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Budget air travel

We are planning on air travel from AMS to Prague and are looking into EasyJet, RyanAir, etc. Some websites have poor reviews of these businesses. Do any of you have any experience with this low-cost mode of travel?

Posted by
3580 posts

I have flown on several of these airlines. They tend to be reliable, on time, and sticklers on their rules. I check my bag when flying the budget airlines and haven't had a problem. Be sure you have your boarding pass printed and in hand when you arrive at the airport.

Posted by
2124 posts

We flew Easyjet from Prague to AMS in summer 2010, with no issues whatsoever. We did carry-on only. As I recall, tickets were quite inexpensive 5 months in advance.

Posted by
1199 posts

I fly Easyjet frequently - London to Athens and London to Prague. Most of the time they are fine. The only problem is when something really major happens. For example we were meant to be flying to Athens in December four years ago and the airport in London was snowbound. They couldn't offer us another flight for ten days, whereas a non- budget would have probably got us out the next day.

So, I'd say it's fine to book Easyjet if the price / time works for you but accept there's a very slight risk.

Here in the UK Ryanair has a much worse reputation. I can't speak from personal experience because I never take the risk with them. Having said that, news reports say they are trying to clean up their act. As I say I can't comment from personal experience. Maybe someone else can?

Posted by
9363 posts

I have had several problem-free flights with both EasyJet and Ryanair. I have checked bags with both - no problems. As long as you follow their rules, they are fine. All of my flights with both have been on time or early.

Posted by
2483 posts

I fly Edinburgh to Prague with Easyjet several times a year and have always found them to be excellent, they have VERY STRICT rules on baggage sizes especially carry on and are very strict about check in times, but they are an efficient and low cost carrier and one I would not hesitate to recommend .
I just recently booked with them again to go Edinburgh Prague return.
£113 return and that included 20kg of hold luggage each way and unlimited weight ONE BAG carryon as long as it meets their size requirements.when I say One bag that's is one bag not one bag plus personal item , or one bag plus comupter bag on one bag plus ladies purse .IT IS ONE BAG, but they also allow a small bag from the airport shop.

Posted by
11741 posts

I've used Wizz air and EasyJet and my experiences were such that I try and avoid them when possible.

Posted by
2483 posts

James E it would be interesting to hear your experiences. I certainly find that we from Europe have a very different view of Low Cost carriers compared to those from the US.

Posted by
9363 posts

This may not be true of James E, but most of the horror stories I have a seen have been from people accustomed to US domestic travel or US legacy airlines, where things are very different from the way budgets do things. Failure to notice or follow their rules seems to be a common theme.

Posted by
2483 posts

yes Nancy , I have found that too, with the Low cost carriers you cannot assume anything, baggage is extra and you pay, carry-on is strictly controlled and monitored especially the number of bags and the size of them,meals have to paid for and so does water ,many folk see the low price but do forget to add in all the other things.
Low cost carriers have allowed me and many other folk to do a lot more travelling than we would have just using legacy carriers .So far this year I have made trip to the Canary islands , Berlin and Prague and have flights booked for Prague later this year.

Posted by
11741 posts

I had a flight on Wizzair from Varna to Budapest some years back. About 4 hours prior to flight time I was notified of a schedule change. The flight would now be departing from Burgas; 2 hours south of Varna. I had no transportation so I ended up purchasing an expensive ticket on Bulgaria Air. I didn’t get a refund from Wizz Air.

I’ve used one or the other airlines on a few occasions when I needed to. Notice I only said “I try and avoid them when possible” and didn’t condemn them outright. Its expensive to get to Europe and the trips are limited in their time so the challenges and risks, for me at least, are enough to make it worth the few extra dollars on the $300 major airline connection rather than the $100 cheap-o air flight. I would look at it much differently if I lived in Europe and had more opportunities or if the flight were from Dallas to New Orleans.

But if the cost is make or break, sure, take the discount airline.

Posted by
9363 posts

Low cost carriers have allowed me to consider flying into cities other than my ultimate destination when I find a great deal. I have twice flown into and out of the UK on a super deal, then taken budgets from there to Spain and back. Total cost was a huge savings against flying directly into Madrid. Now when shopping for "across the pond" flights, I look for deals into anywhere, then look for budgets to my final destination. So what if it's not total comfort, or you have to pay an additional cost to check your bag on your 10 euro flight? It's an hour or two, not transatlantic. Any airline can, and does, cancel or change flights. And I have had no problems with any of the flights I have taken.

Posted by
11741 posts

Unfortunately there are no 10 euro flights where I am interested in going. I just checked Wizz from Budapest to London round trip and it was $297 including one carryon. KLM on Orbitz was $321.00. Many, but not all of my plans have resulted in the same sort of pricing difference. If the flight were 10 euro i would take it in a heart beat. Prices have gone up a lot, especially since 2012. Not enough savings to be worth it for me. BUT, there are a few places that the discount airlines go that the majors do not go. When that happens I find myself on a discount carrier; and i do without Business Class. Such is life. Oh, and moving a flight departure from Dallas to Oklahoma City 4 hours before flight time is not a "schedule change" by any stretch of the imagination. The Varna / Burgas experience was most likely the result of underselling the flight I had booked so they canceled it and told everyone to catch a plane in another city. That is one way to keep rates low. But for me when traveling the single most precious commodity is time. But these are just my preferences and each to their own. There is no right or wrong in such matters.

Posted by
6549 posts

Last time we flew into Italy, it was through Gatwick to Pisa on EasyJet.

We sat for hours in a large hall that looked like a mall--waiting for a gate assignment for our departing flight.

When the gate finally came up on a lighted board, everyone on that flight sprinted to the gate trying to be first in line through the gateway. They didn't assign any seats on the plane. It was pandemonium.
I don't understand why Gatwick Airport cannot assign gates ahead of time and avoid the riot. My gripe wasn't with EasyJet, but with Gatwick.

Posted by
2483 posts

Easyjet now assign seats on flights.
I have had to do the mad dash at Gatwick several times too, been a while since I was through Gatwick so hopefully things have improved

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all for your advice! We bought the EasyJet tickets and we will be on our way. I'll report back if we had any misadventures...