Air Travel

Viva Air 2022 Review: Is Colombia's only budget airline worth it?

Updated on:  
May 30, 2022
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Miriam Jaffe
Miriam Jaffe
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Is flying with Viva Air a good choice? Worried about the reviews people have been saying about Viva Air? Better to find out before you book. Keep reading to find everything you'll need to know about Viva Air, including whether you should fly with them.

Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our users. We may earn a small commission fee when you click on affiliate links on our website, and all recommendations are independently reviewed.

One of the most significant burdens to every budget-conscious traveler is the costs of the flights. We've previously reviewed airlines like Vueling Airlines and EasyJet. Still, with many different budget airlines popping up in your search for cheap flight deals, it's hard to track which airlines are legit.

If you're headed to Central or South America, you might come across Viva Air. Are they a reputable airline you should use? Are their budget costs worth the compromises? Let's find out!

Viva Air Logo.
Image Courtesy: Viva Air

What is Viva Air?

Founded in 2009, Viva Air, also known as Viva Air Colombia, is a low-budget Colombian airline based out of Rionegro, Colombia. They are Colombia's only low-cost airline. Its goal is to deliver consistent and reliable service while keeping the flights cost low in the region. 

The low-cost model means that all Viva Air's flights are operated on a single aircraft: Airbus A320, and all passengers fly economy. Tickets are basic, with little amenities, operating with a model that you can pay extra to have any further amenities for your flight. You will also be randomly assigned a seat with the low fare option. 

Where does Viva Air Fly?

Due to how Viva Air's low-cost model is structured, they don't fly everywhere in the world. Their flights operate throughout Colombia and Peru and some cities in Mexico and Buenos Aires in Argentina. 

According to their Wikipedia page, they are looking at expanding destinations into Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Puerto Rico, and several cities in the United States. Those launch dates are currently TBA, so there is no word on when that expansion might happen. Still, Viva Air is looking to make low-cost air travel more widely available on their network. 

If you're looking at flying to Colombia, check out our blog posts on Medellin and nightline if Cartagena to get you started!

Viva Air Deals

Who doesn't love a good deal, especially on air travel? Even though Viva Air already works to make their flights low cost, that doesn't mean they don't like promoting deals on some of their routes! If you're flexible with your travels enough to fly specific routes on specific dates, you can get your fare even cheaper than normal. 

Head to Viva Air's flight deals page to explore their international flight offers.  

Contact information

While we always hope that any travel goes off without any hitches, you never know when you might need to call your airline. Viva Air has a few different ways to get in touch with them should you need any assistance. 

The easiest way is through their 24-hour online chat function, but you can also call their call center. If you're in the United States, dial 8556520600. You can also email Cuentanos@vivaair.com or reach out using FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

Checking in

As your flight nears, you'll need to check-in for your flight. Unlike many airlines, Viva Air requires you to show a printed boarding pass to check-in, so be sure to have that in hand when you arrive at the airport. Online check-in becomes available between 24 hours and 3 hours before your flight for international flights and between 48 hours and 2 hours before your flight for domestic flights. 

You can also pay an additional fee to have Viva Air check you in at the airport. 

Viva Air Checking In.
Image Courtesy: Viva Air

Baggage Policy

Viva Air doesn't come with much luggage allowance as a low-cost model airline. Every passenger is allowed one personal item, which cannot exceed 10 kg (26 lbs) and 40x35x25cm, and it must be placed under the seat in front of you. In addition to your personal item, you can also bring binoculars, a small camera, reading material (books), a jacket, or a small duty-free bag free of charge.

If you would like to bring any additional luggage, this will come at an additional cost. Checked baggage starts at COP 36.999 for domestic flights and $24.99 for international flights if booked when making your initial web reservation. Prices go up if you book extra luggage at a later date, with the most expensive time to book is at the gate itself. 

You can also purchase a medium fare ticket, including one checked bag of up to 20kg. 

Viva air baggage policy
Image Courtesy: Viva Air

Does Viva Air Serve Food?

One of the biggest questions I know I ask myself when I'm getting on any flight. Still, especially international ones are, what's the food situation. As a low-cost model airline, don't expect any food services with Viva Air. Both domestic and international flights come with onboard menus, so you can snack at high altitudes, but all food and drink will have to be paid for onboard. Their menus are pricey, so you may want to consider bringing some snacks, especially on longer flights!

Viva Air reviews

On Trustpilot, Viva Air holds an average rating of 1.5/5 stars. Most Viva Air reviews fall into the one-star, "bad" category. Previous travelers have commented that Viva Air has many hidden fees, and their online system defaults to adding extra charges. 

As a low-cost airline, they also don't always inform passengers of requirements (such as needing to purchase a San Andres Tourist Tax Card before boarding a flight to San Andres). They then can deny boarding due to those restrictions. 

Travelers also report poor customer service and Viva Air's customer service responsiveness. 

Photo by Sangga Rima Roman Selia on Unsplash

Is Viva Air worth it?

Expectations with Viva Air should be treated like any other low-cost airline. Viva Air shouldn't be your first choice for low-cost flying based on other travelers' reviews. While the prices may be enticing, it seems to come at the cost of having surety in your travels. Plus, there have been reports of recurring charges in hidden fees, which is less than optimal considering this is a budget airline.

However, some of their routes may be more difficult to access on other airlines. If you're looking for a low-cost airline purely and not fussed with baggage or potential customer service issues, their prices can't be beaten. 

Our rating: 2.3/5

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Several routes, especially within Colombia and Peru

Cons

  • Poor customer service
  • Hidden fees
  • Little luggage allowance

Where to next?

Whether you decide to fly Viva Air or try out another airline, booking flights is always an exciting part of travel. Once you've started putting your itinerary together, check out Pilot to keep every element of it all in one place! 

Pilot is your brand new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!

Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!

Originally published on:  
May 2, 2022

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