Flight Review: Flying on Vueling's A321

 A colourful display of tails greeted our arrival to Gatwick airport. The A321 that flew us from Barcelona, in the foreground

A colourful display of tails greeted our arrival to Gatwick airport. The A321 that flew us from Barcelona, in the foreground

I am a regular Vueling customer, but this is the first time that I actually take the time to write a review. Perhaps the motivation came from this being the first time I flew on one of the airline's 15 A321s (most of the fleet is made of A320s, plus 5 A319s)

Flight #: VY7822

From: Barcelona- El Prat (BCN)

To: London Gatwick (LGW)

Flight time: 2h

Aircraft: Airbus A321

Vueling seat pitch.JPG

When it comes to the seating, Vueling is...mmmh...a bit spartan. The leather-covered seats themselves are fine, but 1) seat pitch is rather tight, as you can see in the pic below 2) the seats do not recline.

These two points are not so relevant when you take into account that most of Vueling's major routes are relatively short, say Barcelona to Madrid, Majorca or London...but when you are stuck on them on a flight to, let´s say Moscow (to name a route I have flown often of late) this issue takes a whole new dimension.

Vueling A321 seat pitch.JPG

But, well, this is the price of enjoying quite competitive prices. In this case, I used my Punto (Vueling's frequent flyer programme) to book, only to discover that I was 191 points short of the goal. This was another interesting experience, since it led me to use the point-buying option available on Vueling's website. 100 points are €17 and you must buy them in lots of 100 minimum. So I bought 200 points, which left me so spare ones to replenish my now depleted account.

 Despite being a regular Vueling customer, first time for me on one of its A321s

Despite being a regular Vueling customer, first time for me on one of its A321s

 Interesting late-minute up-sell. You can upgrade to a premium seat while you are already onboard.

Interesting late-minute up-sell. You can upgrade to a premium seat while you are already onboard.

One of the differential aspects of the A321 experience is that it provides more sensation of space. The fact that this aircraft in particular was very new (it was delivered in March 2017) also added to the experience - you could really feel and smell it!

Vueling cabin interior.JPG
 Vueling must be one of the airlines I have flown on that have a wider gap between regular and emergency exit seats...but of course this comes at an extra cost when booking

Vueling must be one of the airlines I have flown on that have a wider gap between regular and emergency exit seats...but of course this comes at an extra cost when booking

Food and drinks are not free on Vueling, but as a regular customer I can confirm the assortment is quite broad and decent and there are some good value options (at least for inflight standards). 

Vueling inflight menu.JPG

Vueling got itself a bad reputation during the last couple of summers because of constant, recurrent delays, but this time our flight was right on time.

 Someone important welcoming us upon arrival to Gatwick Airport!

Someone important welcoming us upon arrival to Gatwick Airport!

Our Take:

Vueling has some quite competitive prices, but do not expect comforts unless you are ready to pay for them.

Overall, the new, spotless plane, and the sensation of space of the A321 cabin compensates a little bit for the seat pitch shortcomings.