You can say what you like about budget airlines (and believe me, having been lucky enough to experience a wide range of air travel options from luxury long-haul right down to a quick hop to Edinburgh in a less-than-comfortable seat, I’m something of an expert), but they definitely serve a purpose.
Easyjet, Ryanair and all the rest have opened up a world of cheap, quick and easy, no frills travel within Europe which just fifteen years ago was unimaginable.
Take my trip to Spain, the airfare for which was the princely sum of £65: I left home at around 4.15 on Saturday morning, and by 11.30 am, I was sitting in the sunshine on the terrace at my parents’ villa sipping a cold drink.
Yesterday I spent the day around the pool, left the villa at 6.30 pm, and arrived home just after midnight.
(And if I didn’t have a 1.5 hour drive at both ends, the timescales would be even shorter).
OK, so Ryanair force you to check-in online, which a lot of people seem to have an issue with, but really, what’s not to like? You don’t have to get to the airport so early, and you don’t have to queue for ages – double bonus!
Yes, they charge (a lot) if you want to put baggage in the hold, but you can take a generous 10kg of hand luggage included in the price of your ticket, which was more than enough for a 4 day trip for me, and even better – you don’t have to wait around for the baggage to be offloaded – just disembark and go! Fabulous!
The food and drink on board is crap and overpriced, let’s be honest, so take a sandwich from home or buy something in the airport before boarding . Must admit to always having to have a medicinal G&T on board the flight though (€7.30 FYI – scandalous!)
Yes, I don’t care what anybody says about the budget airlines – long may they continue selling flights to Europe for less than it costs me to take a train to London and back.