If you haven’t noticed by now, I travel. A lot. And while I have my preferred airlines (these), the flight I take is very much determined by the route. Direct flights are so much better than taking a preferred carrier. And living in Central Europe, more often than not, easyJet wins for having the most convenient routes and schedules. It’s not the easiest airline to take (despite their name), but there’s no denying it’s ubiquity in European airspace.
But flying with easyJet presents its own extra set of problems. Everything is an extra. When I sit at my computer trying to decide whether to book the flight or not, I pretty much glare at the screen, wanting to yell: “what do you mean 35€ for a checked bag?!” … “Are you kidding?!? You’re going to charge me to use a credit card to book?!”
We’ve all experienced it. The frustration of air travel in the 21st century begins not at the airport, but at the computer.
Thankfully I’ve devised a few ways to avoid that frustration. Basically it boils down to: just deal with it. Regardless, here are my 7 tips for surviving an easyJet flight…from booking to landing.
1. Book as early as possible.
EasyJet is supposed to be a budget airline but their prices go up exorbitantly the closer to your departure date. The sooner you book, the better. Though these days that’s fairly universal across all airline bookings.
2. Be flexible with your travel dates.
When booking, easyJet makes it relatively easy (well hey! Imagine that…) to see your various flight options within a few days. Be careful when selecting on the calendar though because they highlight the best deal better than your actual intended travel dates.
3. You’re going to have to pre-book your hold luggage and you’re just going to have to deal with it.
It seems no matter how hard I’ve tried to bring the right luggage, I still almost always end up having to check my bag. And easyJet is not friendly with this policy. Checking your bag at the airport when you haven’t pre-paid is a huge hassle. You have to queue up in a separate line and backtrack to the check-in counter. Not to mention they charge you an even more exorbitant price.
At the Airport…
4. Buy your own water at the airport.
Drinks onboard are frustratingly not free. I’ve learned to just deal with it and I always make sure I buy a bottle of water before boarding.
5. Use the easyJet app for your boarding pass.
Because I don’t own a printer, I’ve come to rely on either airline apps or just giving myself extra time at the airport to have the check-in counter print me a boarding pass. EasyJet, however, doesn’t even offer this as an option. They make it very clear in their email communications pre-flight that you are 100% responsible for bringing your own ticket under penalty of death…or something. So if you want to avoid any trouble (or potential fees), then you better make sure you’ve got your boarding pass downloaded to your phone beforehand.
TRAVEL TIP: I almost always use airline apps to check-in and save my boarding passes before traveling. But because I’m not traveling every day or even ever week, I usually delete the apps until needed – freeing up the precious space on my iPhone for pretty Instagram photos. They’re easy enough to reinstall when needed as I just visit my “Purchased Apps” menu in the App Store and select the menu “not installed on this iPhone” to track them down again.
On Board the Flight…
6. Learn to tune out advertising.
It’s probably not recommended, but I’ve become quite adept at tuning out overhead announcements. On most easyJet flights, they try to upsell you on airport transfers, electronic gadgets and sandwiches. (BTW the sandwiches aren’t half bad and they’re not even super expensive.) I just tune it out and focus on whatever other things might catch my eye (sometimes it’s the sexy flight attendants, ha!).
7. Patience, patience, patience!
EasyJet flights tend to be crowded. Or maybe it’s all the flights through Europe. I’m not sure. But these days, the only times I have an extra seat next to me is when I’m flying international. So on a crowded flight it’s important to have patience – not just for the flight crew (who are only doing their job) but also for the other passengers. Nothing riles me more than seeing some passenger complain about children on a flight. We’re all only human — even children. Give them a break. I’d be in tears too unless I’d learned how to deal with stressful flying situations.
Now it’s your turn: do you fly budget airlines in Europe? What’s your experience like and how do you manage the stress of budget air travel? Please share your tips below! I’m flying easyJet again next week to Paris and could use the advice…