British Airways Vs EasyJet Review feature image

British Airways Vs EasyJet

I’ve got to admit that I love British Airways. As a general rule, especially if I’m flying long-haul, I trust British Airways to provide a great experience. I like their inclusions, I like their onboard entertainment, and most importantly, I take comfort in their excellent safety record.

Flying back from Paris to Manchester, though, I spotted an incredible easyJet flight price. I might love flying in comfort, but I’m also a sucker for a great deal. At a price of just £54.32, how could I resist? 

For those weighing up the British Airways vs easyJet debate, here are my two cents. This is how I found the experience to differ.

Snapshot Verdict

EasyJet is one of the best low-cost carriers in Europe. It’s a step up from super budget-friendly Ryanair and connects nearly 140 international destinations. It’s designed for short-haul flights, since it only operates in Europe anyway.

As a budget carrier, easyJet is clinical with its luggage allowance and a little opportunistic with oversized luggage fines. Similarly, onboard entertainment is limited, and there is no meal inclusion. However, with that said, easyJet does provide reliable flights for reasonable prices. 

As a whole, British Airways is better for long-haul flights when you can justify the steeper ticket prices for added comfort and in-flight entertainment. It has two flight types: Euro Traveller and World Traveller. Euro Traveller is for short-haul flights within Europe, while World Traveller covers British Airways long-haul routes.

Euro Traveller gives you a complimentary cabin bag with each ticket, an onboard snack, and a bottle of water. World Traveller has better baggage inclusions, with each ticket purchase guaranteeing complimentary checked baggage; this starts at 23kg for economy.

Overall, choose easyJet if you want the best deals for short-haul flights, or BA if you need plenty of luggage or want to travel long haul in comfort. 

Boarding with EasyJet…

Since I was only in Paris for two days, I decided to save time waiting at the luggage carousel and just travel with hand luggage.

This meant the experience at Paris Charles de Gaulle was like clockwork – checking in online the night before and simply heading straight through security. It was Christmas Eve so the airport was pretty busy, and this extra time was handy for some last-minute gift shopping in duty-free.

onboard Easyjet

One thing to note is that easyJet has changed its hand luggage rules. Gone are the days of 10kg hand luggage stashed in the overhead. Now, the complimentary hand luggage for each ticket is just an under-seat cabin bag of 45 x 36 x 20cm. 

It is a minuscule allowance, and if I had been in Paris any longer, it would not have been suitable for the trip. Arriving at the flight gate, the staff divided us into two sections – priority and non-priority, depending on who had the under seat bag or overhead bag (booked for an extra fee). 

Amongst the taped-off ‘Under seat bag’ section, staff members hovered to peer at luggage and spot any oversized troublemakers.

People were pulled from the crowd at random to try to cram their luggage into a tiny metal measuring box. If it didn’t fit, they were taken to a nearby till to pay an additional ‘hold fee’.

If you’re traveling with lots of luggage, an easyJet ticket wouldn’t work out as cost-effective as it initially appears. There are hidden costs depending on your travel requirements. But, as a whole, I found this easy enough to navigate for a quick three-night trip. 

The boarding process itself was relatively organized. Passengers were clearly directed towards priority and non-priority lanes. Once called, we only queued for 15 to 20 minutes to get to the desk and onto the plane.

With that said, the plane was delayed for over an hour. I’m unsure if this was because it was Christmas Eve and a hectic time to travel. But the weather was clear, and there seemed to be no apparent reason why the plane should be so delayed – no reason was communicated to passengers either. 

I watched the clock tick past our flight time. I peered out to see still no plane, and looked towards the boarding gate desks to see no staff. Once the plane and staff arrived, though, the process was speedy, and it was clear they were making up for the delay.

…Versus Boarding With British Airways

I did have some hiccups flying with British Airways during the dreaded ‘COVID-19 years’, with the airline canceling multiple flights from Sydney to London. However, given all the border closures, we’ll cut the airline some slack. 

boarding BA flight

Beforehand, I’d had a pleasant outward journey with British Airways and found the airline definitely on par with Qantas – the other major airline connecting the UK and Australia.

As a passenger on their World Traveller flight, I got 23kg of complementary luggage, which made a massive difference to the travel experience. And the plane arrived on time, which is always a plus.

Of course, it’s difficult to compare long-haul experience with short-haul (I’m yet to try a short-haul British Airways flight). However, I would say for those weighing up easyJet with a Euro Traveller British Airways flight, consider luggage allowance. 

The attitude towards luggage is the most significant difference in the boarding experience. British Airways leans towards generosity – providing a complimentary cabin bag even on Euro Traveller – while easyJet leans towards being stingy and opportunistic with luggage fines.

If you are traveling for any longer than a city break and luggage is important to you, I’d consider British Airways for their generous luggage allowances.

