All of us have a favorite airline we are used to. Mine are American and Alaska. We all know what to expect when we board the flight. Well recently, and especially for a wedding I did last year in Cancun, I have had clients mention and fly Mexican airline named VOLARIS. I had no clue about it, but decided to book my return flight from the Riviera Maya on this airline, just so that I can have experience and to know what to say when clients are asking me about it. First, very strange thing was it is ONLY available to be booked online. No agency can book it, no telephone number, no customer service. Well, that should have been the first red flag, but I proceeded anyway. Reserved my ticket and here pops the screen asking me if I wanted to pay extra to upgrade to the business class. YES, PLEASE! Clearly in black there says BUSINESS and $75 didn’t sound like too cheap of an upgrade one way, I upgraded Alaska one way for $50 before.
Clearly says BUSINESS, right?
So first thing that happens is check in, which lasts over 60 minutes even with the priority I have. Excruciating. And the woman at the counter says: “No, we don’t have a business class on our planes.” So what exactly did I pay the additional $75 for?
“Does THIS look like a business class seat???????”
So, in spite of the flight not taking off from Cancun airport until over an hour late, we fly into Mexico City, and we are at an appropriate time at the gate for boarding. We are supposed to board at 7:05 pm, our flight was supposed to take off at 7:50.
At about 7 pm- at the gate they set up a complete new SECURITY SCREENING. Yes, you read that correctly 3 tables with officers that are going through your hand luggage and purses MANUALY, but only for those passengers who are coming from another flight. Were we not properly screened already? WTF??
This is one of the lines that was formed. Let’s not even go into the fact that all their announcements are in SPANISH ONLY. Yes, seriously.
Clearly, that took a very long time just to board, and we made it to LA only an hour late. We left the gate about 35 minutes after we were supposed to, but we sat on the tarmack for about another 40 minutes, because we lost our place in the line of planes waiting to take off.
Now imagine, if the flight was canceled, if there were weather issues, or mechanical, what would you have done? No 800 customer service number, just a website where you booked. Your agent can’t do anything for you, as they don’t work with agencies and we can’t make a phone call for you, like we can with Delta or United. Volaris people are not very helpful. plus most of them don’t speak good English. Any question we asked in English, the ladies of Volaris were looking at each other with the “deer in headlights” look, negotiating with each other which one of them spoke good enough English to answer.
So in the future, if your ticket to Cancun is $100 more expensive via Virgin America, spend it. It’s worth it. I almost spent that much upgrading into a fake business class.