Tuesday 4 July 2017

Flying for the first time with Jet2 from Stansted Airport

Back in December I started to plan our holiday to Playa Montroig Camping Resort with Eurocamp and I was really grateful there is no set arrival day so I could seek out the best price for our flights. As we needed to travel during May half term I knew there wasn't going to be any bargains but I hoped to secure something at least half reasonable in price.

At first I checked flights from Gatwick and Heathrow as these airports are closest to us and ones we've flown from before but the dates, times and prices were not ideal. I then remembered that fellow blogger Vicki from Honest Mum is working as an ambassador for Jet2 and I decided to check them out.

Who are Jet2 - Should we fly with them?
Being a Southern girl they weren't an airline I’d heard of before but when I started investigating them I found out they are the UK’s fourth largest scheduled airline. But more importantly that they were named the ‘Best Airline – UK’ and the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline – Europe’ at the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards and they are also the only UK airline to have ‘Which? Recommended Provider’ status. It was all pretty impressive but the clincher for me was that they were starting to fly from Stansted in May and that's only a couple of hours drive from us.

Almost straight away I found an ideal flight time from Stansted to Reus with a 8.45am departure and a 2.15pm arrival back in the UK. To be able to secure a good price I booked for the Monday of half-term and resigned myself to the fact I'd need to ask for a day off school for each of the kids. There were flights on the Friday and Sunday too but these were around £600 more for the five of us and thus a day off it would need to be.

Grabbing a great price
There was a pre-Christmas sale of (I think, if I remember rightly) 15% off flight prices but I then wondered if the discount would get even better if I waited until Boxing Day as that's a classic time to book a holiday. I took the risk and left it but then found it was only 10% discount after Christmas. So I've learnt not to be greedy and when I find a great flight deal to snap it straight up.

When I booked at the end of December we paid £884.40 for five of us to travel with three checked in bags (up to 22kg each) and pre-booked seats. I checked the price a few times over the next few months and the price went up and up, so I definitely booked at the tight time, which was around five months prior to departure. It cost us £23 for each piece of checked-in luggage for each way and it also cost £12.50 for each seat reservation. I think the seat reservation price does increase closer to the departure date though.

Giving us options
In late March I received an email from Jet2 telling me that our Monday flights had been cancelled and for a moment I had a heart attack! Then when I read it properly they offered me a few options -a full refund, to change our flight to one later in the day on the Monday or the same flight times but on the Friday or Sunday either side of our original dates. It actually turned out to be a Godsend as we travelled on the Sunday before, still with the excellent flight times but the kids didn't have to miss any school.

Fabulous customer service
Check in - We arrived very early for our 8.45am departing flight as it was only a short while after the Manchester terrorist attack and we figured security would be high and things might take longer. We did see more security and armed police but actually things didn't seem to take too long at all. 

There were multiple desks open and serving at 5.15am, whcih was way before the time we were advised they would be available. All the staff were well dressed and in great spirits and we were through in around 15 mins with 3 bags to check. It realy seemed to work that they had one queue to filter to all desks and additional staff to direct you to counters. 

Our check in at Reus in Spain for the return journey was equally just as good. We didn't arrive as early for this one and therefore expected to get in a queue but we were wrong. We looked across and saw the Thomsons and Thomas Cook queues filling up for their 4 desks and we headed straight to the front of the Jet2 queue and were directed to one of the 9 check-in desks. We were all doen and moved onto security within 10 minutes.

On the plane - Again we found all the Jet2 staff very good. Nothing was too rushed or pushy and they had a smile and a kind word for everyone. I bought a 100ml bottle of Calvin Kline Summer Eternity Eau de Perfume for just £24 as there was 20% off all fragrances.

On the journey home the Jet2 Station Manager came aboard the plane to check everything was well and she helped a couple of people move seats. We had a half hour delay taking off (due to air traffic control) but the captain kept us up-to-date and the time seemed to pass quickly.

As we sat on the plane waiting to go home my husband commented that there is a real focus on customer service with Jet2 and we both agreed that we would be very happy to travel with them again.

Facilities on-board the plane
Seats - We travelled on a B737-800 which seats 189 people in economy class. The configuration of the plane is 3 seats either side of the central aisle. As a pretty large lady I sat in the aisle and middle seats and was comfortable in both. The seat pitch is 29" and the width of the seat is 17.2". The seats don't recline but I found them comfy, they have a leather cover which is reassuring from a hygiene perspective.

I was super pleased to find that there are long seat belts fitted as standard. In the past I have often had to ask for a seat extender and been embarrassed of my size but no need for this with Jet2. The seatbelts are also alternate colours to match your seat so you can easily identify your one.

Leg room on our plane. The blue legs are mine and I'm 5ft 4". My husband is 6ft and also found it fine

On the back of the chair in front of you there is a fold down table and also a fold down cup holder. The magazines go into a wire rack rather than elasticated pocket so there is't so much room for all yoru own bits and pieces but the room under the seat in front is good and you can place yoru handbag/ small bag there for the duration of the flight for easy access.

Storage - If you need to use the overhead locker as you have a bigger case it is good to note that they are enormous and practically empty on both our flights too.

Toilets - There are three toilets on the plane and these are cosy as you'd expect but the ones we used were clean, well stocked and smelt fresh too.

Eating and Drinking - You can pre-order food for yoru flight or opt to buy a snack on the day. There is a reasonable selection, as you might find in a coffee shop and the prices are not too bad considering you are on a plane. For example - £4.20 sandwich or toastie & crisps, £1.30 for a bar of chocolate or packet of biscuits, £2.30 for 330ml fizzy drink like Coke, £1.80 for a bottle of water and £2.60 for hot drinks like coffee, tea and hot chocolate. They also have a deal for a half price bar of chocolate with every hot drink. All the different food items that we bought were fine and as you'd expect but both the coffee and tea wasn't great so I wouldn't bother with a hot drink again.

If you fancy something a little stronger, it is £4.20 for beers & cider, £4.50 for a glass of wine or measure of a spirit and a good deal to mix & match 2 beers, cider, wines or spirits for £8. 

We loved flying with Jet2 and I'm already planning our next flight with them!

Why not pin this for later?

Disclosure: There is nothing to disclose! We paid for the full cost of this ourselves and were genuinely happy customers. Thanks Jet2, we'll be back.

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