Budget airlines are great for saving money, but beware not to fall into their traps that will cost you an arm and a leg if things go wrong.
I recently had a flight from Israel to England booked with the airline Jet2. The flight was just shy of 100 pounds for a one way flight which I thought wasn’t too bad. My boarding pass said to arrive at the gate 25minutes before the flight time, and as I only had carry-on luggage (and had checked in online) I thought I could turn up at the airport about an hour before, clear security and get to my gate. Oh boy was I wrong. I turned up in the line for security with about 50 minutes to go, and was told I could not get on the flight as the flight had closed 60 minutes before the flight. I was raging. Nowhere had they told me this would apply as I just had carry-on luggage. The initial person I talked to was very rude and did not want to hear me out but to be fair the ladies behind the desk tried to help me out and get me on the flight, but the answer was still no. All in all, I had to pay for a new flight (I changed airlines, but paid over 200 pounds for a last minute flight to London).
Without rambling on, the moral of the story is to give yourself plenty of time at the airport and don’t trust the information given as there are no doubt little catches along the way. Look out for things like making sure you print your boarding passes before the flight (or else you are looking at an expensive print out from the airline), and making sure your luggage is within the size limits of the airline (which can be slightly different depending on what airline you choose). After all, how else do the budget airlines make money?
There are plenty other airlines on the market, so Jet2, sadly you will not be seeing me again.
**NOTE** I have emailed the airline and posted them a letter for them to respond to my complaints. I am not holding my breath for a response as I am sure the airline won’t care about the small fish, but it would nice to have some feedback and I’ll keep you informed with any progress. **Update** (April 2013) Jet2 responded to my complaints and refunded the extra fee I had to pay.
Please feel free to comment if you have experience a similar issue.