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Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 4
Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Here is the text of an email I sent to Vueling regarding our recent horror-show of a flight on Oct. 1th from Rome to Barcelona:

"I have been trying to get your attention since we returned from a trip to Rome and had our flight (6111) cancelled on October 18th. I filed two complaints, and your only response to date has been send me a 20 euro credit. I explained in my previous postings to your complaint system that we had 130,20 euros in expenses. Apparently you have chosen to ignore my request, which is your right, but of course is a foolish business practice.... although perhaps it is just indicative of your company's attitude towards your customers.... that they are expendable, that you can treat them as if they were animals to be herded around like cattle, and then discard them wholesale because they had the temerity to ask you to actually treat them as humans.

I assume that this email will be discarded like all the other ones that somehow make it through your filters to your "customer service" department. But no bother, I will wait another 4 weeks and then I will file a complaint through ENAC, which thank goodness exists to make customer's complaints heard and responded to.

We arrived at the Rome airport at 12:00 on Friday, Oct. 18th for a flight scheduled to leave at 14:20. We immediately saw that the flight was cancelled. We had not received ANYTHING from Vueling to notify us.

Strike one.... you hadn't bothered to let customers know that their flight had been cancelled, even though every other airline in the Western world will do everything that they can to let the customers know about cancellations via text, phone, and email. We waited in line for an hour, only to be told that the next flight that you could put us on was on Sunday, the 20th in the evening. When we asked why you couldn't rebook us on other airlines, your agent very curtly replied, "We don't do that here at Vueling. You will just have to walk around the airport and see what you can arrange yourself".

Strike 2... every other airline AUTOMATICALLY says "We would be happy to try to get you to your destination". No, No, No, not Vueling. Then the agent offered to get us to Barcelona the next day by flying to Paris and then to Barcelona, arriving finally at 9:30 PM in Barcelona. Not a very appealing solution, but at least it was better than waiting in a hotel on the outskirts of Rome for 2 days. By that point, my wife, who had been getting very fatigued by standing so long, asked the agent if they perhaps could provide a chair. She indignantly said, "Sorry, you will just have to sit on the floor!".

Strike 3.... I had already told this agent that my wife was very fatigued, but she just ignored the request. Finally in desperation, I said that we would refuse to move away from the counter until they could provide a chair.... we waited for a while, and then finally on of the agents found an extra chair and brought it out. By this time (it was about 2:30 PM), both of us were tired and hungry... but when I asked the person that appeared to be managing transportation to the hotel when he expected the bus to come, his reply was , "We have no idea what hotel you are going to, and we have no idea when the bus will come... you will just have to wait". Then this guy disappeared without even getting our names.

Strike 4.... the best customer service is giving customers accurate information in a timely manner, not giving them a non-answer in an attempt to pacify them. At that point, my wife was sitting down, and I went upstairs to the restaurant to get some lunch. Then I came back downstairs and sat down with the other cattle on the floor. Thank goodness I got lunch, becuase the bus finally arrived at 5:15, and it took almost an hour to get to the hotel. We had dinner at 9PM because that was when the hotel had it available. Our flight the next day was due to leave at 12:30PM, but when I asked the front desk what time would Vueling have transportation available, they told me to get a wakeup call at 3 AM, because the only bus that Vueling would provide was leaving at 3:40 AM.

Strike 5.... how could your company believe that this was a "reasonable" accommodation (per ENAC's terminology) ??? I said that this was totally unreasonable, and even though the hotel staff agreed, they told me that this was what Vueling was going to provide. I decided to take a taxi the following morning after having breakfast in the hotel. We arrived at the airport without problem at 9:30, after which time everything went fairly smoothly (with the exception of an EXTREMELY rude gate again in Rome). We had to wait 7 1/2 hours in Paris, but at least we could sit down and have something to eat.

Here are the expenses:

Lunch in Rome airport 31,00 euros

Taxi from hotel to airport 40,00 euros

Meals in Paris airport 59,20 euros

Total: 130,20"

Need I say anything else?

20 replies to this topic
Milford, Ohio
posts: 1,228
reviews: 83
1. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Just curious on how much research you did before booking with Vueling?

