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Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:15 pm

I realise that is a loaded statement, but I only had a line! Not everything was bad on EasyJet (a tongue freezing experience you'll see), but Wizz Air wins by miles.

Having to get from my home in Oxford to Luton airport to take advantage of free seats on Wizzair to Budapest, I left at 10 am for a 2 O’clock flight. Plenty of time; or so I thought.

London to Oxford was fine on the comfortable, reliable, timely and frequent coaches, getting to Baker St at 11.15 to change for the more earthly ones that run the 757 Green line service to Luton. There was no 11.48 as scheduled, but one 20 minutes after that. It was an anxious time when 5 minutes before my last check in time (1.20 pm) I was still on the coach, just passing one side of the airport. But this bus would go to the town centre first: I would never make it in time. Bad luck. What next? Should I call the hotel to cancel and go back home for a quiet, boring weekend? –No, I thought- but would there be another flight?

I could not find the Wizz air check in counter. That is because there was not one anymore!

So I went directly to Easyjet to enquire about any later flights to BUD. Indeed, there was one 3 hours later at 16.55. There were seats available and it would be £108 one way. Better than going back after the build up to the trip the previous days: a bit of reading, planning and buying some suitable comfy shoes for city walking and thermal garments. I’ll take it – I said to the rather stressed looking employee.

3 hours is rather a long time to wait at Luton, so I had ample time to get essential comfort food: A cappuccino and a Danish pastry. It took a chocolate croissant on top to start feeling some relief from the anxiety thus far accumulated.

For the first time I was asked some questions going airside. Where I was going, business or pleasure, and whether I had cash on me. I answered Budapest, pleasure and £20, respectively. I had a tour of the boarding area, after passing security.

I did see a Garuda 767 parked, and wondered what it was doing there. Does anybody know? Was it a charter?

I preferred EasyJet’s boarding system to that of Ryanair. Groups of 30 in separate lines, as opposed to just 2 groups in FR.

There was some waiting before boarding. The inbound airplane was slightly delayed. Overall we were 30 minutes late departing.
I was in the first group to board. Whilst waiting at the top of the stairs to the plane, I could see that the senior captain –earlier he had done the visual inspection of the craft: 2 wings, 2 engines with no signs of birds, tyres seemed inflated, and no bodies in the undercarriage compartment-
I could have been forgiven for thinking that next to him was his 20 year old son, but no, it was a young, dishy first officer. His name is Andy Hobbs, and he would do the flying to BUD. From my seat (2C), I could see him frantically looking in a big book whilst programming the flight management computer. I must admit that I did feel some slight unease, but counterbalanced that with the knowledge that –what must have been- a very experienced captain was next to him.
Sam was the name of the senior cabin crew. She was courteous but had a nonsense approach, and accurately relayed the number given to her by the refueller: 11850. Was that litres, kilos or pounds of fuel? Sam remained very serious until it came to the safety demonstration, where she was just about able to contain the giggling triggered by the FA reading the speech, who had to stop for a moment, and restart.
The airplane was a 737-300, formerly operated by Go (If only they were still around with their proper coffee). It had been reupholstered with the grey with the orange pattern that easyJet uses.

The inflight magazine was distributed. I immediately looked for the menu as was feeling hungry. A BLT sandwich, oh yes please! Something I don’t often have in my organic and quasi vegetarian household.
What disappointment when I unwrap the £3 item and already feel that it’s colder and more solid than it ought to have been. It took some effort to pull apart the piece of bread on top, but it revealed a frozen centre. The solid tomato glimmering with icicles looked especially unedible, and the rigid piece of bacon very unappetising. The lettuce remained bonded to the bread.
I so wish I’d had a digital camera to capture such an appalling product. It would have made its way to EasyJet’s directives. I did look to see where Sam was, but she was busy and already looking very stressed. I decided to bite the bullet –well, the equally hard tomato-.
In this instance Ryanair’s food –though as expensive- wins hands down. It is a shame that the traditional British approach to food –where quality does not seem to matter very much continues alive and well at EasyJet.

The approach and landing into Budapest at the tender hands of Andy Hobbs was smooth, but the thought of the appalling piece of food I’d paid a small fortune for was still occupying my mind.

I did have very nice food and generally a very nice time in beautiful and charming Budapest. I just hope to fly Wizz air on both legs next time. The return flight on them was faultless. The immaculate looking 2 year old Airbus A320 HA-LPE (formerly with Aces Colombia for which my cousin was an FA) with stylish burgundy leather seats, separate cup holder and tray table on seat backs, a nice selection of food and drinks (I had a a huge chocolate croissant with fine coffee for the same prize as a tea on EasyJet). The FA’s uniform was smart too, to match the Fuchsia and mauve Wizz colours. It concerns me that the flight was only 50% full, many of those were probably free seats as they keep doing promotions. I truly hope that Wizz prevails.

Arrival back at Luton was early. Time for a quick pee before catching the coach back to central London: The urinals were as blocked as they had been 3 days earlier. I went to wash my hands, and whilst there was soap there was no water to wash it off. Ah, will have to remove it with toilet tissue. A bad idea! The WCs were blocked too. I was able to get out very fast before allowing such pong to induce vomit. Thank goodness I did not have to do a number 2. What a contrast with the spotless facilities at Budapest. That is Budapest, Hungary, Eastern Europe. Who would have thought… One might think that Britain is going down the pan. Indeed, but the pan is probably blocked.
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:57 pm

Can I just point out that even though the food was shite it is not provided by easyJet themselves, Alpha Catering are the food suppliers, as for the Garuda it was a Britannia 767 off to Indonesia for the winter on a lease!

