Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: LEVEL Airlines – 2/5 Stars

380 World Way
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Months ago, I booked a flight to Barcelona from Iberia Airlines. It was a nice and inexpensive $530 direct round trip flight. What Iberia did was morph my return flight into this new discount airline called “LEVEL”.

LEVEL is like a transatlantic Spirit Airlines. The ten-hour flights offer no free drinks, no free food, everything extra. I didn’t quite know this. So if you’re hungry or starving or want pillows or blankets, that’s on you peasant. But on top of that, the lines at the gates for these flights are very long because the planes are filled to capacity. There is one incredibly long and slow single file line. Both times it splintered with people coming from the left and from the right due to a general lack of direction of the line. You think you are about to enter a plane but no. The actual LEVEL planes at both LAX and Barcelona are not at the gate but parked at the far edges of the tarmac. The lines lead through the airplane gate to a shuttle. After getting through the line, the shuttle is a 15-20 minute ride to the edge of the airport, with people filled to the absolute capacity in these things.

The employees at LEVEL’s Check-In are incredibly defensive about an aisle seat request. “This is a low cost airline,” was said first to me. “We choose your seat.” I had three employees at the gate ignore me for about fifteen minutes until I addressed them really loudly. I almost surprised myself at how annoyed I sounded. I had a question about paying in cash. “I don’t know. He can help you,” the woman said and walked away. Then ten seconds of me staring at the guy. “I think so.” The guy said, not looking. I hope they’re just apathetic, not rude.

One thing that Iberia updated was having personal movie consoles and it’s cool that it now has personal movie consoles for the 10-hour journey, but they’re the glitchiest movie consoles on any transatlantic flight I’ve ever flown. Mine crashed twice and took about twenty minutes to reboot after a black screen. I couldn’t buy food or drinks. Everything was “sold out”. Even their tiny €4 bottle of water. So I couldn’t order anything. Their stellar staff didn’t know what to do about it either. The woman was irritated that I tried to give her cash without ordering from the console. She was determined that my glitchy console was working until she saw everything was sold out and literally didn’t know what to do with just cash. I wonder about the nightmare that would follow if I only had a credit card and it declined. I am going to have to take a mental note not to die of hunger or starvation in the future before embarking on what’s revealed to be a discount airline. By the way, everything is sold in euros.

It’s almost worth an extra hundred dollars to fly with an airline that provides food and drink, employees with a way higher morale, and planes that actually land at and fly from the gate. I like to save money but would seriously reconsider ever booking a flight with “LEVEL” Airlines again. I am usually pretty fair with discount airlines, but this was a pretty awful flight from such a new airline.

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