southsidesilver
Topic Author
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am

LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:16 am

Hey Everyone,

I'm back with another trip report. This time I was lucky enough to grab one of the $99 intro fares from Level for Barcelona to Los Angeles in economy.

13 hours in economy was a long time, but here is my experience of it.

First off my video report as always for people who prefer it over reading

https://youtu.be/BXqCc9k7CrM

And then the classic written trip report for those who prefer reading

Level airlines flight 2623
Depart: Barcelona (BCN)
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX)
STD: 3:40pm (ADP: 4:13pm)
STA: 7:55pm (ATA: 7:54pm)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Reg: EC-MOY
First Flight: 30th Mar 2017
Delivered to Airline: 5th May 2017
Seat: 4L
Flight Time: 12h 41M
Meal Service: Buy On Board

Today I would be flying on the newest airline in the IAG group. Level airlines.
Level airlines are the new low-cost budget airline that IAG started mainly to compete with Norwegian airlines on key routes.

They started operations on the 1st June 2017 at Barcelona airport and are flying two brand new Airbus A330-200's with four routes at the moment flying to Los Angeles, Oakland, Punta Cana and Beunos Aires.

I arrived at Barcelona airport on a short flight with British airways and had plenty of time to make my connection.
I ventured outside for a brief moment before starting my trip

Image

Level airlines would not let me check in online and had to verify my payment card, so I had to use the regular check in,
Even though they are a budget airline they had a massive row of check in counters and the line was very short and I was being checked in after just a short two-minute wait.

Image

When launching transatlantic fares Level offered starter fares at just $99 one way.
When booking, my seat selection was free with one world emerald status, but apparently level have now withdrawn that benefit.

After the quick check in, clearing the slightly annoying security and multiple passport checks at Barcelona airport I had made it air side.
Once air side our gate had not been assigned so I decided to kill some time in a priority pass lounge

Image

The lounge was packed and the food was the usual cheese and meat selection with some bread on the side.
Nothing special,

Image

But at least they had some beer I could drink to pass the time,

Image

After a few beers it was time to head down to the gate.
Level board the flight an entire one hour before its departure time, which is pretty impressive to be honest.

When I arrived at the gate people had already been lined up into boarding group numbers and it was very organised.

Image

The boarding process started right on time exactly one hour before departure.
With credit to Level , I can see why they do this.

Let's just say the typical level airlines traveler probably takes two trips a year and is not fully down with the put your bag up and grab a seat as quickly as possible system. I'm only saying this from boarding where the path to my seat was jammed for two minutes by someone who could not decide where to put their bag in the overhead locker.

Now what is interesting with Level airlines is they have decided to adopt a 2 - 4 - 2 layout in the economy cabin.
To be honest this amazes me as most budget long haul airlines are offering 9 across in a 3 - 3 - 3 layout or on a bigger scale some, and not just budget airlines are packing in 10 across with a 3 - 4 - 3 layout.

So for level airlines to offer the double seats all the way through the cabin is a really nice thing for people who travel as a couple, and they don't charge anymore for these seats.

If you are looking for Level seats with the most Legroom Row 4 & 7 have fantastic leg room

With that being said, at the time of booking, there really was not a lot of information on what seats to pick and where the best seats are.
So I picked row 4 mainly because it was the first row in the economy cabin and had no idea what it would be like.

It was not my time to board and it was just a short walk to the plane, I was greeted and informed to cross over and turn left to find my seat.
Thankfully rows 4 - 6 are situated in a mini cabin with a bulkhead at the front and back of the cabin.

Personally I feel this makes the cabin more intimate as you don't have the feel of sharing a cabin with another 250 people and there are just 24 people in this cabin making it really the best of the bunch in my view.

Apart from row 7 at the front of the main economy cabin, this seat has tons of extra leg room with the exit row door just in front of it.

Here is my seat for the almost thirteen hour flight to Los Angeles,

Image

I had seat 4L and I was delighted to have lots of extra leg room for the long flight.
Most of the regular seats with Level feature 30" of pitch which is a bit of a squeeze.

Image

But as you can seat row 4 comes with some extra leg room and it amazes me that this seat cost no more than the others

Image

I had plenty of space to stretch out

Image

I made myself comfortable, well as comfortable as someone can be for a thirteen hour flight in economy,

Image

For a long haul flight, you might be thinking about something to eat.
Yes you can buy food in the airport and bring it on with you, but the thought of a luke-warm sandwich which has been sitting in a bag for seven hours puts me off.

Level airlines offer a menu you can purchase from in advance, but that is only if you are able to pick up the really low level fare.
If you book the Basic fare or higher,  your economy flight does come with a hot meal and a few drinks.

I however did have the level fare and it was an extra $40 to purchase the meal, yes that's right $40.

So I decided not to purchase any food in advance and pick something from the menu on the day of my flight.
More to come on my food choices later,
Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the menu, but they are in the video version.

Image

Each economy seat comes with a 9" seat back TV screen which had a really good quality picture and good touch screen controls

Image

There is also a small remote for Volume and channels next to you in your seat

Image

Row four was almost like business class when it came to window space, I had three windows to myself

Image

We pushed back right on time and then the safety video started to play.
The safety video was very clean and modern, almost sterile to be fair and sort of aimed at a younger market.

