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Vueling scraps its ‘Excellence’ fares as it retreats from the business market

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Vueling, if you’re not familiar with it, is BA’s sister low-cost airline, operating primarily out of Barcelona and Rome.  There are a substantial number of services to the UK.  Full details are on the Vueling website here.

You may remember our failed attempt to review Vueling’s ‘Excellence’ business class service recently.  Anika ended up being shunted to a one-class charter aircraft and had to fight for her ‘Excellence’ benefits.

We made an EU261 claim for a downgrade and we were, to be fair to Vueling, promptly repaid 75% of the fare as per the rules.

Vueling drops Excellence

It seems that Vueling has now given up trying to compete in the business market.  It has announced a new series of fare types.  As far as I can tell, unlike the scrapped ‘Excellence’ fares:

  • none of them get you an empty middle seat
  • none of them come with lounge access
  • none of them come with free food and drink
  • none of them come with two free checked bags
  • none of them come with guaranteed hand baggage storage
  • none of them allow you to change the name on the ticket
  • none of them allow you to refund your ticket

Here are the new ticket types you can book:

TimeFlex – the nearest you can now get to a business class ticket, offering unlimited changes (you only pay the fare difference), same-day flight change free of charge, priority boarding, Fast Track security and exclusive check-in desks

Family – comes with seat selection at time of booking, hand luggage (10 kg), one checked bag per passenger, priority boarding with infants under 2, exclusive check-in desks in Barcelona and Roma Fiumicino

Space One (from €15.99 extra) – guaranteed front row seat with 20% more legroom, priority boarding

Space Plus (from €12.99 extra) – guaranteed row 2-4 seat with 10% more legroom, priority boarding

Space (from €11.99 extra) – rows 12-14 with 20% more legroom, priority boarding

Personally, this new set up makes me less likely to fly Vueling.  The old Excellence product, with lounge access and a guaranteed empty middle seat on the front row, was relatively attractive as low-cost carrier flying goes.

In terms of pricing, there is no longer the big gap that existed between Excellence and the other fare classes.  TimeFlex, for a random one-way from Barcelona to Gatwick in November, is as low as €48 one way.  This is VERY good value for a ticket which allows you to make changes (but no refunds) and comes with seat selection, priority boarding and fast-track security.

Earning and redeeming Avios on Vueling

It is worth a quick reminder of how you can earn and spend Avios on Vueling.

Vueling has its own Avios programme, Vueling Club.  We wrote a long article on how Vueling Club works here.  Vueling Club is operated via and you can log in on to manage your account and book redemptions.

Vueling Club is revenue based for earning and redeeming.  The number of Avios you earn is based on how much you spend, and the number of Avios you need for a free seat is based on the cash cost.

However, to confuse matters, you can also earn and redeem on Vueling via Iberia Plus using the standard earn / burn charts.  The only way to work out which route is the better deal on any particular day is to check both.

Vueling flights from the UK are also bookable via as a British Airways codeshare.  This allows you to earn Avios and tier points directly, although you may pay more this way than booking direct.

Want to learn more?

Vueling has a special page on its website dedicated to these new products which you can find here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (41)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jane says:

    Millenials have a lot to answer for. In addition to tiny typefaces on apps, their constant moaning and whining, their insistence on the latest gluten free or whatever fad diet, plus general pretentious attitude, I’d like to divide a Club Europe ciabatta into three and slowly shove it up their collective .a…

    • Leo says:

      I have a LEVEL flight to Vienna next month thanks to the €1 flights on here. Presume I can credit to Iberia? Otherwise do I need to open a vueling account? All the booking etc. Is via the vueling website.

    • Tom says:

      Jane’s having a normal one

    • Mike says:


    • the_real_a says:

      No joke, on a recent visit to a US college campus to organise a conference the risk assessment required the provision of a separate area called a “safe space” in case students became offended at the speakers and presumably cuddle kittens… I am still bewildered today how some of this lot coming through colleges and universities will cope with the real world. And I still marginally qualify as a millennial myself!

    • Callum says:

      The feeling is mutual.

  • Jane says:

    Oh… plus the fact that Curve cards now have no embossed numbers, replaced by the tiniest numbers on the reverse of the card plus room for half my signature… My Curve card has been cut into two as a consequence.

    • pablo says:

      Tiny typefaces, tiniest numbers, perhaps a trip to Specsavers is in order.

    • Mike says:

      +1 Jane is the voice of reason

    • Mark2 says:

      I a glad o see the back of embossed numbers although I can remember when the card machine pressed the multiple sheets of the credit card voucher down onto them to get the number. They are not easy to read for older people especially on Amex Platinum.
      But I agree with the general sentiment.

    • Alex W says:

      I think this is a security issue, as with Amexes, that all the numbers you need to make an online purchase are all visible on the same side of the card.

    • Kevin says:

      My new curve didn’t have CVV code of 3 digits. Only realised when I making a payment online.

  • #FML says:

    I changed my date of travel on an IB avios redemption on a BA flight the original date was peak 120,000 avios but the new date is off peak102,000 avios.Will IB recredit the 18,000 back to my
    IB account ?

    • Marcw says:

      No unless you remind them.

    • Doug M says:

      Yes they will. You just need to repeatedly ask the same question 47 times on the Internet and Iberia’s magic web trawler picks it up and deals with it. Just sit back, relax, and the Avios will reappear on the 49th of Octobary.

  • Reeferman says:

    Well that’s me done with Vueling in light of these changes.
    I used to fly a couple of times a year between AGP and AMS. The “Excellence” fare was great – no-one in the middle seat, “free” food/drink, guaranteed over-head luggage space (monitored by the flight attendants) and lounge access.
    Will now switch to Easyjet on this route as Vueling has managed to get rid of all its USPs.

  • Bob says:

    A LEVELisation of vueling like LEVEL Austria?

  • Dan41 says:

    Does Vueling flight count as BA tier eligibility flights?

    • Stevie G says:

      It used to when you could book via BA. But I have not been able to book via BA for sometime. So don’t think so anymore.

    • Rob says:

      Booked with a BA flight code I think it would, yes. I won’t under a Vueling flight code.

  • marcw says:

    The key here is that they sent the former Optima fare to the butcher. The reason is the former Optima fare did include the most valuable benefit: “Bring your flight forward” for free on the same day. Essentially, this was the benefit business travellers focus on. Excellence had only 4 seats per plane, while with Optima, it´s pretty much the same. It was pointless to book Excellence, then meeting finished earlier, but there was no first row seats available on earlier flights…
    Now they created TimeFlex specifically for that benefit “Bring you flight forward” while it doesn´t include luggage in hold. The new Optima fare now does not include “Bring your flight forward”.

  • Chris says:

    Very sad about this! I will miss the empty seat next to me in row one. The rest of the things can be bought as extras, but having a guarantee of no-one spilling over onto me was always worth paying a little extra. Looking at my already booked future Excellence flights, they seem to have blocked the seat next to me, so I’m hoping they deliver what I have already purchased.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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