Vueling Barcelona to Marrakech

VY 7332
BCN-RAK
A320-200
April 6, 2010
11:00a-11:25a Local Time
Exit Row 14CD

After a great 3 night stay in beautiful but still chilly Barcelona, Mrs. SFO and I are off to sun and warmth of Marrakech, glad to leave just before the invasion of drunken Arsenal fans. I'm always intrigued flying different airlines and this morning we're trying the Spanish discount carrier, Vueling. On line booking on user friendly vueling.com was very easy. Nice options are to upgrade to an exit row seat for 13€ and/or to block the middle seat for 30€. Base one way PP fare was 60€. Add another 20€ for two checked bag, 13€ each to upgrade to exit row aisles and it was still only 166€ for two.

Not being familiar with VY, BCN departures, and for that matter, non-priority check-in, I decided to arrive two hours before departure. The VY counter was as I had suspected, a sea of humanity... or essentially like a typical Saturday afternoon Costco. As we had plenty of time, I relaxed and people watched as we crept towards the head of our line.

And my personal favorite of the day...

Obviously jaded by too many years of premium travel, my princess had the best line of the day with "What lounge are we using today?" Thirty minutes later, we were checked in efficiently by our VY agent.

After a cursory and futile check to see if there might be any type of priority security lane (*A, OW or ST), we gave up and joined the masses. Fortunately, the process went a lot faster than the shoe-fetish TSA BS.

After security and passport control, we were in the boring and "Lounge-less" D concourse. To make me feel even worse today, our gate D-21 was right beside D-18 (no idea what happened to D-19 and D-20) and a beautiful SQ 77W about to board for SIN (via MXP). Ah well, only 5 more months until our SQ RTW.

Boarding was efficient and since there was no reason to board any sooner than necessary, we waited until the end. Pretty crappy Y seat (or maybe it's been so long) but at least the exit row had about 4" extra leg room and even then we're only talk E+ type legroom.

Today's BOB menu...

On board, young FAs handle food and beverage sales efficiently. My Wrap Amsterdam (ham and cheese) was bland but passable while the sliced apple pack was actually pretty tasty.

Mrs. SFO, obviously jaded by LH and Barcelona restaurants, took one bite and spit our her Chapata Sevilla. Uh-oh, this is going to be a long two hours. True to form, it started... first about the two women from "the back of the bus" would squatted in the other exit row 12EF catching up on the past 70 odd years, then about the "looks like a terrorist" type behind her, then the proximity to a particularly pungent "aversion to showers, deodorant and/or laundry" smelly duo. She was not mollified when I told her that I've sat beside some loud, stinky guys in F so "suck it up". That went over really well.

When I used the forward lav, I did notice the absence of a soap dispenser although there did seem to be a soap dispenser holder. Alas, perhaps one of the prior occupants may have decided to keep a souvenir. I guess that was more appealing or useful than the model Vueling 320...

In all, no better or worse than any domestic Y flight... perfectly adequate for the price and at the limit of my "maximum two hours in coach" patience. Although the fact that I thought fondly of WN started to scare me. If I ever fly VY again (apparently when I'm single), I might opt for row 1 and block the middle. Seems to be adequate although not overly generous legroom to the bulkhead.

Mrs. SFO's spirits rose considerably and I was (temporarily) redeemed when a uniformed La Mamounia chauffer greeted us as we exited customs and led us to our waiting Jaguar Daimler. Now I just have to build up the courage to tell her that we're on RAM/Atlas Blue back to BCN this weekend.