Bits: last day for Avios / LEGO deal, interesting new info on LEVEL

News in brief:

Last day to get 1,200 Avios for £30 LEGO spend

Today (Monday) is the last day to earn 1,200 Avios or 1,250 Virgin Flying Club miles for spending £30 on LEGO Disney Princess.

This is a Tesco Direct offer.  You will receive 500 bonus Clubcard points which you can convert into 1,200 Avios or 1,250 Virgin miles when you receive your Clubcard vouchers.

This Shopper Points article looks at the deal in more detail.  The full list of available LEGO Disney Princess sets is here.

Level airline seat prices

More information on LEVEL

On Saturday I wrote about IAG’s new low-cost airline LEVEL.  Based in Barcelona, at least initially, it will offer another opportunity to earn or redeem Avios points.

Since I wrote that article I have got hold of some more information about how the airline will operate:

In Flight Entertainment will NOT be free on LEVEL.  It will be free on Day 1 but this is only an introductory offer.  If you’ve booked for a flight a few months out then you might have an unpleasant surprise.

Food will cost a fixed €35 each way which gets you two meals.  Both meals will have at least one hot option.  It seems that snacks and drinks will also be available for purchase.

Avios tickets will not book into the cheapest ticket category (LEVEL).  This means that you WILL receive a free checked bag, free seat selection and food.

There are reports that BA status card holders are getting free seat selection at the moment, probably because flights are being booked via the Iberia website.  In theory, though, you will receive NO status benefits on LEVEL if you have BA, Iberia or any other shiny oneworld card.  There are no circumstances, irrespective of status or whatever ticket type you buy, that you will get you lounge access, fast track security or an additional free luggage allowance.

Here is the bizarre bit.  LEVEL will be part of the Joint Business Agreement on transatlantic flights between AA, Finnair and IAG.  This means that the flights will be subsidised by higher paying economy and premium economy passengers from the other airlines.  Under the Joint Business Agreement, all of the revenue from participating airlines is thrown into one big pot and then divided up based on passenger volumes.  As LEVEL will in theory have cheaper ticket prices than AA or Finnair (or BA or Iberia), it will presumably receive more back from the JBA than it pays in.

Seat selection will cost as much as €67 each way (exit row aisle or window)

LEVEL flights will earn On Business points, although the numbers have not been agreed yet

LEVEL flights will earn tier points but ONLY for Iberia Plus cardholders

You WILL be able to book connecting flights on AA, BA, Air Nostrum and Vueling and have your luggage checked through to your final destination – but only if the connecting flight is an Iberia codeshare

No pets allowed!

No unaccompanied minors allowed

Tickets allow re-routing on Iberia and British Airways in case of disruption.  This offers a degree of security given that LEVEL will only have two aircraft at the start.

My article from Saturday has more information on LEVEL’s airline routes and pricing.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Get up to 50,000 Avios when you open an ISA or SIPP via Nutmeg
Bits: new Radisson sale, last chance for BA Holidays sale, the Haynes Heathrow manual
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Comments

  1. Genghis says:

    All these little costs will start to add up. It’d be interesting to see what you get for your €35 food package. For some reason I think I’d be disappointed. Packed lunch anyone?

    • That’s what I was thinking. This, so called, cheap flight is getting expensive by the minute. No way will I be flying level

      • Catalan says:

        But you’d fly Norwegian Air Shuttle for the very same reason?
        Sounds like people here are just being ‘anti-LEVEL’ because 1) it’s owned by IAG, 2) they think they ought to!

        • Genghis says:

          I like Norwegian for SH. Efficient airline though I’ve heard some horror stories from a colleague. LH I prefer to travel in a bit of comfort these days

        • Norwegian’s charges arent as extortionate as Level’s. Also their premium class is significantly better than level’s… and you can get it for a lot cheaper

        • I’m mainly anti them because of the slimline seats they’re using! Just about OK for a 2h European flight, no way I’d want to sit in one for long haul (plus presumably has the usual small legroom pitch too).

  2. I thought the idea of making IFE free was to pacify restless passengers, therefore reducing stress for cabin crew and other passengers.
    A diversion or two due to an unruly passenger would soon outweigh the extra revenue.

    And given that it runs on PCs which are not exactly reliable, there will be occasions when it crashes, there will be the cost of processing refunds.

  3. Not too worried about the lack of IFEs… More importantly do they have plug sockets for my home-made IFE? :)

  4. Von Schmallhausen says:

    Not interested. If they’re as bad as Vueling or worse I’ll never set foot on their planes, and they sound just as as crap so far…

  5. Off topic, but there is an Amex offer for Monarch on my Gold card.

  6. It clearly has some appeal – apparently 52k tickets sold in first 48h! (see link to their Tweet I posted in comments on original article last night). Not for me though. Surprisingly pricey in-flight food price given the likely quality too.

  7. Luggage checked to final destination: even on separate PNRs??

    • Obviously not :-)

      And, because you need to be on an Iberia codeshare ticket to get them on the same PNR, adding a Vueling flight (for example) will be considerably more expensive than buying it separately. This is because the Iberia codeshare tickets do not cover Vueling’s cheapest fares.

