Airline: easyJet Switzerland
Aircraft: Airbus A 319
From: Prague Ruzyne Airport
To: Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse Freibourg
Flight time: one hour and five minutes
Getting to the Airport
The journey from the Czech air navigation service provider’s offices to the airport takes about ten minutes by car. The driver drops me off right outside Terminal 1, because that’s where the short term parking is located.
Terminals 1 and 2 are connected with each other, both landside and airside. EasyJet checks in at Terminal 2.
The check-in hall is a big, cavernous space. EasyJet’s counters are at the far end of the terminal, on the row closest to the security check point.
For my trip today I have speedy boarding as well as fast track access for security.
I like that Prague is probably one of the few airports I know of, where you are not ejected directly into the duty free shop once you pass through security. In fact, the duty free shops are all rather low key and small.
My flight will be departing from the D pier. But seeing as I still have a while to go before my flight even leaves from Basel, I figure I might as well walk to the very end of the C pier, where there is a long row of seats along the window front with a great view of the apron. At least, there would be if the weather weren’t so bad…
I really don’t know how easyJet does it. I mean, I watch my plane land and then taxi in. When the aircraft enters the ramp, I stand up and make my way back to the departure gate. I do make a brief stop at the gents on my way, but I’m quite sure even with that it can’t take me more than six or seven minutes to reach gate D5, from where the flight will be leaving. Even so, when I get there, boarding is already in full swing and there is a long queue to enter the airbridge. Surely, did it really only take so little time for the aircraft to park, the passengers of the incoming flight to disembark and them to start boarding again?
Of course, with the speedy boarding I am entitled to jump the queue and just waltz on the plane when I want. But honestly, I always find that’s a bit of a dick move when I see others doing it, and I figure it makes no difference anyway.
I am seated on 1D, the aisle seat. At the time I booked the flight, that was the only seat on row 1 that was still available. On 1A there is a middle-aged gentleman. Very late, 1B nd 1C are taken up by an elderly couple. The husband is not exactly a lightweight, to put is nicely…
Boarding is completed and 1E and 1F next to me both stay empty. So I figure I might as well move over to the window seat, which is where I usually sit. Only, as soon as I move, Mr 1B and his spouse move too. Apparently, he doesn’t like that there’s no bulkhead on the other side of the aisle.
I mean, how dumb can some people possibly be? If you already have the luxury of having a few empty seats on your row, you could spread out, for example by taking an aisle seat each. Like that, the middle seat would stay empty and we would all have so much more space and comfort. But no, of course not. Because the selfish, self-centred git don’t fancy not having a bulkhead.
Okay, rant over. Deep breaths, in and out. Thinking of happy little puppies, calm down. Oh yeah, great leg room on row 1, by the way!
Once we’re airborne, the onboard sales begin and I order a mint tea and the new chocolate brownie. Together, the two items set me back by EUR4.50, which I think is reasonable for what you get and cheaper than the M&S products you find on BA.
Other than that, the flight is uneventful and short. We start our descent into Basel and eventually land at 17h20, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
There are quite a few easJet aircraft on the ground when we arrive.
Apparently, the Czech Republic is considered ‘clean’ by the prefecture of Haut-Rhin, because we pull up to a stand on the Schengen ramp upon arrival. Which also means that it’s a long walk outside to get from the aircraft to the terminal. On the up side, that means great photo opportunities for people like me. On the down side, it also means that if it’s raining you’ll probably get soaked by the time you enter the building…
Flying with easyJet is a lot like taking a bus. There‘s really none of the magic or romance I associated with air travel when I was young. Even so, I think the easyJet product is solid and consistent, to the point that I think I would prefer easyJet to British Airways, given the choice. But probably that says a lot more about the current sad state of British Airways than it does about easyJet.