Our flight from Manchester to Zante with Jet2.com is at 7am, so we give up all hope of sleep and leave Bristol at midnight to drive straight to the airport. With the lack of traffic late at night, it’s a painless journey and an easy process to park the car in the Terminal 1 multi-story and drop off our bags at check-in.
The sea of red of the Jet2.com counter proclaims their tag-line of Friendly Low Fares, and although I can’t say that the fares to Zante were especially cheap when I booked for my family, the welcome is certainly friendly. I don’t think it’s just my imagination, but I do find that everyone seems more friendly as you travel further north in England.
While some low cost airlines act as baggage police, adding to your stress before the holiday has even started, Jet2.com offer a generous 10kg of hand luggage, plus 22kg of checked in baggage if you book that option for an additional charge. We move easily through the check-in line to drop off our bags, although if we had been hand luggage only, we would have been straight through to security. The Jet2.com staff are friendly and helpful and the favoured look for the girls seemed to be a top-knot bun and bright red lipstick to match the navy and red Jet2.com uniforms. The airline seems to cater for those looking for holiday fun, flying from 8 northern UK airports to plenty of popular European resort and citybreak destinations.
I’ve not flown before from Manchester airport but I’m impressed that the experience of the traveller seems to have been taken into account in the design. Once through security I’m thrilled to find a seating area next to the coffee shop with a bank of plugs to charge your electronic equipment, where at other airports I’ve had to camp out on the floor beside the cleaner’s power socket just to charge my I-Phone. There’s plenty of shopping, restaurant and lounge areas and my daughter and I manage to buy a few presents for my sister’s family as well as topping up our holiday wardrobe.
Everything is going to plan as we board the aircraft which is running on time. Although we’re on a Jet2.com flight, the plane seems to be operated by Spanish based airline Privilege and the crew are half from Jet2.com with topknots and red lipstick, half the navy pinstripe Spanish crew with blonde bobs, all friendly and helpful. Most of the other passengers in early July are 20-somethings, off for the post exam celebration season before the schools break up. I always have fun checking out the latest fashions on holiday flights, and this year’s trend seems be floaty maxi skirts topped with denim jackets, alternating with micro-cut-off denim shorts, glittery toe nails and sparkly gold flat sandals.
I chat to a sleepy lad from Newcastle who is wearing his hair shaved at the sides with tousled curls on top and is in good humour for the start of his holiday. I ask where he’s headed but he’s not sure – then as we come into land over Laganas beach he remembers that he’ll be staying at Laganas, the party capital of the island.
As we come into land over Laganas bay, the captain anounces that it’s 32 degrees outside and there seems to be a murmur of approval, except from my hard-to-please teenage son who comments “Mum, we’ve gone from England where it’s too hot, to Zante where it’s 10 degrees hotter!”
We touch down and filter through passport control to the large baggage claim area. Since they built the new larger terminal at Zakynthos airport, the experience has become a lot more civilised and less crowded. I walk through the sliding doors where my sister is waiting for us with hugs all round. Out of the air conditioned terminal and the heat hits me. Welcome to Zante!
More holiday fun on Zante
Thanks to Jet2.com for providing flights for Heather’s trip to Zakynthos, Greece. Jet2.com runs weekly flights to Zante from Manchester and Leeds Bradford and flights from many other local UK airports to your favourite holiday destinations. You can follow Jet2.com updates on their Facebook page
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