I’ll admit that I’m not the person who purposely flies low cost carriers – both in the US and abroad. The last time I flew on Southwest here in the US was around 10 years ago, though it’s an airline my parents adamantly swear by. I guess the thought of swaying away from a full service airline scares me – God forbid a flight gets canceled, there’s more limited options to switch to. I find prices to roughly be the same, so all things considering I’m willing to fly on a legacy carrier more than a low-cost carrier.
That brings me to this past week, where after the Star Alliance MegaDo 7, several of us decided to fly from Athens to Milan for a little R&R for the weekend. easyJet was the cheapest option, and the flight took roughly two hours – short as sweet. I was actually looking forward to flying easyJet, since I had heard good things about them before. easyJet runs a point to point service, without the use of hubs – for example, we flew directly from Athens to Milan.
To start off, they have this concept of “Speedy Boarding” whereby you can pay an approximately $15 or so additional per person and get a guaranteed exit row seat, in addition to boarding the plane first, which allows you to stow luggage. Certainly this feature is well worth it on an airline with checked baggage fees, and lack of First Class seating, so if you’re flying easyJet, certainly opt into this feature. I did notice that as they called Speedy Boarding, a ton of people queued up, so I’m not sure how many of these passes they sell, but it appears a a fair amount take advantage of it.
The flight itself was actually uneventful – and I lived to tell about it. Legroom was tight, even in the exit row. Shortly after takeoff, 2 carts were brought through the aisle – one with beverages, a second with food, both buy on board. While it annoys me a bit to not even get some water or something small for the flight, I can understand the concept of them using this as an add on service. The food actually looked half decent, and they had hot sandwiches, snacks and other sweets for sale, at fairly reasonable prices. For about $10, you could have a sandwich, snack and non-alcoholic drink.
For short hops across Europe, easyJet actually isn’t a bad option. It was entirely different than what I’m used to in the US, so as a legacy flyer here, don’t come in comparing the two; it’s different. In the end, the model is that you’ll pay for what you use or want. To bring the two services comparable to one another, you’ll obviously need to pay additional on easyJet.
If prices were dramatically less, I’d certainly consider easyJet again. If they were at the same price of a “legacy” carrier such as British Airways or Lufthansa, I’d most certainly go with the legacy carrier, especially one where I have elite status on the alliance.
Overall, not a bad experience. Not great, not bad, but just in the middle. It’s cheap, it gets you to your destination and seems fairly reliable.
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