In this review, we will take a Wizz Air flight on the Airbus A321 from Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) to Rome Ciampino (CIA).
Getting to the airport
To get to Indonesia, I had booked a great business class deal out of Rome, which meant that I still had to get to Italy first. When flying intercontinentally, I don’t want to risk a same-day ‘connection’ on different tickets, which is why I decided to fly to Rome a day earlier. And after all, there are worse things than spending one night in the Eternal City!
For my Wizz Air flight, I paid only 20 euro – a stellar deal considering it is a flight in the high summer season and I only booked a few weeks out.
My trip thus officially commenced at 4am when I ordered an Uber for the 30-minute drive to Bucharest Otopeni Airport. Security was a big mess this early in morning, with several dozen flights departures in the early morning rush hour.
With Wizz Air, Blue Air, TAROM and Ryanair having bases at Bucharest Airport, plus most major European airlines parking an aircraft overnight in order to operate an early morning feeder flight to their European hubs, it means that sometimes the waits at security and passport control are very long, especially so in summer.
Even my usual shortcuts to the lesser crowded security control lanes did not work this time as a Moroccan sports team flying back home on Turkish via Istanbul blocked my lane, with the person in front of me not understanding that you cannot take giant bottles of water and shampoo in your hand luggage.
As they did not seem to understand any of the English commands uttered by the security officers, I tried to help out with my limited knowledge of French as one of them seemed to speak the language.
Unfortunately that also didn’t work, as the guys just plainly refused to either check in the bag or throw away the bottles. After a twenty minute standoff, the security guys finally had enough of it and asked the team to step aside so others could clear security.
Despite the long wait at security and passport control, I fortunately still had some time to take a coffee and eat a light breakfast before my flight at one of the overpriced airport cafés.
As often when travelling with a low-cost carrier (LCC) out of Bucharest, boarding was chaotic affair as people did not really understand the concept of queuing.
Fortunately I could skip most of the chaos as I bought priority boarding with my ticket. When travelling light with just a small rucksack (which I often do when flying on a LCC) I don’t really care about being on board first, since I can always place my bag under the seat in front of me.
This time, I was however travelling with both a small trolley and a rucksack. With Wizz Air priority boarding, you are allowed to take both as cabin luggage, which is a great perk as I hate having to wait on arrival for my checked bag to arrive on the belt.
Most (but certainly not all!) Wizz Air flights from Bucharest depart from bus gates, and my flight to Rome this morning was one of those as well. Of course, boarding the aircraft by bus kind of negates the priority boarding concept a bit as you still end up in the same bus. That said, as long as you make it into the first bus, you are always assured of overhead luggage space in the aircraft.
One thing which I do like about bus gates is that you can board the plane by stairs, something of which I never get bored, not even after hundreds of flights.
Bucharest (OTP) to Rome Ciampino (CIA) on Wizz Air
Flight W6 3141 – Airbus A321 – Economy class, seat 12A
Departure: 6.05am – Arrival: 7.15am
Flight time: 2h10m – Distance: 708 miles
Costs: 20 EUR, plus 20 EUR for priority boarding and advance seat assignment
Wizz Air Airbus A321 seat
As I wrote before in an earlier flight report of the Wizz Air Airbus A321, I’m not a fan of the seat quality on this plane and vastly prefer the seats on the couple of older Airbus A320s the Hungarian low-cost airline has in service.
The problem with the A321 is not only that the budget airline has not only crammed too many seats into the cabin compared to the smaller capacity of the Airbus A320, but also that these new seats are just rock-hard. The same seats are also installed on Wizz Air’s newer Airbus A320s.
There is however one major advantage which the Airbus A321 has and it’s called seat 12A and F. Wizz Air will automatically assign you a seat at online check-in, although you can pay for any seat you like in advance, with obviously the exit rows and front-row seats being the most expensive.
For a bit less (15 euro in the case of my flight) I managed to assign myself seat 12A. Why is this seat so awesome? Well, you are seated directly behind the first exit row and the seat in front of you is missing, giving you basically an endless amount of leg space!
However, do note that although the seats directly behind the second emergency exit row (26A and 26F) also have big amounts of legroom, they have a missing window which makes them much less desirable.
