Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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EasyJet is a British airline with its main base at London Luton Airport and several smaller hubs across Europe.
Known as an ultra-low-cost carrier, easyJet is one of those airlines that lots of people love to complain about — but at the same time, they also love those super low fares.
Yes, you will pay for absolutely everything extra on easyJet (and not just baggage fees) … but if you know what you’re getting into, you can avoid almost all of those fees and end up with a really cheap flight.
EasyJet flies to over 150 destinations, and by passenger count, it falls just behind Ryanair as one of the largest airlines in Europe. Not surprisingly, its route network is almost entirely within Europe, but it also flies to Africa (Morocco) and a couple of locations in the Middle East (Israel and Jordan).
With so many flights and so many passengers, it’s only a matter of time until you find yourself choosing easyJet for a short hop between European nations.
When that time comes, you’ll want to know what to do. EasyJet does boarding differently than most other airlines you would fly with, so let’s take a bit of time and go over its process to see how it will work for you.
easyJet Boarding Groups
The easyJet boarding procedure begins with pre-boarding for certain passengers who need extra assistance followed by 3 numbered boarding groups. Groups 1 and 2 are fairly restrictive, so the majority of passengers will be in Group 3 (general boarding).
- Customers with reduced mobility
- Customers needing special assistance
Boarding Group 1
- Customers who paid for Up Front or Extra Legroom Seats
- Customers who add a large cabin bag to their booking
- easyJet Plus members
Boarding Group 2
- Families traveling with children under 5 years old
Boarding Group 3
- All remaining passengers
Boarding Timing — Don’t Be Late!
EasyJet uses a different boarding process than most of us are used to. It scans boarding passes and stages passengers in holding areas well before they will actually get on the plane to speed up the boarding process.
As soon as the aircraft is ready, since all passengers have already had their boarding passes scanned, they can immediately proceed to board.
To board in this way, easyJet starts the process much earlier than other airlines. As a result of the expedited timing, boarding also ends earlier than you might expect. For easyJet flights, boarding doors will close 30 minutes prior to the departure time.
The Pre-boarding, Group 1, and Group 2 boarding groups do not have that many passengers in them. It is pretty easy to figure out what that means: Group 3 will be huge.
Most of the passengers on the flight will be boarding with Group 3, and that means there will be a very long line. If you don’t want to be at the end of that line, make sure you arrive at the gate with plenty of time to spare — the line will almost always start forming well before boarding is announced.
To further speed up the boarding process, easyJet boards most of its planes through both the front and the rear doors. The proper door for you to use should be listed on your boarding pass. If it isn’t, look for signs listing row numbers for the front and rear doors.
Passengers needing special assistance with boarding and deplaning should contact easyJet at least 48 hours prior to their flight. This will give easyJet plenty of time to set up the necessary staff to provide the requested assistance.
If you fly several times with easyJet throughout the year, it may be worth purchasing an easyJet Plus membership.
Membership costs a hefty £215 per year, but the included benefits can really add up if you take multiple easyJet flights and plan to purchase things like bags and assigned seats.
Hot Tip: An easyJet Plus membership is also a great way to be sure you always have Speedy Boarding in Group 1!
Here are the main benefits that come with an easyJet Plus membership:
- Free Seat Assignment — Choose any available seat on the plane at booking, including Up Front and Extra Legroom seats
- Dedicated Bag Drop Desks — Shorter lines and faster service
- Fast Track Security — Quicker security at certain airports
- Speedy Boarding — Board in Group 1 on every easyJet flight you take
- Additional Cabin Bag — Bring both an overhead full-sized carry-on and a personal item on board for no extra charge
- Price Promise — If your ticket cost drops, receive the difference as a credit toward your next flight
- Earlier Flight Changes — Make same-day changes to an earlier flight at no additional cost
Like Ryanair, easyJet is an ultra-low-cost carrier with a bit of a different boarding procedure. In this case, easyJet gets the process started earlier, closes the boarding doors 30 minutes prior to takeoff, and loads its planes from both the front and the back.
Other than those oddities, the easyJet boarding process isn’t too complex. If you want to be in one of the groups that boards prior to general boarding, you are going to have to pay for it, either with an advanced seat assignment or a yearly easyJet Plus membership.
If you don’t want to pay, that’s fine — just be prepared for a crowded general boarding Group 3 and a really long line to match.
With such a wide European route network and such low prices, many of us are going to end up flying with easyJet every now and then. Now that you understand how the boarding process works, you should be ready to go.
Just relax, remember to get to the gate early, and enjoy the ride across the sky!
Featured Image Credit: DarwelShots via Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions
How many boarding groups are there on easyJet?
EasyJet uses 3 numbered boarding groups to load its planes. In addition, it has pre-boarding for any passengers who need additional assistance in the boarding process.
Are easyJet flights assigned seating?
Yes, easyJet uses assigned seating for all of its flights. Passengers can choose to pay a fee to choose Up Front seats, Extra Legroom seats, or Standard seats. If a passenger elects not to pay to choose a seat in advance, a seat will be assigned at check-in.
Who has pre-boarding on easyJet?
Pre-boarding on easyJet is available for passengers who need extra assistance with boarding. Passengers are asked to contact easyJet at least 48 hours prior to their flight if they need special assistance.
When can families board on easyJet?
Families traveling with children 5 years old or younger can board with boarding Group 2 on all easyJet flights. If families with older children wish to sit together, it is recommended that they purchase advanced seat assignments.
Who is in Group 1 on easyJet?
Group 1 on easyJet includes customers who paid for Up Front or Extra Legroom seats, those who added a large cabin bag, and easyJet Plus members.
Who is in Group 2 on easyJet?
Group 2 on easyJet is Family Boarding. All families who are traveling with children age 5 and younger are welcome to board their easyJet flight with Group 2.
Who is in Group 3 on easyJet?
Group 3 on easyJet is general boarding. All remaining passengers who were not eligible for pre-boarding, Group 1, or Group 2 should board with the Group 3. This will be the largest boarding group.
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About Jeff Brownson
Since discovering miles and points in 2010, Jeff has traveled to over 35 countries, flying in first class, business class, and sometimes even in coach. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star hotel, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible.
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