Updated June 23, 2020.
Budget airlines are all the rage in Europe. It seems like a new one pops up (or goes under, like WOW Airlines!) every month or so. When researching flight options for my brother’s birthday trip to Belfast, I found out there were surprisingly few options from Edinburgh (EDI) into Belfast City Airport (BHD). Flybe was the best choice, so while I’d never heard of the airline before, I decided to give them a try! Here’s the tale.
We flew EDI-BHD and back. The flight time was only scheduled for 55 minutes each way, which is like nothing!
Buying tickets online was pretty easy, but I wish I’d sprung for the “Get More” package instead of the “Just Fly” package. I am used to flying light and going carry-on only, but my brother is not! We ended up paying more to check his bag than we would have otherwise. Lesson learned, and maybe you won’t make the same mistake!
The Flybe app was actually pretty user-friendly, which is not always the case, even with major airline apps! I just put in my booking reference number and my last name, then I was ready to check in 36 hours before our flight! Thirty-six hours! We only get 24 hours to check in on U.S. carriers.
Flybe’s onboard luggage (“hand luggage”) policies are pretty great. All passengers—even “Just Fly” passengers—can bring a carry-on and a personal item! However, there are some limitations:
- Combined Weight for Both Items: 10 kg (22 lbs)
- Carry-on Dimensions: 55 cm x 35 cm x 20cm; size must include wheels and handle
- Personal Item: Must fit under the seat in front of you, such as a small backpack, purse, laptop bag, or briefcase
You will have to place your carry-on in a sizing box just prior to boarding, and if approved, your bag will be tagged with a purple “approved cabin baggage” tag. If not you will have to pay! If you’re not sure, I suggest paying less than half price (just 21 GBP) before you arrive at the airport. You can pay the special price in advance up to two hours before your scheduled departure. For more, check out their Luggage Policies Page.
To make sure you can make it within those parameters, a luggage scale and tape measure will help!
We flew both ways on a De Havilland DHC-8 400 Series. That’s a long way of saying it was a propeller plane! Some people don’t like tiny airplanes, but I sure do! The only negative is that the propellers were under the wings, which blocked a lot of our view from our seats in row 18.
Read on: What to Expect on a Tiny Plane
The seats were your typical airplane seats in a 2-2 configuration. Armrests lifted out of the way if you’re not an armrest sort of person, which I appreciate. There was a surprising amount of space under the seats, and my larger carry-on actually fit under there with room to spare—it wouldn’t even go into the overhead bin at all!
The flight was short and so was the in-flight service, since nothing was complimentary! Aside from that, the employees were friendly, which was pleasant!
So, as is possible with any airline, flights can get cancelled. Our flight to Belfast was great. Everything went off without a hitch! But at 1:46am the day of our flight from Belfast to Edinburgh, I received an e-mail that our flight was cancelled! There was no explanation, just a link to arrange a refund. Of course, I didn’t realize that until I woke up, got ready, and looked at my phone at 4:30am.
So then I was stuck trying to figure out how to get across the Inner Seas off the East Coast of Northern Ireland to the Island of Britain at 4:30am. Hilarity did not ensue. What should have been a 3 hour trip turned into a 10 hour and 45 minute journey. We were not amused. But we did get to take a taxi, the ferry, the bus, two trains, and another taxi.
It took Flybe a full five (5!) months to pay me for my trouble, but I’m glad I stuck it out! Check out How to Get Your EU 261 Compensation for everything you need to know about getting compensated if this happens to you!
Would you fly a budget airline you’d never heard of? Tell me below!
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