahead as their timetable goes at present). This included meals and one checked bag.
From their schedule I noted flights are in alternate months and are on the same day of the week in months they do operate.

Iberia wanted USD 2,994 economy for the same route in May 2021 with premium economy being more..

The Wikipedia entry shows many routes have been cancelled and also indicates a handful of long-haul and several short-haul routes still being operated.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Given any thought to merely delaying it until Summer? Fall?
That is a possibility. It just depends on how it goes. Right now, there's no issue with our walkers getting Covid test results 3 days BEFORE the trip, but getting them 3 days before leaving Spain could be an issue. It's very possible I could go in the Autumn just to scope out things for the Spring group. I'm curious if all the albergues have made it through, or if some will be closed. Hoping you and others can report back?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
That is a possibility. It just depends on how it goes. Right now, there's no issue with our walkers getting Covid test results 3 days BEFORE the trip, but getting them 3 days before leaving Spain could be an issue. It's very possible I could go in the Autumn just to scope out things for the Spring group. I'm curious if all the albergues have made it through, or if some will be closed. Hoping you and others can report back?

Annie, by then we may only need proof of vaccination! Here’s hoping! 😃
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
In the autumn of 2019 on Level Airlines we bought the economy fare. Supposedly seat assignments and meals were extra costs. We arranged seat assignments for three at no extra cost though and were surprised with free meals. This may have been a mixup with the Level and Iberian reservation systems though (it was an Iberian flight carrying Level passengers).
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I pulled up Fly Level and found a near USD 465 economy fare from San Francisco to Barcelona for November 2021 (as far ahead as their timetable goes at present). This included meals and one checked bag.
From their schedule I noted flights are in alternate months and are on the same day of the week in months they do operate.

Iberia wanted USD 2,994 economy for the same route in May 2021 with premium economy being more..

The Wikipedia entry shows many routes have been cancelled and also indicates a handful of long-haul and several short-haul routes still being operated.
If you watch any airline on Skyscanner ot Kayak, you will find fares can change hourly or daily. Iberia would soon be out of business trying to consistently sell airline tickets from LA to MAD... for the price you quoted.
For the Summer 2019, I assisted a relative who was a novice at obtaining overseas airline tickets. Her daughter was graduating from college and she wanted a ticket for her on Delta from JFK to Venice. Delta quoted her $3,200 for the flight. When she told me this, I laughed. Within two weeks, we got a non- stop flight to Marco Polo (small airport) on Delta (same flight) using the websites I mentioned with seats for less that $640 in July!..peak time.

If you can get fares that are comparable for overseas flights, always go directly with the airline. It has to be a significant savings for me to even consider a discounter. They are particularly useful when you have to fly last minute and airlines are heavily booked. But you will have a harder time getting home if there is an air controllers strike in France, or a pilots strike in Germany, or airline closures because of Covid! Buyer be advised!
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
Unqualified endorsement of Scott’s Cheap Flights (https://scottscheapflights.com/) for people flying from the US. The free email newsletter gives you a sense of the deals they find, the $$$ version (currently on half-price sale) sends the same information out to paying customers first.

Here’s how it works: https://scottscheapflights.com/how-it-works

Basically, actual human beings scour travel airlines for steep price drops and the occasional “mistake fare” and send you an email when they find them. You tell them the airport(s) you’d like to fly from (and broadly to), so you only receive info pertinent to you.

I’ve used their finds to book trips to Europe and South America (and last year, a COVID-19 canceled trip) and their info is solid.

Last week, for example, there was a business-class mistake fare for Boston to Madrid for $627 round trip, a flight that’s normally $2,000+, for June through August (it’s expired).

What I’ve typically seen on deals to Europe is $800 economy flights for $400ish.
 
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Ellann

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2016
I've been checking round trip air fares periodically from our home in Indianapolis to Madrid, departing mid Sept and returning late October (2021). The rate has consistently been $1,100 to $1,200 per person which is the rate we paid for our cancelled 2020 camino (fortunately we received cash refunds). It's been awhile since I checked rates, so I did today and was surprised and pleased to see that rates have dropped. The lowest rate per person was $662, but this does not allow seat selection and costs for checked in bags. We will check on at least one bag since we have trekking poles, scissors, and a knife. For $130 / person more ($792 total), we can make seat assignments and each have a checked bag and there is no fee for schedule changes. So I pulled the trigger and am very pleased with this rate!

