Mar 09

Airline Review: Viva Colombia

One of the newest low cost carriers in the world

Viva Colombia is a great new endeavor in the world of low cost travel

Viva Colombia is a great new endeavor in the world of low cost travel


Fresh faces in the low cost airline business are looking sharper than ever. Since the establishment of low cost airlines within a competitive market within Europe, Asia and the United States it is great to see one on the rise in Latin America too. The airline is so new it is coming up on its first anniversary May 25th 2013. After almost a year in flight it seems that customers are pleased, standards are up to date and locals and tourists alike are taking advantage of this exciting and cost effective way to move about Colombia.


With any low cost carrier there is always the temptation to put the emphasis on sheer numbers rather than a pleasant flying experience. We took a roundtrip flight with the airline, from Barranquilla to Medellin and found it to be a very agreeable and affordable experience. For starters it was one flight I’ve been on where I’ve seen the most people flying for the first time in their lives. This is a great testament to what the airline is accomplishing, allowing people from more areas and economic backgrounds to get a shot at affordable aviation.


The planes are well maintained and comfortable

The planes are well maintained and comfortable

There are five planes in the fleet currently A 320/200 which are not new, but have a new look and feel with a brightly colored exterior boasting the national colors and the airline logo. Check in was expedient and easy. Like in any low cost carrier cabin baggage is restricted to one piece of no more than 10kg and checked baggage is 20kg per piece. Stewards and Stewardesses were welcoming and professional. Seats are open to be chosen and the plane filled up in good time and departed on time. There is the possibility to pay more for priority seating too. Take off, landing and flight were all routinely experienced. Flying was steady and considering some of the mountainous and no doubt windy challenges of Colombia’s terrain it was an excellent performance by the pilots.


Connect to cities far and wide in beautiful Colombia

Connect to cities far and wide in beautiful Colombia

There is no complementary in flight service. Snacks and drinks are sold and there is no entertainment technology. Seats are well spaced, three and three on each side with a magazine available for reading. The pilot was interactive and explained accurately the conditions of the flight. Overall the prices can be quite good. It is easy to purchase on the airline’s website a variety of ticket styles for various travel needs and this can cut down on the hours of distance that one faces driving between major Colombian cities.


Viva Colombia is a very straightforward low cost airline. One knows exactly what is being paid for and gets just that, the basic transit from one place to another in a safe and relaxed atmosphere. It is a great option to take advantage of one’s time in this big and diverse country and a good way to support a new business venture, which will benefit locals and tourists for years to come.




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  1. Julie Drake

    3 friends and I are trying to purchase flights on VivaColombia. In fact, we are trying purchase 5 different flights within Colombia. We are unable to do so, however, as every time we try to book, we get a rejection notice. We have all contacted out USA credit card companies and have been told there are no holds or rejections for purchases on their end. We are trying to figure out why our flight purchases will not go through. We are desperate for an answer as we leave soon. How can we buy these tickets with US credit cards.? Is there
    another way we can pay for our flights?

  2. Sure thing Julie, we’ve just sent you an email on the matter and we are looking forward to helping you resolve your question to the best of our abilities.


  3. Dear Julie,

    A spanish speaking member of our team was able to contact Viva Colombia this evening of Sunday April 29th. The lines are open until 7pm on sundays and from 8 am till 9pm local time during the week. We informed them of your dilemma and they explained to us the following two things:

    1. First they explained that insofar as possible you need to buy all the reservations together. Their system only allows for two separate transactions per credit card.
    2. When filling in your address in the forms put the most abbreviated form you can, meaning only street name and zip code, city and state and fully spelled words like street are unnecessary and can interfere with the processing of the transaction.

    If all else fails after this you do have the option of calling them directly, they were quite helpful with our team member and it seems they can work with you in English. They can do the transaction over the phone with what amounts to a $10 service charge extra. The Medellin office with which we spoke number is (0057) 44449489 or the Bogota office is (0057) 14897989.

    We hope this helps, if you have any other questions, we are always happy to help and passionate about travel tips, topics and experiences.

  4. wendy jenkins

    Helpful site. My sister and I are planning a trip to Colombia in Nov 2014. We would like to fly between Bogotá and Cartagena,but have read discouraging reviews about how hard it is to buy a ticket on Viva Colombia airlines. Has the situation improved?

    Thanks, Wendy

    1. Dear Wendy when we bought our tickets months ago we did not have any problem, we used an American credit card and everything was ok, but after that we have heard many complaints that it is kind of hard to buy tickets from USA and actually even in their official page they say that international credit cards are not yet accepted, kind of a funny thing because we bought and flew with them.
      Maybe it is a good thing to take a look on Avianca and Lan, sometimes they have good deals.

