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Flight Review: easyJet Airbus A319- London Gatwick to Salzburg Airport

RouteLondon Gatwick North Terminal- W.A Mozart Salzburg Airport
Flight NumberEZY 8557
Seat Number24A
Flight Time1 Hour 55 Minutes
Baggage Allowance23KG Hold luggage (Paid for) + 15KG Under Seat Cabin Bag
Price£430/€487.69 (Return Ticket)
Honest Rating4/5
Above- Basic flight info (N.B Prices for this flight review will be in GBP and EUR)

Introduction

Above: easyJet and TUI aircraft parked near the North Terminal

After booking my flight only 2 days before the travel date, I made my way to London Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal, the larger of the two. I was excited to fly easyJet, although it is a low-cost airline, as I had not flown with them in almost 5 years! If you travel by car and plan to park at the airport in the North Terminal, you have the option of taking a very long walk well over 30 minutes or taking the Airport Shuttle Bus that arrives every 12 minutes.

Keep in mind that the transfer bus gets very, very crowded even at 4 AM. As I booked only 2 days before travelling, I was faced with high prices, up to 4 times the usual price. The return ticket cost £430/€487.69. Then I was ambushed by the hold luggage price of £110/€124.76 per person for 23KG which I had to pay too.

Advice for flying with easyJet

  1. easyJet has an online app that can be downloaded on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). The app makes travelling with them a lot easier as you can download boarding passes in addition to saving time with online check-in.
  2. As easyJet is a low-cost airline, complimentary food and beverages are not offered unless you purchase a voucher online. I would recommend you buy outside food and beverages from an airport supermarket or bring some from home just to simply save money.
  3. If you’re feeling thirsty on board, then you are allowed a cup of water if you ask the cabin crew. It should be free of charge (as of Feb 2023).
  4. easyJet policy states that the gate will close 30 minutes before departure time, as a few passengers learnt, exceptions would not be made.

Check-in & Airport Experience

After arriving at the North Terminal via the packed airport shuttle bus, I headed over towards the easyJet check-in counters to find that they were, like the airport shuttle bus, spilling with people. As I was late for my flight, easyJet ground staff were able to usher some other people and myself who were on the same flight to the front check-in desks and bag drop machines. I had checked in the day before online and therefore I was able to use the bag drop machines, they are simple to use but if you are travelling on a passport that requires a pre-paid visa at your destination, a staff member will have to manually approve it which can take a long time. Dropping off the bags was a relief, as I could now move over to airport security.

Above: The security area at Gatwick’s North Terminal.

Gatwick Airport’s security in the North terminal is a large space and has many members of security staff, making the process smoother than its competitors, such as Luton and Stansted. There isn’t much to say about the security area at the North terminal apart from that really.

Gatwick North Terminal Airside

The duty-free area in the North terminal is probably the worst smelling out of all the airports that I’ve been to. The thousands of perfumes that you walk past mix with each other and block your nose with their overly sweet stench making you want to get out of that area as fast as possible. Although part of the duty-free area may smell bad, apart from that, there is a good range of restaurants and other retail stores. A notification from easyJet’s mobile application on my phone popped up saying that my flight would be departing from gate 45A, so I headed over to it with just 10 minutes to spare before they closed the gate.

Boarding

The gate attendant scanned my passport and online boarding pass. 5 minutes after I had found myself a seat at the gate area a bus pulled up outside and 100 or so passengers clambered in. Unfortunately, as the bus was too full to take on any more passengers, I had to wait for the second bus. Just as the bus doors shut, I spotted a group of 3 people who had turned up just after the gate had closed. Sadly for them, they were denied entry. The bus ride to our Airbus A319, registered G-EZAY took about 10 minutes which gave me an opportunity to snap some photos of the TUI planes which were parked on the apron. I was one of the last to leave the airport bus so I spent some time taking photos of the glistening fuselage whilst I walked towards the stairs by the rear of the airplane.

The cabin crew greeted the passengers as we entered and we were pointed towards our seats. My seat was 24A. Row 24 is the second-last row of the aircraft. My first impressions of the cabin were that it was clean, the seatbelts were presented nicely (not common on low-cost airlines) and the seats seemed to be narrower than I remembered.

Seat Review

Seat 24A is a window seat with a limited view of the wing, but most of it is still visible. The seat itself was decked out in the slightly outdated and scratchy grey padding, which was dotted with a square, orange pattern. Although the seat was rather worn-down it still proved to be relatively comfortable and worked well for the 2 hour flight. As for the legroom, it was adequate with decent space for my knees. Unfortunately, one thing that I noticed that had gone from the seats was the function to recline, these were installed previously but were probably removed in order to fit more seats in. The tray table was clean and sturdy and the seat pocket contained a safety card and an inflight duty-free magazine but no air sickness bag was provided. Above each seat are a reading light, a flight attendant call button and individual air conditioning vents. I also noticed there was a large crack in the panel above my head, the cabin was showing signs of wear and tear elsewhere too, such as the overhead lockers being quite scratched on the outside and some information stickers were collecting dirt and peeling.

