Flying with Easy Jet … ain’t easy!!

s Given Technogran and James Dunn’s great blogs on rules for passengers on trains and also for bus drivers, here is something of my experience with flying cattle class on Easy Jet ….

Between my daughter, her husband and myself, we fly a lot …. sometimes, the long hauls between South Africa and Johannesburg, but on a weekly basis one or other of us will be taking a short flight to Germany, UK, or elsewhere in Italy. Sadly, these short flights have provided us with far too many examples of the inconsistency of (not service) lack of service and down-right obstructionism …. for example ….

 

The internet has made travel by plane far less of a hassle, as it is now possible to buy a ticket, book in online, and consequently arrive at the airport within an hour of the flight, go straight through security, and then wait to be herded on to the plane through the cattle pens ….. so far so good, but what happens if you meet an airline official on route??? Chaos …..

The other day, I dropped Z off for her regular flight to Rome. We were running a little late, as we had 6 horses to exercise before she left, but barring accidents, all would be well. She left, carrying one bag … as per regulations … a bag that to date she had flown with well in excess of 50 times without a problem … (can you guess where this is going?).

There was a long queue for security … and by long I mean L O N G … as only 1 scanner was functioning ….. however, as she approached the last bend in the zig zag queue, a Easy Jet person stopped her and indicated that her bag was too big for carry on luggage ….. this was the same bag she has always flown with. A disagreement followed. The EJP demonstrated that the bag was too big by carefully and gently placing it above the test area …. Z proved her point by giving it a little bit of a shove so that it went in. No good.

“Check it in” she was told. While at the same time the EJP tried to retain her boarding pass ….. Gggrrr!! All arguments about missing her flight, appointments to keep, etc., etc., were totally ignored.

Needless to say, the checking in desk was closed at this point … and she was told that she could catch another flight in 2 hours … missing her appointments and making the whole trip superfluous.

In South Africa we have a wonderful saying … “Boer mak a plan” (which translates as Farmer, think fast!!) She did. Nothing daunted, she took everything out of her suitcase and stuffed it in to a plastic shopping bag, abandoned the suitcase, jumped the barriers, and caught her plane!!!

One advantage of flying with everything in a plastic shopping bag is that nobody wants to sit next to you …….. so for the first time she had plenty of space on the flight ….

On arriving in Rome, her clients were so dismayed that they went straight out and bought her a new case …. guaranteed to fly cabin …. you’d think!!!

Well, apart from the fact that it is so small that her riding chaps don’t fit in, and she has to fly with the top open, a couple of weeks later, on a very full flight, she had managed to squeeze the bag into an overhead locker and found a seat a couple of rows further down. the tiny airhostess (not much hostess about her though) came down shutting the lockers and demanded to know whose bag was making it a little difficult to shut the particular compartment in which Z’s bag was jammed ….

It was at this point that my normally well behaved and polite daughter finally lost her cool …. getting up and owning the bag, she SLAMMED the locker shut … nearly bringing the whole thing tumbling down … muttered something …. and dared the EJP to say more ……..

……….. once again, she had lots of space as nobody seemed to want to sit next to her ……………

Now I’m not advocating this kind of behaviour, but I begin to see that antisocial behavious does have its up side!!!!

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4 Comments

  1. Now that has to be the most insane thing to do ….. personally, I think I was designed for business class … but my beer pockets don’t permit!!!! Ah well!! Such is life.

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  2. roketman

     /  July 14, 2010

    Give someone a tiny bit of authority and they develop a Napoleon complex! I spent so much time flying as cargo in military aircraft that I’m thankful for any flight that doesn’t involve riding in web troop seats with nothing to look at but a HUMVEE or pallet of MREs for the entire flight. Then there’s the whole “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane” thing.

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  3. Very interesting post Tricia. Looks like all forms of transport are to be avoided at all costs. Trouble with me is I DO kick up a stink if I feel that its not my fault, so I would be probably banned from flying……

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    • A couple on a short flight to Dubai did just that …. and the plane could not take off …. the couple were taken off the flight, their luggage had to be found, a new slot in the air found, and connections to long haul flights missed …. it caused endless confusion …. and just because of a little tiff!!
      What I don’t understand is why they do not teach the aircrew how to defuse situations … not how to make them more volatile!!!

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