Review: EasyJet A320 Milan To Santorini

Introduction: The Very Long Way To Italy & Greece
Review: Emirates Lounge LAX
Review: Emirates First Class A380 Los Angeles To Dubai
Review: Le Meridien Dubai (Emirates Dubai Connect Hotel)
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dubai To Milan
Review: Park Hyatt Milan
Review: EasyJet A320 Milan To Santorini
Review: Mystique Santorini Hotel
Review: Amanzoe Pool Pavilion
Review: Amanzoe Dining & Activities
Review: Sofitel Athens Airport
Review: Emirates Lounge Milan Airport
Review: Dubai International Airport Hotel


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Booking EasyJet

For our journey from Milan to Santorini, booking EasyJet was a no brainer. They were the only airline operating a nonstop flight that day, and on top of that, the fare was cheap. The base fare for our ticket was ~70EUR per person.

Then we decided to pay an extra 25EUR per person to book an extra legroom seat, which also came with Speedy Boarding and an extra carry-on (everyone can take a single full size carry-on, with dimensions of up to 56x45x25cm, but only those who book premium seats or pay extra can bring on a small second bag).

All-in-all our tickets cost us under 100EUR per person, which is a heck of a deal.

EasyJet review

Our flight from Milan to Santorini was departing at 6:55AM, so we arrived at the airport at around 5:30AM, since we weren’t sure how crazy the lines would be in EasyJet’s terminal. EasyJet departs from Terminal 2 at Milan Malpensa Airport, and they have the terminal to themselves. So while the rest of the airport isn’t especially nice, Terminal 2 is even less nice (though in fairness, it’s not terrible, or anything).


Milan Malpensa Airport Terminal 2 exterior

Fortunately we managed to check-in online, so we could skip the queues. Since we had paid extra for Speedy Boarding it looks like even if we did need to check-in, it would have been an efficient process, as there was no one in the line.


EasyJet check-in Milan Airport

The security process was civilized. While there were dozens of people there, the line moved quickly, and we were through within about 10 minutes.


Security checkpoint Milan Malpensa Terminal 2

Terminal 2 doesn’t have any sort of Priority Pass lounges and we hadn’t had coffee or anything, so we stopped at the first coffee shop we saw. There was a food court with a Burger King and coffee shop, so we went there.


Food court MXP Airport Terminal 2

We got some croissants, bottled water, and coffee.


Breakfast at Milan Airport

There was some good plane spotting from this area.


EasyJet A319 Malpensa Airport

Boarding passes indicated that boarding started at 6:25AM, and also that the gate closed at that time. So we decided to head towards the gate at around 6AM, and much to my surprise, during this time I got a push notification on my phone indicating that boarding had started. I’m not sure whether I was more surprised that EasyJet starts boarding 55 minutes in advance, or that they provide push notifications for when boarding starts.


EasyJet boarding pass

Our flight was departing from gate D5, which was about a five minute walk away. When we arrived at the gate I was surprised to see that the flight was already almost completely boarded, as there were dozens of people lined up past the ticket counter, and a huge queue leading up to it.


EasyJet boarding gate

On the plus side, EasyJet offers a special boarding lane for those who purchased Speedy Boarding, so we didn’t have to wait in the line to enter the gate area. Are carry-on bags are quite large, though no one said anything.


EasyJet Speedy Boarding lane

While the Speedy Boarding did get us into a separate queue, we still had to stay in a holding area for about 15 minutes. This was really the only negative aspect of the experience, since I don’t get why they feel the need to line up everyone this early (I get they want to be ready once the crew is, but I feel like that could have been timed a bit better).


EasyJet boarding queue

This part of the airport doesn’t have jet bridges, and fortunately we could walk to our plane, rather than having to take a bus. The A320 was just a short walk away, one stand over.


EasyJet A320

I’ve gotta say, I find EasyJet’s livery to be oddly sleek, given that orange isn’t typically a color most would find very soothing or appealing.


EasyJet A320

EasyJet 2959
Milan (MXP) – Santorini (JTR)
Thursday, June 7
Depart: 6:55AM
Arrive: 10:40AM
Duration: 2hr45min
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 13D (Economy Class)

Upon boarding we were greeted by a very friendly Italian crew. A smile and warm greeting costs nothing, and it’s nice that even ultra low cost carriers in Europe don’t lose sight of that. We had assigned ourselves seats 13D & 13F in the exit row, which had a good amount of legroom.


EasyJet exit row legroom

While EasyJet does have ads on the seatback, I didn’t find them to be too obtrusive.


