Interesting experience with Easy Jet and a bit of a warning,
Ridiculous. Not so much EasyJet and other European LCC's, but more so the reporter. The fees are a portion of how LCC's can offer very low airfare compared to their legacy rivals. They're not aiming for business travelers. They're aiming for the casual European traveler and are also capturing a huge portion of the non-European tourism market. I grant that the airlines should make it more abundantly clear what the restrictions and limits are at the time of purchase without having to search all over the website, but it should be very easy to keep a single back below 15Kg (33lbs) or 20Kg (44lbs). I can pack two to three pair of trousers, four shirts, a week of socks and underwear and toiletries and meet this. My daypack goes carry-on with the camera and heavier items. Very simple. I'm not sure what Peter Greenberg is expecting. Again, this is how LCC's are able to market low fares - revenue made up in fees, advertising (RyanAir is notorious) and other cost cutting measures.
Erik, I agree with you. I booked FIVE low-cost flights for a trip this summer (none on easyjet), and I never even considered the fact that I could bring multiple bags and EACH would be that weight limit.
The author also fails to mention that these airlines are tailored to certain types of people - the backpacker, the budget traveler, the Through the Back Door traveler, who just wants to get from point A to point B. You go to these airlines' websites, and you don't get the impression they are really even intended for the business traveler or whoever who would have to take lots of different heavy clothing. I suppose the article is a nice warning to everyone to read the fine print (which, when growing up, my parents always told me to do anyway...), but maybe instead, he should've written an article about the importance of packing light!!?!?
The lesson to be learned here - apart from really reading the fine print - is that so called low-cost carriers aren't always cheaper than traditional ones. Best example is Frankfurt to London or vv. Lufthansa and BA usually offer roundtrips between €99 and €199 if booked somewhat in advance. Ryanair offer one ways from €9 per leg which incl. taxes and fees (check-in fee, baggage fees etc) adds to €80 a roundtrip. Of course you still have to get to their Frankfurt airport which is about 90 mins from Frankfurt, pay for parking there (or take the bus for €30 round trip) which brings the total to €110. Standsted express is also some €30 one way, bringing the total to €170. Instead of 50 mins flight plus 50 mins tube from Heathrow to the city the total journey time is now in the area of 5 hours. Lufthansa would have let me check in 20kgs for free plus another 8 kg carry on... It's called trip modelling. Always consider the total cost of your trip from door to door!
I think all things have been said, you know what you want/need and should consider all. The cost of transport to and from some of the outlying airports is what is getting me at the moment: Stockholm/Skavsta 45 km from Stockholm and SEK 130 ($19) one way; Brussels/Chaleroi 46 km from Brussels center and €11 to get there. Andreas has it right-check out the distances and cost before you go "cheap". It is still a good deal for my party, but a pain.
We flew easyjet yesterday and let me tell you, never in my life will I be desperate enough to use them again. It was horrible.
Meldina, could you please specify why? I'm sure it would be very helpfull to all of us.
Sorry, typo. I meant to say Melinda.
Of course I will. I'm sure that plenty of people will come on here and say that they had a pleasant experience with them or that we should have read better or blah blah blah...
I guess I'll start out by saying that we booked online, and it was my husband that did it so what it says or doesn't say, I don't really know.
Someone recommended Easy Jet to us because we only needed a one way flight from Amsterdam to London. We booked our tickets online and knowing that we had 3 bags, we paid the 15 Euros for the extra bag-no problems. I wouldn't say that we packed light, but we did not overpack and have not had more than what was manageable for us (and we've been traveling all over for the past 3 weeks.) When we got to the check in counter and put our bags on the scale, the lady then told us that even though we paid for the extra bag, we didn't get any extra weight. We were about 13 kilos over and it would cost us 9 Euros per kilo. (I have to make a new post. I ran out of characters)
So we decided to take our bags and try and repack with some of the heavier stuff in our carryons. We got that done and went back to the scale and we were only about 1 and a half kilos over which we decided we were okay with but then the lady was like, no that makes your carry on too heavy. The sign says something along the lines of, 'if your bag can comfortably fit in here then there is no weight restriction (within reason)'. Apparently ours weren't within reason even though we could lift them over our heads fine and they fit just great in the size slot thing. Sooooo she refused to give us our boarding passes or our money back until we switched our stuff back. We had to get on this plane so we just paid it and went on. We had some bottles of chocolate spread stuff in one of our carryons that they wouldn't let through security even though it was sealed, but they let me take a sealed bottle of water (which I actually had forgotten about and wasn't planning on taking.)
