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Posted (edited)

I booked our flights from SFO-BCN on  the nonstop   LEVEL operated by Iberia for $280 each for my Father and I which is the Optima fare with 2 meals and  1 checked bag each. My Mother is flying to Paris before and I booked her for $340 on Thomas Cook via Manchester and $80 from Charles De Gaulle to Barcelona on Vueling and added the $50 for seat assignments.

 

On my flight on LEVEL I got us seats in the mini cabin Window and Aisle on the Airbus 330  row 5 L and K. 


For our flight after our B2B Cruise to Tampa I got us on Southwest for $148 from TPA-SJC via San Diego.   I think we did well what are your thoughts?


We are arriving BCN on Wednesday for a Sunday Cruise and are leaving Tampa the next day. 

 

Any experience booking Optima fare via Iberia for LEVEL with regards to the meals and drinks?  

Edited by travelplus

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wow you got a crazy deal.  I have been on Iberia; but only business class where everything is included; so can't help you with how good your airfare is.  So you are going from San Fran to Barcelona nonstop on Iberia;  are you then doing a transatlantic to Tampa; and fly home from Tampa?

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9 hours ago, AF-1 said:

wow you got a crazy deal.  I have been on Iberia; but only business class where everything is included; so can't help you with how good your airfare is.  So you are going from San Fran to Barcelona nonstop on Iberia;  are you then doing a transatlantic to Tampa; and fly home from Tampa?

Yes we are flying nonstop from SFO-Barcelona with a B2B on the Brilliance around the med and the Trans Atlantic back from Tampa on Southwest with  1 stop change of planes in San Diego. I think we got a very good deal! I was playing around with Google Flights and my Bunny friend Hopper and then went onto Iberia to book the flights.  

 

The Southwest tickets were purchased back in June and then repriced it down to $148 which is what United and AA Basic Economy was going for. Changed our flight schedules twice to arrive at SJC at 6:30 PM vs 10:45 PM with a very decent departure time from TPA via San Diego.

 

Thanks for your reply! 

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travelplus;  good for you.  Have fun on your B2B, and with all your flights

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On 8/19/2019 at 12:35 PM, AF-1 said:

travelplus;  good for you.  Have fun on your B2B, and with all your flights

Thanks! We are very happy with all the planning thus far!

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There are lots of flight bargains out there at the moment. Must be a fair amount of unsold seats.   Depends on your cities.  We have found that we can often get the right flights to Europe on short notice IF we shop and IF we are willing to get creative.  Like grabbing an incredibly inexpensive flight to Porto, Portugal, and then booking another inexpensive flight to Rome.

 

We are flying to Athens in a few weeks.  Coming home through London in late Oct.  on this open jaw ticket.   We will be coming home from Cyprus.  It was far less expensive to do an open jaw with return from London than it was from either Athens or Cyprus or any other European city.   We recently booked several domestic flights inside Greece.  In most cases it was the same price, or slightly higher than spending hours on buses and ferries to get where we wanted to go.

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In regards to your mother's flight between CDG and BCN; we just did this on a Vuelling flight last month in the other direction. I was not at all  prepared for this experience; they ask you to get your carry-on bag tagged for cart service because the flight is fully booked, but, that is not what happened. Your bag is tagged, then you walk down the breezeway down stairs and board a bus with no seats carrying your suitcase, then you carry your suitcase up the stairs to board the plane and store your carry-on in the overhead bins as per usual. I hope your mother can handle all that, but I will not be doing this again myself; I am an able bodied senior and found this an exhausting experience. Just a cautionary tale..happy travels:) 

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I can assure you that this experience is not limited to Vueling.  It is very common in parts of Asia and Europe.  You carry your bag downstairs (escalators if you are lucky) and they load you on to the bus. The bus does not move until there not enough room to fit a newspaper in. Sardine city.  Could be Vueling, could be one of the international carriers.  Depends on both the airport facilities and the airline in our experience.  

 

The last Vueling trip we had was Palarmo-Rome to pick up a last minute cruise.  Air on Vueling was less expensive, and far less hassle, than taking the train.  It was 1/3 the cost of the identical Alitalia flight that left twenty minutes ahead of us!

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Thanks for sharing. I guess I am naive about European air travel; our travels have been limited to flying in and out of major airports on major airlines. I will definitely be doing more research before booking another flight outside of Canada/US. We totally expected this in Mexico, but Europe caught me by surprise. Again, many thanks for setting me straight 😊

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9 hours ago, iancal said:

The bus does not move until there not enough room to fit a newspaper in.

 

This made me laugh because it’s so true!  😂

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11 hours ago, iancal said:

I can assure you that this experience is not limited to Vueling.  It is very common in parts of Asia and Europe.  You carry your bag downstairs (escalators if you are lucky) and they load you on to the bus. The bus does not move until there not enough room to fit a newspaper in.

 

9 hours ago, vicchick said:

Thanks for sharing. I guess I am naive about European air travel; our travels have been limited to flying in and out of major airports on major airlines.

