Everything you need to know about flying EasyJet

Sep 17, 2019

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Travelling on a low-cost carrier probably isn’t your favorite way to cruise the skies, but if you play your cards right, your experience doesn’t have to be all that bad. After all, the allure of scoring that super-cheap fare may outweigh the negatives — like being nickel-and-dimed for all the extras.

To help those of you who’ve purchased a fare on the low-cost carrier EasyJet (or are wondering if you should), TPG UK is here to tell you exactly what you need to know about flying the airline so you can have a pleasant travel experience. If you’re interested in learning more about other low-cost carriers, check out our low-cost carrier comparison guide and our guide to flying Ryanair.

An EasyJet Airbus A320 bearing an Austrian registration at Milan
An EasyJet Airbus A320 bearing an Austrian registration at Milan’s Malpensa airport, January 2019 (Photo by Alberto Riva/TPG)

Check in beforehand or at the airport

EasyJet is one of the few low-cost carriers that won’t charge you to check in or print your boarding pass at the airport. But if you aren’t checking a bag, you can save time by checking in ahead of time and getting a mobile boarding pass. To check in online, go to the EasyJet website under Manage Bookings or use the free app using your booking reference. You’ll be prompted to enter your surname and booking reference, then, follow the instructions to download or send the mobile boarding pass to your phone.

Web check-in is available between 30 days and two hours before the flight, giving you plenty of time to get your boarding pass printed or downloaded before you take off. Be prepared to enter advanced passenger information during check-in, which can include details like nationality, passport number, birth date and more. And remember, if you change your booking in any way (select new seats, change the date, name, add an infant or special assistance), you’ll have to reprint your boarding pass or download it again.

It’s actually okay if you spell your name wrong

If you notice you made a typo when entering your name, you can change it for free. However, if you want to give your ticket to another person entirely, you’ll have to pay a fee of £25 to change it online if it’s 60 days or more before travel. If it’s 60 days or less before departure, the fee is £50. These changes (and any others) to your booking can be made in the Manage Booking section on the EasyJet app or webpage.

Take advantage of EasyJet’s impressive app

Starting at the end of September 2019, EasyJet’s app will have an interesting new function: voice flight bookings. You’ll be able to speak your departure city, destination and travel dates into your mobile’s microphone and voilà — the app will pull up available flights.

This new feature is in addition to the app’s Book with Instagram feature that’s already available. Using it, you can upload a screenshot of a destination you’d like to visit that you’ve snapped from social media. If EasyJet flies there (or close by), it will find the location and show you flight options.

EasyJet will fuel your wanderlust into flight bookings. Photo by Ben Smithson.
EasyJet will fuel your wanderlust into flight bookings. Screenshot by Ben Smithson.

You don’t need a stamp

Unlike low-cost carrier Ryanair, which mandates non-EU/EEA passengers must have their travel documents checked and stamped at the Ryanair Visa/Document Check Desk before certain flights, EasyJet has no such rule.

If you have your boarding pass and you’re not checking a bag, the airline recommends you arrive 60 minutes before your scheduled departure and proceed directly to security. If you need to check a bag, it’s best to arrive a minimum of 90 minutes ahead of your scheduled flight to most destinations; however, this may be different when flying to or from spots like Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Serbia. So, make sure to check the EasyJet website ahead of time when travelling between those countries. Also, note that bag drop closes 40 minutes before the departure time for most flights (60 minutes if departing from the aforementioned countries). And because many airports have self bag drops, be prepared to tag your bag yourself in some cases.

Know the carry-on luggage rules

All passengers can bring one bag on board with a maximum size of 56x45x25 centimeters including handles and wheels. There is no weight limit, but you must be able to lift your bag into the overhead bin.

Travellers who have purchased an extra-legroom/up front seat, FLEXI fare or hold an EasyJet Plus card can bring an added personal item to place under the seat with a maximum size of 45x36x20 centimeters.

In some cases, the airline staff may be lax to enforce this one-bag-only rule if you are flying with one bag and one small personal item, like a purse. In other cases, the staff at the gate may strongly enforce the rule. So, if you decide to push the limit and travel with an additional personal item that’s not included in your fare, be prepared to put the smaller item inside your carry-on bag if asked, in order to avoid paying extra fees.

According to EasyJet, there is only room for 70 cabin bags in the airplanes’ overhead lockers. All remaining cabin bags will be put into the hold and can be collected from the baggage carousel on arrival. So, if you want to be certain your baggage travels with you in the cabin, pack a backpack that can fit under the seat or purchase speedy boarding to be one of the first passengers on the plane.