Of course, we are taking a chance that travel restrictions may still exist this fall. However, vaccines are now available to citizens in our city age 70 and above, and we'll be next in line for COVID vaccine (we're both age 63). Crossing our fingers that all will go well. Bob
You are so lucky in a way in the northern hemisphere. Not much chance of international travel out of Australia this year, Australian health authorities are paranoid about international arrivals, so there are also no departures without a very good reason. The Camino is my top must do when our Government lifts these restrictions, and I wish and hope that might be September. We will probably be price gouged unfortunately. I hope that it works out for you, and everyone else here.
 

Dilbin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Irun to Santander del Norte
Truly hope it works out for you.
Did you consider the cost of buying those items in Spain vs the $130, before you start walking?

I think the question will be about the number of Spaniards vaccinated across the regions you want to walk. They still haven't ascertained if those vaccinated can still be carriers or not. If that has not been solved by the date of your flights, then it will depend on the local population carrying the protection offered by the vaccine. So here's hoping that they get enough shots into arms in Spain.
Hi everyone. I dont want to put a dark omen out there and like everyone else I'm mad to get back on the Camino. It is worth pointing out that the WHO have repeatedly stated that this year will probably be worse than last year and vaccines will not prevent a person spreading the Virus. This will affect our travel plans in terms of quarantining etc. Hopefully things will start to get better before years end so fingers crossed
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Unqualified endorsement of Scott’s Cheap Flights (https://scottscheapflights.com/) for people flying from the US. The free email newsletter gives you a sense of the deals they find, the $$$ version (currently on half-price sale) sends the same information out to paying customers first.

Here’s how it works: https://scottscheapflights.com/how-it-works

Basically, actual human beings scour travel airlines for steep price drops and the occasional “mistake fare” and send you an email when they find them. You tell them the airport(s) you’d like to fly from (and broadly to), so you only receive info pertinent to you.

I’ve used their finds to book trips to Europe and South America (and last year, a COVID-19 canceled trip) and their info is solid.

Last week, for example, there was a business-class mistake fare for Boston to Madrid for $627 round trip, a flight that’s normally $2,000+, for June through August (it’s expired).

What I’ve typically seen on deals to Europe is $800 economy flights for $400ish.


Just a warning. After you give them your email address there is a fee to join... You can get the same info elsewhere....
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
Just a warning. After you give them your email address there is a fee to join... You can get the same info elsewhere....

No fee required. Paying gets you the notifications before the non-paying members, which theoretically helps with mistake fares, which quickly disappear.

I don’t have any skin in this thing, just a very happy customer. In fact, I think he does offer a referral bonus, but I didn’t include any info like that in my original post because I’m only doing this to help people. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know who travels.

I was happy to resubscribe this year even with some question yet about whether we’d be able to travel because I wanted to keep him going.
 
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4 Eyes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Reminder to check your respective State Department travel alerts before booking.

For the US, the current alert for travel to and from Spain:

Due to COVID-19 Spanish travel restrictions, U.S. citizens cannot enter Spain unless they meet very specific requirements or have already obtained special permission from the Government of Spain. Additionally, U.S. citizens travelling from the United States or certain other countries will need to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and complete a Health Control Form (See Entry and Exit Requirements below).

Spain: Please check the Spanish regulations carefully before attempting to travel. If you travel to Spain and are not admitted, you will be placed in immigration detention for up to several days, until a flight on the same airline becomes available to take you back to your point of origin.

Starting January 26, 2021, all travelers (age 2 and older) including U.S. citizens and residents, will be required to present a negative viral COVID-19 test taken within 3 days prior to departure on their U.S.-bound flight itinerary. This new order does not waive the requirement for a National Interest Exception. You can find more FAQs about the testing requirement attached to this post. See details from the CDC here:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

U.S. citizens can obtain a COVID-19 test in Spain for free if prescribed by a public health doctor, or by paying an average of €120 if they obtain the test from a private medical facility, such as those on the Embassy’s Medical Services List.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I do not yet know whether I shall be able to walk a camino in Spain this year. There are too many things over which I have no control. The Canadian government has told us that all Canadians who wish to be shall be vaccinated by September. But Canada is not producing any vaccines domestically (the Medicago vaccine is not ready for production). Canada is well-known to have pre-purchased millions more doses than are needed to vaccinate all Canadian citizens and has approved two vaccines which started deliveries to Canada in December. Now, we have just heard that one vaccine provider must cut its deliveries significantly in order to do upgrades to a production plant in Europe. For the next two months, we shall be receiving fewer doses than agreed upon. Case numbers of COVID-19 are high in several provinces. New strains of the virus threaten. I have no control over unanticipated delays. My conclusion is the obvious one: It's not over til it's over. In the meantime, I shall try to be patient, and not buy any air tickets.
 

