LEVEL, the new long-haul low cost carrier established by International Airlines Group (IAG) we talked about before, is about to take off on their inaugural flight next June 1st from Barcelona to Los Angeles, and tickets are selling at a good pace.
Being myself based in Barcelona and having a long holiday weekend around the dates of the inaugural flight means that I have the rare opportunity be in an airline’s first service and write about it. John liked the idea so I went ahead and booked me on their very first flight.
LEVEL website is basic in terms of the information it offers: a brief reference of their mission, their destinations and the fleet, and of course a booking interface. Willing to book their inaugural flight, I went ahead and selected the route and the flight dates.
Clicking on search redirected me to Iberia’s Spanish booking engine, even though I accessed from LEVEL English website. A switch languages feature was not available. I noticed the flight is marketed under IB code and books into IB stock. Level is a “virtual” low cost carrier with no IATA code of its own, and their flights will be operated by Iberia.
Level offers six different fares, four for their Economy product (from no-frills to fully flexible), and two for their Premium Economy product (discounted/fully flexible).
Level will start operations using two Airbus A330 configured in two cabins, Economy with 293 seats in a 2-4-2 setup, and Premium Economy with 21 seats in a 2-3-2 setup.
Economy Class cabin
Premium Economy seats
I played around with the options and realized that the prices displayed may vary if you combine different products. I went for their no-frills product to check how all the extras added up to the price.
The default option for seat assignment on the no-frills fare is random assignment at check in. If you want to pre-assign your seat, your options are middle seats for 15€, window/aisle seats for 30€, and emergency exit row seats for 65 €.
Food onboard is also not included in the basic fare. Adding it would cost you 35 €.
As LEVEL flights are marketed under IB flight numbers, they are eligible for Avios redemptions. An Economy award BCN-LAX was bookable for 15950 Avios + taxes, while a Premium Economy award was bookable for 23800 Avios due to the current 25% off Avios awards promo Iberia is running (we talked about this promo here).
LEVEL Economy Avios award
LEVEL Pemium Economy Avios award
I end up booking an Economy ticket outbound with the return in Premium Economy, so I have the chance to experience both products and write a review about my experience. These reviews may be the first reviews the airline will get!
I am booked on LEVEL inaugural flight. I’m looking forward to see what their in-flight offerings are about. They are marketing very low fares (from USD 199) for their no-frills Economy product on transatlantic flights, which is a disruptive price for this market. We will have to see how the airline elopes in the low cost transatlantic market where there is already Norwegian Airlines flying from Gatwick and Barcelona, and the plans of Ryanair to also schedule transatlantic flights.