Vueling Airbus A321, economy class, Barcelona to Paris

THE ROAD

Flight VY8244, Barcelona (BCN) to Paris (CDG)

THE PLANE

The Vueling Airbus A321 can accommodate 220 passengers in economy class. No pointed end. With 124 aircraft in an all-Airbus fleet, Vueling is Spain’s largest airline.

THE LOYALTY PROGRAM

Vueling Club members earn Avios points on flights, hotel stays and purchases. Avios can be earned on Iberia, Aer Lingus and British Airways flights.

TO CLASSIFY

Economy, seat 22C. The entire aircraft is economy class, with some variations. Rows 1-4 offer a bit more space, for a fee.

DURATION

Planned two hours, non-stop. We board on time, then sit on the tarmac for almost an hour. Despite everything, the arrival is only 20 minutes later than expected.

FREQUENCY

Daily departure from Barcelona at 11.25am.

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION

0.195 tonnes for an economy class passenger traveling from Barcelona to Paris. Pay to offset emissions on myclimate.org

HEALTH

No COVID-19 test or vaccination requirements. Wearing a mask is not compulsory in Spanish airports, but it is compulsory during the flight.

REGISTRATION

Terminal 1 at Barcelona Airport (commonly known as El Prat Airport) is crowded on Sunday mornings when I arrive two and a half hours before take-off. I can check in online, but I have to join the queue to drop off my checked bag. It takes 45 minutes to reach the counter.

There are no immigration or passport control procedures for this intra-EU flight.

When I arrive at the airport, I receive an e-mail from Vueling. There may not be enough seats for all passengers and they are looking for volunteers to take a later flight, in exchange for a 100 euro airline credit.

HEADQUARTERS

There are 220 economy seats in a 3-3 aisle configuration. The seats are 17.7 inches (45 cm) wide with a pitch of 29 inches (73.7 cm). I’m in 22C, an aisle seat. Decked out in Vueling’s signature gray and yellow colors, the seat is comfortably unremarkable for this short flight. There are no charging sockets for USB or power cords. The back of the seat is used for advertising purposes: get transparent orthodontic aligners from 49 euros per month.

LUGGAGE

When booking, I choose an Optima fare so that I can check in one piece of baggage up to 25 kilograms, plus one piece of cabin baggage up to 10 kilograms and one personal item that must be placed under the seat. The Basic fare type only allows one bag under the seat.

Regulations are strictly enforced. Boarding passes are checked at the gate and only people with an Optima fare can bring carry-on baggage to be placed in the overhead compartments.

ENTERTAINMENT

You are alone. No file screens, no magazine. There is Wi-Fi available at 5.99 euros (A$8.90) for one hour, 7.99 euros for the duration of the flight.

SERVICE

The team of Spanish attendants are dressed in dark gray and white uniforms, with accents of sunny yellow. They are friendly, efficient and firm when needed. We are asked to land five rows at a time, which seems reasonable. Violators are strongly encouraged to sit down and wait their turn.

FOOD

No free bites or sips on this flight. Refreshments for sale include organic wine, Negroni, Serrano ham, pizza and lemon poppyseed cake. Another option is to buy snacks from the airport’s duty-free shop, where an excellent range of Iberian ham, salami, cheese, nougat and chocolate are available.

ONE MORE THING

Vueling has been crowned Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline at the 2021 Skytrax Awards.

VERDICT

Good flight, good price, satisfied customer.

OUR SCORE OUT OF FIVE

★★★½

Kristie Kellahan traveled at her own expense.

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