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UPDATED MAY 2015
We all love travelling and visiting new places and one of the easiest and most cost effective ways of doing this is by flying with budget airlines such as Easyjet. As a full time travel addict with a small wallet I almost always use budget airlines when flying around Europe due to their competitive fares and wide range of destinations. In 2014 alone I flew with easyJet on over 10 return journeys.
Like most travellers I travel solely with hand luggage. Not only does it avoid the extortionate fees for checking in luggage but it also avoids having to buy a new suitcase every couple of months due to poor handling and or it go missing. In the past year I have perfected the art of ninja packing my things to fit in the required size suitcase as well as learning some helpful tricks to beat their system!
1. Pre purchase an upfront seat or extra legroom seat
By spending a little more on your flight you benefit from not only boarding before all the other passengers and having an awesome seat (extra legroom or upfront) but it also guarantees that your bag will be placed on board and not taken off you to be check in below. As long as your bag is the correct measurements (no bigger than 56 x 45 x 25 cm including handles and wheels) you will have a stress free boarding without the worry of what happens to your bag. My advice….totally worth the extra few £’s! Plus a new added benefit allows you to take not only your hand luggage on but an additional small bag such as a laptop bag or handbag. No more attempts at frantically stuffing it in the suitcase!
2. Guaranteed Hand Luggage
If you haven’t pre-booked your upfront or extra legroom seat and you are carrying items you really don’t want to be check in or placed below in the hold then make sure your bag is of the slightly smaller size of 50 x 40 x 20 cm including handles and wheels. This guarantees your bag will be placed on-board either above in the overhead lockers or underneath the seat in-front.
3. Get in line and board first
Again if you haven’t pre-booked your upfront or extra legroom seat then make sure you arrive at the gate promptly (preferably asap) and make sure you are in line waiting if you really don’t want your hand luggage checked in. In most cases it is the last ones to board who face their bag being check in so make sure you arrive at the gate early enough to avoid your bag being taken off you.
4. Go shopping
While easyJet do have a one piece of hand-luggage rule there is one slight travel hack to beat their system. Purchase something from inside the terminal or from duty free as I have always found that they allow one piece of hand-luggage plus one shopping bag per person. As a frequent traveller I always carry a duty free bag with me from both the two airports I travel from. This is a handy trick for us ladies since we always travel with our handbag and there is never enough space to place it inside your hand luggage. So do what females do best – go shopping and place your handbag inside the shopping bag for additional hand luggage space.
5. Volunteer for luggage check in
While I don’t strongly recommend it, this travel hack has worked for me on a few occasions when travelling with a slightly larger than allowed bag. If I know the flight is a busy one I wait until the end to board or I volunteer to have it check in. On busy flights Easyjet often seek volunteers to check in their hand luggage as the overhead lockers become full.
Note that by doing this you save on paying the check in luggage fee however you risk having to pay the £45 fee for over sized luggage at the gate should they check it. I only use this hack on the regular flights where I know the flight is full and I know the likelihood of volunteer check in is highly likely.
6. Use a holdall not a rigid suitcase
I have found that Easyjet are slightly more lenient with holdall bags that suitcases when it comes to being slightly over the allowed size. Soft bags allow for more flexibility when trying to squeeze them into the crates is its checked at the gate and they are easily swished in the over head lockers allowing for a little more space for other bags, coats etc…
As long as you don’t have any valuables and its not packed solid and hard then this is a useful trick. And remember there is no weight limit either!
I hope you find these tips useful on your next Easyjet flight! Do you have any other tips for a speedy stress free boarding with luggage?