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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:49 am

Nice Report!

Can you put a pic of this sandwich, so I can gage my opinion.

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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:09 am

Nice report. I have flown both easyJet (AMS-LGW-AMS and VCE-LGW) and Wizzair (LTN-BUD-LTN) myself in the past few months, and have to say that I liked both airlines. The Wizzair aircraft looked very stylish, as did the F/A's, but I did find that whilst they were friendly and relaxed, they hadn't quite got the hang of managing the trolley service. Also, both of my flights with them were delayed without explanation. However all three of my easyJet flights left on time and arrived early. The U2 F/A's were also great - friendly and very helpful.

I also preferred the U2 boarding process as opposed to the Wizzair effort, which was just one huge free-for-all with no control whatsoever.

I have to say though that I didn't sample the food on any of the flights (only the alcohol!), so I didn't experience the easyJet BLT ice lolly...mmmm, crunchy!

And I have to agree that LTN is a hole (give me LGW any day)!! BUD on the other hand is a jewel - sparkling clean and all white marble and chrome, if a little warm (and I was there in late September), but probably had something to do with the huge glass windows offering great views of the action on the apron - I guess you can't have it all.

In conclusion, I think Wizzair have got some rough edges to smooth out, but are good otherwise - I wish them luck. As for easyJet, I wouldn't hesitate to fly them again.

[Edited 2004-12-07 21:15:44]
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:40 am


Nice brief report Big thumbs up

Flown EZY 6 times this year. Their service has always been very good and they easily have the best FA's in the UK. Shame you got the ex go Aircraft, any sign of age? I got 2 73GS and 4 319s, all lovely to ride on, even if the 737 was a tad noise Laugh out loud. Must try wizz air now they're coming here too Smile

Sam Big thumbs up
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
Topic Author
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:55 pm

Glenn, thanks for your info.
SQNo1, I did not have a camera with me, so sadly no picture of the BLT ice lollie (as BAViscount nicely and accurately puts it).

A340600, I was indeed disappointed that I got and older 737. It had not aged too badly though. But I was reallybanking on flying a new baby bus.

FAs were not the friendliest I have come across. indeed, one of them was very rude to a elderly Hungarian lady who came on board with a piece of luggage, that whilst in the newly easyJet allowed dimensions, would not fit in the overhead lockers. The FA realised this and instructed the lady to leave it by the front galley to be put in the hold. Upon not being understood, the FA resorted to shouting.. as if that would make it clearer. What ignorance.
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:15 pm

Ah when flying out of LTN if you want to get on one of our new babybuses you gotta fly to Dortmund, the only Airbus route we have outta Luton now that the Swiss routes are now operated by UK aircraft. Dortmund though is cheap to fly to yet nothing to do there spotting wise, city is nice though!

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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:24 am

Can I just point out that even though the food was shite it is not provided by easyJet themselves, Alpha Catering are the food suppliers

Glenn my good friend, Alpha supply food to the spec of EasyJet.

Also a lot of the stuff Alpha get in is from external supliers, so I guess I too can pass the blame on :P

Topic Author
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:38 am

Having complained to easyJet about the appalling sandwich, I received the following reply:

Thank you for your recent email regarding the problems you experienced. We would like to take this opportunity and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

We advise you to make your claim directly through Alpha In-Flight Retail.

We are sorry that we cannot be or more assistance in this matter.

Once again, please accept our apologies for any inconvenient caused. We do value your custom and hope this incident will not affect your choice to fly with us in the future.


I cannot believe that easyjet are unwilling to take any responsibility, and especially not willing to investigate the quality of the food that they retail.

I will take this matter further with the Office of Fair Trading in the first instance.
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:38 am

Please tell me what its got to do with easyJet? do you want them to open every sandwich and make sure its perfect?? All easyJet do is sell the sandwichs on behalf of Alpha Catering!

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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:32 am

Nice report, even though the Wizz part was shorter than the description of the bus ride to LTN  Big grin I was just surprised that Wiss kept your reservation for the retun leg as normally when you are a no-show for the outbound sector, all your following segments get cancelled.

All easyJet do is sell the sandwichs on behalf of Alpha Catering!

So - following your logic - if Easyjet leases an aircraft from GECAS, and the flight is cancelled due to technical reasons, the passenger should get in touch with GECAS? I think that Easyjet should definitely be held responsible for the stuff which they sell on board. After all they promote it as part of their product. The customer does not care which part of the operation is outsourced or subcontracted.

Just my 2 cents...


Topic Author
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RE: Wizz Air Good, EasyJet Bad!

Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:52 pm

Glenn, I would have been happy with a simple answer to my question, namely whether the sanwiches are frozen once handed to the airline, and if it was the caterer's responsibility, whether they are happy with such a policy -or at the very least an assurance that they would ask some simple questions to Alpha.

I am waiting till the end of the day for another reply from EasyJet. After that I will file my complaint to the OFT.

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