top of page
  • Konrad Tillman

Review: Volaris Costa Rica A319 Economy "Premium Seat"

Intro


Day 2, flight 3. I would fly on the Volaris A319 between San Jose and Bogota for the next portion of my LATAM adventure. Originally, this plane was scheduled to be an A320neo, but sadly, there was an aircraft swap the day before.


There are plenty of flight options between the two countries but I figured that I might not try Volaris for a while so this is a perfect opportunity!


Even with an aircraft swap, not all is lost! All in all, this flight was a very pleasant experience, and I would highly recommend flying Volaris. With all that said and done, let's jump right into the review!


Route- San Jose- Bogota

Plane- A319

Seat- 1A

Flight Number- Q64102

Date- March 16th 2024

Flight Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Price Paid- 214$


How I Booked


Volaris tends to offer some competitive fares when flying internationally and this route was no different. Due to my flight being on a Saturday, fares were slightly higher. However, I managed to get my one-way ticket for 186$ all in. This included 1 free carry-on, one personal item, and a premium seat (1A), which was 15$ extra.


As you will read about in a minute, this 15$ for a much better seat was a bargain! 186$ is a phenomenal price for a 2-hour flight in "premium economy".


Check-In


The alarm goes off at 3 am in my Airbnb😒, contemplating life is an understatement. I quickly realized I would be at Country 78 today, so I jumped out of bed, showered, and headed to the airport.


Once arriving, the airport was empty at 4 am. Even though I can do online check-in, I love to have physical boarding passes to pin on my wall at home. Only a couple of people were in front of me anyway.



Boarding pass in hand, I headed through security, which was a breeze.


Around San Jose Airport


San Jose airport is extremely pretty, but much like in Liberia, everything is absurdly expensive.



Heading through the duty-free, a couple of things caught my eye.



Finally, I found a Starbucks. I mean I do live in SoCal at the end of the day, give me a break 😉.


Starbucks San Jose Airport

9$ coffee in hand, I watched the sunrise over this beautiful Delta 757.


Delta 757 Liberia

San Jose airport is large, there is plenty of seating options all over the terminal


San Jose Airport Seating

Boarding


Boarding was scheduled for 5:50 am, a whole hour before departure. However, boarding didn't actually start until 6:15 am.


Weirdly, I was in Zone 2, even though I was in seat 1A, make it make sense please😅.


Boarding Volaris San Jose

Heading down the jetbridge, I caught a glimpse of the A319 taking us on the 2-hour hop to Bogota. As well as a private jet parked at a gate?? Once again, make it make sense please😅.


Private jet at a gate? Are you pulling my leg?

Thankfully, the jetbridge wasn't congested and I was onboard in no time.


A happy dance was done in the jetbridge

A look through the glass of our bird.



It was quite easy to find my seat, and I was easily able to settle into 1A.



A look out of the window at a couple of the different aircraft on display. Did you know you can fly the Air Canada 787 for sub 600$ down to San Jose, for 6 hours!!!


AC787, such a nice ride

Departure


By 6:37 am, the boarding doors were closed.


A couple of minutes later we pushed back. 10 minutes ahead of schedule! Volaris, I am already impressed with you!


Pushback approved!


I can see traffic getting a little congested at busier times here due to the single taxiway. However, it wasn't too bad after the United Max decided to move its butt😅.


Do you mind if we just scooch on by?

By 6:44 am, we were rolling down to the other side of the runway.



There was another Caravan at the end of the runway awaiting takeoff. If you haven't checked out my Sansa review, it was probably one of my coolest flights ever!



As a 767 motored off in the other direction (once again make it make sense😅) we were next up to depart.


What is this 767 doing?

Finally, at 6:58 am we lined up.



This is why I love 1A, the view when you turn onto the runway. It's especially incredible when in the nose of a 747.


Will never get old this

We had a rolling takeoff and was airborne ahead of schedule! A slideshow is attached if you want to follow the takeoff along in real time🥰.



Whoa!! A Ukraine International plane in San Jose!! Any ideas on what it is doing here?


I attached a slideshow you can swipe through if you want to check out some of the planes parked!



About 10 minutes after takeoff, the captain announced that the largest mountain in Costa Rica was on the right-hand side. Well, I was on the left so I'll show a picture of my view😅.



