With the backdrop of a blue sky, a Jet2 aircraft sits parked with bright orange letters as part of its livery

When Jet2’s cheap and cheerful budget airline brought big smiles


Nose to tail logo with cartoon people in different classes on an aircraftFriendly low fares. That’s what UK holiday airline Jet2 promises — and what, on a recent flight from Gran Canaria to Birmingham before coronavirus was named a pandemic – it delivered in spades, exceeding my experience of Europe’s other low-cost carriers by a country mile.

The friendliness started on the phone after I booked the ticket. Given that the prices were so low, I decided to book an extra seat for elbow-room (and, frankly, manspreading room as someone who’s 6’3”) on this flight timetabled at 4h20 aboard the narrow Boeing 737 fuselage.

The contact center — free to call — was cheery and helpful and sorted out a seat reservation for me and my traveling companion Mr Extra Seat towards the rear of the plane. My one-way ticket came in at just 157EUR for two seats, one 22kg bag and an inflight meal, an absolute bargain at the height of demand two days before Christmas.

Friendliness continued at checkin at Las Palmas, the airport for Gran Canaria, where ranks upon ranks of staffed bag drop desks awaited passengers, with few if any passengers waiting, in marked contrast to many other LCCs departing from LPA, which usually involve almost endless queueing.

Boarding was smart and by group, with passengers seated towards the center of the front- and rear-boarded aircraft called to the first bus, and everyone else afterwards.

Overhead passenger service units aboard the Jet2 737. The seats are alternating grey and orange

Boarding was well-organized and no-drama, and I liked the black retaining webbing in the older Boeing overheads. Image: John Walton

The sleek silver and bright red livery is attractive enough in a way that says “budget airline” without the Ryanair-style need to slap hi-viz yellow everywhere, and smiling, enthusiastic crew even on this second leg of their day welcomed us on board.

Grey and orange slimline seats on the Jet2 737

Acro’s slimline seats look sleek and automotive from above. Image: John Walton

Jet2’s Acro Series 3 seats are great — I’m on record as preferring a proper slimline if airlines are going to reduce pitch, and the bucket shaping and positioning of the literature pocket meant that even my 6’3” frame had plenty of legroom without needing to sit sidesaddle.

No wifi or power points, though, meant I was glad to have downloaded content to my tablet, which was easily hangable off the literature pocket.

A photo of the legroom on the Jet2 aircraft. Slimline seats carve out more room for knees and shins

Legroom — notionally 30 inches, I believe — was perfectly fine for even this longer flight. Image: John Walton

The announcements are all prerecorded. They were cheerful and holiday-focused, while still emphasizing the important things like not overindulging on board, and taking what felt like extra care to explain things for infrequent flyers.

Once in the air, I was hugely impressed by the crew, who kicked straight into action after departure and truly didn’t stop with meal deliveries, buy-on-board sales, rubbish runs, duty free and just a wander through the cabin to see if anyone needed anything.

You know that “rear galley stare” that some crews get, fixing their gaze on the back of the plane to avoid catching any passengers’ eyes? This was the exact opposite of that.

Jet2's onboard menu includes a lot of options for alcoholic beverages

Despite reservations about the ethics of onboard booze multi-buy pricing, it’s a good range on board. Image: John Walton

Positive, speedy service had my go-to meal (I always go for an all-day English breakfast if one’s available, spurred on by Aer Lingus’ legendary buy-on-board option) delivered along with a simple card box of napkins, cutlery, chocolate pudding and a cup of tea.

An inflight snack box containing cutlery, napkin and dessert, plus a cup of coffee on the tray table

Meals come with a little box containing cutlery, napkin and dessert. Image: John Walton

The all-day breakfast was pretty good for what it was, and better than many meals I’ve had on other airlines.

The Jet2 all-day breakfast is pictured with tater tots, ham, sausage and beans

The all-day breakfast was pretty good for plane food. Image: John Walton

Flipping through the inflight menu, I noted that there are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options, together with buy-on-board choices that are reasonably priced for airline food and drink. GBP6.50 for a mini-bottle of Prosecco to finish off a holiday? Why not.