Image

We had a fairly long taxi to the runway

Image

And we crossed one to make it to our runway,

Image

Finally we reached our runway and waited for about five planes to land and then the Captain informed us we had been cleared for take off.
It was a nice sunny afternoon in Barcelona and we took off into mainly clear skies, though it was a little bit bouncy on the climb out, mainly due to wind in the area.

Image

We reached our initial cruise altitude of 36,000 FT and at this point we were flying west over Spain and onto Portugal.
Just after the seat belt sign was turned off the crew jumped into action selling amenity kits or headphones

Image

I returned back to the tranquility of my mini cabin

Image

Once in my seat the crew came around again and started handing out the pre order meals that had been bought.
Only about six of the people in my cabin had decided to take Level up on the pre purchase meal.

I had been talking with someone in the cabin and they very kindly took a photo of the Lasagne meal they had ordered in advance.
When I finally took a good look at the picture I can safely say that I was happy with my choice not to pay for it.

I mean $40 for this is pretty awful, but once again unless it was with the price of your ticket.

Image

Next up I decided to review the entertainment selection.
Another nice feature about level airlines is all of the entertainment is included for free and you don't have to pay any extra to unlock it.
Movies, TV shows, Music is all free and has a really updated selection.

Image

It's simple enough to use the touch screen to select what you want to watch,

Image

Just remember that you will need to bring your own headphones, the headphone jack is located next to the USB charge point on the screen

Image

The picture quality was great, clear and crisp

Image

Just before I settled down to watch my movie of choice I decided to purchase something to eat and drink.
Level is one of the few airlines that presently offers in flight dining from your IFE screen.

You simply just pick out all the items you want on your screen and add them to your cart,

Image

Image

There is a pretty good selection of food, spirits, beer and wine and snacks to pick from,

Image

Once you have loaded up your cart you check out on the screen.
Now the fun part here is that if you download the Level App in advance of your flight, you can add your credit card details and pair it with the screen via the planes Wifi.

The screen them provides a code at check out which your enter into the App and the check out process is then confirmed.
Within a few minutes of checking out the friendly flight crew arrived at my seat with everything I had ordered.

Image

The sandwich was much better than I expected and tasty and the Gin I went for was very enjoyable.
My only slight complaint is paying 2.50 for a small bottle of water, but then again, it is a budget airline.

Later on in the flight I did order a few more snacks to enjoy

Image

One slightly annoying this, and this is just from an airline geek perspective, is that Level's IFE system does not provide a map on where you are, it just shows you how long you have left in flight and the distance you have flown so far.

Over the Atlantic there was not much point in me checking, but once we crossed into the United States I used the GPS in my phone to track our location, this also works over the Atlantic if you are interested.

Image

We crossed down just north of Toronto and made our way over Chicago and through Iowa into Kansas

Image

We had about two hours of turbulence as we approach the coast of the US, but at this point the weather was nice and smooth

Image

We crossed the Atlantic at 37,000 FT , but once we hit the states we flew up to our new cruising altitude of 40,000 FT for the rest of our flight.

Image

With about one hour and thirty minutes of flight time remaining the crew came around again to give passengers who had paid for meals a snack box.
To my surprise the crew handed a snack box to myself and seat mate, we looked at each other confused for a moment.

Neither of us had pre paid or ordered this snack box, but it turns out that Level have some weird hidden benefits for anyone with one world status.
We found out from the crew, that this free snack box is provided to top tier frequent flyers who have one world emerald status.

But Level don't mention this at all anywhere on their website.

So it was a welcome bonus to end the flight with,

Image

It was around 7.30PM local time and the sun was starting to set and we had about thirty minutes of flying time remaining.
We arrived into Los Angeles airport right on time with some stormy skies around but had a smooth touch down.

Image

I was impressed with Level, they offered an exceptional fare with a brand new modern plane with some fun features that was better than some full service airlines. I was lucky with my leg room and enjoyed the flight.

At the right price I would consider flying Level airlines again in the future.

At present they have some expansion plans for the future and are looking at three more aircraft for summer 2018.
They also hope to have thirteen aircraft by 2019 and around thirty by 2022.

We have seen a lot of long haul budget airlines come and go over the years, so lets see how this plays out.
I make videos about my airplane travels.
 
theobcman
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:16 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:40 pm

Brilliant report ! Very enjoyable. The offerings from LEVEL looks great. IFE looks good, cabin looks comfortable & as you say amazing they don't charge more for front row xtra room seats ?!?! Given the fare you paid, one of the most bargain flights I've seen !

I must try LEVEL at some point having seen a few other good reviews.

The battle between LEVEL & Norweigan will be an interesting one ! I'm based at LHR so to take DY to West Coast USA ex LGW is much easier than getting to BCN for LEVEL but will try in the future sometime.

Cheers
 
southsidesilver
Topic Author
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:27 pm

Brilliant report ! Very enjoyable. The offerings from LEVEL looks great. IFE looks good, cabin looks comfortable & as you say amazing they don't charge more for front row xtra room seats ?!?! Given the fare you paid, one of the most bargain flights I've seen !

