There are few things in life I enjoy less than travelling on a budget airline. From booking to getting the boarding passes to travel, the whole process is one where I grit my teeth and bear it.
Take yesterday, for example, when I was travelling from Nice to London Gatwick on easyJet.
Neither Polly nor Grania succeeded in transferring a booking made on iPad to my mobile to get up the boarding passes other than by photographing them so Polly advised I got to the airport early to see if the counter counter staff could do so.
She promptly – having not listened to my problem – printed out a fresh one which I did not need. She then told me future boarding passes could not be printed out in advance which seemed illogical to me as they can be once recorded in a mobile/iPad (I did not have a printer in the flat I rent).
I was then told she could not even advise me of any future reservations but I had to go the information desk which was unmanned. After 15 minutes futile queuing therefore, I was no better off.
I brandished my orange easyJet-plus card with the flourish of a poker player’s ace to his opponent’s king. Speedy boarding actually means lengthy queuing as you wait in the tunnel for the plane to arrive, passengers to disembark and it to be cleaned. Digital airlines are not designed for those who dislike queuing.
Security had a new and horrible twist when the official asked me to roll up my trouser belt so he could examine there. I gritted my teeth again.
The horrible experience would soon be over and these guys have the aces now. The plane was cramped and there was the constant cacophony of a baby screaming. At arrival, as I have not mastered the e-gate arrival system, I queued once again with stressed-out parents and screaming out of control kids at the border control. 30 minutes parking at Gatwick cost £7.50 but it was almost worth it as the whole experience was over…. till Wednesday.