What to Know Before You Fly This Budget Airline

Since it was founded in 1995, EasyJet has become one of Europe’s most popular low-cost airlines. And it’s easy to see why — the airline offers flights to over 100 destinations in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East for super-low prices. (You can easily score round-trip tickets between incredible destinations like London, Paris, Barcelona, and more for around $100).

Of course, as is the case with any budget airline, those affordable base fares can turn out to be a bit more expensive than they appear once you begin adding extras like baggage and seat selection.

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Whether you’re planning a multi-city tour of Europe or taking a quick weekend trip, there are a few things you’ll need to know before booking flights with EasyJet to decide if this is the best airline for your next trip.

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Fare Classes

EasyJet offers four different fare classes between the most minimal Standard Fare and the more inclusive Flexi. Here’s what each one comes with:

  • Standard: Underseat cabin bag
  • Standard Plus: Underseat cabin bag, Up Front Seat, overhead cabin bag, Speedy Boarding, Dedicated Bag Dop
  • Essentials: Underseat cabin bag, standard seat, 23-kilogram checked bag
  • Flexi: Underseat cabin bag, overhead cabin bag, Speedy Boarding, Dedicated Bag Drop, free route changes, bistro voucher, fee flight changes, 23-kilogram checked bag Up Front Seat, Airport Lounge Access (in available airports)

In addition to these fares, you will also have the option to purchase the Extra Legroom or Up Front Seat add-on when given the option to select your seat. This upgrade comes with the additional benefits of Speedy Boarding, Dedicated Bag Drop, and an allowance of two carry-on bags.

Flight Change and Cancellation Policies

EasyJet’s flight change and cancellation policies can be confusing, but generally, it’s less expensive to make any adjustments online so always try to do it yourself first before calling customer service. If you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking, you will receive a full refund (minus the cancellation fee), but canceling after that will not grant you a refund. Here are the fees for various changes you may need to make to your booking. Prices have been converted from the Pound sterling to U.S. dollars.

  • Cancellations (within 24 hours of booking): $60 online and $68 with customer service
  • Name Change: $68 online and $74 with customer service
  • Flight changes (60 days before departure): $31 online and $37 with customer service
  • Flight changes (within 60 days before departure): $60 online and $66 with customer Service

For passengers who miss their flight, EasyJet also charges a “rescue fee” of $136 to transfer your ticket to the next available flight, but only if you arrive at the airport within two hours after your scheduled departure time.

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Baggage Policies and Fees

Quick British English lesson: EasyJet’s website refers to “cabin” and “hold” luggage — these are your carry-on and checked luggage, respectively. Everyone can bring one small cabin bag (a.k.a. a personal item) that has to fit under the seat in front of you — it must be 45 x 36 x 20 centimeters or smaller (roughly 17 x 14 x 7 inches). If you book an Up Front or Extra Legroom seat, you can bring a large cabin bag (carry-on) on board that has to fit in the overhead bin — it must be 56 x 45 x 25 centimeters or smaller (roughly 22 x 17 x 9 inches). EasyJet Plus cardholders and Flexi ticket holders can also bring a personal item and carry-on bag.

For hold (or checked) luggage, the fees range from $10 to $70, depending on weight and whether you add them online or at the airport. Checked luggage cannot weigh more than 32 kilograms (around 70 pounds) or be larger than 275 centimeters (about 108 inches, length plus width plus height).

You’ll want to carefully look over the baggage policy online before booking so you can get an idea of exactly what your luggage costs will be. Reflecting on the baggage fees, one Tripadvisor reviewer said, “When summing up all the costs, the price can be equivalent or more expensive than proper full-service airlines.”

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Boarding Order

Those who request special assistance in advance board the plane first, followed by Speedy Boarding passengers, families with children under five, and then everyone else. Tripadvisor reviews about Speedy Boarding were conflicting — some passengers found the service to be a great help, while others said it was inefficient and confusing.

Seats and Legroom

There are three types of seats: Standard, Up Front, and Extra Legroom. The minimum seat pitch of a standard seat is 29 inches, and the minimum width is 17 inches, but specifics will vary by aircraft. In a Yelp review, one passenger said, “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 legroom, and my knees were touching the seat in front. Even worse, the seat did not recline whatsoever. It was in one fixed position.”

In another Tripadvisor review, one user pointed out that the Up Front seating system may cause crowding, saying, “Those who choose Up Front seats are entitled to take overhead cases and are entitled to Speedy Boarding. This meant the front of the plane was extremely busy whilst the rest of the plane was emptier.”

Amenities and Entertainment

Food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are available for purchase on EasyJet flights. On some routes, passengers can access digital content, such as games, flight maps, and onboard food and drink menus, through their phone, tablet, or laptop. To use the service, you will need to connect to EasyJet’s onboard Wi-Fi — which kicks in at 10,000 feet — by scanning the QR code on the back of the seat rest. You won’t be able to access the Internet or check your e-mails, however, because it is a closed-loop Wi-Fi system.

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EasyJet Plus

EasyJet offers an annual membership, called EasyJet Plus, that’s ideal for frequent fliers. For $266 per year, membership perks include seat selection, a dedicated bag drop desk, Fast Track Security, Speedy Boarding, an included carry-on, and more. You will also have the option to take an earlier flight on the same day as your scheduled departure, with no extra fee, and will receive a 10 percent discount on any purchases you make onboard.