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Level/ other low cost airlines

natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
Has anyone flown on Level? Apparently you can fly on them between the US and Barcelona. Can't find a ton of info though.

Also, any reviews on Norwegian Air or other low cost airlines that fly from the US to Europe? Are they any good? Worth it... Only flown to Europe on the traditional airlines like United, Air France...
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Replies to: Level/ other low cost airlines

  • MomofadultMomofadult 1127 replies29 threads Senior Member
    I am not a low cost flyer either. Seems like I've heard about Norwegian Air, but can't remember what! If no one pops up with first hand experience, check the reviews on Tripadvisor (which you've probably done) but also FlyerTalk Forums. Generally, there are some pretty blunt opinions expressed!

    My kids have flown some low cost Asian carriers and decided that full fare is the better way to go!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8270 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Close friend had a horrible experience with Norwegian. They cancelled their international flight and rebooked them 48 hours later out of an airport in a different state. They had to fight to have their out of pocket expenses reimbursed, not to mention that they missed the first two days of their vacation. Took more than 8 months of fighting to get some money back.

    Definitely read reviews on the Tripadvisor and similar forums.




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  • natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
    @Momofadult I've heard that short distances on low cost airlines are fine..but they're less comfortable for longer flights. It's one thing to fly low cost on an hour to 2 hour flight, but for 11 hours? I don't know...
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  • natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
    @momofsenior1 yeah, i've heard mixed reviews of Norwegian. My H's co worker and his wife flew on it and said never again.

    A friend of D's flew on it and paid for the extras and said it was fine.
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  • MomofadultMomofadult 1127 replies29 threads Senior Member
    @natty1988, I haven’t ever flown a low cost carrier. My kid objected to being made to pay for water on a 3 hour flight (ticket had been provided for a job interview with a potential employer- kid didn’t know the ins and outs of low cost carriers so this was a shock), arriving and departing from remote terminals and discomfort of the plane. Kid had prior experience with the route, so knew what could be had at slightly higher fare.

    I have not seriously looked into low cost options, although I’ve been somewhat tempted within Europe at some fares. I’ve always decided to stick with carriers I know. I can better predict outcomes with my luggage (no charge for what I typically have), arrivals/departures, etc. For instance, some of the European low cost planes land in Beauvais rather than Charles de Gaulle or Orly, Stansted rather than Heathrow, etc. That would not be convenient for me.
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  • NhatrangNhatrang 482 replies1 threads Member
    I know a few European teens who fly on low cost airline often. A flight from Rome to Barcelona could cost less than 100 euros round trip. But we always joke that if you fly in one of those airplanes, you better be prepared to take over the pilot :smiley:

    My kiddo is planning a 3 week trip around Europe this summer with her best friends and a few Italian girls from Italy (Her Italian best friend and the best friend's friends, and 2 of her best friends from the US). They planned on using low cost airlines and Airbnb but us parents are very wary of the itineraries. They are 18-19 years old. My daughter is a very experienced traveler, I would worry much less if she was alone. But she has to be responsible for her friends. All these booking and planning are stressing me out lol. I am one of those people that when I see something so cheap i got suspicious, and I've seen a few on the itineraries that I was like "are you sure it's legit?".


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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 773 replies4 threads Member
    My daughter is studying abroad right now - it is astonishing to me how cheap the airline travel is around Europe on the budget airlines. Much cheaper and easier than trains, which is how I traveled around Europe when I studied abroad 30 years ago. She just flew from Madrid to Milan, then Milan to Dublin, then back to Madrid for $120. I spent than that for my son's train ticket from MD to NY last week (last minute purchase, it's usually cheaper). Her roommate got the same ticket a day earlier for $80. D considered not going b/c she was upset the price had increased $30 and didn't want to pay that much. I mean, I know she's on a student budget, but I told her I spend more than that on dinner at the local pizza place and would give her the $30 it meant going on the trip. It was the last trip she would be taking before coming home, so didn't want her to regret it.

    Regarding the budget airlines within Europe - she did not have a single problem at all. Actually, now that I think about it, I think they did have one issue with a cancellation, but the airline either reimbursed them right away and they were able to get another flight, or the airline rebooked them. Whichever it was, it did not affect their plans and didn't cost them any additional money.

    One thing to note, the budget airlines within Europe are VERY strict about carry on luggage. It must be within/under the size requirements or they will force you to check and pay for it. It can't be as much as an inch over. D had me cracking up yesterday as she recounted bringing home some Guinness pint glasses she bought in Dublin. They wouldn't fit in her backpack and she was not allowed an additional bag to bring on with her so she took her coat off and draped/wrapped it around the small box as if she was just carrying her coat. She said she then froze her behind off b/c they had to board the plane from outside on the tarmac. LOL
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13211 replies247 threads Senior Member
    I really liked using the budget airlines in SE Asia, no problems at all, ad SO cheap, less so if you have a full size carryon or checked bag but still a lot cheaper than equivalents in the US.

