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Why flying LEVEL is decent value for long-haul Premium Economy Avios redemptions

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Two years ago, IAG, the parent of British Airways, launched a new low-cost airline – LEVEL.

Whilst we ran an article at the time we have barely mentioned it since, except for the day it decided to sell all of its tickets to Vienna for 2p return!  This is partly because it is a low cost airline and doesn’t fit into our premium travel focus and partly because it doesn’t have any bases in the UK.

However, LEVEL is still a viable option for earning and spending Avios so we thought it was worth another look.  In particular, there are some decent value Premium Economy Avios redemptions available from Barcelona.

Level airline A330

Where does LEVEL fly?

A lot has changed since LEVEL was launched with just four short-haul destinations from Barcelona.

Most significantly, the airline has grown outside its initial hub.  LEVEL now also flies from Vienna, Amsterdam and Paris.  It’s clear that IAG is trying to turn the screw on its key rivals Air France-KLM and Lufthansa Group.

Here’s where you can fly:

From Barcelona

  • Amsterdam
  • Boston
  • Buenos Aires
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Vienna

From Paris

  • Boston (ends 31st March)
  • Fort de France
  • Las Vegas (ends 1st March)
  • Montreal
  • New York
  • Pointe-a-Pitre
  • Vienna

From Vienna

  • Alicante
  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Bilbao
  • Calvi
  • Copenhagen
  • Dubrovnik
  • Florence
  • Genoa
  • Hamburg
  • Larnarca
  • London
  • Majorca
  • Malaga
  • Olbia
  • Paris
  • Porto
  • Rome
  • Rostock

From Amsterdam

  • Alicante
  • Barcelona
  • Bilbao
  • Florence
  • Fuerteventura
  • Ibiza
  • Lisbon
  • London
  • Majorca
  • Malaga
  • Milan
  • Rome
  • Santiago
  • Valencia
  • Vienna

How are LEVEL’s long-haul aircraft configured?

LEVEL long-haul flights are operated as two-class aircraft but those classes are Economy (293 seats) and Premium Economy (21 seats) – there is no Business Class.

LEVEL’s seating is 2-4-2, which is standard for the A330.  Premium Economy is 2-3-2.

Level airline seating

LEVEL claims to offer a “modern approach to flying”.  How modern?  Try, in Economy:

you pay for all food and drink

you pay for all checked luggage

you pay for seat selection (€15 for a middle seat at the back up to €70 each way for a window or aisle exit row seat)

you pay for a blanket, pillow and / or amenity kit

you pay for internet (fair enough on that one)

you pay for IFE

Premium Economy passengers do not pay for food and drink, seat selection, IFE or checked baggage.

There are no status benefits.  If you have British Airways status, for example, you still cannot use fast track or a lounge.

Level airline

Can you earn Avios on LEVEL?

In general, no.

There is one exception:

if you are flying to/from Barcelona and

you booked via Iberia and your flight has an IB flight number

…… then you can earn some Avios in Iberia Plus.  LEVEL is not a British Airways Executive Club partner.

This means that you need to open an Iberia Plus account and then use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them across to British Airways Executive Club.  Note that your Iberia Plus account must be 90 days old before you can transfer in or out of it.

This page of the Iberia website shows what you will earn.

For clarity, LEVEL is not part of oneworld and is not a British Airways partner.  You will not receive any benefits at all when flying with LEVEL irrespective of your British Airways or oneworld status.

How do I redeem Avios on LEVEL?

The key thing to know is that you can only redeem Avios on LEVEL flights to or from Barcelona.

For long haul, this means that you are restricted to:

  • Boston
  • Buenos Aires
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Santiago de Chile

LEVEL is pricing off the standard Iberia Plus redemption chart.  However, there are two ways of booking LEVEL – via iberia.com and via avios.com.

Here is an example booking LEVEL from Barcelona to New York in Premium Economy:

Via iberia.com (11th March to 19th March, off-peak dates):

Economy (Blue Class) – 34,000 Avios + £135.10 return

Premium Economy – 51,000 Avios + £135.10 return (see below)

LEVEL Avios redemptions

Via avios.com, where they show as Iberia services:

Economy – 34,000 Avios + £162.90 return

Premium Economy – 51,000 Avios + £162.90 return

As you can see, it is cheaper to book on the Iberia website.  The only reason to book on avios.com would be if your Iberia Plus account was not 90 days old and you were not allowed to transfer Avios across to it.

This article shows you how to transfer Avios from British Airways to avios.com or Iberia.

These Avios flights can only be booked via Iberia Plus (iberia.com) or avios.com.  They cannot be booked with Avios on the BA website.

Is this a better deal than booking World Traveller Plus on British Airways?

Now …. is it worth booking Premium Economy on LEVEL from Barcelona to New York for 51,000 Avios + £135 when you could book World Traveller Plus on British Airways from London to New York for £462?

You are saving £327 per person in taxes

You need to pay for a positioning flight to and from Barcelona

It adds a lot of hours to your trip to go via Barcelona

Some people might consider it a bit of fun – and there are worse places than Barcelona to transit.  If you don’t live near Heathrow and would need to transit in Heathrow from Edinburgh etc then it is also a different story.  It is up to you.

You can learn more on the LEVEL website here.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on 10 good reasons to consider the FREE British Airways American Express credit card.

(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.)

Comments (62)

  • vol says:

    OT: same old offers on Amex cards

    Why don’t they inject some variety in these Amex offers, and wouldn’t it be fabulous if they were smarter about what they offered card members by type/location of spend?

    There seem to be continuous offers for certain coffee shops, shirt shops and a particular jewellery shop, and whilst it is nice to have them, it just seems repetitive after a while

    :-/

    • Charlieface says:

      Got a feeling that these companies are not paying extra to have them targeted, mainly because it makes no difference to them because they have no competitors in their tiny niche. Whereas other companies have competitors so want to target them to their competitors’ customers etc.

    • Andrew says:

      We’re only looking at the offers from the “outside” though.

      Some are clearly “dumb” offers that are used to sell Amex merchant facilities to smaller retailers. You can be sure that there are plenty of stats to indicate how much trade “Shop Small” drives to independents every December.

      Others seem to highlight the troubles in the hospitality industry. I must have 20 different restaurant offers at the moment – but rarely eat out as I have a fantastic office canteen where everything is freshly prepared on site every day.

      Some are definitely “smart” though, they are the ones that you really want but don’t get. What’s the point of targetting you with an offer when you are going to spend the money whether you have the offer or not?

  • Bob says:

    And from the 1rst of march this year, LEVEL has annouced it will end its boston and las vegas services from Paris.

    Those two routes must not work well then.

  • Anon says:

    It would appear you can no longer move avios from Iberia to BA, only the other way around