EasyJet exit row legroom

EasyJet apparently has 29″ of pitch in the regular economy seats, though I have to say that the legroom didn’t actually look that bad. Is that just because I didn’t have to sit in one of those seats, or…?


EasyJet regular legroom


EasyJet regular legroom

Our flight was nearly full, and in the end all but a few seats were taken. Despite that the boarding process was quick, given that unlike in the US, people don’t carry on a kitchen sink. We lucked out, because the seat next to us was empty. The same was true of two other center seats in the exit rows, and actually those were the only empty seats on the entire plane.

So there’s something to be said for paying extra for exit row seats on EasyJet, not just in terms of legroom, but also in terms of maximizing your odds of scoring an empty seat next to you.


EasyJet cabin A320

I was pleased to see that there was an individual air nozzle at every seat, which is a feature I value more than most.


EasyJet individual air nozzles at every seat

The tray table folded out from the seat in front, and was on the small side.


EasyJet tray table

At 6:55AM the door closed, and a moment later the cabin manager, Veronica, made her welcome onboard announcement, and informed us of our flight time of 2hr20min.

A few minutes later the captain made an announcement welcoming everyone onboard, and he informed us that we’d have a roughly 20 minute delay due to air traffic control, and he promised to keep us updated. About 15 minutes later he informed us that we should be pushing back soon.

Sure enough, at 7:25AM we began our pushback, at which point the crew did a manual safety demonstration. Just 10 minutes later we were airborne.

The cabin service got started just 15 minutes after takeoff. Like most European airlines nowadays, EasyJet operates a buy on board model.

The menu read as follows:

We went to town on the buy on board, for review purposes, of course. 😉 We ordered a sparkling water and a coffee.


EasyJet buy on board menu — sparkling water and coffee

Then we ordered some snack boxes and packaged olives.


EasyJet buy on board menu — snack boxes

Ford ordered the tapas snack box with chorizo, serrano ham, tomato & oregano dip, and tomato flavored crackers.


EasyJet buy on board menu — snack boxes

I ordered the mezze snack box with green olives, red pepper & feta cheese dip, hummus, rosemary crackers, and baklava.


EasyJet buy on board menu — snack boxes

Both snacks were pretty good, and the total for the two drinks, two snack boxes, and olives, came to 17.50EUR.

There was also an onboard duty free sale, and while I didn’t buy anything, I was very tempted by the EasyJet pilot bears.


EasyJet duty free purchases

The entire crew was extremely friendly throughout the flight. They constantly passed through the cabin, and if anyone wanted to buy anything they’d gladly assist, even if it wasn’t during one of the services.

About 80 minutes after takeoff the captain announced we were at an altitude of 10,700 meters, and that we were flying over Tirana, and that we’d then be flying over Thessaloniki and Athens, before landing in Santorini in about 65 minutes, at 11AM.

Shortly before arrival I visited the lavatory at the front of the cabin, which was in good condition, and complimentary to use. 😉


EasyJet lavatory

We hit some turbulence on the descent due to strong winds near Greek islands, and touched down in Santorini at 11AM sharp. i apologize for the lack of window pictures, but the windows were dirty, and was tough to get any good pictures.

After landing it was just a two minute taxi to our arrival stand. Once again, the crew was very friendly on the ground. They helped passengers remove items from the overhead bins, and the captain was at the door to thank everyone for flying EasyJet.

Santorini Airport is tiny and doesn’t have any gates, so we just parked at a stand, and then had to get on the bus for the very short ride to the terminal (if you can even call it that).


EasyJet A320 upon arrival in Santorini


EasyJet A320 upon arrival in Santorini


Aegean A320 Santorini Airport

In the arrivals area we were met by a representative from the hotel, and within a few minutes started the 30 minute drive to Oia.

EasyJet bottom line

The aviation industry in Europe has changed radically over the past several years, thanks largely to ultra low cost carriers. For years people seemed to avoid some of these airlines, though as airlines like British Airways have made their regional flying experience worse, the difference between the airlines is virtually non-existent.

While Malpensa Airport Terminal 2 isn’t the nicest facility, otherwise the EasyJet experience greatly exceeded my expectations. Paying for an exit row and Speedy Boarding was a great value, especially as we ended up having an empty seat between us.

The legroom was great, the staff friendly, and the flight nearly on-time. I’d fly EasyJet again in a heartbeat, especially given how many nonstop routes they operate.

