Are you planning a trip using Vueling Airlines? Do you have suitcases to check on Vueling? You may be in for trouble and should think again.
Vueling is owned by the International Airline Group (IAG). IAG acquired control of Vueling. IAG also owns Iberia. Iberia is affiliated with oneworld, and through this with American Airlines. Vueling was established in February 2004 and commenced operations on July 1, 2004 with a flight between Barcelona and Ibiza.
There are 13 additional bases at Coruña, Alicante, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Brussels, Florence, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Orly, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, and Valencia. A fifteenth summer seasonal base is located at Ibiza.
Vueling serves over 100 destinations in Africa, Asia, and Europe and is currently the second largest airline in Spain. In 2014, the airline carried more than 17.2 million passengers, with a load factor of about 80%.
eTN Photographer Christian del Rosario recently finished a photo shoot for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid, and as a premium member of American Airlines, he booked Vueling. Vueling has a cooperation agreement with American Airlines through oneworld airline alliance. Christian’s booked flight with Vueling was from Barcelona, Spain, to Cluj in Romania.
One of his suitcases contained $5,000.00 in camera equipment and, of course, is essential for his job.
When Christian arrived in Cluj on Saturday, the nightmare began. His suitcase did not make it.
He immediately filed a claim with Vueling at Cluj International Airport, and this was the last he heard. Daily phone calls had a number of responses. The computer website page showing results for this claim did not change ever since the claim was filed.
1) We did not locate your suitcase.
2) No one works in Barcelona on weekends to look for the suitcase.
3) We are overworked and only open suitcases weeks later.
4) We can offer 50 euro compensation, but it would take 2 months for such a compensation to be approved.
5) When asked to talk to public relations, the company claimed they do not have a PR or media office or representative.
6) When called at 8:30 am, Christian was told no one is in the office and to call back in the afternoon.
In the meantime, Christian had to purchase and rent camera equipment worth thousands of euro so he was able to start his job in Romania, while his bags remained lost.
Tweets and social media messages to Vueling remained unanswered, and chat boards have one horror story after another on Vueling and the company’s baggage-handling procedure.
Christian wrote this letter to the CEO – also without response:
Dear Mr. Sanchez,
I am writing you this email to communicate to you my utmost disdain regarding my recent experience with flying with Vueling Airlines.
I am a very experienced traveler and photographer who travels the world year round to do my work. I am an Emerald member of the oneworld alliance, in which, other IAG airlines are a member of.
Last Friday, I flew with a companion from Barcelona, Spain, to Cluj, Romania, with three checked-in baggages. Only two made it to Cluj. It has been exactly 60 hours since we arrived, and there is still no trace on our missing baggage.
Our baggage contains equipment that we need to be able to do our work here in Romania. Because no one could give us any answers from Vueling and no one seems to care about our lost luggage, my work has been jeopardized, because I do not have the equipment that I need to do my job. I have called the lost baggage support every day to get some help but to no avail.
Since I am in Romania, it also costs me money every time I call your support number in Spain. The Vueling website and Facebook page have been equally unhelpful. Your Facebook social media support people use the same canned response to every customer who are waiting for their lost luggage. Some complaints on your Facebook page show frustrated customers who have been waiting for their luggage for days — some even ten days!
I do understand that luggage gets lost every now and then. I have had my luggage lost by other airlines in the past, and in every instance, my luggage has been re-directed to me and delivered within 36 hours, where ever in the world I may be. This is now the third day, and Vueling has not located my missing luggage.
Last Sunday, I was informed on the telephone by your lost baggage support center that the lost baggage department does not work on Sundays, so I will have to wait until Monday to possibly get an answer on where my luggage is. Is this for real?
My hope is that this email will bring forth this widespread issue with your airline to your attention.
This is my last-ditch effort to find a way to retrieve my lost luggage which I desperately need to do my job. I hope to hear back from you with hopes that relevant action will be taken to address my concern.
Any response from you will prove that someone from Vueling Airlines does care for its customers. Please prove me wrong and show that you care for your customers.
Christian told eTurboNews today: “It is now the fifth day and still no trace of my luggage. After reading all the horror stories of other people’s comments on the Vueling FB page, I have given hope on getting my luggage. Some have been waiting for months and no luggage and can’t get compensation. I will now try to get compensation on my credit card and get some money back at least. More energy to be wasted!!!
The conclusion is, passengers on Vueling should not expect the airline cares in any way about passengers. Airline passengers wanting to see their bags again may want to consider and fly a different air carrier.