Flight check: London Gatwick to Geneva on easyJet

By Andrew Potter

Andrew Potter flies EZ8474 from England to Switzerland.

EasyJet has only recently introduced allocated seating which is a real treat. But it's a tight fit. Photo / Creative Commons image by Flickr user Aero Icarus
EasyJet has only recently introduced allocated seating which is a real treat. But it's a tight fit. Photo / Creative Commons image by Flickr user Aero Icarus

The route: From London Gatwick to Geneva in Switzerland.

The plane: Airbus A320, the Toyota Corolla of commercial air travel.

Class: If I had any, I would be flying Swissair. On easyJet there's just one, economy.

Price: A client paid for this - a quick internet check reveals it cost $274, return.

On time? You could have set your watch to it - we were precisely one hour late taking off. EasyJet blames a delay in getting a wheelchair passenger off the previous flight. We make up time and arrive half an hour late.

My Seat: 14A - easyJet has only recently introduced allocated seating which is a real treat. But it's a tight fit. Sliding my iPad into the seat pocket halves my legroom.

Fellow passengers: I'm amazed to see not one but two passengers wearing Top Gun-style leather flying jackets complete with woollen collars and US Navy patchwork. Talk to me Goose!

How full? Fully full.

Entertainment: I'm writing this to pass the time. Otherwise it's staring out the window or at the back of my eyelids. Inflight magazine has more dog ears than a Swiss petshop.

The service: Friendly and unobtrusive, but you get the feeling this isn't their only flight today.

Food and drink: Like the selection in a 3-star business hotel's minibar, average and expensive.

The toilets: Small, sparse, functional. And if you're making your air travel decisions based on the quality of the toilet there's something wrong with you.

Luggage: Carry-on only for me this time. A hold bag costs.

The airport experience: Parts of Gatwick feel like a nostalgic trip to a museum of 1970s Britain, but it's getting better. The North Terminal is now quite flash. I've printed my boarding card at home so sidestep the check-in desk jockeys.

Would I fly this again? EasyJet is Europe's Jetstar. Cheap and cheerful and great for short hops around the continent. It's far superior to its arch-rival RyanAir who offer a customer experience that borders on hostile.

- NZ Herald

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