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How strict is Vueling with Hand Luggage?

How strict is Vueling with Hand Luggage?

Copyright: Tis Meyer / planepics.org

Vueling Airlines is a Spain-based low-cost carrier and is the country’s second-largest airline. The airline flies non-stop to around 155 destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The airline has two hubs: Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) and Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO), as well as 14 operating bases in Brussels, France, the Netherlands and Spain.

So how strict is Vueling with hand luggage? Are they, like other low-cost airlines stingy with their allowance forcing passengers to buy extra hand luggage or hold luggage allowance.

Do they also carry out stringent checks to ensure that their hand luggage policy is met?

How strict is Vueling with Hand Luggage?

As a result of Vueling’s generous hand luggage policy, checks are not always enforced at the airports they operate. It really depends on the airport and how full the planes are.

For example, on one leg starting at Split and flying in to Rome they allowed hand luggage through without checking the size and weight but at the airport in Rome flying to Paris, they measured the luggage and it was deemed too big so EUR50 had to be paid in fees.

Rome (FCO) airport is generally known as an airport where strict hand luggage checks are carried out. 

Sometimes they may measure your hand luggage at check-in as well as the boarding gate to see if it adheres to the policy.

Be careful, because sometimes they may allow you through at check-in but at the boarding gate they may say that your hand luggage is too big/heavy at this point they will charge you EUR50 to have it sent to the hold.

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To avoid this happening, measure and weigh your hand luggage before you leave for the airport to ensure it fits the criteria for the free hand luggage policy entitlement.   

Unfortunately, due to the substantial weight and size of hand luggage that customers can take on Vueling planes, issues arise when there is little space to store the luggage in the overhead lockers. 

Usually, when it is known that the scheduled flight is going to be busy, Vueling ground staff will give the option to passengers to check in their hand luggage for free to free up space in the cabin.

Sometimes this happens in advance at the check-in desk but unfortunately if there is still not enough people checking in their luggage, then Vueling ground staff will stop people at the gate and insist that their hand luggage is checked in to the hold even if it meets the free hand luggage criteria. 

At this point, problems occur when passengers are not prepared to have their hand luggage separated from them in the plane and they have no choice but to remove valuables and other things from the luggage which is going into the hold.

The additional small bag they are allowed to bring on board may not be sufficient to carry the items they may need on the plane – for example, valuables, medicine, and essentials for the baby.

This might not be an issue if the flight journey is short as perhaps the passenger can do without these things for a few hours in the cabin.

Unfortunately, Vueling has a bad reputation for luggage going missing and so to be without these essential items upon arriving at a destination is a cause for concern for these passengers.

What is Vueling’s hand luggage policy?

Vueling has quite a simple and generous hand luggage policy compared to other low-cost carriers and even some major airlines.

The airline always allows passengers to take two items of hand baggage on board for free.

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When flying with Vueling, you can take a 10kg cabin bag, which may not exceed 55 x 40 x 20 cm, and you can also take a smaller bag or briefcase (max. 35 x 20 x 20 cm) which must fit under the seat in front of you.

Our conclusion

Vueling’s strictness on its hand luggage allowance differs from airport to airport and depends on how busy the flight is.

Hand luggage may be inspected randomly depending on these factors.

We strongly advise passengers to always adhere to Vueling’s hand luggage allowance policy to avoid paying the EUR50 charge to check-in luggage.

Having a simple and generous hand luggage policy as Vueling does, might be attractive to potential passengers who only want to bring hand luggage.

However, it does cause problems when expectations are not met and customers are asked to check-in their hand luggage.

If you do not want to check-in your hand luggage we advise you to arrive at the check-in desk and boarding gate early so that you have better chances that your hand luggage does not need to be put in the cargo hold and you are one of the first to put your luggage in the overhead compartments.

But even then, in some cases, you might be forced to get your hand luggage checked into the hold. There is really no guarantee.