By Maya Kachroo-Levine
November 24, 2018
Side view of an EasyJet plane in 2018
Credit: Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

For travelers city-hopping around Europe, easyJet is an affordable go-to airline. They have flights all over Europe, as well as covering some parts of the Middle East (you can fly to Tel Aviv and Damascus, for example) and Morocco. Headquartered at London Luton Airport, which is one of the four London airports easyJet flies out of, they’re still a relatively new company. They started flying in 1996, and today, easyJet says more than 1.3 million bookings are made through their website every month. Post Brexit, they are looking to open easyJet Europe as a subsidiary, which will have offices in Vienna.

If you’re planning a multi-city European itinerary, easyJet seems like an obvious choice for anyone trying to stretch their cash. Personally, I find it hard to resist a cheap flight from Barcelona to Paris. But after booking impulsively, I sometimes worry that the inexpensive ticket is going to cost me quite a bit in terms of time and frustration. So if you’re going back and forth on whether or not to book that flight on easyJet, here are all the answers to your easyJet questions, supplied by reviewers who have already tried the budget airline.

What do I need to prepare ahead of time?

The key to acing an easyJet flight is preparation. Some budget airlines charge for things you might not think of, like printing a boarding pass at the airport, so you want to be sure to cover all your bases ahead of time. Lori Zaino, from The Points Guy, explained, “With EasyJet, print your boarding pass and pay to check your luggage ahead of time so you won’t have to worry about paying any extra fees. If you don’t need to check any bags and you have your boarding pass printed, you can head straight to security and avoid the check-in desk entirely. Note that you can check in online anywhere from 30 days to two hours before your flight.”

What’s the deal with carry-on bags?

EasyJet actually doesn’t impose exact measurements on your personal item, which is a rarity for budget airlines. They just require that the personal item fits under your seat. And there isn’t a weight limit for carry-on bags; you can cram as many chunky boots into your suitcase as you’d like, provided it fits their other carry-on specifications. Zaino said, “On EasyJet, [carry-on bag] requirements are slightly more lax, with a maximum carry-on bag size of 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm (about 22 x 17 x 9 inches) and no weight limit. Your personal item doesn’t have an exact size requirement, but should be able to fit under the seat in front of you.”

How is their customer service?

After sifting through most of the easyJet reviews on the internet, it seems like customer service is solid when things go smoothly, but can be a little dicey if the going gets tough. As for flight delays, customers do tend to complain about hold ups or last-minute cancellations with some regularity.

“Flight cancelled [on] very short notice, no help whatsoever, then ignored by head office until posting negatively on Facebook. They refuse to provide any information on the reasons for the cancellation and generally treat me with an attitude bordering on contempt,” John posted on Airline Ratings. “They’re good when it all goes to plan but when a problem occurs you really see what kind of company this is,” he continued.

Martin flew from Tel Aviv to London and also had a poor customer service experience. The airline lost his bag, he said on Airline Ratings: “No apology from easyJet whatsover. After three days into the trip, I still don’t know where my bag is or when I will get it back.”

On the flip side, Sonya V. has flown easyJet multiple times and said on Yelp that she’s had extremely positive interactions with their staff. “In fact I had 5 flights in one month and all of them went as smoothly as could be. The staff are wonderful. Even the people telling me my bags were overweight did it with a tinge of regret. Everyone speaks excellent English.”

Are there any amenities, or should I bring my own snacks?

There isn’t much in the way of legroom, and the seats don’t recline. There’s no complimentary beverage service and pretzels, but seeing as they don’t measure your personal item, you’ll have room to throw a few granola bars in your purse. Sanat S gave these three bullet points on Yelp:

“- Seat pitch was very small, which is par for the course for many low-cost airlines. However, as I am tall, it was horrible for me, with next to no comfortable leg room, and my knees were touching the seat in front.

- Even worse, the seat did NOT recline whatsoever. It was in one fixed position.

- Service was standard low-cost, with no complimentary snacks or drinks. However, for a flight that was just under 2 hours, this wasn't TOO unbearable.”

Should I expect delays?

Agreeing with John, who had to deal with delays, Linda R. on Yelp suggested that encountering a delay or cancellation was a concern with easyJet. “We had a flight booked from London Luton to Paris and right when we got to the airport we were told the flight had been cancelled,” she said.

Linda also had an issue when attempting to rebook. “We found out that the next flight would not leave until two days later,” she added.

How do I make the EasyJet experience work for me?

Take a short flight, so that the lack of snacks, drinks, and legroom doesn’t bother you. Print your boarding pass out before you go, and consider paying extra for a slightly larger seat and priority boarding. And keep in mind that some of the strikes against easyJet (and most budget airlines) can also be a strike against any airline.

Sure, boarding might be a bit messy, but when is that not the case? In terms of timing, if you have to be at your baby cousin’s first birthday party, taking an easyJet flight that arrives two hours before the event might not be the right choice. However, if you have a relaxed itinerary and are excited by the idea of saving money, flying with easyJet can be simple and affordable.