Be Careful When Selecting a Seat With Vueling Airlines

Although seat selection is really not a major deal when booking a flight with Vueling Airlines, I did commit a minor error which would have cost me a minimal amount of money during one of my rare moments of not paying complete attention to what I was doing.

Be Careful When Selecting a Seat With Vueling Airlines

Sometimes when I am in the process of booking a flight, I like to play around with the options first to see what choices I am given.

Using a simulated flight reservation which was never completed, I randomly chose a one-way flight from Reykjavik to Barcelona on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

Seat selection

Source: Vueling Airlines.

I was greeted with a screen offering different airfares.

When I selected the basic airfare of $143.26, an alert appeared informing me of upgrading to the Optima fare, which cost an additional $31.14.

I chose to bypass that offer…

Seat selection

Source: Vueling Airlines.

…and if I wanted to reserve the least expensive seat towards the rear of the airplane along with baggage, I actually would save $4.99 over the Optima fare if I paid $21.18 for a bag to check and $4.97 for an assigned seat in the rear of the aircraft separately.

The front row seat is what is included with the Optima fare — and if that is the seat which I preferred, I would have instead saved a grand total of $2.49.

I decided to click on the Choose seats button to see what seats were available.

Seat selection

Source: Vueling Airlines.

The seats are color coded and priced accordingly — at least in the front of the airplane…

Seat selection

Source: Vueling Airlines.

…but what momentarily tripped me up was that all of the seats in the rear of the aircraft were the same yellow color — so if I was not paying attention, I would have thought that the seats in row 19 were the same price as the seats in row 26. The thin lines separate the less expensive seats from the more expensive seats; and the prices are listed on the left.

Once a seat is selected and the reservation is booked, that is it: a change of seats will invoke a fee.


I did book a reservation for a flight operated by Vueling Airlines for later this year; and it will be my first experience with that airline. I intend to post a review of the flight in a future article.

If I were paying for a reserved seat, I would like to see the seats of different prices in different shades of yellow for further visual differentiation — but unless you are booking flight reservations for a family or large group, the difference in price should typically be minimal. Still, when purchasing a product or service which incurs a fee on Vueling Airlines — or most other ultra-low-cost airlines — ensure that you remain completely aware of what you are doing and keep yourself completely informed. After all, the low airfares are not what brings in the profits for these airlines — rather, the ancillary fees are the cash cows; and these airlines further benefit from the fees they charge for any errors which you commit.

Fortunately, I rarely ever check a bag and avoid that whenever possible — and for an inexpensive flight which is not long-haul on an airline with which I have no elite level status, I usually do not care about where my seat is located…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

9 thoughts on “Be Careful When Selecting a Seat With Vueling Airlines”

  1. GC says:

    Vueling is strict about the check-in deadline for their flights and non-EU/EEA pax cannot check in online. My train to Gatwick was running late and I got to the airport a few minutes past the deadline only to find a surly agent who refused to assist.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I guess you missed the flight, GC. I am sorry to have read about your experience. I hope you were not too inconvenienced.

      What did ultimately happen to you?

      I will do everything I can to arrive at the airport in plenty of time.

  2. Philippe says:

    Good luck; I flew them once and it was my worst flight ever…

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you, Philippe.

      What happened that it was your worst flight ever?

      1. Philippe says:

        I have never been on a plane with so little leg space. On
        a 1h30 Minutes flight the 2 flight attendants managed to sell drinks to only 6 rows because of how badly organized they were.
        We bought sparkling water which she spilled half of it on my friend. She still charged us and did not replace the water. When I complained politely about it she took my name to complain about me because « I am not quiet ».
        Luckily it was just a positioning flight for a business class flight with Etihad which was much better.

  3. George says:

    I also flew once with them and it was the worse flight.

    I paid to sit upfront, but after the doors were closed a bunch of people decided to sit in these seats. The flight attendants could not have cared less. It feels worse than Ryanair

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I flew as a passenger on Ryanair twice with no issue, George

      …and that stinks to pay for seats you ultimately could not use.

    2. Cat says:

      George, I’m confused as to why you weren’t sitting in the seat you paid for before the doors closed – since you are saying that someone moved into your seat after the doors closed.

      This summer will be my first time flying with Vueling. I did find the seat selection to be clear and easy, you just have to pay attention to the fare descriptions.

  4. Fester says:

    I flew Vueling when Vueling was Vueling and the trip experience was superb. I am disappointed to learn that they have become like everyone else. That’s not how they came out of the gate. I would be willing to try them again for my own edification.

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