Review: Volotea Commutes in Southern Europe
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Volotea - An Airline from Spain
Volotea is a small-sized low-cost carrier from Barcelona, Spain. This airline flies mainly around Mediterranean Sea in Southern Europe bringing travellers to the most popular European summer destinations. The airline has hubs in Spain, Italy and France.
A Young Airline
Volotea has been operating only 8 years since it was founded in 2012. The airline concentrates on leisure and metropolitan destinations in Southern and Western Europe. In addition to the scheduled route network, Volotea operates seasonal charters.
The airline has only 36 short-haul aircraft in its fleet.
Is Volotea Airlines Safe?
AirlineRatings gives Volotea the best 7-star safety rating. That is a sign that the theoretical background of the airline's safety is in order.
Volotea has had no fatal accidents but some smaller incidents. It is just common that airlines to have minor incidents like bird strikes and cabin pressurization failures now and then. It is also typical that these kinds of incidents are solved without injuries provided that the crew can handle such situations professionally. Volotea has been able to survive all its incidents without fatalities and injuries.
Since Volotea is still a young airline, there are not enough statistics to evaluate how safe the airline is statistically . Luckily, the available information gives a reasonable signal that the airline is safe.
Our Volotea Flight
We needed a flight from Santorini, Greece to the country's capital, Athens. There were two inexpensive options available which were departing almost at the same time: Ryanair and Volotea. Because Ryanair is not our favourite, we decided to give it a chance to Volotoe this time.
The flight from Santorini to Athens departed almost one hour late but arrived in Athens only 30 minutes after the scheduled landing time. The short flight was comfortable and eventless.
As usual, we compared flight prices on Skyscanner. After deciding to take Volotea's flight, we finalised the booking on Volotea's web page. The booking process was smooth without any issues. We decided to have only cabin luggage because Volotea allows normal-sized cabin luggage and also a small personal item free of charge.
However, Volotoe caused us a problem too. We were planning to fly our drone on Greek Islands, but after the flight booking, we got to know that Volotea does not allow drones to be carried on board at all. This caught us surprise and we felt somehow disappointed after the flight booking. We didn't have any other choice but to follow the airline's policy and so we left the drone at home.
Check-in and Boarding
Volotea's customers need to check in online if they wish to avoid airport check-in fees. If you are not paying for seats, they are allocated randomly. We got almost adjacent seats and it seems that Volotea is not separating passengers in the same booking as Ryanair always does if you haven't paid for seat arrangements.
Santorini Airport does not have jet bridges so we had a bus ride to the plane. The boarding process was fast. All people who didn't have priority boarding had to give their cabin luggage to be put into the plane's hold. Personal items were allowed to be taken into the cabin.
One of us had difficulties opening the boarding pass on the phone because of a poor mobile signal in the terminal. Volotea staff acted weird. If you can't open the boarding pass, you won't fly, she said. Instead of offering help, she threatened to cancel the ticket.
Volotea flies with Boeing 717 and Airbus A321 aircraft. All the planes are quite small and old. Boeing 717 is a very rare aircraft type and not many airlines are operating with this type anymore. That is somehow sad because Boeing 717 is very comfortable to travel with.
How to Find Inexpensive Flights?
Follow our simple checklist to find a good deal:
- Compare flight prices on Skyscanner on different dates.
- Choose the most suitable schedule and price.
- Decide whether to book directly from the airline or via an Online Travel Agency (OTA)
- Let Skyscanner to forward you to the chosen booking site.
- Go through the booking process and avoid buying unnecessary extras.
- Double check all the details CAREFULLY before the payment.
The Friendliness of the Customer Service
The crew during this flight were friendly but they felt distant. The reason may be the short flight. The crew didn't have time to concentrate on passengers but just to perform mandatory duties.
The ground servicewoman in Santorini was not helpful at all as described before.
The cabin of the plane looked clean and new. That was unexceptional because the plane was already more than 10 years old. Perhaps, the cabin had been renewed which made it look fresh. It had an unwinding grey colour theme.
The cabin felt also surprisingly spacious and so we forgot for some time that we were flying with a low-cost airline. On the other hand, there were no flight entertainment systems or magazines. On short routes, that isn't a big thing.
The best thing is that the plane was quiet inside.
Our flight tickets were inexpensive costing only 30 euros/per person. Our cheap tickets do not guarantee that Volotea has always affordable prices but at least the cheapest fare class is low.
The flight was short and no onboard service was rendered. Volotea didn't offer anything complimentary and it was also impossible to buy anything. On longer routes, you can order food and drinks in-flight. Volotea gives also an option to pre-order a meal.
Based on our Volotea experience, the price-to-quality ratio was very good. We got a comfortable flight with a nice fleet. The tickets were priced low. The plane landed almost on time and we didn't have any big issues.
Because Volotea is a low-cost carrier, nobody should expect premium quality. In the low-cost class, this airline does well.
We would have given the airline a 3.5 points rating but the restriction to carry drones on board forced us to give only 2.5 stars.
Next time when you travel to Southern Europe, keep Volotea in your mind. Compare prices on Momondo and if Volotea has a good bargain, consider taking it. For us, there is only one reason not to fly with Volotea - prohibiting flying a drone. Otherwise, Volotea is a great low-cost choice.
Have you flown with Volotea? How would you rate it?