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Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Prescott AZ
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Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Adding Rick Steves Basque Country tour onto Italy travel, from Rome to Bayonne (Biarritz) May 26. Returning to US from Bilbao via either Barcelona or Madrid. Which is better way to fly from Bilbao -- to Barcelona or Madrid? Best airline(s)?

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Rick Steves? Okay! Since they are not into offering you advice, the flight time is about the same, 1 hour from Bilbao. The best airline is the one that offers you the best price, unless you happen to be a frequent flyer with one of the major airlines.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Flights Bilbao to Madrid www.spanair.com to Barcelona www.vueling.com

Prescott AZ
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3. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Thanks, Robert and Nurioopta. Peg R

Cantabria
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4. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Spanair went out of business today, so hope you didn't book with them!

Prescott AZ
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5. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Cantabria, thanks for thinking of me. Yes I did read that. No, I did not book with them, nor with anyone else at this point. But I did book Madrid-to-US, so I must continue my search for BIO-to-MAD.

Digressing to an earlier part of my trip...having a difficult time finding flights from Palermo to BIO or SanSebastian, including thru Rome first. Per Rick Steves staff, checked all airlines, cheapo's and others. Terrible connections. Long layovers requiring overnite Interestingly, different booking sites give conflicting times for the same itinerary. Per Steves staff, also considered the 5-6 hour train from Madrid or Barcelona; again, logistics from airport to Renfe rather daunting.

Feeling stuck, frustrated. I'll be checking TA Sicily folks, also Steves' traveler advice. Thanks.

Cantabria
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6. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

You can fly Bilbao to Madrid with British low-cost airline Easyjet (www.easyjet.com), Iberia also fly this route.

I don't know if you know this website, but it may help you: www.skyscanner.net

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Palermo to Bilbao via Barcelona www.vueling.com

Prescott AZ
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8. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Thanks, Cantabria and Nurioopta! Very useful information. Not available on the day that I need to fly, but a good place to check alternatives. Also checking sites for Bilbao-Madrid for June 2, last day of our tour, and one day before I leave for the US. Is Easy Jet fairly reliable? I must be on the flight for 14:45; none after that.

Cantabria
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9. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Easyjet relatively reliable, but as they're low cost, they run their planes to a very tight schedule, so if it goes out of sync earlier in the day you might be delayed. I would try and leave as much time as possible. Also, I imagine they don't do connecting flights, so you'll have to effectively leave arrivals, and go back to departures to check in for the next flight, with you luggage and everything. So you will need a good few hours between flights, and check your terminals in Madrid, Easyjet come into terminal 1 or 2, I can't remember, if your next flight goes from terminal 4, this is separate from the rest, so you will need even more time.

Prescott AZ
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10. Re: Getting from Bilbao faster -- to Barcelona or Madrid?

Thanks, Cantabria, for the comments about EasyJet, and most of all the hints on allowing extra time for connecting. Our tour ends in Bilbao June 2, and I'll be staying overnight in Madrid for my return to the US the next day. So the last flight from BIO to MAD is important.

I'm now focusing on going from Palermo to San Sebastian (vs.Bilbao) as it is closer to Bayonne, where my group tour starts. EasyJet & Veuling go there, but not every day, not many options, and I must go to Rome first. I'll be checking Sicily forums, but any insights from you will be welcome.

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