Wednesday 17 October 2018

This year I've flown with quite a few airlines that have been a first for me - if it's the cheapest by £100 on SkyScanner anything goes. Flying back and forth from uni a couple of times a year meant I was familiar with Easyjet, Monarch, Ryanair and British Airways - but since I've been travelling to a lot of other destinations recently I've also got to try Emirates, Air India and some other questionable ones that still managed to get us there in one piece. During our Easter trip, after a very bumpy journey with one airline my friend suggested - 'G you should make a blog post reviewing all the airlines you fly with.' So here I am finally following up on that. I can't recall exactly all of my experiences, so we'll kick things off with the airline I used for my trip to Bratislava last week.

tea with gi airline reviews

Airline | Ryanair

Trip: Malaga - Bratislava
Journey time: 3 hours
Cost: 60 euros return 
Hand-luggage allowance: You can bring your 10kg HL case and a handbag on the plane with you for an extra charge - if you purchase a standard ticket then your 10kg bag will be placed in the hold for free once you're boarding and you can only bring your hand bag on the plane with you. 

My experience flying with Ryanair: When Ryanair announced their new HL policy last year I was confused - did this mean we'd have to pay just to bring the suitcase with us? As someone who usually travels with hand luggage only this would have been annoying. But once discovering it just meant they put it in the hold for you it actually makes everything a bit easier, as everyone gets on the plane easier and you disembark quicker as well. There's obviously the annoying extra wait by the luggage belt instead of heading straight to arrivals but it's not a big deal. What is annoying about their refurbishment is that they no longer have pockets in front of your seat! Which means I have to balance all of my snacks on my lap when the tray is being occupied by my books and i-pad *first world problems*.


Airline | BlueAir

Trip: Malaga - Bucharest
Journey time: 4 hours
Cost: 160 euros return 
Hand-luggage allowance: 10kg (55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with Ryanair: So initially I thought I wasn't going to be able to take part in Experience Bucharest because I thought there were no direct flights from Malaga to Bucharest. Luckily whilst I was at the airport waiting for my luggage from another trip, I saw one of the belts with 'Bucharest' and it turned out they did do direct flights, just on Thursdays and Tuesdays. Check-In was open up until the day of the flight, but even though I had checked in a few days before I couldn't retrieve my boarding pass from their website on the day as you have to email it to yourself or it won't stay on the system (unlike Easyjet). Other than that they were quite efficient with boarding and such, and on our descend they even provided us with sweets for the pressure, cute.

Airline | Vueling 

Trip: Malaga - Brussels
Journey time: 2.5 hours
Cost: 60 euros return
Hand-luggage allowance: 10kg (55cm x 40cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with Vueling: To be honest I've never had a bad experience flying with Vueling. Boarding was quite organised as we were separated in to 3 groups - depending on where we were sat. We also arrived 30 mins ahead of schedule which is always a good sign. I read some of my book, finished watching La Foret on Netflix (so thankful for Netflix downloads) and then it was time to land! Only thing that stuck out about this journey was that my ears were so blocked from the change in air pressure that it was actually painful - probably also to do with the fact that I have a cold, so no matter how many rhubarb & custard sweets I was sucking on it wasn't helping.

Airline | Aeroflot 

Trip: London - Moscow - Tokyo
Journey time: 4 hours to Moscow, and then 9 hours to Tokyo
Cost: £400
Hand-luggage allowance: 10kg (55cm x 40cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with Aeroflot: So the reaction from our friends and family when we told them we were doing our long-haul with Aeroflot was 'what the hell is that'. None of us had ever heard of it, in the same way people in Russia probably haven't heard of Ryanair. The flight was pretty decent, we got hot meals on both flights (beef stroganoff and fish and mash) and then pancakes for breakfast. The seats were a tad on the stiff side but if you don't have anyone behind you then recline!


Airline | All Nippon Airways

Trip: Tokyo - Kyoto
Journey time: 1 hour
Cost: £50
Hand-luggage allowance: 10kg (55cm x 40cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with ANA: I think this was probably the most comfortable out of all of the airlines we used (and sadly the shortest journey). The seats came with a thing to hang your jacket in front, tv screens, ample leg room and an adjustable headrest.


Airline | Jetstar

Trip: Kyoto - Manila (4hr 20mins)
          Melbourne - Brisbane (1h3 30 mins)
Hand-luggage allowance: 7kg (55cm x 40cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with Jetstar: I'm going to be a bit salty about Jetstar because I had to pay £30 because my hand luggage was too heavy. Then again I was pretty lucky to only be charged 1/5 times on our 7kg allowance flights. The man behind me was also an arse who didn't let me recline my very stiff seat. They did have a good food menu on board and I guess they are alright for short haul flights.

Airline | Cebu Pacific 

Trip: Manila - Cebu  (1hr 30)
          Cebu - Palawan (1hr 30)
          Palawan - Singapore (1hr to Manila change and then 4hrs)
Hand-luggage allowance: 7kg (55cm x 40cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with Cebu Pacific: This airline gave me happy vibes. From the colours to the  fact that they play music on the plane AND they do a trivia quiz during the flight for prizes. Check-in and bag drop was quick and easy and overall it was a pleasant flying experience.

cebu pacific

Airline | Scoot

Trip: Singapore - Melbourne
Journey time: 8 hours
Cost: £130
Hand-luggage allowance: 10kg (55cm x 40cm x 20 cm)

My experience flying with Scoot: So we didn't get off to a great start because there was a technical issue once we got on the plane, so we were delayed an hour and a half. However this did mean that we got a bag full of snacks to keep us occupied. We flew overnight and I slept for 6 hours (and without a window seat) so the seats were pretty comfortable (but a shoutout to my J-Pillow for being the real hero here).

scoot airlines

Airline | Fiji Airways

Trip: Brisbane - Fiji
Journey time: 3.5 hours
Cost: £300
Luggage allowance: 7kg and 23kg checked luggage included in the booking.

My experience flying with Fiji Airways: I think this might take the top spot for my favourite airline I've flown with this year. The boarding process was quick and organised, some of the seats had back pillows and there was plenty of leg room. I got the middle seat both ways and I still had a comfortable and enjoyable flight. The crew were pleasant and to my surprise, we got hot meals included! Whilst my 8 hour flight from Singapore didn't. They also have a screen every few rows to show an in-flight movie. I was loving life listening to music, looking out the window at the Fiji islands and drinking my cup of tea with cheese and biscuits. 

fiji airways

As with all my lists, I will keep adding to this as I keep flying. I'd love to hear in the comments about some of the best airlines you've flown with (and your worst!). Some of these are probably not very exciting because they're short-haul and so there might not be much to say, so instead I will try to entertain you with anything in-particular that happened on that flight!



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