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Easyjet A320 economy class
CHECK-IN My flight from Turkey’s Bodrum International airport was set to depart at 1350, arriving into London at 1600 UK time. After a 40-minute taxi ride from Turkbuku near Bodrum, my friend and I arrived at the terminal at 1150 where there was a light security check before heading for the check-in area. It had not been possible to check-in online for flights departing from this airport, so even though we were travelling with just one piece of hand-luggage each, we still had to queue up to get our boarding passes.
Desks 35 and 36 had been assigned for check-in and there was a 20-minute wait until we could be processed. At 1215 we went through passport control, which was nearby. As there was no queue we were promptly through to the second security channel – liquids and laptops came out but it was very quick. The airside departures lounge was airy and spacious with plenty of seating, a duty-free store and a couple of cafés and bars.
BOARDING Boarding started at 1325 but people started forming a line as soon as the gate opened at 1305. We joined them soon after at 1310, and were crossing the airbridge after having our boarding passes checked, at 1333. We chose seats 17E and 17F, over the wing as it was the nearest available pair of seats to the front with a window. The plane was pretty full but the process of boarding was efficient, with those with young children or Speedy Boarding called first.
THE SEAT Although Easyjet is trialing assigned seating on certain routes (click here to see which routes and how much it costs) most travellers (including those on this service) have to sit wherever they can when they get on – unless they pay extra for Speedy Boarding. Good-size tray tables folded down from the seat-backs in front, and upholstery was the usual grey and orange.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? There were 31 rows of seating on the A320. Unless the plane happens to be disembarking from the back as well, it is better to choose a seat near the front if you can. If you want to take your pick, get to the gate as early as you can and get in line, or book Speedy Boarding. If you are tall, opt for seats A, B or C in row one as they offer the most legroom. Exit row (12 and 13) seats are also a good bet.
THE FLIGHT The captain welcomed passengers once everyone was seated, at 1345, and the plane pushed back a minute or two after. The crew performed the safety demonstration as the plane taxied to the runway, with take-off at 1355. The estimated journey time was three hours, 40 minutes. Drinks, snacks, duty-free items and scratch cards were brought around once cruising, but I just flicked through a copy of Easyjet’s Traveller magazine and then watched an episode of Mad Men on my laptop to pass the time.
ARRIVAL The plane landed at 1530 local time, 30 minutes ahead of schedule, which was a bonus. It took just five minutes to taxi to the stand and disembarkation and immigration were quick.
VERDICT A good flight that, for once, arrived early. I also appreciated the civilised flight timings that meant I didn’t have to get up early in the morning and still had the evening ahead of me upon arrival.
SEAT CONFIGURATION 3-3 (A-B-C, D-E-F)
SEAT PITCH 30in/76cm
SEAT WIDTH 20in/51cm
SEAT RECLINE 4in/10cm
PRICE Internet rates for a return flight from London Gatwick to Bodrum with Easyjet in October ranged between £167 and £289.