TRIP REPORT: easyJet, Skopje - Geneva

Written by Atanas Alkov

Fully aware that low cost carriers do not provide an experience especially interesting to write about, I am doing this report because so far easyJet was never covered in any trip report published on EX-YU Aviation News.
Geneva is not a typical weekend destination from Skopje, but ever since easyJet introduced their flights to SKP, it was on my visit list. Some 20 days prior to my 9th of June flight, I bought 2 return tickets with only small cabin bags for a total of 140 EUR.
Prior to my flight, I did my online check-in and downloaded my boarding passes, but for some reason at Skopje Airport, passengers must go to the check-in counter where they are issued new, airport-style boarding passes. Skopje Airport was very crowded for the evening bank of departures with the passport control being the bottleneck. As is usually the case for easyJet in SKP, gate 201 was assigned for our flight.

Skopje Airport has a new refurbished duty free shop and an overall nice atmosphere. Boarding went very smoothly, although the flight was fully booked. To avoid congestion on the apron, our plane was pushed on taxiway A, to give space for push-back from gate 202 to the heavily delayed Wizz Air flight to Copenhagen. Please note that some of the photos were taken by my dear friends and colleagues Marija and Bobi from Skopje TWR.

We departed according to schedule and took a western route via Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, across the Adriatic Sea, Italy and France for a runway 22 approach into Geneva Airport.

The flight was operated with a 5-year-old Airbus A320 registered HB-JXM. The cabin features 186 non-reclining seats with minimal padding and seat pitch similar to other low cost airlines. This flight has an easyJet Switzerland number and is operated by the Swiss franchisee of the easyJet airline group.
Cabin crew members were very polite, and they provided a very professional service. To cut down the flight time, I purchased my favourite gin mixed with Orangina as advertised in the buy-on-board brochure, but I didn’t like the combo. My wife played it safe with a Bloody Mary and a mezze box.

The entire cruise of the flight was in twilight, and we landed in rainy Geneva 10 minutes ahead of schedule. I wanted to take a photo of the empty cabin, so I waited in order to be the last one off the plane. On my way out, I saw the flight deck door open, and I could not resist to ask if I can enter to take a photo and ask a few questions to the very kind pilots. When asked what is their opinion on the air traffic control service in Skopje provided by my company M-NAV, they said it is top level and on their flight from Geneva to Skopje that day, approach controller was very accommodating with their requests for avoiding adverse weather.

At Geneva Airport we were parked at the satellite terminal and bussed to the main building. Geneva Airport also known as Cointrin Airport has a night-time curfew and our flight was one of the last of the day. Again, bottleneck was created at passport control, but only for non-EU and non-Swiss passport holders. So, we were queuing along many UK nationals who are by this paying the price for leaving EU.

To summarise my experience onboard easyJet, I have to say it was a very pleasant flight and there wasn’t a single bad thing to write about, so I hope they will start other destinations from Skopje.

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