Flight Delayed & Take-Off

Just as the flight attendants were about to close the door, the captain made an announcement saying that due to low visibility and bad weather in Salzburg, the safest bet to avoid landing in Munich or Vienna would be to delay the flight by 1 hour. Upon hearing this, groans were heard and after a 40 minute wait, another announcement was made. This time we were informed that a warning light in the cockpit had gone off and that there was reportedly a problem with one of our engines.

The captain then said we would taxi to a remote stand so that the engineers could fix the problem after the crew had done the safety demonstration. After the brief safety demonstration, another announcement came from the pilots. Because our flight had been delayed, the ground crew who were supposed to remove our detachable boarding stairs had moved onto service another flight, meaning we would have to wait for a new set of crew. Approximately 20 minutes later the boarding stairs were removed and our A319-100 was pushed back. I noticed that after pushing back our flight just taxied towards the runway and not towards a remote stand, hence the aircraft that followed us and the A321 NEO in front of us waiting for the runway to be vacated so it could take off.

Approx. time of take-off: 8:30AM

After a while, we turned onto the runway and before I knew it, flight EZY 8557 stormed down the runway and lifted up into the azure blue, leaving London behind.

Catering Service

Around 20 to 30 minutes after departure, the cabin crew rolled out the trolleys and went around the cabin to start the catering service. I had purchased an online meal voucher with the easyJet website when I had checked in with them online. I had bought it for just £8/€9.04 and it was worth £10/€11.31. When the cabin crew had reached my seat, I showed them my boarding pass which indicated that I had a meal voucher and ordered from their “Meal Deal” section for £8.50/€9.61.

easyJet serves a wide variety of hot and cold meals including wraps, pastries, pizza, sandwiches, instant porridge and even a tapas box. Cold, hot and alcoholic beverages are also up for purchase. Of course, they are highly priced. I ordered a can of Diet Coke, a Kit Kat and a Ham & Cheese toastie. To my surprise, the toastie was flavourful and tasted great. I also noticed that around 40% of the passengers had purchased food items on board, usually you’d expect a lot less people to do this due to the unappealing nature of airplane food and the expensive prices. Nonetheless, the catering on this flight was of a high standard.

Cabin Cleanliness & Lavatory Review

As aforementioned, the cabin was clean and so was the tray table. It was evident that the cabin had been well kept over the years. I went to check out the rear lavatory just after the meal service had ended and found it to be very clean and well stocked. Of course, this being an A319, the lavatory was a little cramped.

Photo Gallery & Flight In General

The flight after take-off was relatively uneventful, on the way down we did hit some occasional spots of mild turbulence though. As it was the holiday season, the airspace was very busy, there were planes flying beside and underneath us all the time. A little while after the meal service, the cabin crew made an announcement that they were coming around to collect donations for UNICEF that was helping victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake. As of March 2023, easyJet reported that over £300,000 had been raised to help the earthquake survivors!

Descent & Landing

A little while after the catering service had finished, the seatbelt light re-appeared and an announcement was made, informing us that we were starting our descent towards Salzburg WA Mozart Airport. Just before we dropped below the sea of clouds I spotted a few mountains that were piercing the cloud carpet. Within seconds, we were below the clouds, and my view of Salzburg was obscured by thick fog . The final approach was bumpy and after a short while, we touched down at Salzburg Airport. After a while we tax-ied to a parking stand and we disembarked via stairs.

Salzburg Airport Terminal 1

As soon as I disembarked the aircraft, ramp crew directed me to walk towards the terminal. After entering the airport I went through passport control relatively quickly. Note that anybody wearing head coverings will have to remove them at passport control, this includes religious coverings. After passport control, you pass onto the landside of the terminal and enter the baggage claim area which is modern and clean.

However, one thing I will complain about is the rip-off ATM cash machines in the airport, particularly the BARGELD ones, which take quite a high commission rate. Upon entering the landside part of Salzburg Airport Terminal 1, I headed towards the tourist information desk located on the other side of the airport. There are many duty free options as you go through the landside; including a supermarket, bakery, coffee shop and more. The staff at the information desk were very friendly and helpful. One thing that I noticed was that the airport was very very empty, and there were hardly any passengers However, I discovered that this was clearly not the case when I returned a week later.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it was a decent flight. Sure some parts could have been better, but after all easyJet is a budget airline. The staff were polite and professional; the seats were comfortable and had good legroom despite the fact that they could no longer recline; the catering service was quite expensive but had a good range of meals and tasted great; and the airplane was clean. I will definitely be flying easyJet again in the future.

Service4/5
Catering4/5
Cleanliness4/5
Check-in4/5
Seat Comfort3/5
Recommended?Yes- despite the delay it was a great flight!

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