How to survive no-frills flights

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Bookingholiday flights on a no-frills airline is like an obstacle course. No soonerhave I finished congratulating myself on avoiding all the online extra charges,all the queuing, and all the airport stress hot spots, when the ground attendantgreets me with “Madam you have two pieces of luggage. You will have to payextra unless you can get the handbag into the other one.”

Ha,I’m wise to this one, squeezing one into the other. I get my luggage into theoverhead locker: I’m laughing. I have sustained minimal injuries: only onebruised shin and one broken nail, and we are already airborne.

Iknow everyone hates London Stansted airport, but really it has been good thismorning. Fifteen minutes from taxi to departures, swift security. It’s aholiday airport. The flights on this occasion are £60 all-in, as opposed to theflights from Heathrow at £250: no argument.

Iread the article this week about the woman who ended up paying an extra £236because she did not print out Ryanair boarding passes for her return flight,and 350,000people have joined her complaint via social media. I am curious whether therewasn’t a printer anywhere in the airport for her to print out the boardingpasses.

MyICIS colleague Peter once turned up for a transatlantic flight without havingregistered for an ESTA. When he was refused check in, he went away, logged onand registered for an ESTA, then went back for check-in. Sometimes it pays tobe a bit clever.


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