19 Easyjet tricks

How to manipulate the budget behemoth

Easyjet tricks

Easyjet is one of the UK's biggest airlines – and if you know what you're doing, its booking complexity means there are a host of clever tricks to help bring down costs. Always compare against the best alternatives using our Cheap Flights guide though, and also see our 20 Ryanair Tips for more budget flight MoneySaving.

19 tricks to cut Easyjet costs, including...

  1. Beat the school hols price hike with the 'book the wrong date' trick

    No matter which airline you fly with, prices fluctuate wildly according to demand – especially during the school holidays. Yet with Easyjet, we've found a clever way to battle price hikes. Its 'Flexi fares' let you switch dates by a few weeks without paying extra. It works at any time of year – but it's particularly useful when prices really take off.

    The idea is to book a Flexi fare on the same route at a less busy time when flights are cheaper. Do note that restrictions mean you can only move the phantom ticket one week earlier or three weeks later, so you can't just book any old date.

    You'll usually pay more than a standard flight for a Flexi fare ticket, but as you'll get the flexibility to switch dates, so long as it's cheaper than the cost of a peak time standard ticket you win. Plus as an added bonus you'll also get speedy boarding, a seat near the front, up to £7 to spend on onboard food and drinks and one piece of hold luggage (max 23kg) free per person. At some airports, you'll also get fast-track security.

    Provided there's capacity, 24 hours after booking you can switch to the dates you originally wanted at no extra charge, possibly saving you £100s. (It's worth noting Flexi fares aren't available on every flight and are only available 120 days in advance.)

    MSE Steve saved a cool £431 on flights to Sardinia (read his blog here):

    We had to go away in the last week of May – prices were through the roof because it was half-term. Flights for the family, travelling at the weekend with luggage, cost £836 all-in. But booking flexi-flights two weeks earlier cost just £405. After a nervous 24-hour wait we switched them to the weekend we wanted.

    Forumite Green1960 used the trick on flights to Lanzarote:

    When we went on the Easyjet website the flights were over £1,500 including bags. We then booked the flexi-flights, which were £848 – a saving of £700. A bit nerve-wracking for the 24 hours, but we know it works.

    It's worth noting since we first revealed this trick, some forumites who've tried it have found Flexifare tickets on their route have come up too expensive to make it work. Let us know if you've had success on the Easyjet tricks forum thread.

    • It's not guaranteed but follow our steps to see if it works for you.

      • Step 1: Check at least 20 seats are available on the date you want to fly. This trick is a bit of a gamble – because you have to wait before switching your flights, there's always a risk the seats you want could be snapped up in the meantime and that you could be left with a ticket for the wrong dates.

        Our suggestion is that you go through the process to book standard tickets for a large party on the dates you actually want to fly but don't actually go through with the purchase. If you can still get a quote for, say, 20 seats (or 10 seats if you're using the app), chances are there'll still be room once you switch flights. The fewer seats there are left, the more of a gamble you're taking.

      • Step 2: Book a cheaper Flexi fare on an alternate date. Find and book a 'Flexi-fare ticket' on the same route, no more than three weeks before or one week after you want to fly. As a bonus, these tickets also include perks such as speedy boarding and a piece of hold luggage.

      • Step 3: Watch and wait. This is the nerve-wracking bit. You'll need to wait at least 24 hours until you switch your Flexi-fare tickets to the dates you want. You'll be able to move each ticket by up to one week back or three weeks forward if there's space on a flight. You can change the dates as many times as you like – if there's availability.

      • Step 4: Switch your flights as soon as you can. As soon as the 24 hours are up, log on to the Easyjet website, check the dates you're after are still available and switch your flights.

  2. Boost your hand luggage allowance using a duty-free carrier bag

    Easyjet normally has a strict hand luggage limit of just one item – so you can only take one small suitcase or handbag, laptop bag etc.

    However, there is a loophole to get a second bag on, and it lies in duty-free, post-security shopping. In addition to your standard hand luggage allowance Easyjet allows you to take one duty-free bag on board (see its full baggage policy).

    Now it's worth noting that officially Easyjet says this must be "one standard shopping bag of duty free goods bought at the airport" – and of course, we're not suggesting you purchase unnecessarily.

    But if you do have a carrier bag from duty-free, it'll give you some room for manoeuvre when you walk through the departure gate. Some flyers report they've been able to stuff the odd item which won't fit in their hand luggage into it, or even a handbag – others say they've successfully boarded with a carrier bag they brought with them specially.

