One of my favorite travel bloggers, A Lady in London, has been Tweeting about an upcoming trip to Amman, Jordan for the past couple days. Her tweets on the side of the blog really piqued my curiosity, so I checked out her Twitter page. She had tweeted about taking a press trip to Amman with members of easyJet, citing the reason for the trip as the airline's expansion to Jordan. I think this is pretty exciting news for budget travel. easyJet's expansion makes the Middle East that much more accessible to travelers who are looking for deals or who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to venture to that corner of the world.
I must confess that despite this initial enthusiasm, I have had sort of a love/hate relationship with the budget airlines in Europe. My sister and I have spent many-a-night huddled on the floor of airports in Luton, Stanstead, Gatwick, and other cities around Europe waiting for an inconvenient (but cheap) flight to somewhere like Warsaw or Paris. On our most recent trip, our plans to travel to Stockholm and Oslo were thwarted by sky-high carry-on baggage fees (disclaimer: the flights were not booked with easyJet) that caused us to eat the price of the tickets and vow to visit the cities on our next European excursion. In fact, I don't think I have flown with a budget carrier since a flight with Laura from Krakow to Berlin in 2006. (I try to save all of my boarding cards.)
Instead, we've been flying out of Heathrow with British Airways (my absolute favorite airline in the entire world) or Iberia. In other words, we've generally shied away from making plans on the budget airlines, even though they provide low-cost service to destinations like Istanbul, Fez, Bucharest, and Helsinki (so, some pretty fantastic places that we want to visit).
easyJet's expansion to Amman might cause me to rethink my recent aversion to the budget carriers. Petra is a must-see destination on my travel list, and easyJet just made it that much more affordable for me to visit...so, thank you, easyJet! I look forward to flying with you again.