Jun122017

Low cost flights and nights for our Poland trip

Summertime and the living is easy. Checked my flights and nights in Poland to confirm everything in order for our travel plans.

Kelley and I are flying Level Airlines one-way Oakland to Barcelona for $150 per ticket. One checked bag added $85  for one $234 ticket and one $149 ticket from Oakland to Spain one way. I passed on the $33 self-select seat assignment fee per passenger.

Krakow, Poland Market Square

Packing Light

My plan is to travel light enough with a small backpack and small carry-on wheeled bag to fly without checked luggage on our four low cost flights with Level to Spain, Vueling to Poland and 2x Ryanair flights between Warsaw, Gdansk and Krakow.

Level and Vueling have the strictest carry on bag policies at one piece of hand luggage no heavier than 10 kg and no larger than 55x40x20 cm (21.65 x 15.74 x 7.87 inches). The 20cm depth is 5cm smaller than a standard size 10-inch hard case carry on roller bag.

I will travel with my small backpack, like I did on two WOW flights to Europe earlier this year, and place it in a small Jansen rolling bag. Once I am in Poland, I can expand to two bags with my rolling bag and backpack separated for Ryanair flights. We plan to shop in Poland and I want room to add more stuff as we travel.

WOW bag

In January and April I flew WOW Air to Europe on $70 one way San Francisco to Copenhagen tickets. All my winter gear fit into my 17 inch Eddie Bauer backpack for those two trips. My summer clothing is more compact than winter wear.

Loyalty Traveler – WOW Air SFO to Copenhagen $69 my best low fare deal to Europe ever (Jan 2, 2017).

Loyalty Traveler – WOW Air $70 SFO-KEF flight review, YMMV.(April 4, 2017).

WOW pack list

Level and Vueling also allow a smaller hand bag at 35-20-20cm, which is about the size of the blue waterproof bag shown in my photo. That bag holds my camera and other stuff for the flight.

Jansport 20in bag

My backpack slides into this larger 20 inch x 13 inch x 9 inch Jansport bag with wheels. Technically, the Jansport bag has 22 cm depth at the wheels, but only 16 cm at the top of the bag. I have never been questioned about the bag size as a carry on for many previous trips on low cost airlines. A bag with wheels keeps me from having to wear a 20 pound pack all the time when traveling this trip.

Level Airlines to Spain and British Airways back to California

Loyalty Traveler – Ticketing back to SFO with WOW Air $70 one way tickets from SFO (Feb 16, 2017).

This article explains my primary airline ticketing strategy for round trip flights starting in Europe to San Francisco Bay Area. This will be my third low cost one way flight to Europe in 2017. I paid $70 all-in to fly WOW Airlines on two previous trips. This trip on Level Air is $149 one way for ticket.

In my February article I mentioned two ticketing options that I applied for this June trip.

1. We will fly on Finnair ticket for British Airways operated flights from Stockholm to London to San Jose, California. The $557 per round trip ticket takes us home to California in June and back to London in December for Christmas holidays.

2. Our flight home in June from Stockholm to San Francisco has a 22 hour transit layover in London for one summer evening hanging out before flying home to California.

We could have flown Level back to Oakland for a $106 one way fare at the time I originally booked our tickets to Barcelona. Instead, I booked round trip Finnair tickets to get us back to California this month for about $100 more than $227 Level one way with the benefit of securing a flight back to Europe during peak season Christmas holiday season for $227 one way.

Plus, we will have access to Oneworld lounges in London Heathrow with my American Airlines Platinum status.

Hotel Price Drop

My first night’s hotel reservation at a Holiday Inn in Poland saw room rates drop between April and June. I rebooked my stay from $80 per night to $58. One hotel night in Poland will earn 35,000 bonus points in IHG Rewards Club with my Accelerate summer offer. Those points will buy one reward night in London next month.

IHG Accelerate May 15 – August 31, 2017 (individual member targeted tasks). Personally, I am Loving my IHG Accelerate summer 2017 offer (April 28).

We will be staying 3 nights at Radisson Blu hotels ($225 + 25,000 points), 2 nights with IHG ($60 + 35,000 points), 4 nights with Hilton ($100) and one night with Choice Hotels ($50). Details to come in my hotel reviews and trip report articles.

Cheap flights and nights leave us plenty in the travel budget for shopping and dining.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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