Review: Vueling Flight, Rome to Catania

After checking out early from Orsa Maggiore Hostel for Women Only, I catch the no. 280 bus to Ostiense station. From here you can catch a train to Fiumicino Airport at a slightly cheaper cost than from Termini, €8 instead of €14. What I don’t know is that it’s also used by commuters, so I can’t get onto the first train that comes, and only just manage to squeeze onto the second one.

We’re packed in like sardines, but most people pile out 2 stops from Fiumicino to Parco Leonardo, which looks like some kind of industrial park, but upon later investigation I find is a pedestrian city with shops and offices.

I’m flying to Catania from Rome using Vueling which is a Spanish low-cost airline that I haven’t flown with before. There’s no one queuing at check-in so I breeze through, negotiate security and head to Gate D09 to wait for the flight.

There are work stations so I set myself up with my laptop and soon I’m immersed in what I’m doing so I don’t see that the gate has changed to D06. No harm done though and it’s not the airline’s fault. There are a few more incidents though that start to make me think that they are connected to the airline.

Once we’re seated, even though we’re on time and ready to go we have to wait for 35 minutes on the tarmac for a slot to get airborne. The captain tells us the situation and says he’ll update us but never comes back on air.

An older Italian gentleman next to me starts getting antsy and enquires “what’s happening?” to a steward. The steward repeats what the captain has said and does the famous Italian shrug meaning “it’s out of my hands buddy”.

Soon after the plane starts moving to everyone’s relief. I’ve been on the tarmac for longer periods but it’s such a short flight, 55 minutes, it seems silly to wait around.

I’m starving so buy some noodles as a snack but before I’m even halfway through the flight is starting it’s descent procedures. It’s a case of slurp and scoff.

Just when I think it’s all going to go smoothly, we hit turbulence over southern Sicily. I tell myself it’s updrafts coming from the hills but it’s a bit of a rollercoaster. In the end when we land I’m quite glad to get off the plane.

I’m not quite sure what to make of Vueling, at least they didn’t make us wait outside on tarmac like EasyJet. But being late and the captain saying he’d update us but then not doing so and not warning about turbulence was a bit disconcerting. More information for passengers was needed I feel.

Overall the services we’re fine and the staff friendly. The menu range and prices were reasonable, just don’t order too much food on a 55 min flight, you might not have time to eat it all.