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Comments

  1. Lucky,

    Seems like you’ve been having pretty decent experiences on ULCCs, both domestically and abroad. I think you’re turning into an old man who values time and convenience over a roundabout routing!

  2. “Are carry-on bags are quite large, though no one said anything.”

    Our, not are. Great report, glad to see EasyJet getting some love.

  3. It’s true that flying with ULCC in Europe is getting better and better. I personally bike to the airport now to take my plane and never arrive more than 1h in advance (since I ditched checked luggage completely).

    I’d also say that EasyJet is better than Ryanair (IMO) on three fronts:

    – Seats (slightly bigger legroom)
    – Destinations (from my point of view living in BRU)
    – Price (tickets are usually a bit more expensive than Ryanair’s but they tend to be more stable)

    Plus I’m biased but I love Airbus so… 😛

  4. I don’t mind easyJet if I have to. Even if I’m flying a legacy carrier within Europe like KLM I get the Y tickets with extra legroom – J class is usually the same restricted legroom as Y.

    Tiresome question:

    What’s the difference between an LCC and a ULCC?

  5. “I don’t get why they feel the need to line up everyone this early”

    I have the same feeling. But this is how easyjet works and I do not like it so I try to avoid easyjet for that reason.

    “the airport doesn’t have jet bridges”
    And even in some airports if they have airbridges, easyjet does not want to pay for it.
    In Toulouse for instance, you (are parked first for 15 minutes of course) walk on the jet bridge and then have to take the stairs down to the tarmac and go-up again to board. Grrr…

    “EasyJet apparently has 29″ of pitch in the regular economy seats”
    Well BA, AF, too so here nothing less than the legacy indeed.

    “an empty seat next to you”
    Euro-business, isn’t it? 😉 … without the curtain… but who cares for that? 😉

    “The tray table folded out from the seat in front, and was on the small side.”
    When you think that Air France was the first airline to introduce those seats with 180 of them in a A320, the difference with the LCC is tiny then.

    Thanks for the review.

  6. Why wouldn’t there be individual air nozzles in economy Lucky? If they didn’t have those I wouldn’t even know what to think of airlines anymore…

  7. The legroom on easyJet isn’t that bad because the seats are very thin (and the 29″ pitch includes the seat itself). It’s actually fairly acceptable, and you can even easily work your laptop during the flight as the seats don’t recline. These seats are actually quite smart–and in the event they also save quite a bit of fuel costs because of the reduced weight.

  8. Off topic:
    ttps://money.cnn.com/2018/07/24/investing/taiwan-china-airlines-websites/index.html

    American companies have finally found their spine. Let’s support them. China is a bully. The more you give, the more they ask. Xi is the Hitler of our time. Jingoistic asshole. Eff China.

  9. @Bob: It depends on the airport. Here in PRG, you’ll often see an Easyjet plane connected to a jet bridge. I also boarded a Ryanair flight through a bridge in OSL recently, and that’s an airline that specifically uses the 737’s emergency air stairs for boarding to maximize savings. I guess it comes down to the airport’s capacity and hence the scarcity of premium gate space.

  10. @ Juraj

    That’s correct.
    It is not clear why easyjet does it at some airports and not at others.
    I guess this is cost related.

  11. @Brian It’s an ex-Niki Plane. I flew the same route and the panel display at the from left door that the cabin crew use still displayed “Niki”.

    @Lucky I departed the same gate at MXP and many passengers ( after waiting in that holding area for over 20 mins) tore down those flexi barriers that were used to form the line and pushed ahead of the people in the Speedy Boarding line once the door opened. Utter chaos- yelling and pushing galore!

  12. @Lucky Will you tell us about your departure experience from Santorini airport. Mine in June was chaos! Not helped by a 5 hour delay on that JTR-MXP route.

  13. @Brian,
    EasyJet used to have 2 Air Operator Certificates, one Swiss and one British. But with Brexit just around the corner they needed an AOC of an EU member other than the UK otherwise they would lose access to intra EU routes. EasyJet Chose Austria to apply for a third AOC and so Easyjet Europe was born. All aircraft with OE-XXX belong to Easyjet Europe with more to be transferred over from EZY UK

  14. @Lucky, Santorini in the summer? Hope it worked out better than your Lake Como trio last year. 😉

  15. Well the early morning departure was clearly better than i had during their late afternoon bank of departures at MXP. They say one should arrive at the airport atleast 2hrs early……i got that 1.5hrs early and almost missed my flight. The qeues at check-in/security were not moving! Hadn’t seen anything like that before.
    Apart from that, i had a great experience with them and the windows were clean too.

