easyJet revises cancellation and change fees – I compare with BA

easyJet dropped me a line with its revised cancellation and change policies which went into effect on Wednesday.

These policies are not all new but are worth highlighting because, in general, they are reasonable and show why more cost-conscious business travellers are moving across.

Name change

British Airways does not allow name changes on issued tickets.  You would need to cancel your ticket – usually with nothing refunded on a cheap economy flight – and rebook for the current price.

easyJet will let you change the name of a passenger as long as the lead passenger name is unchanged.  This will cost £45 per sector and just £15 per sector if done more than 60 days before departure.  This presumably comes in handy if you’re not sure that your current partner is a ‘keeper’!

easyJet A319 at Rome Ciampino

Flight changes

easyJet will let anyone change their flight time for £45 plus any fare difference.  This is reduced to just £15 plus any fare difference if done within 60 days of departure.

British Airways also allows flight changes on payment of a £60 change fee plus any fare difference.  The BA fee is per ticket whilst the easyJet fee is per flight segment, so the cost could be higher if you make the change within 60 days.

Note that if you make your change by telephone, easyJet adds on an extra £5.  British Airways adds on an extra £30.

Missed flight rescue fee

This one is slightly trickier to judge.  If you arrive at the airport up to two hours after your original flight departed, easyJet will put you on the next available flight for a flat fee of £80.

Whilst BA is not contractually obliged to do this, they would – in many cases – do this for nothing in my experience.  If they refused, you would have a very expensive bill to pay for a ‘bought at the airport’ one-way ticket.

This last option is a very powerful one for business passengers who would otherwise buy a semi-flexible British Airways ticket.  As long as the only risk was that the passenger would be delayed for a couple of hours, it makes an easyJet ticket substantially better value even if the £80 fee has to be paid.

With easyJet moving its entire Gatwick operation into the North Terminal next November, it will continue to grow in the business market.  The one thing that is still not clear is whether it will start offering interlining (letting you check through a bag to your ultimate destination) – transferring from one easyJet flight to another is currently inconvenient if you have a checked bag.

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Comments

  1. Easyjet used to offer name change for solo or primary pax as well. That seems like an ‘enhancement’…

  2. Tim Millea says:

    On the point of checked baggage, easyJet are the most generous in the business for free cabin baggage. The physical dimensions are the same as with BA (56cm x 45cm x 25cm) but unlike BA, there is no weight restriction. Plus if you pay a modest amount extra for ‘up front’ or extra legroom seating, which also comes with priority boarding, you are allowed a second bag of 45cm x 36cm x 20cm which is 80% larger than BA’s second bag allowance of 40cm x 30cm x 15cm, again with no weight restriction. Yes you lose the convenience of saying goodbye to you luggage at check-in until your final destination but you also say goodbye to the waits and inconvenience of check-in and luggage carousels upon arrival.

    Travelling hand-luggage only is liberating. Hold baggage allowance, checked-through luggage, priority check-in and priority luggage delivery (which rarely works) are old currency with easyJet.

    As raffles says, these easyJet policies are all very reasonable although I am saddened to see the £80 charge imposed for turning up late. I have twice missed easyJet flights because of public transport issues and/or my own fault for not allowing sufficient margin and easyJet have put me on the next available flight without charge or even question. I also had my fare fully refunded for a 2 hour delay without asking for it long before the current EU regulations came in to play. I would say that easyJet’s then policy towards compensation for delays is an awful lot more sensible that the EU regulations.

    For those considering trying easyJet for the first time and who want a business class experience, my advice would be to pay for ‘up-front’ or extra legroom seating, buy four-wheeled cabin baggage that exactly maxes the size allowance, pre-book a lounge (£15-£20 through the right channels in advance), allow £20 for food and drinks on board and you are there. The on board service is the most efficient of any airline I have experienced – the cabin crew have to be on a generous commission. AND YOU DON”T HAVE TO FLY VIA LONDON :)

    Tim.

    • Tim Millea says:

      I just read what I wrote above and realised I should start a new website ‘DontHeadForPoints.com’ – “How to avoid loyalty schemes, save money and have a better quality of life” :).

      I apologise. Raffles, I realised my sentiment was in juxtaposition to this site’s which I read daily without fail, wherever I am in the World and much appreciate.

      Don’t go googling yet, I will have to find a much more succinct name :).

    • “As raffles says, these easyJet policies are all very reasonable although I am saddened to see the £80 charge imposed for turning up late.”

      easyJet’s ‘Rescue fee’ is nothing new – it’s been around for years and years.

      Also, it’s currently £65, not £80 as stated in the main post – it is however €80 so I’m guessing that’s the source of this mistake.

      easyJet’s fees and charges:
      http://www.easyjet.com/en/fees-and-charges

    • I have to disagree with Easyjet being the best with baggage allowance. BAs limit is 23kg which you would be pushing to hit even with you checked baggage. Frankly anything more than this is dangerous and should not be encouraged.

      But more importantly unless it has changed recently, the second item of carry on luggage (such as a laptop bag) is very useful which BA, most European carriers and even Ryanair allow, but Easyjet do not.

      • Tim Millea says:

        easyJet do allow a second bag, 80% larger than BA’s 2nd bag allowance by volume, if you pay for ‘up-front’ (front few rows), extra legroom, a flexible fair or are a member of their paid-for priviledge club. The extra for ‘up front’ is usually only a few pounds and a lot less than paying for hold baggage so well worth it if you are challenged by hand baggage limits.