BookGirl305

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
Serious question- if the general consensus is that the vaccines all have a rate of 90+% effectiveness, at what point do we move on? There has got to come a point where personal decision to get or not get a vaccine is the decision rather than holding up everyone else who did/will get a vaccine because of an off chance they might perhaps still pass it on. If we get the vaccine and then have a statistical margin of error that we might pass it along to someone who chose (for whatever reason) to not get the vaccine, do we hold up the world's progress of recovering from this virus due to people who choose not to get one? I am hoping we hit the point where proof of vaccine is enough and we can all go places again.
Delta/Air France/KLM currently has a sale running to Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Malaga, and Valencia from June to December for under $600 from most of the US.
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
I think the bigger question in the immediate short run might be whether vaccinated people could be exposing people to the virus who are *unable* to receive the vaccination, due to either supply or supply-chain constraints.

I know that I have been operating under the hope that once I am a few weeks past a second dose that I will have carte blanche to go anywhere, but it’s easy to imagine a lag between my safety and safety for others in areas of the world that struggle to catch up to what has occurred in more wealthy areas.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Serious question- if the general consensus is that the vaccines all have a rate of 90+% effectiveness, at what point do we move on? There has got to come a point where personal decision to get or not get a vaccine is the decision rather than holding up everyone else who did/will get a vaccine because of an off chance they might perhaps still pass it on. If we get the vaccine and then have a statistical margin of error that we might pass it along to someone who chose (for whatever reason) to not get the vaccine, do we hold up the world's progress of recovering from this virus due to people who choose not to get one? I am hoping we hit the point where proof of vaccine is enough and we can all go places again.
Delta/Air France/KLM currently has a sale running to Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Malaga, and Valencia from June to December for under $600 from most of the US.
In the next year, I sincerely doubt airlines will begin to allow those without vaccines on planes. Will Spain let us in without proof of a vaccine? Not likely. And we still might need a test as well. Spain, like all countries will have to get about 80 percent of its population to be vaccinated....at least yearly for some time for all of us to move on.


However, with vaccinations, masks, distancing, and warm summer weather, we may be able to go back to traveling (albeit nothing will be normal) for the summer months of 2021 into the early Fall. That is what I am hoping? But we could still have lockdowns, especially with this more contagious virus? Noone knows at this point for sure.

IMO, One can decide not to get vaccinated, but these folks will eventually be limited from participation in certain groups, activities and employment.
Right now, we have nursing staff, in the USA, in senior living facilities refusing vaccines! This will not be acceptable long range!! Employers, at this moment, cannot replace these workers, but long term, no nursing facility is going to hire anyone who will put there clients at risk. Employers,will demand it of all their workers. Liability will be too great. Without a vaccine one will find it hard to get employed. New health laws will evolve that will limit entry of an unvaccinated person into many facilities until herd immunity exists.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I’ve cracked and just booked a return flight to Madrid for October this year. The £140 - checked bag and best seats on the plane - is worth every penny for the immediate mental health benefit I now feel. Whether I get to go, or not, is almost entirely out of my hands; and if my travelling presents a genuine risk to myself or others then I’ll stay put. But: for the amount I would spend on things I currently cannot do every few weeks I’ve bought 8 months of planning and anticipating.

I suppose I can now add hypocrisy to my already extensive list of character defects.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I love dreaming and hope by fall it works for all of us who want to GO!
I just have to ask...do you think Henry booked a ticket for you as well as himself?😅
Henry will be taking his vacation in ‘Happy Hounds’ the local luxury dog-boarding facility. If he didn’t live entirely in the moment (I can but dream of that ..) he would be as excited as I am!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Henry will be taking his vacation in ‘Happy Hounds’ the local luxury dog-boarding facility. If he didn’t live entirely in the moment (I can but dream of that ..) he would be as excited as I am!
HAPPY Hounds...mine goes to K9 Kampus! Obviously the names Kennels pick are to make us feel better about leaving our family/friends. My dog is neither happy or studying, or at Camp( Camp bow, bow) learning dog language but he is well taken care of!
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
Good lu
I've been checking round trip air fares periodically from our home in Indianapolis to Madrid, departing mid Sept and returning late October (2021). The rate has consistently been $1,100 to $1,200 per person which is the rate we paid for our cancelled 2020 camino (fortunately we received cash refunds). It's been awhile since I checked rates, so I did today and was surprised and pleased to see that rates have dropped. The lowest rate per person was $662, but this does not allow seat selection and costs for checked in bags. We will check on at least one bag since we have trekking poles, scissors, and a knife. For $130 / person more ($792 total), we can make seat assignments and each have a checked bag and there is no fee for schedule changes. So I pulled the trigger and am very pleased with this rate!

