The biggest airline in the UK is currently easyJet, but booking on their website is still quite complex. Here are a number of easyJet tricks you can use to bring down your costs a bit.
1. Avoid price rises in the school holidays by booking the wrong date with a flexible ticket.
All airlines bump the prices up during the school holidays, but by booking a flexible ticket for a less busy time when flights are cheaper, you could save hundreds of pounds! Book a flexible ticket – this is going to be more expensive than a standard seat, but gives you luggage and speedy boarding, and more importantly, allows you to change the date 24 hours after booking. You can only move the flight back a week or forward three weeks from the original date booked (providing seats are available), but this you save a great deal of money! Flexifares aren’t available on every flight however, so check before booking.
2. Use the easyJet refund facility if flight prices drop.
easyJet have a price promise guarantee which means that if the ticket price drops after you’ve booked you can contact them and get a credit note back for the difference. You will have to have booked directly with them though and sale prices don’t count…
3. Boost your Hand Luggage allowance with Duty Free.
Although easyJet are very strict when it comes to carry on hand luggage, you are allowed to take on one duty-free bag. If you buy something in duty free and get the official carrier bag, you should be allowed to take that on board along with your standard hand luggage- you may even be able to slide a handbag or other extra item in with the duty free….
4. Take Squeezable hand luggage.
If you take rigid hand luggage that is too big to fit in the standard baggage check gauges, you could end up paying extra to take it with you. If you have a squishable holdall however, the chance of it fitting into the overhead lockers is far better and they can be generally rammed into the gauge if required to prove it’s within the size limits.
5. Get your timing right and find out when seats are released.
Like most airlines, easyJet usually offers the cheapest seats to those who book a long time in advance, so check on the website to find out when flight times and prices are being released. If you sign up to easyJet’s Facebook page you can usually get a ‘heads-up’ on tickets being released a few days before the event.
|TRAVEL PERIOD:||PEAK DATES:||TICKETS ON SALE:|
|29 Feb 16 – 20 Mar 16||Early spring||17 July 15|
|21 Mar 16 – 12 Jun 16||Easter, May public holidays and May half-term||Early Sep 15|
|13 Jun 16 – 11 Sep 16||Summer holidays||Early Oct 15|
|12 Sep 16 – 30 Oct 16||Late summer and Oct half-term||Early Dec 15|
For instance, return flights for the Ski Prix chalet holiday won’t be available until early September, even though the outwards flights were released in July.
6. Group Bookings
If you’re travelling with family or in a group, booking all the tickets at once means you only pay the £13 admin fee once instead of every time individuals makes a booking
7. Check in 30 days in advance for the best seats.
Unlike some airlines, easyJet will let you check in and allocate you a seat 30 days before you fly, free of charge. If you want a specific seat then you’ll have to pay, depending on where the seat is – anywhere from £1.99 to £17 for a longer legroom seat. Checking in as soon as possible gives a batter chance of everyone sitting together, but if you leave it too long, you could have trouble getting seats together. For the Ski Prix Chalet Holiday however, we’re recommending everyone gets ‘up-front’ seating on the way back (up to £11.99 depending on the flight), as this allows a fast bag drop off in Geneva, which can be a nightmare otherwise.
8. easyJet trick to check in luggage for free.
If you don’t want to carry luggage onto the plane with you, it might be worth asking if there is an option the check in hand luggage. Sometimes on busy flights passengers are requested to volunteer to check in luggage to give more in-cabin space. Remeber to back a small bag within your ‘hand luggage’ that you’re checking in so that you can take this on board with you if you’re successful. Beware though, you won’t be able to take many liquids or scissors etc. in case you have to take the hand luggage on board with you after all..
9. Pack a picnic.
Food on budget airline flights without meals supplied costs a fortune! Why not get a couple of meal-deals from Boots while you’re waiting in departures and take it on board in your hand luggage (or duty free – see number 3). It’s only liquids over 100ml that aren’t allowed through security, so there’s a whole host of possiblilties.
10. Board earlier and stay with your luggage.
Storage space, especially on short haul flights, tends to be a premium and it’s very easy to get on a flight only to find that all the lockers are full and your bag ends up at the other end of the plane. Getting on early often means you and your bag can stay together. I’ve found that if only one door is in use and you don’t need your bag for the flight, you can abandon it anywhere there’s space, and then collect it again as you pass on your way off the plane.
11. Think about how to pay.
Along with many other companies these days, easyJet charges a premium to pay with credit cards, currently around 2% of the total. If each leg of the flight is over £100 then it’s worth paying on a credit card for Section 75 cover (where the card company is equally liable if something goes wrong). Since each flight counts a a separate transaction however, if the return bill is under £200, you’re not going to be covered.
12. Avoid the extras such as car hire, hotels etc.
Having booked your flight, easyJet will bombard you with ‘offers’ for car hire, hotels, travel insurance etc – even with numerous emails up to your departure date. Check the internet first for the best offers and prices before buying online from the airlines.
13. No weight limit for hand luggage.
Since there’s no limit on hand luggage weight, with careful packing, you can get a lot more in hand luggage than you might think, especially if you use a soft holdall and can cram stuff in. As long as the size is under 56 x 45 x 25cm, and you can carry it on board and stow it in the lockers, then it can be as heavy as you can manage.
14. Decide how much luggage you’ll need and book in advance.
Booking your checked in luggage in advance saves money. Although there is a weight limit of 20kg with easyJet, the cost of putting it in the hold varies from “12-£22 when you book your ticket, to £32 at check-in and £45 at the gate. These prices are per flight so of course will double for a return trip. make sure you weight your bags before you leave home as well as you’ll have to pay for excess weight at check-in, or transfer some items to hand luggage.
15. Wear your luggage.
Very often you’ll see people trying to cram as much as they can into hand luggage at the gate. It’s much easier if you are wearing a coat with deep or multiple pockets which can be filled with the odds and ends you might need on the flight. I also find a coat like this hand for security where you have to practically undress. Watches, belts, wallets etc. can be stuffed in pockets and then the whole lot thrown in the x-ray tray. Examples of jackets are the 23 pocket AyeGear travel vest or this cheaper multi-pocket fishing vest. Try wearing snow boots, skiing jackets and other bulky items rather than packing them – although ski boots and salopettes might be taking things a little too far.
16. Don’t assume easyJet is the cheapest.
Whilst they are possible the best know low-cost airline, don’t assume that easyJet are the cheapest option. Check online with websites like SkyScanner to make sure you’re not paying too much.
This article was originally published on the moneysavingexpert website. The full article can be found here.