A low cloud cover makes for fantastic views!



The Seat/Cabin


Like with almost all of the narrowbody Airbus family, seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration in economy, and seeing this is an all-economy configuration it's all a 3-3.


However, I selected a premium seat for an additional 15$ in the first row. With the flight being relatively empty, no on was sitting in 1B meaning I had plenty of space to stretch out.


The seat itself was relatively barebones, but extremely well padded.


The seat Volaris Costa Rica

The only differential with premium seats seems to be the branding on the seat, and a tad extra legroom.


Here is a photo of a non-premium row.


Still look decent!

There is a button to recline on your right as well as I think radio channels (I haven't been alive that long😅).


One aspect I loved was the little cubby to place your feet in row 1. It's a great touch, and I wish more airlines did this.


Big ups here Volaris

The first-row seats are separated by armrests that are not moveable, so don't expect a lie-flat seat in economy like my Alaska flight.



If you have been reading my blog, I am fully against reclining. However, after my seat mate went to the restroom, I took a picture of her seat and the recline seemed decent.


Anti-recline gang here

Just another picture of the legroom, so generous!



Food & Drink


At the end of the day, Volaris is an ultra-low-cost carrier...


What does this mean? No free Biscoff cookies😒. Everything is a buy onboard system and that meant a pamphlet was waiting in the seatback in case I wanted to order anything. Here is a look at the menu.








Due to the early start, I slept most of the way. Prices for the snacks and drinks were a little on the pricey side but 5$ for a beer is much cheaper than the San Jose airport!


IFE, well that was nonexistent.


Arrival


After a peaceful sleep (very comfortable seat), I woke up just as we started our initial descent.


Descending into Bogota


Bogota is a funny airport. One moment, you feel like you are 10,000 feet above the next you are on final approach. This is due to a hill when landing to the south.


Jumping the gun

The captain straightened us out and we were on short final by 9:43 am.




We touched down at 9:46 am after a flight time of 1 hour and 49 minutes. A very smooth landing, you get my approval El Capitan.



We taxiied by a little baby Avianca in the Star Alliance livery.


The baby bus not quite the A318 but

We pulled into our gate at 9:51 am local time, 9 minutes ahead of schedule!!!


As if I wouldn't be back here in 2 days 😳

Thankfully, I was first one off of the plane.


Hallways of Bogota Airport

I'm sorry, 165 minutes to go through immigration???! You must be pulling my leg. The bathroom was needed before I embarked on this long wait which...


This must be a joke

Turned out to be only 5 minutes long 😂. Come on Bogota, don't give me anxiety please next time.


A sigh of relief


After clearing immigration, a man in Colombian colors was duty-free. Talk about stylish aye.


I might need to purchase this outfit for myself

No bags, which meant walking straight to arrivals where there was, guess what? A Starbucks! For half the cost of the one in San Jose!


Arrivals Hall Bogota

Coffee in hand, I called an Uber from the departures area. Word of advice if you are arriving in Bogota. If you want to use an Uber it's much better upstairs then downstairs due to the taxi mafia of Bogota.


Time to explore!

Country 78, we have done it!!!!!🎉


Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a 9-page research paper to write about Incentive Theory 😒.


Final Thoughts


A very solid flight with Volaris, especially for the price. The seats were well-padded and the legroom cubby was fantastic. I was able to get a nice hour's nap, and the service was relatively friendly based on the minor interactions I had with the FAs. Considering this is an Ultra Low-Cost Carrier, for an extra 15$, it feels like you are in Main Cabin Extra minus the free beverages and snacks. We departed early and landed early, what more could one ask for really?


If the price were the same, I wouldn't hesitate to fly Volaris again. I think there is a sweet spot on these low-cost carriers in the rows near the front for a small additional charge. Avianca blew my mind with their new Recaro seat, but you'll have to wait a few days to read that review 😉. Volaris, the only thing I recommend is letting people in the premium seats board with Zone 1, and possibly some IFE.


JETTOAJET SCALE


Drinks Service

5/10

Seat (1A)

8/10

IFE

2/10

Ground Service

6/10

Overall Service

8/10

Total

29/50


35 views

Comentarios


Jettoajet full logo
bottom of page