Of course, we are taking a chance that travel restrictions may still exist this fall. However, vaccines are now available to citizens in our city age 70 and above, and we'll be next in line for COVID vaccine (we're both age 63). Crossing our fingers that all will go well. B
 
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Cicada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
I've been checking round trip air fares periodically from our home in Indianapolis to Madrid, departing mid Sept and returning late October (2021). The rate has consistently been $1,100 to $1,200 per person which is the rate we paid for our cancelled 2020 camino (fortunately we received cash refunds). It's been awhile since I checked rates, so I did today and was surprised and pleased to see that rates have dropped. The lowest rate per person was $662, but this does not allow seat selection and costs for checked in bags. We will check on at least one bag since we have trekking poles, scissors, and a knife. For $130 / person more ($792 total), we can make seat assignments and each have a checked bag and there is no fee for schedule changes. So I pulled the trigger and am very pleased with this rate!

Of course, we are taking a chance that travel restrictions may still exist this fall. However, vaccines are now available to citizens in our city age 70 and above, and we'll be next in line for COVID vaccine (we're both age 63). Crossing our fingers that all will go well. Bob
Hey Bob you sound like a glass half full kinda bloke- I like it!!! Buen Camino
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I already mentioned it in one of the other threads but I got PHL - CDG on Aer Lingus for $314.00 meals and 1 piece of luggage incl, seat assignment is "on request" but I can do it myself as we get closer to the date.
Did not get the return flight yet since still working out other details
Of course the vaccine is on the top of the wish list as I am still hopeful for my slotted May... now only 4 months away...
I did pre-register for it in PA; being 61 hopefully it will get to me "in time"
👌
 

JNast

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planned August 21-Oct 10 (2017)
Booked my flight on United RT from Phoenix was $623 to Madrid. I have change and cancel ability, used credit (from my cancelled 2020 trip) to book. It incudes 1 checked bag, and seat selection.
I'm scheduled for June 8th - Sept 2nd. Ever hopeful :)
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Soo.... just got notification that my PHL-->DUB Aer Lingus flight was cancelled 😢😡 so needless to say the 2nd leg (DUB -->CDG) is now useless
weirdly enough... they offer another for the same date (?) but its 2 stopovers
PHL --> BOS (2h15m l\o) --> DUB (1h50m l\o) -->CDG arriving 9:30 am (which is 10 mins earlier than pervious flight, hence if all goes well slightly more time to get to Gare Montparnasse)

However... I am not too comfy with 2 stopovers, if anything because I plan to check the bag (due to bringing my poles and some cutlery.... yes I know... and my choice so asking why does not help - cause I want to! 😉)
and I worry that all my Camino equipment just may get, shall we say, "mis-handled"

Has anyone flown with 2 stopovers and if so - any thoughts?

Of course that is on top of all the cursed-COVID things that can throw a monkey wrench into any plans at any time

thanks
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Of course that is on top of all the cursed-COVID things that can throw a monkey wrench into any plans at any time
Hi Buffy,
This is your biggest problem as I see it, sorry to say.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Soo.... just got notification that my PHL-->DUB Aer Lingus flight was cancelled 😢😡 so needless to say the 2nd leg (DUB -->CDG) is now useless
weirdly enough... they offer another for the same date (?) but its 2 stopovers
PHL --> BOS (2h15m l\o) --> DUB (1h50m l\o) -->CDG arriving 9:30 am (which is 10 mins earlier than pervious flight, hence if all goes well slightly more time to get to Gare Montparnasse)

However... I am not too comfy with 2 stopovers, if anything because I plan to check the bag (due to bringing my poles and some cutlery.... yes I know... and my choice so asking why does not help - cause I want to! 😉)
and I worry that all my Camino equipment just may get, shall we say, "mis-handled"

Has anyone flown with 2 stopovers and if so - any thoughts?

