International travel looks set to return this summer, despite the war in Eastern Europe and talk of another variant of COVID. Low-cost airline LEVEL plans to join the board, offering nonstop service from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Barcelona.
Reminiscent of the now-defunct transatlantic version of Norwegian Airlines, LEVEL is one of the few low-cost carriers offering nonstop service from the US West Coast to Europe. In fact, LEVEL claims to be the only airline to offer a direct connection between LAX and SFO and Barcelona. And like the late Norwegian, LEVEL, which began operations in June 2017, is a low-cost long-haul airline.
LEVEL is part of International Airlines Group (IAG). Although IAG is currently struggling on the stock market, the company owns six well-known airline brands, including Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Iberia Express and Vueling, in addition to LEVEL.
LEVEL flights from US cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles (plus New York and Boston) to cosmopolitan counterpart Barcelona are expected to prove popular. As LEVEL puts it, “Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the art of Gaudí, Barcelona offers visitors a vast array of culture, history and spectacular beaches to enjoy or relax in. The city is also well known for its rich gastronomy, with restaurants for all tastes.
The line from Los Angeles will initially operate with three frequencies per week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On June 1, an additional frequency will be added on Wednesdays. The route from San Francisco, started before the pandemic, resumes with four weekly frequencies. It will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The LA route is new to LEVEL, while the SF route is restarting the service originally launched in 2019. In spring and summer 2022, LEVEL says it will offer more than 11,000 weekly seats on its routes to the United States, more than double what it offered. in pre-pandemic 2019.
The Barcelona flight from Los Angeles takes 11h 45m, and 13h 10m on the way back. Similarly, from San Francisco the flight to Barcelona lasts 11h 40m, and 12h 30m to return. Although it’s a long trip, the nonstop flights should allow passengers to sleep on board and save time compared to changing planes in New York or London.
LEVEL operates a fleet of Airbus A330-200 aircraft, each with 21 Premium Economy seats and 293 Economy seats. Economy class fare starts at US$479 round-trip from Los Angeles. Round trip from San Francisco to Barcelona starts at 509 USD. Tickets are available at flylevel.com and through the channels of the Iberia Group.
For those willing to pay a little more, a LEVEL spokesperson says the Premium Economy cabin offers more space between seats, a greater seat recline angle and adjustable footrests. LEVEL’s Premium Economy class also provides access to upgraded boarding and the onboard menu, as well as flexibility for flight changes.
According to Lucía Adrover, commercial director of LEVEL: “Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain, is a destination that has a lot to offer visitors. Not only because of all the leisure possibilities offered by the city and its Mediterranean environment, but also because of the growing business network that exists in Spain and which can be of interest to American companies.
Routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco are two of the four routes LEVEL will operate in the United States during this 2022 summer season. In addition to Los Angeles and San Francisco, LEVEL also flies to Barcelona from New York. A Boston-Barcelona line will be added on May 1.
Points and miles fans will appreciate the airline’s codeshare with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines as well as onward bookings to and from destinations offered by these airlines. The codeshare deal also offers U.S. and Alaskan travelers more connections across Europe through the network of Vueling, IAG’s low-cost short/medium-haul airline.
To enter Spain, travelers must be vaccinated and present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. Tourists can receive two doses if no more than 270 days have passed since the date of the last vaccination, or three doses if more than 14 days have passed since the third vaccination.
If the established vaccination requirements are not met, a negative COVID-19 test performed no later than 72 hours before arrival in Spain or an antigen test performed no later than 24 hours before arrival may be presented to the square. Travelers must also complete the Spain Travel Health form and obtain the QR code.