  3. Take squishable hand luggage – it can defy size limit restrictions

    Like most airlines, Easyjet has specific hand luggage size restrictions – but while size matters, the type of bag you take can make a big difference too.

    Holdalls can carry all you need, and are likely to fit into the overhead lockers even when they're mostly full of hard–sided wheelie cases. Plus you're more likely to be able to cram one into the bins all hand luggage must fit into if asked to prove it's the right size.

    It's also possible that staff may let a holdall through even if it's slightly bigger than the rules for cabin luggage allow.

  4. When's the best time to book?

    Easyjet's prices are fluid and move based on demand for any particular flight. When they're released, they're usually priced cheaply, but this can change quickly depending on how many people are booking. So if you can pounce when they're launched, you're often getting the very cheapest deal.

    When does it launch tickets?

    They're released in several tranches throughout the year. On 19 September, tickets went on sale via the Easyjet website, for travel from 29 March to 30 August 2020.

    Lots of MoneySavers managed to find bargains:

    If you manage to bag cheap seats just after a release, tell us in the forum.

    Will I definitely get the cheapest tickets as soon as they're released?

    There's no way to know that. If there's no demand for a flight, prices could come down – we have occasionally seen prices go up once tickets are released, then down again in the next few days. Plus Easyjet does occasionally run flight sales, and there's also the chance it could change its pricing policy.

    But in the past, booking on seat-release day has worked well – and booking in the days after has normally ensured a decent price too. Only book if it feels right and always do a flight comparison to see if other airlines can beat it.

    Easyjet's ticket release calendar

    Here's a quick summary of which tickets are being released when:

    Up to 30 August 2020 Already on sale
    31 August to 24 October 2020 November 2019 (exact date TBC)

    To make sure you don't miss out, keep an eye on Easyjet's seat release schedule. Plus if you 'like' Easyjet's Facebook page, it'll give you a heads-up a few days before new seats are released. You can also sign up to Easyjet's email to get an alert on the day.

  5. Easyjet's axed its free refund trick for most – but Easyjet scheme members can still use it

    Easyjet's price promise guarantees that if you do find the same flight for less after booking, you'll get the difference back as a credit voucher, which you have to use within six months. You'll need to have booked direct though, and you won't get the difference back if the lower price you've found is a sale price.

    Until 2017, this refund trick was open to all, and it's been a favourite of MoneySavers over the past few years. But Easyjet now only offers this if you're a member of – or join – Easyjet Plus or Flight Club.

    With Easyjet Plus, only individual members are covered by the price promise – with Flight Club, everyone on the booking is eligible. You can also do the trick if you join Easyjet Plus or Flight Club AFTER booking your flight.

    See the Easyjet axing free refund trick MSE News story for more info.

    Quick questions

    • Easyjet Plus membership costs £215/year per person and gives you allocated seating, speedy boarding, an additional small cabin bag and dedicated bag-drop desks, as well as the price promise. Easyjet's Flight Club is an invite-only scheme aimed at frequent flyers who take about 20 flights a year – members get fee-free flight changes and free name changes.

      • Step 1. Check if the price has dropped. Compare the price Easyjet's website lists with what you paid. If it's cheaper, and there isn't a sale on, you should be able to claim the difference. Don't forget the final price you paid may include extras such as baggage and seat selection, so factor that in.

      • Step 2. Call to claim your voucher. Have your booking reference and flight details to hand, then call Easyjet customer service on 0330 365 5000 (as it's an 03 number, the call will be part of your minutes allowance or cost no more than a standard number). You have to call – you can't claim by email or letter.

      • Step 3. Use your credit voucher within six months, by phone only. The difference in price will be emailed to you as an Easyjet credit voucher, usually immediately. If you don't get it, check your spam folder. You'll then have six months to use it on any Easyjet flight – you'll have to call when booking but Easyjet says you'll always pay the price it quotes online.

    • Unfortunately it seems to be limited to Easyjet – we checked other popular airlines (British Airways, Flybe, Jet2, Ryanair, Thomson and Virgin) and couldn't find any that offer the same.

      However, British Airways, Ryanair and Virgin will refund the difference if you find the same flight cheaper with another firm, eg, a travel agent, as long as you booked direct in the first place.