I must try LEVEL at some point having seen a few other good reviews.

The battle between LEVEL & Norweigan will be an interesting one ! I'm based at LHR so to take DY to West Coast USA ex LGW is much easier than getting to BCN for LEVEL but will try in the future sometime.


Thank you, glad you found the review useful and that it make you want to give level a try. I'm also near LHR but the fare was just so good on this one and I got a cheap flight to Barcelona.
I make videos about my airplane travels.
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1407
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:29 pm

Can you get miles for American Airlines on Level?
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
southsidesilver
Topic Author
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:41 pm

Can you get miles for American Airlines on Level?


I don't believe so. They are Avios points and I had to credit mine to Iberia and then transfer to my BA account.
I make videos about my airplane travels.
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 4165
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:54 pm

southsidesilver wrote:
With about one hour and thirty minutes of flight time remaining the crew came around again to give passengers who had paid for meals a snack box.
To my surprise the crew handed a snack box to myself and seat mate, we looked at each other confused for a moment.

Neither of us had pre paid or ordered this snack box, but it turns out that Level have some weird hidden benefits for anyone with one world status.
We found out from the crew, that this free snack box is provided to top tier frequent flyers who have one world emerald status.

But Level don't mention this at all anywhere on their website.

So it was a welcome bonus to end the flight with,


"weird benefits for anyone with oneworld status" - I don't think it is very weird :) I can think of a lot of "weird" benefits that you could get instead, such as "free tap water for oneworld elites" :P haha - I think it's a pretty good benefit to be honest. Better than nothing!

Loved the review, it is excellent to see a new airline being reviewed and reviewed in such detail. Really appreciated it! Looks like Level might be on to something with their market positioning. It will be one to watch. Thanks again for the write up!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
11725Flyer
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:31 pm

Love the Coca-Cola bottle. Thanks for reviewing Level; I was wondering what their service was like. I appreciate all the time you took to put this together!
 
Osiris
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:53 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:11 pm

southsidesilver wrote:
Can you get miles for American Airlines on Level?


I don't believe so. They are Avios points and I had to credit mine to Iberia and then transfer to my BA account.


Interesting. I have a ton of avios points in my BA Exec Club account - is it possible to use those for LEVEL flights too?

Also, another thank you from me for reviewing them. I was very keen to see how it would turn out.
 
Frenchify
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:19 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:21 pm

Interesting. Level looks tolerable and the pictures of the food - actually, it doesn't look THAT bad.
Cheers.
 
debonair
Posts: 2988
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:07 am

So what is included for AVIOS TopTier member - just the snack box? No lounge, no pre-selction of seats?

Will be interesting to see, if the service is still fast, if more people order their B-O-B by using the IFE/app!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:11 pm

$40 for a hot meal? Swiss charge about $50 versus Aer Lingus at $25.
 
KLM685
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 12:41 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:58 pm

Nice Trip Report! I was very curious about what to expect from LEVEL. I was just flying out of LA last week and heard an IBERIA airplane about to take off and surprise! It was LEVEL. Interesting that they use the IB callsign.

Loved the IFE food ordering option.

Cheers!
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
User avatar
CollegeAviator
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:34 am

Very interesting report! I'm pretty sure IAG are just ironing the kinks out with LEVEL - so maybe one day they will charge quite a bit extra for the legroom seats, especially for a 13 hour encounter like this. I hope they succeed well in their endeavors!
 
superjeff
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:14 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:48 pm

KLM685 wrote:
Nice Trip Report! I was very curious about what to expect from LEVEL. I was just flying out of LA last week and heard an IBERIA airplane about to take off and surprise! It was LEVEL. Interesting that they use the IB callsign.

Loved the IFE food ordering option.

Cheers!


Level still operates on the Iberia Operating Certificate. They won't be able to use their own call sign until they are "technically, at least" a separate airline. So, for the time being, they use IB flight numbers and are technically Iberia flights.
 
igtrader88
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:52 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:18 pm

fantastic report, i am planning on a trip and would consider Level based on your report. 2-4-2 is really refreshing rather than the 3-3-3
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8212
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:08 am

Nice read & pictures, first Level report I have read, not as bad as expected, though I'd need your seat!

Thanks

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
southsidesilver
Topic Author
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:42 pm

Thank you all. Very glad you enjoyed this report.
I make videos about my airplane travels.
 
DAIAM2002
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:30 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:27 pm

Great that you had Luck with the seat.
 
User avatar
XAM2175
Posts: 551
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: LEVEL AIRLINES - A level in the right direction BCN-LAX

Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:05 am

southsidesilver wrote:
Now what is interesting with Level airlines is they have decided to adopt a 2 - 4 - 2 layout in the economy cabin.
To be honest this amazes me as most budget long haul airlines are offering 9 across in a 3 - 3 - 3 layout or on a bigger scale some, and not just budget airlines are packing in 10 across with a 3 - 4 - 3 layout.


That's completely normal for the A330, and the A340 too. A few operators have crammed 3-3-3 into them, but mercifully not many.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos