August 13, 2003 -- US Airways has been building up quite a reputation for low fares to Europe this summer, with sale after sale beating the competition. Their current sale to Madrid is no exception. When we checked their fares against other airlines for random September dates, we found them to have the lowest rates out of every city we checked - though American Airlines was valiantly trying to match their fares in some markets. These are terrific roundtrip fares for travel to Spain in September.
To get these low fares, you have to act fast: the sale ends today. Fly out to Madrid on any day but Friday and Saturday, between Sept. 9 and October 10; fly back on Tuesdays-Saturdays between Sept. 15 and Oct. 17. Buy online at www.usairways.com/promotions/esavers/offer_mad.htm.
- Philadelphia: $399
- Baltimore, Boston, Washington DC, New York: $409
- Hartford, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, Syracuse: $429
- Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond: $439
- Columbus OH, Kansas City: $459
- LA, Phoenix, San Francisco: $489
All flights connect through Philadelphia.
American Airlines was able to match US Airways' fares from Boston and Raleigh, and come pretty close to US Airways' fares from Philadelphia and the west coast. (Curiously, we got much higher fares when we tried to buy directly through Iberia, which operates some of American's flights to Spain.)
If you're trying to build up AA frequent flier miles, it might be worth paying a little extra to check them out. There's no advertised sale from American, just good old-fashioned competition. We found the lowest AA rates on Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), not on American's own Web site, so go to Orbitz to book.
If you can wait a little longer, fares will be even lower after Oct. 30. For an example of those lower fares, check out our recent column on Iberia's unannounced sale.