London, United...
posts: 16,095
reviews: 23
2. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Wow, that's a pretty poorly written email. Full of hyperbole and emotion. They probably got bored reading it, as I did.

Maybe post again and stick to the facts. Your flight was cancelled, you were re routed the next day which you accepted right? They provided duty of care ie accommodation and refreshments during this period ie at hotel or in airport?

Why was the flight cancelled. You may be due comp depending on the circumstances. However that mess of an email and trying to claim for lunches and taxis is never going to work.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,633
reviews: 17
3. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

"even though every other airline in the Western world will do everything that they can to let the customers know about cancellations via text, phone, and email. "

Wrong. Some try. Many don't especially for very short notice cancellations.

"every other airline AUTOMATICALLY says "We would be happy to try to get you to your destination"."

Wrong

"I had already told this agent that my wife was very fatigued, but she just ignored the request."

Wow you really lost me here. Notwithstanding that you actually got a chair in the end, your wife is so special that she can't go and find a seat herself while you deal with the rebooking?

"the best customer service is giving customers accurate information in a timely manner,"

And if the answer really is "I don't know yet. You will have to wait" that is the answer.

"they told me that this was what Vueling was going to provide."

Probably because most passengers needed to be there earlier and the expense of providing a second bus for a few people (maybe just you) was unreasonable.

"Need I say anything else?"

I wouldn't. You have already made things much more difficult for yourself in pursuing the genuine claim you have for reimbursement of the "duty of care" expenses you incurred.

You have also succeeded in making me feel very sorry for all the Vueling staff that you encountered.

Edited: 12:31 pm, October 28, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 23,784
reviews: 72
4. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

So just for the benefit of everyone else who can't be bothered to read all this.

OP arrived Friday to find their flight cancelled. No reason given by the OP. Vueling would not re-book them. They are a budget airline so won't do this. No surprise there.

Offered a direct flight Sunday in the evening. Declined but took a flight via Paris leaving next day at 1230 with a 7 1/2 hour layover. Were put up in a hotel after waiting at customer services. Wife needed a seat because she was tired. Apparently there were no seats in FCO airport so they expected the airline to provide one. Not sure why she could not just go find a seat.

Have a point about getting a taxi back from the hotel as it seemed Vueling wanted to pick them up in the middle of the night. Fair enough, this is unreasonable.

Flew the next day via Paris but want their meals paid for whilst they were in Paris. Have I missed anything?

London, United...
posts: 16,095
reviews: 23
5. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Lol, thanks Ronaldo,,,very clear...love the bit about wife being tired.:-))

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 4
6. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Not much - we are in Europe frequently, but just never had happened to use Vueling previously. Our bad!

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 4
7. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

No seats on first floor, and since we had no way of knowing when the bus might show up, we couldn't risk going to another floor to sit down.

As far as the low cost airlines not rebooking for cancelled flights, I have to assume responsibility for my limited experience with European low-cost providers, even though we are VERY experienced travelers worldwide.

London, United...
posts: 16,095
reviews: 23
8. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

>>even though we are VERY experienced travellers worldwide<<

Why is it, that every single person who posts something daft like over emotional emails claiming lunch in Paris or whatever and demanding seats from agents for their fatigued wives says that?

Forgive me for not suspending my disbelief this time,,,

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 4
9. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

Yeah, the facts were

1. They cancelled with no believable reason (they claimed it was a general strike, but it only affected a few flights, almost all of them Vueling), Curious.

2. They were extremely rude when we tried to get some help, and my wife was extremely fatigued because of chemotherapy, which I explained to them. They just didn't appear to give a sh*t.

3. There were NO chairs anywhere on the first floor, and we couldn't leave without risking missing the promised bus, which they could not give us even a hint of when it might leave.

4. According to the rules for helping passengers due to cancellations, they have to provide "reasonable" costs for meals and taxis.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 20,600
reviews: 42
10. Re: Vueling airlines... BUYER BEWARE!!!

You can't claim for meals in Paris. You chose to accept that flight with a 7 hour layover. The airline doesn't have to compensate you for any expenses during that time.

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