After a fabulous month in Germany, it was time for a family reunion on Spain’s Canary Islands. We chose Gran Canaria in part because it was reachable nonstop from Basel, Switzerland, which is the closest and most convenient airport for us. This 4 hour, 25 minute A320 flight would be my longest ever on EasyJet.
EasyJet A320 Review – Basel To Las Palmas
This trip was planned months in advance and I did make a booking mistake.
I don’t generally buy airfare in advance and by advance I mean more than a week in advance. Certainly you take the risk that prices will be higher, but if you are flexible on routing you can often find great deals at the last minute (though not generally at the very last minute within 24 hours of travel).
Here, there was one EasyJet flight a week to Las Palmas (LPA), which departed every Saturday evening. We knew this was the flight we wanted, but I wasn’t thrilled with paying 187CHF for a one-way flight on EasyJet and dragged my feet on buying the tickets.
I set a Google Flight Alert and was dismayed to see the price went up to about 210CHF each. This was last July/August with travel demand still limited by COVID-19 concerns. Still, I figured people had cabin figure and I’d end up ponying out more.
A few days later, the fare dropped to 187CHF and I locked in, feeling proud of myself I had waited.
By the day of travel, the ticket price had dropped to 77CHF…
Now I felt like an idiot. Even so, you don’t risk family reunions over a few hundred bucks. Had the flight sold out, we would have had to go over to Zurich or up to Frankfurt, which would have been a real pain.
I’m going to do a dedicated post on this, because I do not think this is an anomaly when it comes to EasyJet. The best deals I’ve scored in the past have all been last-minute ticket purchases.
We booked a hand baggage only fare and had no need to visit the check-in desk. My in-laws, however, each had a large bag to check and we were dismayed to see huge crowds at EasyJet section (massive crowds would not be hyperbole).
Thankfully, EasyJet travelers tend to be cheap. My in-laws and purchased “EasyJet plus” which included priority check-in and that line was empty. Their bags were tagged and we were on our way through security moments later.
Of course that left us with over two hours before boarding…we had planned for the worst and despite the crowding, check-in and security were quick and easy.
With the SkyView Priority Pass Lounge closed, we had a long way in the gate area.
Then we received word our flight would be delayed an hour.
Let’s just say that we spent a lot of pocket money on mechanical horses and cars for Augustine.
We did come prepared, though. There were plenty of snacks and books for the kids. And there were some airplanes to watch…
Boarding was chaotic as usual on EasyJet, though we enjoyed priority boarding because my in-laws paid for it and we had an infant, who had only recently turned one.
As a result, we were invited into a holding pen in the gate area (it was now approaching 9:00PM) where we sat for another 20 minutes.
Then we were ushered outside to fenced in boarding lane, where we waited another 15 minutes to finally board the plane.
We were now officially exhausted, but soon to be onboard!
EasyJet (U2) 1137
Basel/Mulhouse (BSL) – Las Palmas (LPA)
Saturday, July 31
Duration: 4hr, 25min
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Distance: 1,833 miles
Seat: 10D (Economy Class)
We quickly found our seats onboard after dragging our bags up the air stairs.
Because this was a a redeye flight, we bought the baby her own seat. As I alluded to above, the flight ended up not being full and it worked out so well…Augustine and I had a whole row with an open middle and Heidi and Claire Marie had a whole row with an open middle.
The kids fell asleep very shortly after takeoff and slept the entire flight.
Easy as pie.
As for the seats themselves, pitch is listed at 29 inches, but it did not feel quite as tight, perhaps due to the Recaro slimline seats, which very slightly recline and are 18 inches wide (slightly above average).
Food + Drink
While I had planned to order the margherita mini calzone, the stone baked bacon roll, or the ham & cheese sourdough toastie, all three sandwiches were no longer available by the time flight attendants reached my row…10. The problem was two flight attendnats started from the back of the aircraft and two started from the flight and by the time they met in the middle, there were no hot sandwiches left.
I settled on the Karyatis mezze snack box for €6.50, which includes:
- green olives
- roasted red pepper dip
- rosemary crackers
My expectations were admittedly not high, but it turned out I may have been fortunate that the sandwiches were no longer available.
The olives were spiced with sea salt, olive oil, and herbs and were a tasty snack alone. Both the hummus and red pepper dip were tasty and the rosemary crackers were a prefect accompaniment (though I would have preferred if the crackers were larger).
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the baklava, which was terribly messy but delightfully delicious. The figs and raisins accompanied the flakey, buttery dough made for a perfect last few bites of the snack.
Definitely order the mezze box, which is still on the menu. EasyJet charges for soft drinks, water, and tea as well, but we had brought several bottles of waters onboard, taking advantage of the exception to the liquid ban for babies.
Two lavatories in the rear of the aircraft were tiny, but clean.
IFE + Wi-Fi
No in-flight entertainment or Wi-Fi internet is available onboard.
Flight attendants were pleasant, though largely kept to themselves behind the curtain after the initial service. About an hour prior to landing they (quietly, since most were sleeping) came through the cabin once more selling beverages and Duty Free. All the food was sold out by that point.
We landed 45 minute late in LPA, having made up about 15 minutes. This late departure time was ideal for my children to sleep though the flight. While EasyJet is not one of my favorite airlines, it is my favorite budget carrier and I do prefer it over Ryanair.
Upon landing, a health check was performed before we were allowed into the baggage claim area. We had to present a negative COVID-19 test and a health pass, though pre-flight testing is no longer required.
Our next stop was baggage claim then picking up a late-night rental at Hertz.
My biggest takeaway: ticket prices fluctuate tremendously. Don’t buy too high.
This is part of my summer in Germany trip report.
Whenever i see Augustine i always wonder what Matthew would look like with that amazing curly hair.
@Matthew, IMHO, a good balance for your “mistake” is to stop your fare alerts (and searching) once you’ve booked. I’ve kicked myself for waiting to book a ticket… and it jumped a few hundred. That made me pull the trigger on a different ticket… only to see that one drop the next week. 🙁 So, I “wasted” several hundred between the two. The sole consolation was the fact that I wasn’t out thousands extra on the first one, which it would’ve been had I waited another few days. 😮
Bottom line: Buy tickets at a price you’re comfortable with and don’t look back. Otherwise, you’ll beat yourself up over it.
“Delightfully Delicious” is the new “Tasty.”
The word “tasty” is out of my vocabulary thanks to you.
This isn’t substantially different from Y on many European legacy carriers. Would the product actually be any different on LX?
Free Swiss chocolate? 😉
and a 0.33 bottle of water…
Last summer was indeed very weird for low cost airline airfare in Europe. I had a cancellation and had to rebook on Ryanair and paid £9.99 for a flight from London to Spain in August the next week – insane ! The same happened with the Canaries at Xmas – some would have paid £500+ , we booked last minute tickets for £80 on the day (missed our flight and it was cheaper than their “rescue” fee)
However by February the trend was reversing- I sat on a €200 Ryanair ticket that I just didn’t wanna pay that much, the flight ended up selling out and I had to pay more than that for a less convenient Easyjet flight.
Haven’t had to do much travel recently but with all the cancellations I suspect inventory on tourist routes is tight and not much discounting going on. Certainly no bargains on BA out of London when I’ve been looking and a TUI flight I wanted to take is now £400pp o/w