Jet2 has seen rapid growth since it’s launch in Leeds back in 2002. Part of the DART group its focus is on low-cost flights. However, it’s recently also evolved into low-cost holiday packages too. I think of Jet2 a lot like Ryanair, only it seems to sometimes have better flight airport locations, better flight times, and a slightly better service – albeit at a very similar price.
This is our second flight on a Jet2 aircraft in 2018, as earlier in the year we travelled one-way with Jet2 from East Midlands to Fuerteventura – Unfortunately, this wasn’t a flight we documented. However, we hope we’ve made up for things with our review of Jet2 Economy on the Boeing 737-300 from Leeds Bradford to Paris.
Date: Thursday 1st November 2018
Depart: 14:12 (est 13:45)
Arrive: 16:28 (est 16:15)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
Seat: 5A & 5B
As these flights were some we won in a competition with Pringles (the crisps) earlier in the year we didn’t check into the flight ourselves. Instead, we were checked in by the Pringles staff – pretty cool!
We did have one suitcase to check-in (this was complimentary with the prize but would cost extra if you were looking at purchasing it on top of the flight) so we arrived at Leeds Bradford Airport with plenty of time to spare, and visited the Jet2 check-in desk. At Leeds Bradford Airport, Jet2 have an entire area dedicated to their flights, and all customers for the day’s flights will check-in/drop bags at the same location. I can imagine this may cause some queuing on busier flights/days however, despite our flight being full, we managed to walk up and drop our bag off in a matter of minutes which was great!
We were invited to board the aircraft at 13:05 and had a long walk to gate number 10 ahead of us. Gate 10 at Leeds Bradford Airport is situated in a cabin outside of the airport which is attached to the airport by a long walkway (around 500m). There’s limited shelter, so if you’re flying from LBA in the winter time then I’d definitely recommend wrapping up warm.
When we arrived at the gate at 13:15 we noticed that nobody had boarded the aircraft yet, and so we took to one of the seats at gate 9 to wait. After 5 minutes we were approached by airline staff who informed us that they were waiting for a part for the aircraft and we would be unable to board the aircraft until this part had arrived.
Boarding then began at 13:30 and all passengers seemed to board relatively quickly, no doubt with an aim to minimise the delay we now might be facing. After having our boarding passes scanned we faced a further walk from the cabin to our aircraft that was situated in three parking bays across. A walkway was created by markings on the floor and some small metal barriers at the side.
Unfortunately, upon boarding the plane, there were further difficulties with some customers boarding passes not being processed properly and requiring re-scanning.
If you paid some attention to detail then you might have been able to see the ‘true age’ of this aircraft. However, thanks to a relatively recent refit with thinner seats and a new setback pocket the plane did feel clean and modern.
Covered in the Jet2 signature colour (red) the seats came with adequate leg room and a relatively reasonable pull-down tray.
Once again, a key issue with the aircraft was the lack of overhead locker space. While we opted for small bags (thanks to our suitcase) that meant that we were able to put our stuff under the seat in front of us. Many others opted for the larger wheel suitcases. Unless you’re planning on being first on the aircraft you can find yourself going back a number of rows in order to find space for your bag. This was definitely a factor in getting customers on the aircraft quickly and efficiently, as it is with most of these budget airlines.
There was a weird pog style circle sticking out on either side of the cabin above the seat area every couple of rows that stated ‘Please Remove Before Cargo Ops’.
Being something we’d never seen before on any of our previous flights I did some investigating online and found nothing so I’d love to know if you know anything about these mystery toggle things.
We pushed back at 14:00 and took off shortly after. It took a particularly long time for the seatbelt sign to be turned off for passengers. The cabin crew explained to us that during the flight inbound they’d faced some particularly heavy turbulence and he therefore believed this could have been one of the reasons.
At around 14:30 the seatbelt signs were turned off, and many of the passengers in the front couple of rows where we were headed to the single toilet at the front of the aircraft. Again, I imagine due to the delay we faced in the ‘cabin’ style holding area many people missed a chance to go to the toilet while we waited.
At 14:55 we were informed that we had started our decent and would be landing in 30-minutes. The seatbelt sign followed a further 10 minutes later. The clouds were very low coming into CDG, providing a lack-lustre view.
It took us a further 15 minutes from landing to taxi to our dedicated parking spot, where we had to then catch a bus to the dreaded T3 at CDG. As we had luggage on this flight, we can finally comment on our experience collecting it which was considerably pleasant considering we were the only flight landing into T3 that hour.
Menu & Meals
Being such a short flight there was no set meal service. Instead, the cabin crew came around the cabin with the drinks & snacks cart. We attempted to purchase a coffee & hot chocolate, however, there was no hot water available on the flight. That was my chance of a caffeine boost out the window!
From the front the staff member was alone in serving the customers and therefore had to say “give us a couple of minutes and I’ll get that to you” on more than one occasion as he depended on someone coming to help him or having to go back to the kitchen/lobby area of the aircraft himself.
Photos of the latest menu (Winter 2018) are attached below;
Unfortunately, we can’t comment on the quality of anything as we ended up purchasing nothing due to the lack of hot water.
Considering the prices of a flight with Jet2 currently seem to be around double that of its rivals in the budget category Ryanair. I fail to see how the service delivered is any better. The seating arrangement, boarding process, quality of staff and price and quality of the food served on board is all very much the same. Therefore, if it was between the two I’d likely go for the cheapest option, rather than picking one of the two airlines based on a quality advantage alone.
I would be interested to take one of the ever-growing Jet2 holiday packages and compare that again to one of the holiday packages on sale by its direct rivals in that field either Tui or Thomas Cook in the near future to see how that compares. However, having flown both Tui and Thomas Cook long haul, I’d be inclined to say that on a flight basis alone either of these airlines would likely be an improvement on Jet2.