Come on, let’s fly. This is Generation easyJet. In this review, I will take a look at a cheap and cheerful easyJet flight from Faro Portugal to London Luton Airport UK. easyJet, Ryanair and Norwegian dominate the low-cost market out of the UK.
I will do other reviews into other low-cost airlines and will compare them side by side a little later in the year.
Flight Number: EZY2016
From: Faro Airport Portugal FAO/LPFR
To: London Luton Airport United Kingdom LTN/EGGW
Seat Cost: £34.74
Hold Luggage: £22.74
Departure Time Planned: 10:00
Departure Time Actual: 10:06
Arrival Time Planned: 12:55
Arrival Time Actual: 12:55
Aircraft: G-UZHX A320neo
Booking the Flight
This flight was booked using the easyJet mobile application for iPhone. It is simply excellent, to use. I searched for the flight on the dates I wanted. The cabin baggage policy was made clear and the option to add any required extras such as guaranteed seating, additional luggage and travel insurance was easy to see and easy to understand.
As I needed to check in luggage, which cost me £22 for the one way flight. easyJet require all passengers to check in online and either print or bring a mobile boarding pass and present this at the baggage drop desk. Baggage drop opens two hours before departure and this was rigidly enforced. With the check in staff refusing people even just a few minutes early.
Security at Faro, was quick and simple the same belt and braces routine as any other airport.
The airport has a large duty free area, and plenty of shops of places to eat. I had breakfast In Murphys Irish bar, which at 7 Euro for half a toasted muffin with a slice of ham and a water curdled hollandaise was simply unacceptable.
When flying a non-Schengen zone flight the boarding gates are laid out in a very strange way.
There is a long corridor, which the individual gates come off of. You go down the stairs and present your boarding card and passport for inspection before entering another seating area to wait.
Boarding was bedlam. It was not clear which lines were priority boarding and which line was for regular boarding.
Only when it was time to actually board the aircraft did the gate staff begin too marshall people around, by barking orders and hoping people heard enough to understand and be in the right line at the right time.
At most airports, low-cost airlines have clearly defined queues for priority and nonpriority lines but this was not the case here.
Once we were ready to be herded aboard those travelling in rows 1-15 were pointed to the front door for boarding via a jet bridge those in rows 15-31 down some steps to board via the rear door.
I was lucky enough to board at the rear and could spend some time admiring the beautiful A320neo in all her immaculate glory. This aircraft had been delivered just five days prior and this was its fourth day in revenue service.
Once on board, I was greeted with a stylish modern cabin a warm welcome and that gorgeous new plane smell.
The seating on this aircraft is supplied by Recaro using slim profile seats, upholstered in smooth black leather.
They really do look stylish and they are reasonably comfortable, the legroom is estimated by Seat Guru at 29inches. It did feel a little more cramped than the newer Ryanair cabin, but less restrictive than an EasyJet A319.
easyJet waste very little time, as this flight was only about 50% full, the cabin was settled in no time at all.
We pushed back a few minutes late but nothing unusual. As we pushed back the manual safety demonstration was done. I had an entire set of three seats to myself, so could spread out on this flight.
We had a quick taxi out, and a fast, powerful take off run. In a previous article, I mentioned Faro being a great approach and to be fair the departure is just as nice.
Flying due west giving a splendid view over the coastline before starting our turn north towards Lisbon, The Bay of Biscay and finally descending over London towards Bishops Stortford then a left turn to approach Luton from the west.
easyJet offers a great range of onboard food and drinks from the branded Bistro range.
They offer the usual selection, of tea, coffee, hot chocolate as well as a wide range of spirits, mixers and alcohol.
They also serve a selection of cold snacks, including crisps, cake, sweets and chocolate.
As well as hot food, including a folded calzone pizza, bacon rolls and toasties, this varies by route. Well, they normally, serve a selection but on this flight, they had run out of everything with the exception of hummus and falafel wraps. I have to admit I can understand why.
I had a coffee and cake which cost me £4. Nothing particularly unusual about that, the quality was excellent. The only downside being I was still hungry.
I ordered the tapas box, which came with a selection of meats, crackers and tomato dip. It was pleasantly unremarkable.
The flight passed quickly, thanks to an excellent crew. Who were friendly and efficient, but not over the top as to come across a fake.
I and my friend had a laugh with the crew and they interacted with us during the flight. I have found easyJet crew to be inconsistent out of Luton base; however, this crew really was excellent.
The crunch of this review is to consider how the A320neo compares to the A320ceo.
You can certainly appreciate the 25 years of additional technology. Inside the aircraft is virtually silent on both take-off and landing.
The lighting less harsh and more neutral, the ambience lighter and brighter, normally I feel pretty groggy after a flight but on this occasion, I felt rather fresh and energetic.
I would be happy to fly on an A320neo. It is an improvement over the A320ceo. The seats are also considerably nicer.
easyJet has several different styles of seats. The older cabins which do feel more cramped than this, however, the seats do have more padding. The newer style cabins have cloth Recaro seats.
The seats are thin but comfortable enough; this is, however, a fault not just limited to easyJet. Many airlines are switching to slimline seats, which offer more legroom, are lighter but have less padding and lumbar support.
Just be careful if you like a seat with a view, row 31 has no window on the A320neo.
This is normally where the toilets would be, however, the toilets are in the tail cone, on this aircraft and an additional row of seats added where the toilets would normally be.
I can conclude that on this occasion easyJet, provided exactly what they said on the tin.
The flight was on the time, the aircraft pleasant to fly on and the crew outstanding.
It was let down however by the fact all the good stuff was sold out on the trolley. I was not so keen on Faro airport; I still think it’s chaotic and poorly laid out especially for low-cost traffic.
I would fly easyJet again in heartbeat, but I do try and avoid their A319 aircraft. The A320neo and A320ceo are used interchangeably, but if you are lucky enough to be flying on the neo option, you are in for a real treat.
|Onboard Experience Overall||8|