  8. So this is the reason why I think this is a bad deal. Unfortunately IAG has been a follower in everything, and they are bad followers. This so called LOWCOST ticket, will add up, will still give you the crappy experience most IAG brands currently give you. Norwegian atleast offers free WiFi, and this is something IAG does not. Infact on a recent Iberia Biz class flight they gave 4MB complimentary wifi that got over in 50 secs. The whole thing is poorly thought of. The booking, the lack of details, the lack of additional costs detailed before booking etc. And the bottom line is with the IAG legacy costs (Iberia) they will never be a long term success. People will buy the cheap tickets, fly once and then realise a FULL carrier is roughly as expensive.
    So here is the way I think they should’ve done it.
    1. Increased the leg space in economy and been the ONLY LCC to offer a 33″ pitch in economy.
    2. Allowed for all BA, Iberia and Vueling status holders to get the same benefits ( earning only status miles/tier points and not Avios, but redeeming lounge etc)
    3. Provided free wifi for Facebook, and Free IFE streaming to device (LATAM have such an amazing product)
    4. Provided a child free cabin area
    5. Provided A policy where premium cabins would ALWAYS be full with an auction system letting people upgrade/bid for a premium seat (to be confirmed at checkin)
    6. Allow SKYTEAM and Star Alliance members to redeem same status once per year (a way of poaching them over without status matching)
    7. Status allowing for free food and drink on flights.
    I am sure if people sat together (did some UX)and tried to find the differentiating factors of the offering, you could come up with many more innovative things. I hate it when IAG runs a half thought follower idea (and thinks it is executing it well) and then makes it really really bad.

    • Craig Strickland says:

      It’s the race to the bottom and for once IAG are leading the way!

    • So basically, your plan to make a success of a BUDGET airline is to offer the premium services found elsewhere for free?

      You clearly don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about! You seem to have fallen into the trap that many people do on here where you project your own feelings onto budget travellers. Budget travellers don’t demand extra Legroom or free food, as evidenced by the huge number of tickets they’ve already sold. Sometimes it’s as if many people in this hobby (FT is just as bad) live in some kind of bubble and have no idea what life is like for the majority of the planet out in the real world!

  9. Concerto says:

    It’s incredible how fast all this crap is going. I honestly thought over the last couple of years airline service in general was rising back up, a bit, in quality. I think there’s only so far down that they can go. Over a certain distance of flight (about 3 hours for me) there has to be some sort of minimal comfort element. I really really don’t like this cheapskate stuff on longhaul.

  10. I can’t imagine going anywhere near this outfit even with a barge pole. I would however consider giving Norwegian a punt using their Premium seat as a cheap oneway to the States. What info do we have on the Level Premium offering – in particular pitch? I saw what I think was a picture but it looked like a wider economy seat – is this all it amounts to? Not good enough – I’ve seen good reviews of Norwegian’s Premium product which in fact provides lounge access (as opposed to not even allowing you to use the status you have already built up with IAG to get similar access). I’m not an IAG basher per se – but seriously this is not an attractive product.

  11. rams1981 says:

    OT anyone received the bonus groupon points for the last Iberia AVIOS purchase?

  12. Not sure why they’re bothering with LEVEL, BA is slowly turning in to an LCC for long haul, just wait another year or two and IAG will have one in it.

    More bad press for BA today as well: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/ba-turning-into-ryanair-as-fresh-flowers-latest-victim-of-cuts/

    • And BA spouting its stock response about passenger numbers etc!

      • Genghis says:

        I think the story needs to be fact checked. Flowers disappeared from F a while ago and didn’t the water cuplets for Y happen much more recently than 2009? Also doesn’t tell the full story of BA flights from STN as is it really “BA schedules flights from London Stansted, selecting to go head to head with EasyJet and Ryanair on their turf.”?

        • Expecting accuracy on any subject in any newspaper is the triumph of hope over experience.

  13. OT but looking to book a return flight to europe on BA in economy.
    Looking to book the more expensive economy fare that includes the checked in luggage. After it’s paid for would I potentially be able to pay cash to upgrade into club europe. And if so, would I just pay the fare difference? And will the booked fare class be upgraded too so that i’d earn more status credits and miles

    • I’m not sure but would it not be easier just to book the Club Europe seat from the outset?

      • Considering the increase to club europe is only £50 or so I wouldn’t mind paying the extra club europe.
        However, my grant will only reimburse me for economy flights and I have to submit my receipt showing i purchase economy flights. Hence doing it the long way round

        • apologies for the poor spelling above
          *the extra for club europe
          *purchased

          • I get it now! I think you can do it through the “Manage my booking” section or over the phone, you’d need to check about status etc.

    • It could be worth checking the upgrade on the BA app as well. Going to manage my booking on my laptop my booking to Berlin is offering £180ish to upgrade each way, but on the app it’s £100.

      I still don’t think that’s worth it for club Europe on such a short flight, but might be worth looking at if that’s what you want

    • If you do the upgrade as a change to your ticket then you’ll pay the fare difference plus a change fee. However, BA sometimes do ‘limited time offers’ where they offer the chance to upgrade for a special price via MMB. It’s not always offered though.

    • You may be able to get a discount online upgrade offer, although this will only be available if flying direct to/from London, sadly.

      Also worth checking how flexible your grant folk are – I’m deal with claims for our funds and I’m happy to accept a price quote for economy with a receipt for business (and just pay out economy), but of course not everyone is as in the know and accepting about things 😀

      • Thanks a lot for the advice guys.
        Wil be flying from london so hopefully will be a good price. Its not really a big deal if it isn’t though
        Good tip Alan although the answer in my case is entirely inflexible 😉

    • Yes, when you buy an upgrade, via ‘Manage my booking’ or at the airport it will be the corresponding (=new) amount of Avios and tier points.

    • Yes, for now. I have seen the internal briefing documents and they make clear that this is an introductory offer. Charging will be along soon.

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