The internet is packed to the brim with first and business class travel reports, you’d think we all constantly jet about the world drinking Krug on a flat bed. In reality we mostly just want the lowest cost, yet safe, way to get from A to B. In Europe easyJet shuttle over 88 million passengers each year, let’s get onboard and see what they offer the majority.
easyJet have always proactively tried to drum up direct business, originally via phone and now online. This means they invest a huge amount in your digital experience when booking, and it certainly shows. It was super easy to book, add luggage and within about five minutes in total I had a confirmation of flights in my inbox. Yes, there are up/cross-sells galore and plenty of ways to get that base flight figure up, but I’ve done it so many times now it’s almost instinctive.
I haven’t flown from Stansted for 2 years or so, whilst it once was an innovative and easy passenger experience due to low numbers, and this time it was seriously busy. People everywhere, construction and queues rile the senses at 4am in the morning. I made my way to the easyJet check in area, which seems practically minute compared to the sprawling area at Gatwick, but the same automatic check in desks are in operation.
My sticky label attached, boarding pass (on the app, which was really easy to use) and passport check complete I was joining the mass outside the security zone. Luckily once though the automatic barriers the security operation was really well manned and operating at great efficiency. The time to departures was actually very impressive given the huge number of people in a small area. I was shopping in World Duty Free within 5-6minutes from check in.
I made some purchases with my Dufry app, which also had an additional 20% off voucher, and then tried to look for somewhere to grab something on-the-go to eat and then catch the sky train to the satellite gate. This was easier said than done, the lounge was packed to the brim with very few seats. The queue for Boots wound around the store and WH Smith also very similar. I joined the line for a Leon, and had a halloumi muffin in a cool brown bag in about 10minutes, not exactly great timing but considering the volume of people being served it was a mean feat. It was worth the wait as I sat waiting to board munching on a much needed breakfast.
Priority for easyJet passengers and those requiring pre-boarding was well enforced as per usual with easyJet. I waited until last to stand up and board, at which point they were requesting for bags to be put into the hold, luckily I only had my rucksack and this is always allowed on. easyJet are very firm on the one bag per standard passenger, so your Mulberry handbag must go into your Louis Vuitton cabin roll on. Another bag of duty free is perfectly acceptable though, in a twist of airport odd rules. I was buzzed through and out onto the apron within minutes and up the back steps.
The crew were performing pre-flight tasks when I boarded, leaving the welcome less than warm. I do understand that they have an almost impossibly tight turnaround on easyJet, so I need to be a little forgiving of this. Another full easyJet flight, how do they fill their planes at all times of day from-and-to any location? Their load factors are very impressive compared to legacy airlines.
A nice address from the captain; explaining our route, the weather and thanking us for choosing easyJet. Our flight would be conducted by the first officer and our captain would be keeping his feet up and an eye open. The crew then performed a manual safety demonstration with pre-recorded audio, and Italian audio playing just after.
Leg room was decent aboard this A319, which had the older fabric seats and orange netting. The seat does not recline, but it is more than tolerable for a 2hr 30mins hop. The seat area was clean, and the aircraft in great condition.
Take off was smooth and the crew shot into service, bringing a trolley filled with their Bistro service through the cabin with a team operating from each end. I had a diet cola can and a Twix which came to 5EURO, served in a plastic glass with ice. The Bistro magazine contains details of three menus, one loaded per flight, of hot food – toasted sandwiches, wraps and baguettes and a huge range of alcoholic and soft drinks. There was also a few choices of gin too, just to try and be on trend, right easyJet?
I then had a browse of the nicely presented in flight magazine and watched some TV on my iPad. During this time the crew passed through the cabin with their boutique service, another magazine provided details of this too. There weren’t many takers at this time of the morning, but there seemed to be some decent discounts on skincare and perfumes.
We touched down into Naples some 30minutes early, but our taxi took around 15mins to the gate, where two buses took us into the terminal. Unlike my previous visits to Naples Airport the immigration was super-quick using the e-gates and the bags were just starting to come onto the carousel just 5minutes later.
Bag collected, I was walking out the airport – with a very satisfactory flight and another better than on-time experience with easyJet.