During a chat with my seatmate (who was confused as to why I was taking closeup photos of an all-day breakfast — fair enough), it was remarkable how easy Jet2 made the whole experience for a family.

Turn up at the airport from home, transfers straight to the hotel at the destination, and even resort check-in and baggage drop early on the day of departure to make the most of that final day of holidays.

He and his family had nothing but good things to say about their experience.

Jet2 is clear about its mission: to serve holiday destinations, with most of the passengers on board flying on a package basis, cheaply and cheerfully. While the airline has suspended its flights until 30 April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d happily go out of my way to fly them again when service resumes.

Sparkling wine in a plastic cup slotted into the seat cupholder

Dom Pérignon in Riedel stemware it was not, but it absolutely did the job. Image: John Walton

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  1. Lesley Robertson

    Usually very good, but they abandoned us in Madeira on 23rd March, ending their flights on 21st. As Monday is the usual turn around day in Madeira many passengers were stranded. Thankfully British Airways continued to fly daily and we were able to book with them. Now waiting for my refund from Jet2.

  2. John Burns

    Jet2 were not so cheap when I booked a flight for myself and my wife for a return flight on sat 21st as Ryanair cancelled ours for the same day they charged us £615 each to fly back to Glasgow ,I think they were cashing in on people who hab been stranded

    • William Woods

      After the way we’ve been treated by Ryanair, excuse after excuse why they can give us our money back, I’ll be booking with jet 2 from now on.

  3. Brenda bird

    Jet 2 are the best so friendly and professional we have done loads off flights this was the best ever will always use jet 2 in the future well done jet 2 Brenda bird

  4. patricia mack

    Due to pay final payment on flying to Spain on the 12 June contacted jet2 for an update on flights was told to go ahead and pay and if they cancel flights then you are due your money back can they still do this.

    • Ellie

      Jet 2. Absolutely the best all round. Pleasant flight crew. A better than good experience for a budget airline. Have used many times and wouldn’t use any other now. Well done and thank you.

  5. Victor Patterson

    Don!.t be fooled by their own rhetoric this company are worse than any bunch of robbers certainly not cheap and cheerful. My wife and I had our return flight from Lanzarote cancelled on the 18th March ,we were then told it was cancelled with a refund and no mention of a return flight apart from try our website and also no sign of a refund. Three flights were available all full there was no means of direct contact we were certainly on our own ,our return flight was to Leeds bradford airport we eventually found two flights with limited space left one was to Belfast the other to Glasgow ,bearing in mind the airport in Lanzarote was closing down within days we opted to return to Glasgow stay overnight in a hotel and rent a car to take us to LBA the flight alone cost almost
    2000.00 pounds plus the other expenses . We,’ve still not been able to contact or heard anything from Jet 2 ,rather than cheap and cheerful this to me is a money grubbing profiteering uncaring bunch of crooks and best avoided. Just to mention there were plenty of others treated this way some even worse paying out even more . I sincerely hope these people don,t get away with this shoddy treatment of people and also check your insurance you not covered in a pandemic perhaps they,’ll refund us ! Vic Patterson pensioner.

    • derek richards

      I’ve used them a few times and I have absolutely no complaints. We were supposed to go to lake Garda on the 2nd of May and they phoned me two weeks before and asked if I wanted a refund or book another holiday. I wasn’t sure when this lockdown would end so we booked for next year at lake Garda and was given a £180 refund. The person I spoke to on the phone was so nice and helpful. I can’t praise them enough. I don’t understand why others are complaining. Then again we went to gran Canaria at Xmas a few years ago and a couple were saying it was a bit windy in the evening and could the rep do something about it.

  6. Christine Hendry

    We have flown with Jet2 for three holidays , of two have been perfect. The third was badly affected by the sand storms in Tenerife and at the time we wanted to cancel rather than stay in a hotel and fly later but we are now glad that we did go because we still had a lovely 8 day holiday before lockdown. The staff are great. When we landed in Tenerife we could not disembark immediately as there were delays, the captain let the passengers onto the flight deck and was helping amuse the children. The check in process is the best that we have ever come across. The customer service is excellent.