      We have one of the members of our team traveling to Colombia this coming month, he will talk directly there with vivaColombia personnel and ask about it, we will keep you update about any change.

      Best Regards


  5. Vadim T

    We are Canadians and having the same issues as everyone else. Have there been any improvements? How do we pay for tickets?

    1. Hi Vadim. Thanks for your comment
      So far it seems it has not been an improvement in the system of Viva Colombia that allows people to use international Credit cards to pay online. We will be contacting them to ask what it is the most update status and we will send you a message.


    2. We just contacted Viva Colombia, they claim they are working to allow travelers to pay with international credit cards, but that is still not possible.
      It is kind of funny we were able to pay with an international credit card in their website months ago.
      For now it seems that the only way to buy a ticket is if you are in Colombia and go to their offices, that leaves international passengers with only very expensive options.

  6. KU

    Vivacolombia is the worst airlines on the planet. All they are interested in is your money! They are inflexible and unscrupulous! Do not travel with Vivacolombia! You will regret it! They will change your flight without notice, will not amply recompense the loss of the flight, and will fly earlier than announced, and will not give advance notice. REMINDER: They are ONLY interested in obtaining your money! They have poor customer service as well!

    Four times we tried to cancel our trip and get reimbursed but we’re given the run around! I NEVER WILL FLY WITH THIS AIRLINE AGAIN! They are Unscrupulous in every way!!!! If you do, do so at your own risk!

    Finally, they are RIDICULOUS! Words are too few to describe!

    1. voyageur

      Hello Ku,

      Your input is appreciated, we cannot say that your experience was similar to ours in any respect regarding the airline, but we of course are open to the voices and experiences of travelers so that others can hear objective experiences. We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

  7. aini

    I also have issue to book the flight, it keep mention payment declined.
    Anyone can help?

    1. voyageur

      Hi Aini

      Where are u from?
      I know that there is some problems when trying to book a flight from outside Colombia.
      We actually will be in Colombia this coming Thursday. What fly are u trying to book? if you send us the details we will be happy to call the airline and inquire them about that.

  8. Jonathan Meine

    Just booked a flight from Medellin to San Andres island this morning from here in the U.S. Also kept getting rejections on the transaction, but it was because of the typically overzealous “fraud prevention” actions of my bank. Every U.S. bank seems to have Colombia on its list of “bad” places where fraud is rampant.

    A call to my bank straightened things out – but get this – during the times I was attempting to complete my transaction, Viva Colombia TWICE raised the price on my flight. That’s right – they wouldn’t essentially “hold” it for you while you attempted to complete the transaction, but instead jacked up the price due to “tickets being sold out at that price”. So I ended up paying the equivalent of $92 dollars U.S. more for two adults than I would have originally had the first transaction gone through.

    This to me reeks of an extremely shady business practice. On top of that, in my anger and haste to book the flight, I selected the wrong flight time on my outgoing flight, and now am going to have to change it. What do you want to bet they’ll jack on change fees on top of everything else?

    1. voyageur

      As we’ve mentioned in previous replies, the official policy of Viva Colombia is that they do not take foreign credit cards. The fact that when such card details are entered and do pass through is the exception really. A little tip when surfing for tickets with any airline is to surf incognito or turn off the cookies. The system tracks that you’ve been surfing the tickets before and raises the price knowing the greater likelihood that you will buy the second time around.

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

      1. Jonathan Meine

        After my experience, I have to wonder if this “official policy” regarding acceptance of foreign credit cards is just a ruse to pull the kind of price raising stunt they pulled on me. As mentioned in the previous post, they eventually did accept payment via my credit card – but only after twice raising the price of the ticket.

        1. voyageur

          It is a good question.
          In our case it was funny because our credit card was accepted at our first try, but we have heard many times that same complain from other people who had hard time getting their international credit cards accepted.
          The airline is growing slower than expected, but we were in Colombia recently (just a month ago) and a good thing we noticed is the fact that prices have dropped even in regular airlines thanks to competition. We paid 75 USD for a ticket from Cartagena to Bogota in Avianca. That is excellent!

  9. Terry

    I am trying to book a flight as an American citizen. There is no option to select USA for residency or Citizenship. help?

    1. voyageur

      Hi Terry,

      We are not official representatives of the airline, merely sharing our reviews of having flown and answering what questions we’ve ascertained from them. They were not accepting foreign credit cards for purchases on the site so perhaps now they are not accepting non Colombian citizen online bookings. Your best bet would be to continue to try and contact the airline.

  10. Julie


    Am I correct in believing that one must pay to check-in with VivaColombia?


    1. voyageur

      Similar to low cost airlines in Europe the check in fee applies if checking in at the airport, if done online within a timeframe before the flight it is free.

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

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