  6. Going with a family, couple or group? Book in one go to avoid multiple admin fees

    Easyjet charges a one-off £16 admin fee on every booking, regardless of how many people are flying. So an easy way to avoid paying it multiple times is to pay for all flights in one go, assuming you've got the room on your card to do it.

    The only problem you may face is keeping track of who owes what and ensuring everyone pays you back, if they need to.

  7. Check in 30 days in advance for a better seat on your flight – at NO extra cost

    Unlike other airlines, Easyjet lets you check in and allocates you a seat 30 days before you fly, free. You'll have to pay if you want a specific seat, but the earlier you check in, the more likely it is that you get allocated a better seat.

    If you don't want to take the risk and would prefer to reserve a seat when you book, Easyjet charges anything from £1.99 for a basic seat on a short flight to £29.99 to stretch out in the front row on a longer trip (for a list of costs, see Easyjet's fees and charges).

    Whether you pay or just check-in for free 30 days ahead, don't leave it until the last minute. Many seats will already have been snapped up and there's a greater chance you'll be sat away from your family, partner or friends.

    The best bet is to check in online (and secure your seats) as early as possible.

    Travelling with kids? You DON'T have to pay extra to sit near them

    Some budget airlines charge a 'family tax', whereby parents have to fork out extra for seat allocations simply to guarantee they can sit next to their children. We're campaigning for this to change – see the MSE calls for airlines to scrap 'family tax' MSE News story for more.

    Easyjet however doesn't charge parents extra. It says it will always try to seat parents next to children where possible, even if they don't pay to reserve a seat, although it recommends you check in as early as possible, as seats are allocated on a first come first served basis. There's no such guarantee for other passengers travelling in groups.

    For other airlines' policies, and more tips on how to beat the seat allocation charge rip-off, see our Airline Seating guide.

  8. Trick to check in luggage for free

    If you'd prefer not to lug heavy luggage or want the convenience of putting your bags in the hold without paying the standard fee of up to £50, there's a clever way to get hand luggage-sized bags checked in for free.

    Overhead lockers get full quickly on busy flights so staff often ask for volunteers to check in their hand luggage. So ask if it's an option at the gate (or even check-in), and you may be able to stow your gear in the hold free of charge.

    If you do this, remember to pack a small bag within the luggage you hope to check in, so if you're successful you can whip it out and use it to carry your actual hand luggage. And remember you won't be able to pack lots of liquids, as you may have to take the bag through security as if it was hand luggage (or even take it onto the plane – this trick doesn't always work).

    What size of bag can I take?

    Easyjet's cabin luggage maximum is 56 x 45 x 25cm, including wheels, handles etc. If you're hoping to get it checked in free, ensure it's no bigger than this otherwise they could still charge you.

    It's worth remembering too that on Easyjet there's no weight limit for hand luggage (see more below). So a good option if you're weighed down is to put the heavier stuff in your hand luggage, then try and get it checked in for free so you don't have to haul it around.

  9. Avoid sky-high food prices – pack a mile-high picnic instead

    It's a little known fact than mid-air picnics are perfectly within the rules – it's only liquids over 100ml that are banned for security reasons.

    Protect your pennies and plan ahead – stocking up on snacks could save a fortune compared to flight prices, and even prices in the shops after security. For instance, when we checked, an Easyjet ham and cheese sandwich cost £4.50. Even at inflated airport prices, a Boots Meal Deal is around £4, and it comes with a drink and a snack as well.

    Bringing your own food may mean you win on taste as well as price. Easyjet may call its in-flight food a 'bistro' to make it sound fancy, but according to those at MSE Towers who've sampled it... well, let's just say it isn't going to win Masterchef

    And the food doesn't have to be boring, either. Why not make it part of the holiday and theme it around where you're going – chorizo and olives for Spain, cold pizza for Italy, sausages and sauerkraut for Germany? Check out the forum's packed lunch thread for a host of ideas – plus if you've a good one, join the discussion and add your own.

  10. 'Hands-free' & early boarding for Three customers

    If you’re on a pay-monthly plan with Three Mobile (including Sim only) you can get a free upgrade to Easyjet's 'Hands-Free' service on your outbound flight. This is normally £7 per person (each way) or £16 for groups of between three and six travellers.

    For some this will be a decent offer, particularly if you've got your hands full getting the kids through the terminal, but others may prefer to keep their hand luggage with them. 

