Unfortunately, my VivaColombia review involves a missed plane.
Let me explain.
I had to fly from Medellin to Lima on September 13 and VivaColombia was my best option.
I booked a flight from Medellin to Bogota, and Bogota to Medellin for $340.87 CAD (roughly $260 USD) on Kiwi via Skyscanner.
VivaColombia doesn’t include complimentary checked luggage. I purchased the 20 kg checked luggage option which was about $30 USD (included in the total $340.87 CAD). The price already included the 5 kg carry-on luggage (the limit as increased to 6 kg).
My carry-on was over 5 kg because of my DSLR and laptop. I wasn’t sure if VivaColombia would let my personal equipment slide. I tried adding extra carry-on weight on Kiwi’s and VivaColombia’s website but to no avail.
When I arrived at JMC airport in Medellin to check my luggage, I noticed a VivaColombia rep checked the size of passenger’s carry-on. The passenger had to fit his carry-on into the premeasured size checker – it barely fitted. I was worried they would check my carry-on. It definitely wouldn’t have fit. Luckily, they didn’t check the size of my carry-on backpack.
VivaColombia expects you to print your boarding pass or you’ll have to pay a fee for them to print it. I had mine ready, but they didn’t ask for it. They printed the Medellin to Bogota boarding pass free for me.
When I boarded the plane in Medellin to Bogota, they had the carry-on size checker ready. Again, they didn’t check the size or weight of my carry-on at the boarding gate.
My seat was already taken by a kid on the flight. I just sat somewhere else. Many people sat in the wrong seat. I wondered if this was the norm.
The legroom was tiny. I wasn’t able to sit with my knees at a right angle and my legs parallel to each other. My knees were sticking outwards (I’m 6’1” or 185 cm). I was asleep the whole flight and it was only about an hour, so it wasn’t too bad.
So, now the fun begins. I arrived in Bogota around 7:40 a.m. VivaColombia doesn’t automatically transfer the bags to the final destination. I had to claim my checked luggage at Bogota and exit out of the national arrivals.
I tried to recheck my checked luggage for Lima but they wouldn’t allow me until three hours prior to departure. I had about 5 hours to kill before I could check in for my Lima flight.
When I was finally able to check-in for my Lima flight, it was about 1:30 pm. In addition, they also asked for my printed boarding pass from Bogota to Lima. They didn’t print one for me but I had mine ready.
My flight departure time was 4:45 p.m. I went to the priority lounge for food and faster Wi-Fi. I worked from my laptop and then took a shower.
After my shower, I left the priority lounge around 4:05 p.m. I went to exchange my Colombian pesos to Peruvian soles. With the remaining pesos, I bought some Ferrero Rocher – you know, the good stuff. I did all this in a hurry.
I arrived at the boarding gate between 4:20 and 4:25 p.m.
They fucking closed the gate.
I’m usually one of the last people on board because I like to be productive, or just relax. But this MoFo airline closed its gate before departure time. And they wouldn’t budge on opening the gate.
The VivaColombia rep pointed on my ticket that the boarding time was 4:00 p.m. But that doesn’t mean they should close the gate about 20 minutes early. WTF. They didn’t even call-out my name on the speakers.
It’s hard being me. I had to buy another flight with another airline and kill an additional 12 hours at the airport. I also didn’t have any pesos to buy a meal.
This was the most expensive Ferrero Rocher I’ve eaten.
I mean, it can’t all be my fault that I missed the flight. There was another 7 people with me who missed the flight, too.
This was an expensive lesson for me.
Hopefully, my VivaColombia review helps you out.
I would still use VivaColombia if I could save money. But next time, I’ll work from my laptop at the boarding gate.