It was a beautiful morning and already before departure I was treated to a lovely sunrise over the airport apron. Departure was on time and there were some gorgeous views out of the window as we did a full 180 degree turn to the left once airborne.
This gave great views back over Bucharest Otopeni Airport and its dual runways.
As it was an extremely early flight, I was still quite tired. Some 5 to 10 minutes after departure, I thus dozed off, only to wake up fully shortly before the captain started the descent into Rome Ciampino Airport.
Fortunately I had plenty of legroom and a window seat, which meant I could rest my head against the fuselage of the plane for a bit more comfort.
Just like other low-cost carriers, Wizz Air has a buy-on-board service, so there isn’t much to write about when it comes to service. I however always find Wizz Air employees to be a rather cheerful lot compared to those working for other low-cost carriers. Having flown the airline dozens of times, I never had any complaint about the crews whatsoever.
Do however note that there are no power sockets or USB charging ports, let alone any WiFi internet on board. As the tray tables are ridiculously small and most seats are rather cramped, Wizz Air planes are also certainly not among the best places in the sky to get some work done.
If you have a longer day flight, make sure to bring your own entertainment in form of a book, tablet or laptop – and make sure they are fully charged before you depart.
As we were racing the sunrise towards the west, it meant that there were some gorgeous sunrise views as well when we started our final descent to Rome’s secondary airport.
The hilly landscape of Italy’s Lazio region was blanketed by morning fog and looked absolutely gorgeous from the plane window.
We landed on time at Rome Ciampino Airport. To my surprise there was no bus gate, as we could walk straight across the tarmac towards the terminal building.
Passport control was fast and within 15 minutes after landing I was in a local bus to the Anagnina metro station, where I would connect to the metro to take me to my city centre hotel.
My Wizz Air flight from Bucharest to Rome Ciampino Airport was perfectly adequate. Considering the cheap price I paid (20 euro base fare, and an additional 20 euro for priority boarding and advance seat assignment) it was certainly a good deal.
I got to my destination safely and on-time, which in the end is what it’s all about when you flying a low-cost airline. Generally, I always find Wizz Air to be a great choice of airline when it comes to on-time arrivals and general reliability.
Although the rather uncomfortable seats on the Wizz Air Airbus A321 will never be my favourite, you can get quite a bit more comfort by selecting one of the seats directly behind the emergency exit row on this place such as 12A and 12F as these have near endless legroom.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Journey to Java‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air (Airbus A321) Bucharest to Rome Ciampino (current chapter)
2. Half a Day in Rome: A Walk Around the Eternal City
3. Review: Casa Alitalia Lounge ‘Piazza di Spagna’ Rome Fiumicino Airport
4. Review: Saudia Business Class Rome to Riyadh (Airbus A320)
5. Review: Saudia Alfursan Business Lounge Riyadh Airport
6. Review: Saudia Business Class Riyadh to Jakarta (Boeing 777-300)
7. Review: The Hermitage, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia
8. A Day in Jakarta: Exploring Indonesia’s Bustling Capital City
9. Review: Garuda Indonesia Domestic Business Lounge Jakarta Airport
10. Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Jakarta to Yogyakarta (Boeing 737-800)
11. Review: The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – Mgallery By Sofitel
12. A Magical Sunrise Visit to Borobudur Temple
13. A Visit to the Great Hindu Temple Complex of Prambanan
14. Review: Yogyakarta to Surabaya (Indonesia) by Train
15. Review: Majapahit Hotel, Surabaya, Indonesia
16. A Day in Surabaya: Exploring Indonesia’s Second Biggest City
17. Review: Concordia Premier Lounge Surabaya Airport
18: Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Surabaya to Singapore (Airbus A330-300)
19. A Short Singapore Stopover: Into the City or Stay at the Airport?
20. Review: SilverKris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2
21. Review: Singapore Airlines business class Singapore to Manila (Boeing 787-10)
22. Review: PAGSS Lounge Manila Airport Terminal 1 Gate 2
23. Review: China Airlines economy class Manila to Taipei (Airbus A330-300)
24. Review: China Airlines Business Lounge Taipei Airport Terminal 1
25. Review: China Airlines Economy Class Taipei to Rome (Airbus A350)
26. Review: TAROM economy class Rome to Bucharest (Boeing 737-700)