 

I've had to take buses from gate to aircraft at both FCO (Rome) and CDG (Paris) airports, both of which are "major" airports and the travel was on "major" airlines (Delta, Air France)

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On 8/25/2019 at 1:38 PM, vicchick said:

In regards to your mother's flight between CDG and BCN; we just did this on a Vuelling flight last month in the other direction. I was not at all  prepared for this experience; they ask you to get your carry-on bag tagged for cart service because the flight is fully booked, but, that is not what happened. Your bag is tagged, then you walk down the breezeway down stairs and board a bus with no seats carrying your suitcase, then you carry your suitcase up the stairs to board the plane and store your carry-on in the overhead bins as per usual. I hope your mother can handle all that, but I will not be doing this again myself; I am an able bodied senior and found this an exhausting experience. Just a cautionary tale..happy travels:) 

 

 

That also sounds like every flight out of the dread 35X bus gates at Washington National airport in the USA. Which admittedly the airport authority is currently starting a multi--billion dollar project to tetris in a proper 10-15 gate expansion into a small sliver of underutilized airport space, but it's going to be a couple of years before that project is completed. 

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On 8/25/2019 at 2:38 PM, vicchick said:

In regards to your mother's flight between CDG and BCN; we just did this on a Vuelling flight last month in the other direction. I was not at all  prepared for this experience; they ask you to get your carry-on bag tagged for cart service because the flight is fully booked, but, that is not what happened. Your bag is tagged, then you walk down the breezeway down stairs and board a bus with no seats carrying your suitcase, then you carry your suitcase up the stairs to board the plane and store your carry-on in the overhead bins as per usual. I hope your mother can handle all that, but I will not be doing this again myself; I am an able bodied senior and found this an exhausting experience. Just a cautionary tale..happy travels:) 

 

The last time we travelled between Barcelona and Paris, we took the high-speed train. It was a considerably easier experience than what you describe!

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On 8/25/2019 at 11:38 AM, vicchick said:

In regards to your mother's flight between CDG and BCN; we just did this on a Vuelling flight last month in the other direction. I was not at all  prepared for this experience; they ask you to get your carry-on bag tagged for cart service because the flight is fully booked, but, that is not what happened. Your bag is tagged, then you walk down the breezeway down stairs and board a bus with no seats carrying your suitcase, then you carry your suitcase up the stairs to board the plane and store your carry-on in the overhead bins as per usual. I hope your mother can handle all that, but I will not be doing this again myself; I am an able bodied senior and found this an exhausting experience. Just a cautionary tale..happy travels:) 

I paid for the Optimal fare which includes a free checked luggage. Her carryon will be a bookbag or backpack and she is able to carry it down the stairs. Thanks for the heads up!

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On 8/26/2019 at 6:05 PM, iancal said:

I can assure you that this experience is not limited to Vueling.  It is very common in parts of Asia and Europe.  You carry your bag downstairs (escalators if you are lucky) and they load you on to the bus. The bus does not move until there not enough room to fit a newspaper in. Sardine city.  Could be Vueling, could be one of the international carriers.  Depends on both the airport facilities and the airline in our experience.  

 

The last Vueling trip we had was Palarmo-Rome to pick up a last minute cruise.  Air on Vueling was less expensive, and far less hassle, than taking the train.  It was 1/3 the cost of the identical Alitalia flight that left twenty minutes ahead of us!

I have been bussed  on Air France and other European flights hence why I travel light. I check my suitcase and travel with a Backpack that fits my laptop and other nicknacks!  I limit myself to 1 carryon and 1 checked bag and can live out of my 22" Victorinox Suitcase for 3 weeks or 3 days.  


My weight is under 50 pounds and  I will always pay extra to check my bag  but am able to carry it dowstairs if need be due to a bus!  

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On 8/21/2019 at 10:00 AM, iancal said:

There are lots of flight bargains out there at the moment. Must be a fair amount of unsold seats.   Depends on your cities.  We have found that we can often get the right flights to Europe on short notice IF we shop and IF we are willing to get creative.  Like grabbing an incredibly inexpensive flight to Porto, Portugal, and then booking another inexpensive flight to Rome.

 

We are flying to Athens in a few weeks.  Coming home through London in late Oct.  on this open jaw ticket.   We will be coming home from Cyprus.  It was far less expensive to do an open jaw with return from London than it was from either Athens or Cyprus or any other European city.   We recently booked several domestic flights inside Greece.  In most cases it was the same price, or slightly higher than spending hours on buses and ferries to get where we wanted to go.

Not only was I creative for the nonstop flight to see other options but connections would have cost us double! CruiseAir wanted $460 as with other airlines. I went on Kyak and SkyScanner and it came up with Iberia  LEVEL so I went to the Iberia website and booked it direct and instead of paying $190 I went with the $280 Optimal fare which includes a checked bag, carryon, meal and seat assignment.

 

I called up Iberia and they were able get us row 5K and 5 L in the Mini Cabin onboard the Airbus 330. Were very happy with the seat assignments and hope they stick.  We are seated away from the restroom and galley. 

 

As its in October perhaps the flight won't be full so it will make for a quiet flight.

 

Also we depart at 8;20 PM and arrive at 4:45 PM the next afternoon perfect timings.  

 

Anyone here with experiences on the LEVEL flight with Optimal Fare. Were all your drinks and meals included? 

 

Thanks

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