Flying the easy way?

Last weekend I flew back to Northern Ireland for my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday. We thought about it too late to fly from Southampton with FlyBE, and it was rediculously expensive, so we booked with Easyjet to fly from Gatwick, which was less than a third of the price even when you add the cost of parking.

The driving to Gatwick was quite a pain, though that was not the most painful part of the trip. The parking at the long stay car park was quite painless, and a quick bus ride to the terminal was fine, but the real pain was after checking-in.

Gatwick really fails to process people through security quickly – it took ages to get through. Then you have to remove shoes, which you don’t at Southampton.

Our boarding time was moved forward by ten minutes according to my boarding card, however we didn’t board until after we were supposed to have taken off. It seems EasyJet are unable to run to a schedule.

EasyJet basically boards in two groups according to check-in time. We were in the second group and had to hope we got two seats next to each other – FlyBe allocate seats at check-in, so at least you know if you get to sit together or not

Flying back from Belfast was almost as much a hassle – Despite me taking off my watch and belt, removing my phone, wallet and keys I still appeared to set off the metal detector and had to remove my shoes. Then I was given a pat-down, no magic wand was used to find the metal that set off the walk-through scanner, and then they checked the bottom of my socks…

Again EasyJet was late to board, and take off.

Next time I fly to Northern Ireland, I will be making more effort to book early, as EasyJet was a painful experience I’d rather not repeat.

I am also getting annoyed about the fact that bags are no longer free on low-cost airlines. £5 per bag isn’t too bad, but EasyJet even charges you for not taking a bag! How can they charge you a bagage fee for no bags!?

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About Anton Piatek

Professional bit herder, amateur photographer. Linux and tech geek
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3 Responses to Flying the easy way?

  1. Andrew says:

    No disrespect, but you don’t fly much, right? 🙂

    Shoe checking policy is pretty much random, in my experience. Some airports do it, some don’t. Go figure.

    Printed boarding times also often bear little relation to advertised boarding time, actual boarding time, takeoff time, or anything else. At the end, it’s not worth worrying about; it’s arrival time that’s important, and the gating factor there is often Air Traffic Control.

    Having said all that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if EasyJet’s on-time record isn’t great. You get what you pay for 🙂

  2. Anton says:

    I have been flying a long time – not frequent, but plenty of long-haul flights to Australia.
    My experience is that most of my flights boarded at least before they were supposed to have taken off.
    The above RyanAir flight of course arrived late. It was going to, having left an hour late. Mind you, they do add 20 minutes into their flight time to cover for late departures, but then FlyBe seem to do that too.

    I suppose I have become spoiled in recent times by flying mostly from Southampton, which is small. Thinking back to Heathrow a year ago, it was painful from the security perspective too

  3. Andrew says:

    Yes, you probably have. Southampton is a _nice_ airport 🙂

    Long-haul can be different: the plane is larger, so they often start boarding earlier: often up to an hour in advance.

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