New Spanish Airline Level is Leveling Big Fees on Customers

Boy oh boy the news just keeps coming with Level. The new Spanish Airline Level has been getting a lot of press lately. They launched on day one with a sale for around $260 round trip from the West Coast of the USA to Barcelona and beyond, and people snapped up tickets like crazy. But, with all low cost carriers, all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold.

We broke the news just a short time back that on their first day they sold 52k tickets, which is an insane amount of tickets to sell. If you think about the numbers, with just over 300 seats per plane, they could have technically sold out over 170 flights on their first day! Bravo Level, nicely done! With flights to Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Punta Cana, they’re connecting people from all over the world at a cheap price. Mind you, they’ve only got two planes to start, so having four long haul destinations with only two aircraft is SUPER ambitious.

Level Airline from IAG website

Level Airline from IAG website

The types of seating and tickets are very clearly laid out on their website, which is a huge benefit. A lot of airlines aren’t this transparent when they launch, so I give them another big kudos for this as well.

Economy Class Fares for Level Airline

Economy Class Fares

Level Airline Premium Economy Fares

Level Airline Premium Economy Fares

Later that day, we found out that some of their tickets were not pricing correctly, sometimes charging more than 800% more when you added on a connection outside of Barcelona. We’ve reached out to Level to find out what’s going on. To their credit, they’ve said that they’re investigating the issue and will get back to us with a solution.

Oakland to Ibiza with Level

Oakland to Ibiza, add $1000!

Breaking News on Fees

Noticeably lacking from the Level website are a schedule of additional fees that you’ll incur when you fly. Well today the other shoe fell and we found out some information regarding the additional fees that you’ll see when you take those flights. Via a post on Head for Points out of the UK, we get a peek inside the fee structure of the new flights.

  • In Flight Entertainment will NOT be free past Day 1
  • Food is 35 Euros each way and that’s good for two meals (dinner/breakfast or lunch/dinner)
    • At least one is hot, and there will be additional snacks and drinks for purchase
  • Booking an Avios ticket (WHY?!) gets you a step above bargain basement ticket, so you’ll get free bags, seats, and food
  • No lounge, no fast track security, no additional free luggage. Period.
  • Seats can cost up to 67 euros EACH WAY for exit rows or premium seats
  • Tier points are for Iberia Plus cardholders ONLY
  • No pets or unaccompanied minors

WOW. That’s an extensive list.  For comparison, Norwegian (probably their closest competitor) charges $45 for meals (long haul) and a maximum of $45 for seat selection. Level wins out on seats but loses slightly on meal cost. Norwegian will allow you to take your pets and/or unaccompanied minors along for a fee. Norwegian will also offer free entertainment in their long-haul Dreamliner planes.

Head For Points also mentioned that the cost for taking a second bag was well over $160! Now that’s crazy talk.

Caveat Emptor

We get a lot of people who write in about our travel booking service who will come back with “but I found this low cost flight for $X cheaper…” Yes, I’m sure you did, but did you know the hundreds upon hundreds of dollars of fees that come with it? Buyer Beware, you don’t want to get socked with a huge load of fees just because you’re searching out a good deal.

Do you fly low cost carriers? How do you avoid the massive fees?

 

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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2 Comments

  1. One thing that I’m curious about is how much leg room they offer in Economy. Since they say “generous”, it has to be 34″ or more, since 30″ is insanely horrible, 31″ is just regular horrible, 32″ is tight, and 33″ is tolerable. Of course, assuming that “generous” isn’t just a euphemism, and that the seats actually are spaced at 34″, that would make the Premium Economy not that much better than Economy.

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    • Aer Lingus has around 31-32 and they’re part of the same IAG family, so if I had to guess, I’d say around 31 inches.

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