My roommates from high school and I are all getting together this summer, for the first time since graduation day! Most (All?) of us are flying EasyJet, so we were chatting about all of our EasyJet experiences and all the tips and tricks we’ve picked up.
I fly EasyJet almost every other month, and I usually show up to the airport about 45 minutes before my flight (I travel alone, with only one hand luggage, my boarding pass is on my phone and through the same airports, where the gates are always in the same general area). They only announce the boarding gate about 25 minutes before take off time, so I just get bored if I get to the airport any earlier.
They are really strict about their one free hand luggage rule – if you have a little handbag as well as your “official cabin bag,” that won’t fly with them…but there are little loopholes I (and probably many other passengers) have discovered.
1. Volunteer your bag for check-in
You don’t really need to buy hold luggage, even if you have things that need to go into the hold (like liquids over 100ml). EasyJet prefers their customers to go to the check-in/bag drop desk or boarding gate and offer to put their bag into the hold. They will put it into the hold for free, as long as the bag fits the maximum cabin baggage size, which is 56 x 45 x 25 cm including handles and wheels.
They prefer to do this because that means boarding can go smoother, there will be less bags that people are trying to squash into the overhead lockers or under the seat in front of them, and there will be less bags they’ll need to “confiscate” during boarding and put into the hold at that point.
You probably wouldn’t want to be too obvious about any second bag you might have, or try to make sure it’s really small with only essentials or your laptop.
This is an email they sometimes send when the flight is very full, and in the winter:
2. Get to the airport late(r than recommended)
I usually get to the airport less than an hour before my flight, so at that point there is no line at the check-in/bag drop desk. Usually I go up and ask them if I can have a print out of my boarding pass, since my phone’s battery can be unreliable (saving my paper and ink, and saving my charge, and giving me an excuse to go to the bag drop desk). At the same time, I strike up a conversation, asking if the flight is full, and saying I’d be happy to offer up my hand luggage for the hold (being smooth).
3. “Do” Duty Free Shopping
Airlines are now required to let you take a duty free bag with you into the flight. I have a collection of shopping bags from every store that could be at the UK airports I use (Boots and WHSmith usually use their own bags, but the other duty free shops sometimes use an Airport-specific bag). So especially if I haven’t had time to go to the check-in desk, I always carry the bags of the shops which are at the airport. That way if my hand luggage doesn’t fit into the orange cage thing (and I know it from before), I can remove some of the softer things and put them into my “duty free bag” before they ask to size up my bag. And thereby I can get on the plane with no annoyance.
This is from EasyJet’s own baggage FAQs: This wouldn’t work if you’re planning on taking things like nail clippers and non-travel sized liquids, in that case you really have to push for the first trick.
4. Get to the airport (and boarding gate) early
If you really need your cabin bag to stay in the cabin with you, you need to get to the boarding gate early, or have a bag that is 50 x 40 x 20cm or smaller, and guaranteed in with you.