This post is specifically on EasyJet, just one of Europe’s low-cost airlines.
Check out these prices:
One-way ticket from London to Amsterdam $45
One-way ticket from Amsterdam to Barcelona $38
These are the costs of airline tickets traveling in late May 2012 in Europe on EasyJet!
Those are the kind of prices I like but if you need to be coddled and sit in a cushy seat with a free glass of wine in hand, then EasyJet is not for you. If you are looking for a cheap way to get from point A to point B so you can sit in a nice cafe to sip wine, then EasyJet is worth the little bit of extra hassle you might endure. Always check out the legacy airlines like British Airways, Air France, etc., as well as trains, before making your bookings however in most cases you will find dramatically lower fares on EasyJet.
- You pay about $5 to pick a seat. Or for no cost you line up at the gate and sit wherever there is a seat left.
- You pay $15 extra for checked luggage. They allow only one piece of hand luggage. Technically this is the rule but I found EasyJet to be pretty liberal. Size does matter so you really can’t bring on a huge bag (allowed maximum size is on the website) but I was allowed my carry-on plus a small day pack. If your luggage is too big or you are boldly bringing several pieces, the cost of stowing last-minute luggage is very steep. If you are at all concerned about bringing too much, pay the extra $15 fee when you purchase your ticket.
- Everything on board costs extra. Sodas, water, snacks all cost extra but they are reasonably priced compared to the prices on U.S. carriers. (I always bring my own snacks. I get really crabby without food.)
- In some cities, they fly from out-of-the-way airports. However, in most cases Easyjet also provides affordable transportation to and from these airports. The website offers online purchase of local transportation at the time of booking.
- Easyjet charges $14 admin fee to book travel. You will save money by purchasing all tickets to all locations in one single transaction rather than separate transactions.
- They charge a 2.5% fee for credit card transactions.
So I’ve listed a lot of hassles but in reality full service carriers have quite a few extra fees as well these days and service is often lacking. In my opinion, with EasyJet it is super simple to buy tickets, all the flights were clean and on time but most importantly, it was the most affordable way for me to hit more cities for less money!