Flying to Galicia (Spain)
The airline Iberia (bookable through Opodo) fly from London Heathrow to La Coruna.
Ryanair fly from Stansted and Liverpool to Santiago de Compostela. Clickair will fly from London to Vigo.
You have two flight options if you want to get to from Britain. The first is to fly direct. You can fly direct to Santiago from two UK airports, namely Liverpool and Stansted. You can fly direct to la Coruna from Heathrow and you can fly direct to Vigo from a London airport (this is a new service).
The second option is to take a connection. This will open up several additional airports with a first leg that will normally take you to either Madrid or Barcelona. These connections can be booked through a single operator and should not require you to arrange baggage transportation between connecting flights.
Flying Direct to Galicia from the UK
Three carriers now fly direct to Galicia and they are Iberia, Ryanairand Clickair. Ryanair fly to Santiago de Compostela from both Stansted and Liverpool, Iberia fly direct from London Heathrow to la Coruna and Clickair fly from London to Vigo.
Ryanair Flight scedules from the UK to Santaigo de Compostela
Ryanair flights from Liverpool to Santiago de Compostela airports re-comence from 3 April 2008 with 3 flights per week (on Saturady, Tuesday and Thursday). This service is currently being rested over winter as Ryanair add some alternative winter sun routes. Prices can be as low as 1 penny for a one way ticket.
Stansted to Santaigo de Compostela - will see a reduced service over the winter months with flight schedules dropping from daily to 3 times per week. The daily flights will probably resume from spring or summer 2008 to the autumn (fall).
We have use Ryanair for 3 return flights this year and all have been cheap, early to arrive (on average over 30 minutes early) and the staff have been friendly. For our review of Ryan air, click this link.
As a result, no doubt of Ryan Air's competition, Iberia have substantially reduced their direct fight charges and are now offering tickets on a similar price structure.
Flight time - direct
Flight duration from Heathrow or Stanstead to Santiago airport is approximately 2 hours.
The alternative to a direct flight from Heathrow or Stanstead is a connection. By taking this option you can fly from additional airports, e.g. Manchester, Glasgow etc, and connect via Madrid or Barcelona. Up to May of 2005 this was also the cheaper option, but this advantage has now gone with the arrival of Ryan Air. You can normally book these connecting flights at any time with plenty of availability (OPODO is a good booking source).
There are some big disadvantage with taking a connection. The first, and major one, is that total travelling time will be around 8 hours - in other words you might as well fly to Florida! The second is the extra hassle of waiting in airports and hoping flights are on time. You may also find that your transfer window is pretty small, e.g. less than an hour, which adds some extra stress to finding and jumping from one plane to another.
Finally, if you do fly via a connection, ensure your baggage is dealt with by the airline(s) at your intermediate stop and get details of the terminal you need to be at for the connection before you leave. At Madrid for example, you need to catch a coach between your arrival and departure terminal and you may not have sufficient time to find this out in your connection window.
Arrange your own route
A further, but less common flight option is to fly direct from any number of UK airports to Northern Portugal (e.g. Faro airport). By doing this you open up more airports, but you also need to ensure that any car hire arrangements you make in Portugal cover you for border crossings and travel in Spain.
Book through the internet
Unfortunately is has become a fact of life that which ever option you select, booking through the internet normally proves both cheaper and faster and you may even be able to get hold of tickets when other sources say they are sold out.
Be aware that both Ryan Air and Iberia now have very small profit margins and that these can be greatly enhanced by - one, over enthusiastic packers and two, travellers who don't read the small print. In the case of Ryan Air, whilst your personal baggage limit is 25kg, you should be aware that your "hold" limit is only 15kg - the other 10 kg is for hand luggage only, so take a small case on to the plane with you. (Excess baggage is charged at around 4.5 Euros per kg.)
Airport to destination