I had a chance to fly the famously cheap European discount airline EasyJet last month. I have a little better idea of why so many people have a love/hate relationship with this budget airline.
6 reasons to love EasyJet
- Good fares – Let’s face it, EasyJet has good fares. Even when you factor in some unusual fees EasyJet is an airline whose fares are easy to love.
- Bag weight limit – While I can’t say I was wild about the weight limit of 20 kilos per person, I did appreciate that in a party of 3 people they did not care if all 3 bags were under 20 kilos as long as the total was less than 60 kilos.
- Carry-on weight unlimited – The official policy of EasyJet is that they don’t care how much your bag weighs (within reason). My son once packed too many books in his carry-on bag on a flight on Air New Zealand. We were told his bag was overweight and he could not bring it on the plane. When we asked what we could do they suggested he take out a few books and carry them. What exactly did that accomplish?
- Airport Transfer / Oyster Card – You can buy an airport transfer/oyster card on the plane. I understand that they sell things on the plane to make money, but at least selling you a way to get into town is useful.
- Snacks – EasyJet had a large variety of snacks that we could purchase. What you thought they would feed us?.
- Self Check-in – The self-check-in kiosks made the check-in process simple. You have to go to the desk only if you need to drop off the luggage.
6 reasons to hate EasyJet
- One carry-on – EasyJet has a one carry on policy instead of one carry-on and a personal item like most airlines. This meant we checked our bags when we normally wouldn’t
- One carry-on not consistently enforced – We made sure to check our carry-on bag since we knew people who had been prevented from bringing their 2nd piece of luggage on the plane, but that did not seem to be enforced on our flight and plenty of people were flaunting that rule. Whatever your rule is, enforce it consistently.
- Constant selling… and nagging – EasyJet makes money from selling you things on the plane. They do this by constantly badgering you on the flight to buy something. More annoying to my wife was the announcement of how to use the overhead bins that played every minute or so from the moment we boarded.
- Even a soda costs – Even a soft drink costs on EasyJet. They have already announced that they are considering switching to pay toilets to save on flushing toilet costs on the other famously cheap European airline RyanAir. Don’t be surprised if in the future the safety drill offers to sell you a seat belt on EasyJet.
- Self Check-in – It is a good thing that the self-check-in worked for us because that is the only check-in option.
- Boarding – Many people complain that Southwest Airlines boarding process is too regimented: stand here, board now, etc. I will never make that complaint again. Both discount airlines use open seating but if Southwest was regimented EasyJet was more like a rugby scrum. I lost my wife and daughter in the crowd but it was every man for himself.
Will I fly EasyJet again? Sure. The prices are good. But next time I am sneaking on my own soda.