    How does Easyjet's 'Hands-Free' work?

    You drop your cabin bag at the Easyjet Plus bag drop before going through security (so you go through the airport 'hands-free'). You'll be given a free tote bag to carry any essentials onto the plane. It's worth noting you still have stick to Easyjet's hand luggage rules

    You can also be one of the first to board the plane - immediately after any 'speedy boarders' (if you're travelling with a child, they can board with you). When you get to your destination, Easyjet says your bag will be amongst the first to arrive on the carousel.

    How do I get it for free?

    To be eligible you need to have had your Three contract for at least 30 days. Here's how to get the offer:

    1. Text the word 'UPGRADE', followed by your flight number, date of travel and your last name for free to 88555. Eg, 'UPGRADE EZY123 01/08/2019 LEWIS'. 
    2. Wait for your confirmation SMS. 
    3. When you get to the airport, show the confirmation at the Easyjet Plus bag drop.
  11. Board earlier to ensure you and your luggage stick together

    Yes, it really can be worth getting in the queue as soon as you can.

    As with most airlines – and those that fly short-haul in particular – storage space in Easyjet cabins is at a premium. If you board late, there is a chance the overhead lockers near you may be full, meaning you may be forced to put your bag at the other end of the plane.

    So to avoid negotiating the scrum to collect it once you've landed, or annoying other passengers if you need something from it during the flight, get to the gate and queue early.

  12. Pay the right way for extra protection

    The safest way to pay for a flight over £100 is on a credit card (fully repaid so there's no interest) – then you get Section 75 protection. This means the card company's jointly liable if anything goes wrong. But with a return journey, it's not quite as straightforward as this.

    If you book two flights each costing £50, even though the total is £100, you're not covered as each flight counts as a transaction. Each individual single flight would need to be £100 or more to get the extra protection. 

    Since all card charges were banned in January 2018, there's no extra cost to pay by credit card.

    • If you're paying by debit card, there's also some protection that means you may be able to get your money back if something goes wrong – though it's not as powerful as Section 75.

      It's called 'chargeback', and applies to most debit and charge cards, as well as Visa, Mastercard and Amex credit cards – though it isn't a legal requirement. See the Chargeback guide for more info.

  13. Avoid expensive Easyjet extras such as car hire, hotels and travel insurance – always check prices independently

    Once you've chosen your flight, Easyjet will try to bombard you with extras such as hotels, car hire and travel insurance.

    While all can be useful or important, don't fall for the flashy graphics, and always check prices elsewhere before booking.

    Take travel insurance. Buying it via airlines or holiday agents/brokers is usually far costlier than doing a comparison and finding your own policy (see Travel Insurance for full help finding one).

    When we looked, Easyjet was offering single trip insurance on a trip to Tenerife from £21.75 per person – for single trip bought separately, prices start at around £9 for an individual Europe policy.

    For our top tips to cutting costs, check our Cheap Travel InsuranceCheap Hotels and Cheap Car Hire guides.

  14. There's no weight limit for hand-luggage – pack right, and you might be able to take more than you think

    Like other budget airlines, Easyjet is pretty strict with its hand luggage policy in terms of the size of your bag – its maximum allowed bag is no more than 56 x 45 x 25cm. But crucially there's no weight limit. As long as you can carry and stow it, you're good to go – far better than the likes of Flybe, which restricts hand luggage to 10kg.

    You do still have to contend with (what some may consider) a small bag but you may be able to squeeze in more than you think. Here are some general packing tips – if you've got more you'd like to share, let us know in the forum.

    • You must carry liquids and gels in individual, 100ml-maximum containers. All containers must be in one transparent, 20cm x 20cm, resealable bag.

      You're allowed to carry more than one 100ml container, so you could, say, decant sunscreen into two 100ml bottles. See the Government's full regulations.

    • Travel-size lotions and potions can be hugely pricey. So grab small transparent empty bottles, wash and dry them carefully, and fill 'em up from your everyday toiletries. Complimentary mini-toiletry bottles from previous hotel stays are perfect.

    • Don't be fancy – you can get cheap ones for around £10 and it's more than likely to fall within Easyjet's size restrictions (most are built to cover budget airlines these days).

    • You can usually stuff more into these than hard cases, as they have a little more give. They're also lighter to begin with even before you've packed, so can be easy to get in and out of the cabin lockers.

