Vueling can provide a decent value for money and generous rewards for a smart traveller
What is Vueling?
Vueling is a low-cost airline, part of AIG group, along with full-service Iberia and British Airways. It was founded 10 year ago and proved very successful and profitable. Vueling’s hub is in Barcelona and its route network is pretty vast: it covers not only to main Spanish and European cities, but also more exotic destinations in Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Gambia, Senegal and many more) and in Eastern Europe (Belarus, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine).
Although it’s still a discounter, I like flying Vueling. The staff is really nice, planes are stylish and in general it feels different than on a usual low-cost airline. Especially considering the fact that Vueling has… a business class! (more about it below). They even have onboard wifi on some flights!
Elite Points and avios vs Punto points
It is possible to get avios and Iberia Plus Elite Points on Vueling, but it depends on some factors. One of them is your ticket fare. Vueling has 3 fare classes: Basic (think of promo fare/cheapest, restricted economy), Optima (think of full economy) and Excellence (think of business – with fast track, lounge access, blocked middle seat, free changes, etc).
Another factor is the right choice of frequent flyer programme at the time of booking your ticket. You can choose either Vueling’s own loyalty programme called Punto or opt in for avios and IB+ Elite Points. What is important to remember is that you can’t earn both Punto points and avios + Elite Points on the same flight. You need to make a choice, which programme you want to credit your points to at the time of booking.
What brings yet another level of complexity is the fact that Vueling doesn’t work fully with British Airways’ Executive Club (at least for flights from Spain), so you have to rather use Iberia Plus number to get avios and IB+ Elite points.
To earn avios and IB+ Elite Points on Vueling flights you need:
1. A ticket in Optima or Excellence fare;
2. You must provide your Iberia Plus membership number at the time of booking. This is very important, because Vueling doesn’t allow adding an FFP number at a later stage. So if you don’t provide an IB+ number it at the time of booking, you can only collect Vueling’s Punto points on that flight (which still has value, but can only be redeemed on Vueling flights).
If your travel is booked by a corporate travel agency and you can’t be there at the time of booking, I suggest providing them with IB+/BAEC numbers, and leaving Vueling’s Punto FFP out. By doing this you can get IB+ avios and Elite Points in case you will be booked into Optima/Excellence fare. If you get a ticket with Basic fare, then you can claim Vueling’s Punto points at a later stage. So you are not losing anything.
Finally, I suggest adding your IB+ number to your profile on Vueling.com and choosing IB+ as your preferred loyalty programme.
What can you get from a flight with Vueling?
To give you an idea of what kind of rewards one can get with Vueling, a one way flight from Barcelona to Stockholm will earn you 1,410 avios and 75 IB+ Elite Points (it equals roughly to 20 BAEC TP)! So a smart traveller can get a decent value out of Vueling flights.
There is also a way to earn BAEC tier points on Vueling flights, but we’ll talk about it later! 🙂