Advantages Cheap, cheerful
Disadvantages Takes longer routes, prone to delays
|How often do you travel with this airline|
|Where did you book|
I was very hesitant about booking with Easyjet, I have heard many bad experiences from friends, and seen the horror stories of long delays on the TV show! However, when taking a short break to Valencia recently, I needed a cheap flight and Easyjet was my first port of call. I compared the cost with Ryanair and BA and whilst BA was cheapest for outbound flights, (£33) Easyjet was cheapest for return (£17) I considered it an absolute bargain and even if the flight went horribly wrong, it was only £17!*** The Company ***
Founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 1995, Easyjet has revolutionised European travel, making air travel cheap, and convienient. In such a short space of time, Easyjet has quickly become the nation's favourite no frills airline. It has also been the star of ITV's Airline, and Stelios has extended the Easy brand into car hire, internet access, and even cruises!*** How to book ***
One of the reasons Easyjet can offer cheap rates is that it doesn't have any overhead costs. Therefore, you can only book by phone or save £5 and book on the internet. I decided to book the flight in my lunch hour, and it really is dead simple; visit www.easyjet.com and you are greeted with the rather unattractive orange colour scheme readily associated with the Easy brand. You then click on the flights page and will see all of the latest special offers. If you know when and where you want to go, select the airport you wish to depart from (I find the 'any London airports' box handy as it displays both Stanstead and Gatwick prices meaning I can pick the cheapest) and your destination, dates, and number of people and within seconds the available flight times and prices will appear. Note that prices for outbound and return flights are listed separately. If you have flexibility with dates, the days either side of the date selected will also appear therefore if on a budget you can select which is most appropriate.If you wish to go ahead, select the flight from the outbound list by clicking the circle, and the same for the return flight (you can select one-way options) and then 'proceed'. A screen with the total costs of flights including taxes will appear. Note that Easyjet automatically add insurance costing £8.50, and if you do not want this, you must deselect it before continuing. When you are happy with your selection, it is time to pay!
If you have not registered, you will be asked to create a user name and password, which will be emailed to you. If you are an existing member, you must login. You then enter the details of all passengers and then payment details. EasyJet accept Delta, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. Switch is also acceptable (for pound Sterling transactions only).You will then receive a confirmation message with your flight details. As EasyJet operate a 'no-ticket' policy, you must print out the confirmation email, or make note of the reference number, which you should take to check in. For flying outside of the UK your passport is required, and for domestic flights, photographic identify (drivers license or passport) is necessary.
So there you go! The booking process takes about 10 minutes, and is easy to follow, quick to load. Plus the website is available in seven languages including English, Spanish, French and Italian.*** Why so cheap? ***
There are disadvantages when travelling with no-frills airlines. Flight times are usually the worst, flight lengths are usually longer (2 ½ hours coming back from Valencia to 1 ½ hours going out!) as the airspace route awarded is usually the longest. Flights usually delayed due to unrealistic journey times, (our flight was delayed for 5-10 minutes).~~ MY FLIGHT ~~
*** Check in ***After a lovely trip to Valencia, I was not looking forward to my trip home. I was on flight 3842 leaving at 7pm for Stanstead. Easyjet request that you check-in at least 40 minutes before your flight is due to depart, or you won't be flying and will not get a refund. Judging from the television show, Easyjet will try to fit you onto the next available flight if possible. I arrived at the airport with my confirmation sheet 2 and ½ hours prior to departure to find a queue of 10 people already. At 5pm, two desks opened, and within 15 minutes, I was checked in and ready to go. The crew was friendly and slightly robotic, as you would expect when having to ask the same questions hundreds of times a day! They asked all of the usual security questions, ("has someone asked you to pack anything?" Have your bags been left unattended") and then presented us with a boarding card. Very easy!
At the X-ray point going into the departure lounge, my boyfriends bag was checked and he was clumsy enough to leave a pocket travel set with a knife in his bag. The Spanish staff said he could either chuck it away or go back to check in and leave his bag unlocked (with PSP, CD player, and Little Britain Top trump cards!) to go on with the rest of the luggage. So we trotted back to check in where the staff taped the bag together (minus his beloved PSP!) and let it go through with the rest of the baggage. They were surprisingly understanding.*** Departure ***
After an hour browsing the two shops in the airport, it was time for boarding, however, there was no plane. At 6.20pm (our boarding time) the plane finally landed and we were still sat in the departure lounge. To my surprise, at 6.25pm we were called to start boarding. As seats are unreserved, they are on a first come first served basis. To avoid chaos, Easyjet call you in groups, the earlier you check in, the earlier you will start boarding. We were in group A, the earliest, and once called, stood waiting in the tunnel to board the bus towards the plane. After 10 minutes we boarded the bus, there was a rush to the plane to ensure people were sat with friends, or secured window seats. After the usual demonstrations and safety check, which again, the poor staff looked like it was the 10th time they done this in a day, we were up in the air, 7.05pm, 5 minutes late. The plane was turned around in roughly 25 minutes!
Our plane was a Boeing 737, with the recognisable Easyjet orange logo. Inside was fine. Orange and grey décor, with the flight attendants sporting the same motif in rather casual attire. A few friends have commented that the seats were dirty on their flight, but I had no such complaint. I was also impressed by the decent amount of legroom. As the flight was only 2 ½ hours, there was no in-flight entertainment. This was not a problem for me; I read a book, whilst the other half played his precious PSP. If you forget to provide your own entertainment, Easyjet provide a free magazine boasting every service that Easyjet has to offer! Both take off and landing was as smooth as I have experienced, with the Captain updating the flights progress several time. We had even made up the time and landed 5minutes early! When we entered the terminal at Stanstead, our bags were waiting on the carousel and we were on our way home, all within 20 minutes of landing, the fastest I have ever experienced!
*** Luggage***Easyjet allowed a maximum of 20kgs of luggage, and 1 piece of hand luggage up to 5kgs (this was not weighed and a sign was put up in Valencia to say that there was no limit on the weight of hand luggage - which I found rather surprising, and annoying!). As I mentioned earlier, we received our luggage from the carousel without waiting, there luggage was in good condition, and there had been no tampering, even without a lock!
*** Other information ***~ Children (under 18) who wish to travel without an adult must have written permission from a parent or guardian.
~ If you need to change a passenger name, you can do so for £10~ All flights are no-smoking
*** Summary ***Following my friends bad experiences, I was expecting the worst when booking a flight with Easyjet. However, the booking process was easy, the flight was a bargain so for what I would be paying for a two-hour flight I could not complain. And I couldn't! Check in was a breeze, the seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room and whilst the flight was slightly late taking off, we made up the time and landed smoothly, to find our luggage waiting on the carousel going through arrivals. Whilst they may not be my first choice for long haul flights, and are not 5 star luxury, I would most certainly fly with Easyjet again.
*** Contact details ***EasyJet Airline Company Limited
UK - 0871 7500100
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