    • This means you'll be able to take a small capsule wardrobe and wash as you go. Plus you won't have to pay for a laundry service.

    • Many people jet home from a holiday with more than they took. If that's you, ensure you leave space in your luggage for some miniature clogs or an "I heart Rome" mug.

    Watch MSE Rose packing like a pro

    To really push hand luggage packing to the max, watch this top packing tips video from former MSE team member Rose, who went to study for a PhD (though we don't think it's in luggage packing). She has tons of experience flying on budget airlines and there's nothing like a visual demonstration to help you master the art too.

    Video player requires JavaScript enabled. You can watch this video here: https://youtu.be/NuH18gkPxSY
  15. Get an extra piece of cabin luggage AND extra legroom from £8ish each way

    If your luggage won't fit into your cabin bag but you don't have a huge amount extra to bring, you can get an extra cabin bag from as little as £7.99 each way – and some extra room to stretch your legs into the bargain.

    Easyjet charges £6.99-£34.99 to check in an extra bag of up to 15kg. Yet if you book an extra legroom seat, you're entitled to take an extra bag in the cabin (maximum size 45 x 36 x 20cm – the usual Easyjet small cabin bag restriction). It works the same if you book a first-row seat too.

    Prices for extra legroom and first-row seats range from £7.99 to £29.99 each way – the same as just checking in a small extra bag – meaning you could get both an additional bag and a premium seat for the price of one.

  16. Always decide how much luggage you'll need and book checked bags in advance

    To keep costs down, hand luggage is obviously best. But if the thought of limiting your holiday luggage to a small case leaves you feeling cold, always pay in advance to check luggage in, otherwise you could be charged as much as £100 per return flight (see Budget Airline Fee Fighting for other airlines' policies).

    Easyjet's baggage policy

    These are your options for checked baggage:

    • 'Up to 15kg' bag - £6.99-£34.99 per flight (booked online). You can't buy this size at the airport.

    • 'Up to 23kg' bag - £9.49-£37.49 per flight (booked online). This rises to £40/flight if you wait to pay at the airport check-in desk, and £50/flight if your bag is too big and you have to pay at the boarding gate.

    For both options, you can increase your weight limit:

    • Online - £12 per 3kg. Up to a max of 27kg if you've booked a 15kg bag and 32kg if you've booked a 23kg bag

    • At the airport - £12/kg. This is what you'll be charged at the airport if you go over your pre-booked limit – so ensure you weigh before you go.
  17. Don’t carry your luggage – wear it

    Unless you've paid for an Easyjet Flexi fare which includes a second, small item of hand luggage (ie, a hand or laptop bag), you're restricted to one item of hand luggage only (plus duty free shopping – see above for how to make the most of this).

    And if you've already experienced the boarding gate of an Easyjet flight, there's usually a fair few trying to cram or rearrange luggage in order to fit handbags.

    Don't let that be you. Make use of a very valuable asset that you have no choice but to take everywhere with you – your person. The more you carry on you, the less you need to squeeze everything into your cabin bag.

    Think large, deep pocketed coats and jackets. Examples include the likes of a 22-pocket Scottevest, a special US survivalist jacket that Martin tested for an ITV show. It was heavy but somehow managed to fit a laptop, two books, a towel, passports, a T-shirt, socks, magazines and much more.

    A less extreme version, popular with MSE Forumites is the Rufus Roo – when we checked, it was £29.99 on Amazon*.

    Alternatively, try wearing any heavy coats, big boots or chunky jumpers you're taking with you. They all take up valuable space in a case. Stow items under the seat in front of you if it gets too stuffy on the plane.

  18. Don't assume Easyjet is cheapest – always compare

    Easyjet may have the reputation of being a low-cost carrier, but while it can be possible to nab a dirt-cheap flight, you may find a better deal elsewhere.

    So after using these tricks always compare the final price you're quoted to the best alternative, using our Cheap Flights guide. Plus see our guide to Beat Budget Airline Fees for loads more hints and tips.

  19. Flight delayed in the last six years? You could be owed £100s in compensation

    No one wants their flight to be delayed, but thanks to a European Court of Justice ruling, you could at least get some money back for your time.

    If you're delayed more than three hours, or your Easyjet flight is cancelled, you could be owed anything between £110 and £530.

    Whether you can claim depends on factors such as where your plane took off from, when it arrived and what caused the delay. To see if you could be owed compensation see our Flight Delay Compensation guide.