    I'd avoid Lion though....
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  • natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
    Thanks for all of your thoughts! D has flown on Easy Jet within Europe and she said it was perfectly good for flying within Europe. She said she wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again. I may talk to a co worker from Germany, who goes back to Europe a lot and see if she is familiar with Level.
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  • natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
    @Momofadult I think it depends on the airline. I know Ryan Air is well known for using smaller out of the way airports that are much farther from the city center. If you fly Ryan Air to Frankfurt, Germany they fly into Hahn Airport which is an hour from Frankfurt and not super well served by public transport, at least compared to Frankfurt International which is very close to downtown. If you're flying on a low cost airline, always take a look at which airport they fly from.

    I do know that Easy Jet tends to fly into the main airports at least in comparison to Ryan Air. Though I do know that Easy Jet does not serve Heathrow. When my D flew with them she always flew in and out of the main airports of each city she went to. She didn't have to go to any far away secondary airports.

    I also know among Europeans, especially Brits, that Easy Jet has a much better reputation then Ryan Air
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  • MomofadultMomofadult 1127 replies29 threads Senior Member
    ^^^ Exactly my (research only) understanding!

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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8831 replies41 threads Senior Member
    My sister flew Norwegian and had a bad experience with the agents in JFK. They thought her carry on bag was too heavy, so she rearranged some things, then they reweighed it, along with her purse (personal item) and tried to charge her extra. Then they sent her to the back of the line! There was a TSA person there who tried to get her to go through without going to the back because of the flight time, to no avail. She nearly missed her flight.

    The experience on the other end (Stockholm) wasn't bad. And the flight was low budget, but she was expecting that.
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  • whitepicketfencewhitepicketfence 125 replies14 threads Junior Member
    We have flown Norwegian twice...and it was fine. Crew was great and plane clean and up to date. But I am getting older and have decided I don't want to do the budget airlines again and we have switched from cash to mile rewards.

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  • LuckyCharms913LuckyCharms913 1071 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Flew Norwegian from Newark to / from Paris (Orly) in 2018 and would do it again. We didn’t purchase any extras except for seat selection (one carryon included in fare) and they didn't give us so much as a cup of water on the 7 hour flight, but it was an overnight flight so not a problem. Seats were a good size, in flight entertainment was excellent. Flights were delayed about an hour each way, but that has happened to me numerous times on full fare airlines.
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  • natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
    @whitepicketfence yeah, as H and I are getting older..we'd rather pay more for comfort. But, H loves getting a bargain
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  • natty1988natty1988 740 replies11 threads Member
    @greenwitch and @LuckyCharms913 thanks for your insight! Personally, I do like not having to pay for food and drink onboard. The last few times we've been to Europe we flew on regular airlines like United and Air France.

    @greenwitch how horrible! These low cost airlines can be so strict with bag weights.
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  • TS0104TS0104 1027 replies28 threads Senior Member
    4 of us flew Norwegian from US to Paris in August...3 from LA, me from Boston. My outgoing flight was delayed and it was a mess..we left 1.5 hours late and this was an 11pm departure...but honestly I think that was all due to storms that day at the airport, it was closed down for hours and EVERYTHING was having trouble. All of the gate problems I blame on the airport not the airline, and the delay was clearly weather related.

    Leaving Paris, more problems...Norwegian had a plane drop debris over Rome (where I was leaving from) so Norwegian got temporarily grounded outbound from Rome. My flight did leave, on time, but it was dicey for the previous couple days as I was getting updates that my flight was being moved to a different carrier. And even once on the plane...total chaos as peoples' seat assignments from our original flight did not match up with the seats/rows on new plane, it was really nuts! All things considered, it's kind of a miracle that I flew out at my original booked time considering the entire airline wasn't allowed to fly international from that airport.

    THAT said...the flight itself was fine, comfy, good food (I paid for one level up from basic so I could make changes). The problems I encountered were IMO weird circumstances. To me it was worth the hundreds I saved. I had to change my outgoing flight due to weather (I had booked two legs on two differnt flights) and Norwegian was excellent about the change and I paid $430 for a next day flight from Boston to Paris!!! So...I would do it again but knowing that I might have some changes or delays and just plan on it. Finally, my 3 travelling partners going to Paris from LA had zero problems of any sort. Oh and before booking I reserached Level but the reviews were so bad, I decided no on that.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9131 replies79 threads Senior Member
    I am laughing at story above because on trip home from Cape Cod I opted to wear a long jumper with pants under (plus layered tops) to make the packing easier.
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  • sciencenerdsciencenerd 1579 replies236 threads Senior Member
    I flew Norwegian, United and Iceland Air. Iceland Air was the best but not the cheapest (still pretty cheap tho). United has a lot of hiccups for some reason. Bad experience. Norwegian was good for what I paid, but be ready to not have any amenities at all. I was also worried they would be super strict with carry on luggage. They kind of were. Their terminal was very very crowded and food on flight only for purchase. However, I didn't mind as I was saving a little. Others that are used to comforts might have had an issue.

    As for the low cost airlines they can be a hit or miss. Be prepared for any issues to crop up very easily.
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