I regularly visit Cyprus having family living there and its a pretty difficult place to find affordable flights to, especially during the peak months, with high fees charged by the airports there for airlines with the costs inevitably passed onto the customers. It was during the search for flights for my recent trip there in June that I stumbled across Blue Air, a Romanian airline which seems to concentrate on flights to Romania and eastern Europe but also has regular flights from Luton to Larnaca and some other destinations.
Firstly they were better on price than easy jet, Ryanair or anyone else for our travel dates, secondly their charges for baggage were also slightly cheaper…AND…they allow a MASSIVE 32kg checked in luggage as standard!!! This is a huge bonus for anyone travelling for longer than a week, plus I was carrying camera equipment, snorkelling/diving and hiking stuff, we didn’t get near the limit and it allowed us to bring some mementos (plenty of local wine!) home without worrying!
There was no option to check in online available from Luton or Larnaca with them, however this didn’t really cause any issues for us as we had the luggage to check in anyway. Checking in at both airports was a good easy process and our seats had already been allocated to us without any extra cost. The flights both ways took off on time and we arrived before our scheduled arrival times!
There was no problem with our hand luggage…small back packs…and the staff were all very polite and relaxed, I was impressed. No dirty looks at hand luggage here or instructions to place it inside the measuring racks in front of everyone to prove it meets the requirements!
On board I was again very impressed. The seats were a padded leather type material with an adjustable head rest which had wings which could be folded out to the sides of your head to help prevent your head dropping if you happen to nod off. There’s a pocket on the back of the seat in front of you, very convenient for me as I like to stow my iPad phone and head phones in there or a book. It really irritated me on a recent Ryan Air flight when you did not have these pockets. There is also a fold out table and the leg room is pretty good a,though i’m no giant!
The service on board is really good and the cabin crew pretty efficient. Once the flight had got underway everyone was offered a drink and a bag of peanuts, then a little later an in flight meal. This consisted of beef/chicken tomato casserole with veg and rice, a small salad, a mousse for desert and some cheese and crackers. It was pretty decent actually…and complimentary!! No extra costs here! Then after the meal we were offered tea or coffee. Again all complimentary!
If I have any gripes at all, and I’m pretty much clutching at straws here…the email communication was a little bit messy and old fashioned…if your only taking carry on luggage then online check in would be nice, we were left sith the rubbish from the meal on the way back for a while…and they only had condensed milk for your tea/coffee…see what I mean…some quite heavy straw clutching there!
This was flying as I remembered it as a kid…before the proliferation of budget airlines…much less of the hidden charges…and better value for money…complimentary in flight food and drink…and a good level pf comfort.
In a time where B.A are considering charging for meals and more for luggage (if they are not doing so already) and other budget airlines seem to add charges at every possibility Blue Air were a breath of fresh air and I hope that they can keep it up in a very competitive environment.
I’m pretty much guided by cost when booking flights, but if you are searching for flights and Blue Air turns out to be anywhere near competitive I would recommend giving them a go!
Once again thanks for reading! Happy Travels!