14 July 2009 Vueling VY5652 Barcelona (BCN) - Venice (VCE) A320 EC-KFI (ClickAir aircraft) Economy Class
Halfway through my travel and my 5th flight of the trip. After all the shopping in Barcelona, it was time to go to the place which I had always wanted to go, Venice!! Touristy it may be, but it still holds a certain charm. From BCN, we would be flying Vueling. As I had a great flight with Vueling 3 years back, I was very excited to board their flight again. Vueling had just moved their check-in area from T2C to T2B, though not much of a difference in the 2 check-in areas. Queues for check-in were a bit long but was fast. Received our boarding passes when straight through security we went. T2 is the older terminal and it really shows its age. Not as spacious and bright as T1 which we arrived at just a few days ago.
Just after we went through security. I went for some plane spotting and saw SQ's B773ER parked at the opposite T1. Hmm, the plane should have left BCN by this time and must be late. Through enough, the flight was late as the cargo doors were just opened.
SQ B773ER to Milan and Singapore at T1.
Walked around the terminal but soon ran out of shops to go to. So did some plane spotting and went to the gate where a Vueling flight was departing to Milan.
Vueling A320 bound for MXP
Soon the A320 pushed back and I also saw the SQ B773EW being pushed back as well. Wow, the SQ flight was delayed for more than 2hrs! 2 flights bound for MXP together!
B773ER vs A320. Who will reach Milan first?
As we were running a bit late, we proceeded to our gate. We reached our gate 20min before scheduled departure time and discovered that everyone has boarded! We were one of the last remaining passengers to board. I wanted to take a photo of our plane but hey, where is the Vueling aircraft?? No, it was a Clickair A320 on the stand but the monitor showed that it was the correct flight. Then I realised that as Vueling and Clickair had just merged recently, Vueling could have used some of the Clickair planes to operate their flights. Both good (new airline) and bad (probably would not have the true Vueling experience).
Boarded the plane and was welcomed by the crew. The crew were wearing Vueling uniforms and the interior was also Vueling-ised with the colourful headrests. However the cabin crew did not appear to be as friendly as my previous Vueling flight. Perhaps they are ex-ClickAir crew?
Cabin view with colourful headrests.
Once we settled into our seats, I felt the seat pitch was quite bad. There were also no audio and video systems onboard, unlike normal Vueling planes. On Vueling planes, cabin crew will sell headsets for use with their audio and video entertainment system. Short features would also be shown on the overhead monitors. Alas, none on this flight.
Poor seat pitch
In the seat pocket were the safety card, inflight food purchase menu and a magazine. Interestingly, different seats have different magazine titles.
Menu and safety card
We soon pushed back ontime and taxied to the runway for an on-time takeoff. Safety demonstration was also shown manually by the crew. Flight time would be about 1hr30min.
Queuing for takeoff
Video of our takeoff from BCN. Note the new but empty Terminal 1 during takeoff.
After the aircraft had ascended to cruise altitude, the purchase onboard service started. On my previous flight on Vueling, I had noticed that their onboard food and drinks prices were actually quite reasonable, but it seems that they had increased their priced quite significantly. 3 yrs ago, it was only 1 euro for a coffee, but now it has increased to 2 euros!
Cabin crew went down the aisle selling food and drinks. About half the passengers purchased something. Crew were professional but not overly friendly, unlike my last Vueling flight where the crew were like high on pills and extremely chatty and friendly with passengers.
Cabin crew service
As I was a bit hungry, I purchased a caesar salad meal which comprises a salad and a orange juice for 7 euros. The juice was nice but the salad was just average. Coffee was another 1 euro extra as part of a meal upgrade and water was 2 euros.
Salad. Portion could be bigger for the price.
After service, trashed were picked up and the crew disappeared into the galleys to have their own catered meals. I saw them eating pasta in the rear galley while on way to the lavatory.
Cabin view from rear. Not a full flight.
Alone the coastline of France.
Genova city and airport
Very soon, we started our descend into Venice. Crew prepared the cabin for landing. No sweets were distributed unlike 3yrs ago when the crew gave out sweets during approach. All these small little gestures are now part of history.
We landed about 15min early.
Taxied to the gate. We parked at the last gate of the terminal. Venice Marco Polo Airport looks just like a small regional airport. I counted less than 10 aircrafts within the airport, with the biggest being the just arrived Emirates A332, whosh os also currently the biggest plane to operate to the airport.
Taxi to gate, with EK A332 in the distance
Interesting baggage carousel painted like a roulette.
Welcome to Venice!
Vueling has definitely lost its magical touch as one of the best LCCs out there. Maybe because of the Clickair plane which did not offer the standard Vueling amenities, but the small touches which made Vueling unique, such as sweets during landing, seemed to have been lost. Vueling felt just like any LCC carries out there now. Was a bit disappointed after the great experience 3yrs ago. But nothing to worry, as i have arrived in Venice, one of my most wanted to visit places in my lifetime!
Barcelona - BCN
Venice - VCE
Vueling has definitely lost its magical touch as one of the best LCCs out there. Maybe because of the Clickair plane which did not offer the standard Vueling amenities, but the small touches which made Vueling unique, such as sweets during landing, seemed to have been lost. Vueling felt just like any LCC carries out there now. Was a bit disappointed after the great experience 3yrs ago.
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Thanks for sharing this FR
Poor experience with Vueling
Two euros for that bottle of water ?!! the seat pitch is really horrible, too. Thanks for this report!
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