Know the hold luggage rules

Make sure to weigh your bags ahead of time. (Photo by doble-d / Getty Images)
Make sure to weigh your bags ahead of time. (Photo by doble-d/Getty Images)

Each traveller can bring three hold bags weighing under either 15 kilograms, 23 kilograms or 32 kilograms. Hold baggage fees are dependent on route, flight and time of booking. If purchased online, prices range from £6.99 to £34.99 for bags weighing up to 15 kilograms and from £9.49 – £37.49 for those weighing more than 15 kilograms up to 23 kilograms. An extra £12 for every 3 kilograms of weight is added for bags weighing more than 23 kilograms on up to 32 kilograms.

Passengers can only pay to check the lower-priced 15-kilogram or less bag online. If you wait to pay for your bag at the airport, you’ll be charged £40 at the bag-drop desk or £50 at the boarding gate for a bag up to 23 kilograms. Additional weight can only be purchased online in increments of 3 kilograms, either at initial booking or post-booking. If your bag weighs more than the amount you pre-purchased, expect to pay an extra £12 per kilo above the pre-booked weight.

A final option is to take advantage of EasyJet’s Hands Free option. This means that you check your carry-on bag at the bag drop, allowing you to navigate the airport and security checks efficiently without dragging a bag with you. The bags also reportedly arrive first off the baggage carousel. This service costs £7 per person, or £16 for a family or group of three to six passengers.

Here are TPG UK’s tips for hold baggage:

  • Always weigh your bag before travelling.
  • Pack a small travel scale to weigh it again before returning home.
  • Book and pay for your hold luggage online to avoid extra charges for doing so at the airport.
  • Ensure your hold baggage doesn’t exceed the maximum size. The length + width + height must total under 275cm.

Pay for your extras in advance

It’s clear from reading the baggage rules that purchasing in advance will save you money. You should consider purchasing your seats and other extras in advance too, not only to save money but to avoid hassle and disappointment later on. Each aircraft has up-front seats, extra legroom seats and regular seats. Prices for seat selection range from £1.99- £8.00 for standard seats to £7.99 – £29.99 for front, extra legroom or overwing seats. FLEXI fares or EasyJet Plus have seat selection included.

If you choose not to pay extra for seats and are traveling with a group, be sure to check in as early as possible (remember, you can do so 30 days in advance) for the best chance of being seated together. Unfortunately, speedy boarding isn’t available as a standalone purchase, but it’s available to travellers with an EasyJet Plus card, FLEXI ticket or an up-front or extra-legroom seat.

Seats on an EasyJet flight bound for Naples, Italy. Photo by Lori Zaino/The Points Guy UK.

Consider a FLEXI fare or EasyJet Plus

FLEXI fares allow changes to flight dates and times, plus a free 23 kilogram hold bag, dedicated bag drop, speedy boarding, Fast Track security at selected airports, a seat at the front of the airplane, an under-seat bag in addition to your cabin bag and a £7 (or currency equivalent) bistro voucher to spend onboard.

EasyJet Plus membership costs £199 per year and includes allocated seating every time you fly, dedicated bag-drop desks, Fast Track security at select airports, speedy boarding, an additional cabin bag and more. This option may be worth it if you fly EasyJet several times per year.

EasyJet partners with other airlines to fly you, well, everywhere

EasyJet flies to over 150 destinations across Europe and North Africa. They also partner with airlines like Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Norwegian, Singapore, Virgin and several others to help serve destinations the airline doesn’t fly to itself, like spots in North America, the Caribbean, Asia and beyond. To book these flights go to Worldwide EasyJet.

Be prepared

If you haven’t flown EasyJet in a while, you may be pleasantly surprised. Compared to some of the more bare-bones low-cost carriers, EasyJet can seem like a delight — they even have a seatback pocket!

But don’t get too excited. The seats don’t recline and have a pitch of a mere 30 inches. All food and beverages are at an added cost, including water. You may have to line up for a while before boarding in order to board early enough to store your carry-on trolley in the overhead bin.

Some of the easyJet food offerings. Photo by Lori Zaino for The Points Guy UK.
Some of the EasyJet food offerings. Photo by Lori Zaino/The Points Guy UK.

To ensure you’ll have a comfortable flight make sure to bring:

  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Snacks
  • Water (post-security)
  • A neck pillow, if you plan to sleep
  • A travel scarf or blanket, if you get cold

Read the fine print

This EasyJet cheat sheet will definitely help you prepare for your flight, but remember, the airline can change their policies at any time — baggage limitations, check-in procedures or fees, etc. So be sure to read the conditions of your fare and ticket before purchasing. It’s also a good idea to know and understand your rights as a flyer in case of delays, flight cancellations and strikes. Once you know the rules, your airport and in-flight experience will be much easier.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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