Last week we flew into Toulouse. We were heavily laden with a small 3 and a half year old, a 2 year old and a 10 month old. On arrival at Toulouse we looked across at the new terminal (well it's new since we used to commute from there) and it's plentiful airbridges.
To our surprise the back door opened as well as the front and we were unhappy to see to a set of stairs to get down. We let everyone else off the plane and struggled carrying the 3 of them down the steps. Yes the 3.5 year old could have managed with holding our hand but as there is no handrail at her height it was safer to carry her.
We walked across the tarmac to the corner of the terminal which looked like the sortie for les poubelles but no it was the entrance for us lucky easyjet passengers. With no other passengers in sight and the crew already departed, we navigated another load of steps (what happens to those with difficult walking but who haven't booked assistance I wonder) into the corridor and along to the terminal.
"Well" I said, "so much for improving the airport"!
On the way back we went from Montpellier, again an airport we have used regularly in the past. We noticed lots of fresh new blue painted walkways on the tarmac and one of the few lounges was under refurbishment (to create a better airport apparently). Now historically we would have walked down a short airbridge and hopped uneventfully onto the plane.
Not this time - we were maneuvered outside onto some circular steps (behind all queuing speedy boarders) where we waited whilst the manual steps were positioned into place in front of the front and back steps. Then with the whole plane behind us (except the not so impressed speedy boarders) having been sent through as 'special assistance' for having kids under 5 we were released like dogs from the trap and narrowly avoided being trampled on by the crowd behind us. Lovely. Now the Easyjet experience has become like the Ryanair one. Special Assistance and Speedy Boarding is a nonsense if you can't walk fast enough to get on the plane before everyone else behind you tramples over you.
Perhaps this is all done to encourage us to take up their new venture which they happily announced on the flight - allocated seating. We can buy our seats in the future. At least if we buy our seats then we go back to boarding last without worrying about being stepped on and we can wait in the comfort of the 'updated lounges' for a bit longer instead of standing on the steps getting wet (yes it rains in Montpellier too).
Thanks Easyjet for making our journey one step closer to a Ryanair one. I do hope the allocated seating is a success!