My family of 5 is traveling to Budapest at the end March for a few days and then a couple of days in Paris. I have learned so much on this forum and am getting really excited! My 19 yo son is the only one of us who has been, just this past summer, while traveling through Europe with friends. Budapest was one of his favorite cities, and we are so looking forward to visiting with him as a guide. My first question (there will be more, I’m sure!) is a general one regarding booking our flight from Budapest to Paris. I’ve looked on google flights and Air France seems to be the best option. We will have bags to check. Any advice or cautionary tales on airlines to avoid, best way and time to book? I’ve flown Air France once and swore I never would again, but maybe for a short flight it’s okay? Thanks in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts!
What happened on your last AF flight that made you swear to never fly them again?
Between Paris and Budapest your only other choice is Easyjet for direct flights, so if Air France has decent offers I'd say book them.
www.skyscanner.com says your other choice for this flight, lasting about 2 1/2 hours non-stop, is easyJet, a major discount airline. The differences between this kind of carrier and the established lines such as Air France are fading, especially on short runs. They all add extra fees for such things as advance seat assignment. easyJet is known for strict enforcement of its rules, most famously for the restriction on cheapest tickets of only one carry-on bag. They mean ONE: not one plus a purse plus a laptop. It's a familiar sight to see passengers on the floor at the departure gate trying to consolidate their stuff. That said, easyJet are efficient and good value for money. But so is Air France. And the amount of creature comforts you can enjoy in these short flights is pretty limited on any line.
I like Easyjet. Closer to a SWest model. Just follow there rules closely as to check-in and luggage. They are not like RyanAir. But if Air France is you best option - take it. We have flown AirFrance a number of times with no problems and would do so again. Just be sure you know where Easyjet lands in Paris.
Thanks everyone! I’m so glad to hear others have had better experiences with Air France — that gives me more confidence in booking. I discounted Easyjet because we will have bags to check, and I didn’t think it was even an option to add on. I agree that for 2.5 hours other creature comforts are less of a concern.
I flew on Easy Jet from Milan to Prague. When I purchased my ticket I paid to check my bag. That's the least expensive way to do it. I used my backpack with purse inside as my carry on bag. I would fly with them again.
I'd use Easyjet or Ryan and save a few hundred dollars.
Just booked our flight on Easy Jet at a great rate. Thanks for the guidance everyone! Now I can focus on the fun planning. :)
We flew AirFrance this week from Budapest to Paris. The flight went at 6 a.m. and you cannot check in until 4 a.m. Many people arrived before 4 and were standing around waiting for the check in gates to open. AirFrance shares gates with KLM - there was also a 6 a.m. flight on KLM to Amsterdam so the lines were very long but moved quickly. Everyone got a large croissant and a hot beverage - that's all I needed on the flight.
Hope you took the advice to pay for your checked bags before flight time -- can get pricey at the gate. We will be flying Easyjet for the third time in December (second out of Budapest) , no problems but we paid at booking to check small (carry-on size) bags each time.
I did! I may add another bag when it gets closer to our travel time, and I have a better sense of what we're taking. I plan to do that before leaving the US, so hopefully we'll be okay. I know we'll need to check luggage, but I didn't want to overpay when at this point, I have no real idea of how much we'll be packing.