  7. Carol Hirst

    Been flying with jet2 for last 6 years 3 times a year never had a bad flight or hotel if we have had any problems in resort reps have been great only ever had one problem while away damaged case it was dealt with promptly . Had 2 cases damaged in transit both were replaced very quickly. In flight meals are the best we have had in 25 years of flying .

  8. Stephen Duxbury

    I was mugged in Benidorm last October and their staff went beyond the call of duty to care for me. No hesitation in booking with them for this year.

  9. Ian Hodges

    I fail to see where this idea Jet2 are cheap, there flight costs are extortionate. My partner & i looking to fly to Cyprus in September, over £200 each, add on baggage…..each way ! seats each way ! & you are soon looking at over £300 each. Over the last two/three years, flying with Blue Air, two of us less then £500. Jet2 are a rip off & monopolising the demise of Monarch & Thoma Cook.

  10. Peter Bayley

    Jet2 holidays refuse to acknowledge the full extent of the pandemic and are stealing mine and other people’s money.
    All their communications are blocked, so that they will not acknowledge my cancellation. They have stolen over £2k from my credit card, even though my Croatian holiday will not go ahead.
    They are disgusting, keeping their business afloat by ripping people off and refusing to deal with them in an honest and reasonable way.

  11. Kaya

    Booked with them many times before but their handling of refunds for cancelled holidays is very very poor. They have even shut down there phone lines now! Don’t think I will be booking with them again after this pandemic is over.

  12. I have been with jet 2 and found them very good the cabin crew were very attentive and polite they put you at ease I will be flying with them again soon I hope

  13. Paul Richards

    We have flown Jet2 numerous times from Manchester and at different times of the day. The staff have always been cheerful and very helpful indeed. As the article says from start to finish we cannot fault them. Long may they continue.

  14. Mrs C Robinson

    We always book with jet2, best airline out. Just transferred our May holiday with them to May 2021, no problem no hassle, spoke to lovely helpful girl . Wouldn’t travel with any other airline .

    • squbby

      I’m due to pay for 2 holidays today i fly June 3rd and like everyone else can’t get in touch via calls or email just a total shutdown on there behalf its an absolute disgrace how they are treating people at the moment, I am willing to move holiday to next year and for them to keep my deposits but I’m in limbo has you can’t ask or tell anyone what you are willing to do. I normally fly 2 to 3 times a year with jet2 and never much of a problem but the way they are handling this situation is horrendous. Open your phone lines jet2 and let your staff that are working from home which they are help even by just moving hols around would ease the situation a bit

  15. Jo Hunt

    Jo hunt
    I am still waiting to know if my holiday has been
    Cancelled to Bulgaria on the monday the 4th may
    Getting a bit feed upI have sent an email but had no reply.

  16. Anthony Snape

    I have been booking my holidays with Jet2 for last 5 years, customer service is first class, booking help at the Airport on departure and return , the Reps are great.I will never use Ryanair again .Well done! Jet2.

  17. Phil Randle

    I wouldn’t when you see what prices have been increased to for 2021. Rip off merchants like all of them. They will all go belly up in the end through greed.

  18. Jet2 is a wonderful airline demonstrating that good value and excellent customer service can go hand in hand. We will be back with you flying to Madeira and Geneva as soon as we can!

  19. Ann Serventi

    I cannot complain about Jet2 In my opinion they are the best budget airline in the sky. My partner and I have flown with them many times and even booked a package holiday to Madeira with them a few years ago which I could not fault. In March we should have flown to Lanzarote with them and returned with Easy Jet just because their flight time was better. Unfortunately due to present circumstances the flights were cancelled. Jet 2emailed us immediately and we had a refund in our bank within three weeks. More than I can say for Easyjet who took ages to give us a refund.
    We are due to fly to Turkey with Jet2 on a package deal. I can t really see this happening but will not hesitate to transfer the holiday to next year.
    Their staff are helpful and pleasant. The aircraft is bright and clean and we have never had a delay.
    Keep up the good work Jet2

  20. Geoff Johnson

    I’ve flown Jet2 many times, mostly to Madeira. However the seat width can be a bit tight for those who are somewhat ‘horizontally challenged’ (OK, FAT). I just wondered how you went about booked an extra seat for yourself?
    I’d love to know.