Seating and Onboard Entertainment With EasyJet…

easyJet offers economy seating only, but there are ways to gain extra legroom, like choosing seats in row 1 or emergency exit rows.

It has three categories: Standard, Up Front, and Extra Legroom.

Ironically, after all the checking for unsuitably sized under seat luggage, I sat down at row 13 only to be asked to put my bags overhead.

Tip

Row 13 is the emergency exit aisle, meaning no bags are allowed on the floor – a loophole some may wish to note.


The seating on easyJet is comfortable enough. At 5ft 3, I rarely struggle with the legroom dilemma, but sitting in the emergency aisle meant that extra bit of space. The padded chairs were comfortable enough to manage a nap on just a 1.5-hour flight, which is an achievement in itself. 

In terms of onboard entertainment, things are admittedly limited.

There was no Wi-Fi option on my flight, although I’m told that on some charters, Wi-Fi is provided via QR codes once you complete take-off. But all seasoned travelers know to fly with some pre-downloaded music and films to hand, so fly prepared, and you won’t have an issue.

There’s a good range of food and beverages served onboard, too. On this charter, they offered a lunch-style deal for $11, including a hot panini or cold sandwich, a hot or soft drink, and a snack.

There was also a ‘Meals on the go’ option for $10 when paired with a soft or hot drink, and $13 when paired with beer or wine. 

While no meals were included in my ticket price, I felt the variety available was enough to justify buying onboard. I also found the service friendly and the stewards and stewardesses very attentive.

…Versus Seating and Onboard Entertainment With British Airways

As I mentioned, comparing a long-haul and a short-haul flight is hard.

My experience of long-haul flights with British Airways is fantastic, with a great selection of movies, included hot meals, and comfortable seating. Euro Traveller is slightly different, with mostly Wi-Fi-only inflight entertainment and limited meal inclusions.

The biggest difference between Euro Traveller and easyJet is the provision of an onboard snack and bottle of water. EasyJet provides nothing with your ticket, just the option to purchase refreshments onboard.

Euro Traveller takes that extra step to supply you with a bite to eat and a bottle of water.

In reality, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference, given that it is only a snack rather than a full complimentary meal. However, some people may prefer to get an inclusion rather than having to purchase something onboard. It’s certainly a nicer touch.

A Recap of EasyJet And BA Inclusions

Just to recap, these are the easyJet inclusions for those who travel just on the original ticket price (aka under seat luggage):

  • A small bag that fits under your seat and fits the dimensions of 45 x 36 x 20cm. 
  • No checked luggage.
  • No meals are included; food and drink are available for onboard purchase.
  • Non-priority boarding.
  • Random seat selection unless you pay to choose your seat when checking in online.

You can upgrade your ticket easily enough by paying extra for an overhead cabin bag like the traditional 10kg carry-ons. This will get you priority boarding.

Easyjet aircraft external

You can also join the easyJet Plus membership program if you decide to fly with the airline regularly. This gives you access to free seat selection, Fast Track security, faster bag drop at special desks, a 10% discount on onboard food and drink, and a free cabin bag of 45 x 36 x 20 cm.

If you decide to regularly fly with easyJet, paying a $271 annual membership fee may be worthwhile for the benefits you get.

In comparison, these are the British Airways short-haul inclusions for those traveling just on the standalone economy ticket price, with no added extras:

  • A large cabin bag that fits the dimensions of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, plus an additional small bag, like a handbag or laptop bag.
  • High-speed Wi-Fi.
  • A snack and bottle of water, with extra food and drink, are available for onboard purchase.
  • Leather seats with in-built chargers.
  • Priority boarding is automatically given to passengers with children.
  • Random seat selection unless you are traveling in Economy Plus and above.

Verdict – Which is Best?

If easyJet didoffer long-haul flights, would I be interested in switching from being a loyal British Airways user? Definitely not. However, easyJet is a good option if you’re looking to snag a deal on a short-haul flight within Europe.

For me, easyJet’s biggest draw is its competitive flight ticket prices. Its boarding system is slightly manic, and the luggage inclusions are poor. But if you can cope with a slightly rushed boarding experience, the on-flight experience is good.

As we were queuing, at least four or five different people were swooped upon for oversized luggage. You get the feeling that staff are trying to meet a quota for baggage charges. I’d pay for checked luggage and avoid the hassle of carry-on, or consider joining the easyJet Plus membership program if you plan to fly with the airline regularly.

In summary, I do look forward to my next flight with British Airways – flying from Manchester to Quito in a couple of months.

However, I won’t be averse to looking out for impromptu flights around Europe with easyJet. I don’t mind forgoing the British Airways luggage inclusions on short city breaks.

As a low-cost carrier, easyJet is a cost-effective option for short-haul flights. British Airways is preferable for longer flight experiences or for longer stays in short-haul destinations when you benefit from a larger luggage allowance.

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