Pay the extra $50-100 if you can manage. This was the worst flight experience of my life. Vueling Air almost cost us our honeymoon, definitely cost us the opening World Cup match, a beautiful hotel, and an entire day in Paris.
It was an absolute nightmare from checking in to landing. I could write a Russian novel on the complete and total ineptitude of this airline, but I will summarize why you should avoid this airline at all costs:
1. Check in line was absolute chaos. People had no idea where to be, who to talk to, and how long it would take to get boarding passes. It took one hour to get boarding passes
2. This delay forced a horde of passengers to make a mad dash to the gate as the airport screens indicated that boarding would be closed within minutes
3. We all get to the gate in a frenzied state only to be told that our flight was delayed by one hour
4. We wait for an hour at the gate. No word from the 2 Vueling employees on where our plane is and how much longer we will have to wait
5. After 2 hours had passed, the employee announced that our 1:00 PM flight had been delayed to 9:00 PM...audible gasps and shock fill the room. People flood the two employees
6. The employees indicate that we can get food vouchers $12 per person at the Information desk
7. The two Vueling employees get their bags and leave the gate as they are at the end of their shift. No explanation on why there was a delay. We are told by one sympathetic employee, "good luck and keep on checking the screens."
8. Because it took them 2 hours to inform us that the flight was significantly delayed, options for the Eurostar and another flight are impossible. We are forced to wait until 9 PM without any degree of certainty as to whether or not the flight would be canceled
9. Around 8PM a large group is forming near the Information desk about the status of our 9 PM flight. The woman at the info desk told us to call the Vueling number (which went straight to voicemail, btw) and to keep checking screens for updates on cancellations
10. The woman at the info desk leaves for the night. The large group continues to wait until another British Airways employee says our flight should be good to go at 10 PM. They are just waiting on another plane flying from Portugal
11. No word for another hour until the screen changes and our flight is scheduled to leave at 11 PM. There's no employees at the gate.
12. At 11:30 PM, two exasperated employees come to the gate to begin checking in passengers. One of the employees got into an argument with the other employee and exclaimed, "I QUIT!" and left the ticketing gate within 10 minutes. There is now only 1 employee checking folks in
13. We finally board at midnight and arrive in Paris at 2 AM
My issue is not with the delay as to how Vueling absolutely failed to provide any level of transparency or communication to its passengers. Look, I know this is not a top airline, but it is completely unacceptable to treat your customers this way. By stringing us all along for hours, they robbed us of any other choice.
My husband and I missed the opening match of the Women's World Cup ($400) and essentially an entire day of our honeymoon. We are now attempting to be compensated for our losses and Vueling is not cooperating despite EU laws and their own policy regarding delayed flights. I cannot believe they are allowed to still be in business.
You can take your chances with this airline. If you are not in any hurry, have no need to be anywhere at any particular time, or just want to try your luck, I am sure you will be one of the positive reviewers on this site. You just have to be aware that this airline has a lengthy track record of being wholly incompetent. We saw those reviews and still took our chances. It did not pay off.
I wish I could go back in time and just fork the extra dollars for a better flight. Lesson learned.
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