    And indeed Easyjet uses the airbridge at MUC too.

  16. “EasyJet apparently has 29″ of pitch in the regular economy seats, though I have to say that the legroom didn’t actually look that bad. Is that just because I didn’t have to sit in one of those seats, or…?”

    I did sit in one of those seats, and it really wasn’t that bad. Didn’t seem any worse than BA or LH in deep coach, as Matthew puts it. As someone else said, U2 uses super thin seats, which while tough on the posterior, help with the legroom.

  17. ““I don’t get why they feel the need to line up everyone this early”

    Because if you’re the last to board, you have more chances that your carryon will be checked in.

  18. @random travel

    EasyJet has less legroom than Ryanair by one inch. Ryanair has 30, EasyJet has 29.

  19. Thanks for the great and detailed review, Ben! I think it is good to have an occasional LCC / economy review from you, because for some routes and purposes it just makes most sense to use those. A bit of LCC flying in Asia, e.g. between Japan and Korea, would also be interesting.

  20. “Tiresome question:

    What’s the difference between an LCC and a ULCC?”

    In a European sense I’d say that easyJet is an LCC (though so is BA if you’re flying from LGW, albeit with normal oneworld benefits for those who have status), WizzAir is ULCC and Ryanair is somewhere in between (though their new hand baggage policy, where you can only take a bag on board if you’ve paid for priority boarding, makes them closer to ULCC again). I’d choose easyJet any day over Ryanair.

    Ben – why didn’t you just use the easyJet app to download your boarding passes? I get you probably didn’t book that far ahead, but you can do that 30 days before your flight.

  21. Just a note regarding checkin. On Easyjet, Ryanair, etc. you have to check upfront and print your ticket (or use your phone). Technically you can check on the airport, but you would have to pay a hefty fee for that service. People wait in checkin lines to drop off their bags.

    Out of many low cost carriers i prefer Easyjet. Yes, it is more expensive than Ryanair, but it does connect to main/large airports, which is handy for connections. Ryanair for example flies to obscure, out of way, but cheaper airports (for most people) – Frankfurt Hahn, Paris Beauvais, Brussel Charleroi, Venice Treviso, Milan Bergamo just to name some. Not even to mention that transfer from those airports to the main city costs much more.

  22. I Love EasyJet book way out their Cheap very well run they got rid of the Useless people.

    CHEERs

  23. @Matty,

    Easyjet doesn’t charge you for airport check-in. (And I really like their boarding pass, at least it comes in colors with designs which is something you can’t even find on many legacy airlines in Europe…) But Ryanair and Wizz do charge you for this (One differentiation between LCC and ULCC)

  24. @Lucky,

    1. Thank you for an interesting and informative article.

    2. As has already been stated above by someone else, “Are carry-on bags” should be “Our carry-on bags”. It matters. I don’t understand why you haven’t corrected it.

    3. “We lucked out” is an unusual phrase, which is open to misinterpretation. At first, I thought you meant you had had bad luck, which was the opposite of what happened. “We were in luck” is more comprehensible.

  25. @ABQ – it’s common outside North America to see widebodies without individual air nozzles, and since many carriers outside NA also tend to keep their cabins quite a bit warmer than is usual in the US or Canada, these planes are the bane of Lucky’s existence. (And having the metabolism of a polar bear, I agree with him.)

    I’ve never heard of narrowbodies without the nozzles, though, but my experience outside the US is limited. Possible I’ve just never seen one, or that Lucky is just kidding with this reference.

    I’ve flown EasyJet a few times and always been quite happy with them.

  26. The only problem with easyjet and kids: They don’t allow rear facing car seats, even if they are certified for use in aircraft. Most other carriers in Europe do. I have no idea why, and when you look at the available certified seats that simply makes no sense. In practice it depends on the captain: I usually insist on using the seat for our baby son, which prompts the cabin crew to refer to the captain. Sometimes he let us use it, most times we had to put our son on our lap for take-off and landing, but could use the seat for the remainder of the time. Very annoying, and unsafe!

  27. Loved this report Ben. Although I always wait to read the premium trips you take, it’s interesting that even when you have paid big bucks to fly 1st, you have had a lot worse soft product and service, no air vents and although free – worse food ……. makes you wonder

  28. I loved EasyJet when I was in the EU. Cheap, good network, lots of weekly flight sales, and (mostly) reliable. Honestly, It was a much better experience than the claustrophobic A319/320 BA econ ‘experience.’

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