My next stop was Barcelona and Vueling offered a conveniently-timed and cheap nonstop flight, finally giving me the chance to try out the Spanish budget carrier.
Vueling A320 Economy Class Review
I booked a few days in advance at a cost of $169, which included a carry-on and checked bag. I could have booked a cheaper ticket for $129, but it only would have included a carry-on item that fit underneath the seat.
I showed up at Dubrovnik Airport about 90 minutes before my flight and found that it was delayed about 90 minutes…which led to quite an arduous wait considering the lounge was closed, the internet worked poorly, and power plugs were few and far between.
Finally, it came time to board my flight.
Dubrovnik (DBV) – Barcelona (BCN)
Saturday, August 6
Depart: 9:00 PM
Arrive: 11:25 PM
Duration: 2hr, 25min
Distance: 838 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A320ceo (A320-200)
Seat: 2D (Business Class)
I had rolled the dice and did not pay to assign a seat and the system assigned me seat 5D, which was an aisle seat toward the front of the plane…I could not have asked for more.
While Vueling does not offer a business class cabin, it does offer “Space Plus” seating in rows 2-4 (and “Space One” in the first row) which offers priority boarding and more legroom. Seats are distinguished from regular seats by their black seat covers.
My seat featured 29 inches of pitch, was 17.7 inches wide, and did not recline. Padding is limited and it is really not a comfortable seat, but for the two-hour flight to Barcelona, it was tolerable.
Each seat had a coat hook.
There are no power ports, but Vueling has added USB ports under the seats, which is another benefit some full-service carriers still do not offer.
IFE + Wi-Fi
As a budget carrier, there are no seatback screens or overhead monitors, but Vueling became the first budget carrier to introduce wi-fi (in 2019) and the seat covers suggested wi-fi and streaming entertainment were available.
Unfortunately, the internet did not work. The network would show up, but it would not connect. I tried both my phone and computer without success and my seatmates also were unable to connect.
While I appreciated the potential of wi-fi, it was disappointing that the system did not function.
Staff was friendly onboard, though absolutely adamant about masking. Most onboard appeared Spanish and understood the drill, so to speak, but a few pulled their masks down and were promptly reprimanded.
Unfortunately, the crew was not nearly so swift in reprimanding a woman in the row in front of me across the aisle who was watching videos on her mobile phone without headphones and with the volume turned up during the flight (we will discuss this in a follow-up post).
Other than the initial buy onboard service, the crew disappeared and did not resurface until just before landing when they made a trash run through the cabin.
Food + Drink
Vueling offers a buy onboard service, with all food and drinks for purchase. I had browsed the menu prior to the flight and was looking forward to a hot serrano ham sandwich with salmorejo sauce, but was told that had sold out on the flight to Dubrovnik (do they use the same inventory on quick turns?)
I then asked for lasagna. Also out (keep in mind, I was seated in row five).
Finally, I settled on pizza…which was a mistake. The pizza (€6) was soggy and burning hot on top and cold in the middle. I added a bottle of water for €3.
While clean, the lavatory needed a new mirror.
We landed at a remote stand in Barcelona, which still makes me feel uneasy after the Doha incident, and we were bussed into the terminal, where lines for immigration were minimal.
My first experience on Vueling was not great (late flight, soggy pizza, broken wi-fi), but the nonstop flight made so much more sense than connecting in Madrid, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt. I’d take Vueling again when schedule and price make sense, but I would never go out of my way to fly Vueling.