I really see no difference in the two but whatever. The board said our flight was half an hour late which was fine. They finally let everyone downstairs thinking we were going to board soon, and then we realized that even though we had paid for it, our boarding passes didn't have the correct letter on it for us to go on in the first group even though we had paid for it but they said at that point it was too late and we should have caught it at the check in counter. They made us all stand there waiting for this plane for an extra half hour (so now it's an hour late) and by the time we took off we were an hour and 25 minutes late.
I'm not sure what I expected I guess, but I would rather pay twice that and fly with someone else without the problems (and I in fact paid more than twice our ticket price for our extra luggage.)
Oh and when we were at the check in counter talking with the lady about the weight of our bags and explaining that we didn't know the payment for the extra bag didn't offer us extra weight, she made a rude comment about us being American that was totally uncalled for since we weren't even being rude. Oh well, I'm in London now and never have to use them again.
Melinda, et al., I understand your frustration, but I do think we in America are used to service that isn't the norm in Europe. I have learned to expect experiences that might be less than pleasant and Easy Jet situation is not that uncommon in my experience. We booked a Northwest flight Amsterdam to Portland, called to reconfirm 3 days in advance and they sold our seats that morning. My mother, 3 year old son, and I were all over the plane because we were working with KLM –– the European carrier for NW. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to keep calm about.
Oh dear. Easyjet is a low cost airline, aimed at people making short journeys for business or pleasure who are not carrying much luggage, and do not want lots of facilities. These airlines are great if they fly from an airport near you, and the destination is where you want to go.
They are not very good for Americans on the Grand Tour, who have lots of bags and want to travel mainly between capital cities. If you have a lot to carry, rent a car or find an airline with fewer restrictions. You can't have the penny and the bun. If you want high levels of service, you have to pay for it.
I must admit that I had no idea about that nasty dirty trick easyJet use to rip you off. I'm a frequent Ryanair passenger and am used to their spiel. Had I agreed to pay for extra baggage on easyJet I would have assumed that my weight limit goes up, too. Fortunately for me there is absolut no easyJet airport anywhere near Frankfurt so that I'm protected in that way. Linda is right. Americans are service-oriented, Europeans are price-oriented. Just go to an Aldi, Lidl or Plus supermarket anywhere in Spain, Germany, Ireland, Poland and you'll see a huge, huge difference - both in price and in service.
I have to say I flew easyjet 3 times last year and only had great experiences.I find it a little anoying when people complain about a company not having great service when your paying half the price for a similiar flight back home. I was overweight a couple times the first time it was just two kilos so the agent told me to take something out and put it in my carry on, she waited for me to do so, second I was like 3 kilos over and just told I would have to pay, this was the end of my trip so I had gotten an extra bag so they let me check a suitcase and carryon a big backpack. For a flight that only cost my $40, I didn't care about spending an extra $20, plus it's because of the weight restrictions they can keep the prices down.
Every airline has late planes so you can't really fault easyjet on that. Also their their website is pretty clear on baggage policies. I found the author of this aritcle and others to be mad, because it was their fault they didn't read the site!
In 2003 I flew EasyJet from London Gatwick to Madrid (I'd booked the flight in Paris before taking the Eurostar to London for a couple of days). It was an unintended detour that occurred due to a French train strike.
It bummed me out that I had to check the backpack I'd had no problem taking onboard various Continental flights (both national & int'l). But other than that, I made it to my friend's wedding in Leon on-time and was OK with the experience. It was about the same as a MAC flight in the military - bare bones and all business, but it got me where I needed to be quickly and cheaply...