      • Tim Millea says:

        Also, I can add testimony to the 23Kg per cabin bag BA limit. I thought I would bring my dummbell and weights set to Greece last week :-). I maxed out the weight in each of my two cabin bags but was stopped by security. Weights are potential weapons apparently. I was frog-marched back to check-in and much to BA’s credit, I was allowed to check-in a third bag free of charge.

        So I would agree, it would be difficult to reach the 23Kg cabin bag limit without carrying something considered so heavy to be dangerous.

  3. Easyjet are useful when there is no avios availability. Never had a problem with them and the onboard staff have always been frendly.

  4. I’ve no problem with EZ. They are great if you just need a “bus” intra-europa. I also value being able to get extra-legroom without it all having been syphoned off in advance for elites. No good for long haul though is it?

  5. Booked our first ever easyjet flight OW to BCN £61 pp includes row 1 extra legroom seat, priority boarding 1 x 23kg checked bag plus 2 x cabin bags no weight restrictions. Have PP for lounge access. No BA Avios flights in Economy the date we required and wont use 19500 Avios plus £42.50 pp for a one way to BCN

  6. Cloud Runner says:

    I have taken very many EZY flights between from LGW to BCN / AMS and I really can’t fault them,

    However, I did come back from Antalya last year with them and really cannot recommend sitting in one of their firm seats for the best part of 5 hours !!

    • Tim Millea says:

      Ah, but it was just the same with BA when they operated to Antalya. They, like all airlines operating to Antalya from the UK, used short-haul aircraft and charged so called ‘medium haul’ extra legroom charges. I used BA from Antalya via Gatwick to Manchester many times when I lived in Side. Both Gatwick to Antalya and Gatwick to Manchester routes have long since disappeared.

      To answer your point directly, a near-five hour flight on uncomfortable short-haul aircraft is indeed unacceptable but routine and so far without any alternative. This covers most of my regular destinations in Greece and Turkey. I am happy to pay twice as much but that choice is not there at any price. Convince me that the market is working.

      Tim.

  7. There’s an interesting report on Cranky Flier about a new service offering protected transfers at Gatwick. It think, in effect, it’s a form of missed connection insurance but it looks like a positive development.

  8. There’s one other significant offer that easyJet makes which is very attractive to the business traveller.

    If you are making a return trip (out and back booked in one transaction), then on the return leg if you arrive at the airport earlier than expected on the day, easyJet will transfer you to an earlier flight ‘back home’ if there is one and if there’s space on the plane.

    You have to go back to your original departure point, but if it’s London, Milan or Paris then you can catch a flight to any of the other airports if easyJet serve them.

    http://www.easyjet.com/en/help/booking/earlier-flight

  9. It’s true that BA won’t normally change names (unless there’s a simple mistake in spelling etc), ie:
    Outside this cooling off period, flight-only tickets are non-transferable and you will need to cancel the original booking and make a new booking for the new traveller (at current ticket prices). Please call us if you’d like more advice and assistance.

    However, the staff have a fair bit of discretion and by being pleasant on the phone, they were happy enough to change one of the names on our group of 5 tickets, from my wife to my niece. The nice lady probably bent the rules but it does pay to be nice to them yourself :)

  10. I must be missing a trick if people say BA are flexible when you are a few minutes late. I regularly travel from LHR to GLA but on 2 occasions Heathrow Express was a few minutes late and I arrived at T5 security with 34 minutes before the flight. Customer service always say I must pay for a new ticket because I’m a no show. Does anyone have any tips for me?

    • Only the obvious tip you won’t welcome, ie that you’re not allowing enough time for transfers/ getting there.

      The old days are gone, when you could turn up last minute and slip onto your flight & 5 minutes later they’d close the door and the plane would taxi away.

      LHR-GLA is not in the arrive 3 hours before flight class that I’d recommend for more important flights – lounges make this perfectly bearable – but honestly, 90 mins would be minimally prudent.

      As for the tips you’re really after: did you try phoning ahead? Are you decent status & mention it?

    • BA is not at all flexible in holding planes – they known punctuality is a problem and are doing all they can not to delay aircraft. They are flexible in putting you on other planes without charging you for a new ticket.

      • I find this surprising. Once I missed a flight by 10 minutes (dus-lhr), was in club (poug) and they wanted me to buy a new ticket for the next flight for £400. I went to the easy check in desk and even tho I didn’t want lgw, gave them the £130 and got a taxi back to lhr

      • No they’re not! I also turned up at security two minutes late for a simple LHR-NCL. Loads of little delays added up and killed my contingency time.

        What annoyed me is I had to pay for change fee and fare difference and even after all that (took about 10 minutes for them to rebook me) I got through security and my original flight was still boarding. I could have easily made my flight but instead I was forced to pay for the privilege of sitting in the galleries club lounge for many more hours (my next flight was also delayed). This was made worse that I was collecting a car at the other end so couldn’t even enjoy any alcohol which would have at least killed time.

        • Yes it’s one of the most annoying things about T5 – if you’d been doing that flight the other way round you would have still made it at NCL. I don’t object to them not holding planes back, but conformance can be really annoying (and doesn’t seem to make their punctuality any better than the LCCs!)

  11. EasyJet also have the priority boarding by bus thing sorted which is a regular moan on FT BAEC – last time flying FCO to Malta there was myself and another couple with speedy boarding – we were put at the front of the bus and our area tensa-barried off. At the plane we disembarked and were up the steps before the rest were let off. Felt a bit DYKWIA but very efficient (for us 😉
    .

  12. Cabin Change query – if I book a long haul flight with Avios and money in Economy and a reward seat appears in business some time later, is there a charge from BA to change/upgrade from Economy to Business (other than the expected additional miles and money as if I had booked Business in the first place)?