Of course that is on top of all the cursed-COVID things that can throw a monkey wrench into any plans at any time

thanks
What is the date of your trip?
I understand many albergues are closed and I'm wondering if you're planning this trip for 2021?
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Has anyone flown with 2 stopovers and if so - any thoughts?
We flew South Island, NZ - Auckland - Sydney - Los Angeles - Minneapolis - Boston. 47 hours in either an airport or an airplane. Arrived at 11PM to pickup two packs. We spent an hour with the luggage manager looking for a missing one. Went home finally with a neighbor. Early in the morning I got a call from the airline "Why didn't you pick up your bag last night?" :mad:
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
We flew South Island, NZ - Auckland - Sydney - Los Angeles - Minneapolis - Boston. 47 hours in either an airport or an airplane. Arrived at 11PM to pickup two packs. We spent an hour with the luggage manager looking for a missing one. Went home finally with a neighbor. Early in the morning I got a call from the airline "Why didn't you pick up your bag last night?" :mad:
It sounds like it was a real nightmare Rick. Those situations always make for great stories...in hindsight. At last you had traveled to a beautiful place. Not all bad.😃
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
If they already cancelled one flight...what are the odds of the second flight....
May? I honestly don’t see it happening...Spain is saying....not till the Fall of 2021. It may be with warmer months things could open up for europeans.....but I do not see the USA or Spain allowing us to go abroad in May. We can all say we do not know the future, of course. What I do know is that I am in my early 70 ‘s in PA and there is no sense of when we, over 70, will get any vaccines. So realistically, if I were you, I would be considering another time....
 
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CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
@Rick of Rick and Peg - as @Camino Chrissy says a real nightmare fer sho!
to be fair I had luggage problems only 2 times.
2010 - flight on Delta\Air France from Kiev Ukraine to JFK via CDG - one of 3 checked in bags didnt make it, but they found it and delivered it the next day. (I think it actually got mishandled in CDG.) that made one long day (not 47 hours) as we probably left JFK at like 10:30pm with a 2-hr drive back home

2016 - flight on United PHL --> ORD got abruptly cancelled while i was enjoying the benefits of Untied CLub at the airport. they offered me next flight which was 4 hours later. I refused. They said no prob and 'walked' me onto Delta which was departing in 1.5 hours. Apparently my bag didnt make the 'transfer' and... i was stuck in ORD waiting for the 4-hours later United which had it
OY!
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If they already cancelled one flight...what is the odds of the second flight....
. What I do know is that I am in my early 70 ‘s in PA and there is no sense of when we, over 70, will get any vaccines. So realistically, if I were you, I would be considering another time....
believe it or not that flight DUB --> CDG is still showing up as active :oops:

Yeah... I am in PA as well and 61... probably a while for my shot in the arm....
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Has anyone flown with 2 stopovers and if so - any thoughts?
Flying from a small city on the west coast I always have at least two stops. In 2018 I had three stops on my way to walk the Norte - I could have found an itinerary with fewer stops, but I was using a mileage award ticket, and that was the best I could get.
So far I haven't had anything go missing. 🤞 I hope that I didn't jinx myself! 😳
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Yes
I always carry everything on on the way over to Europe to avoid losing something I need on the camino.
I usually check the pack and just carry valuables on the return flight as I am not concerned about baggage delays on the way home.

@trecile....I used to fly out of Seattle (usually on award tickets). I could get non stop to Europe (Madrid or Lisbon or Frankfurt) and then another flight or train to my starting point. I would guess that Seattle may often be one of your stops. I usually fly United which includes Lufthansa and Aer Lingus out of Seattle.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@trecile....I used to fly out of Seattle (usually on award tickets). I could get non stop to Europe (Madrid or Lisbon or Frankfurt) and then another flight or train to my starting point. I would guess that Seattle may often be one of your stops. I usually fly United which includes Lufthansa and Aer Lingus out of Seattle.
My award points are with United, and usually I fly from my hometown to San Francisco, then onto Europe, usually in two more flights, sometimes with a stop in Newark.
One year I flew on American: my town-->Dallas-->Paris
Another time: My town-->San Francisco--->Newark--->Madrid
 

BookGirl305

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
May I suggest checking the poles and cutlery, etc in an inexpensive bag picked up at the Goodwill or some such and carrying on your backpack? If it makes it thru, you can trash the Goodwill bag at your arrival airport. if it doesn't, you're only out your poles and not your whole kit.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
May I suggest checking the poles and cutlery, etc in an inexpensive bag picked up at the Goodwill or some such and carrying on your backpack? If it makes it thru, you can trash the Goodwill bag at your arrival airport. if it doesn't, you're only out your poles and not your whole kit.

Exactly what I have done in the past.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
May I suggest checking the poles and cutlery, etc in an inexpensive bag picked up at the Goodwill or some such and carrying on your backpack? If it makes it thru, you can trash the Goodwill bag at your arrival airport. if it doesn't, you're only out your poles and not your whole kit.
Good advice, but I think faced with 2 stop overs I'll explore other options even if it may cost me some more money
There are definitely EWR--CDG N/S flights
 

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