Who: Georgina, husband, Abbie (2 yrs 11 months) and Sam (7 months)
Flight: FR3456 London Luton to Beziers, France, departs LTN 13.55 arrives BZR 16.50
Booking: Booked direct via www.ryanair.com. You can now prebook your seats online, which makes the flight a more civilised experience. I prebooked seats at the front of the plane, although it might have been better to be near to the toilets with baby changing, which was towards the rear. Don’t forget to print out your boarding pass at home to avoid incurring any extra charges.
Getting to the airport: Luton is our closest airport, only a 20 minute drive from home and we prebooked the short stay car park online so that we could be a short walk from the terminal.
Checking In: We arrived with plenty of time, so check-in was fairly easy.
Security: The queues were short and the staff were friendly. They asked us to collapse our buggy (the City Mini) and put it through the x-ray machine. And then had to send someone in to crawl through and pull it out when it got stuck. Instead of asking me to taste our baby milk and food pouches in front of them (annoying and wasteful, as you usually end up having to throw some of it away) they swabbed them with a new machine to check for dangerous components.
At the Airport: The departure lounge is a good size to cope with a toddler and baby. There is a range of shops and places to eat (including a Pret) but it’s not too big for a toddler to walk through.
Boarding: The boarding gate was a short walk away, and down a flight of stairs with no obvious lift, escalator or staff to help. We struggled down with kids, buggy and hand luggage, but I think that if I had been travelling alone I would simply have asked some other passengers to help. We had paid extra for priority boarding. It’s not strictly necessary now that Ryanair allocates all seats, but it’s nice to know that you won’t have to join the scrum to board the plane.
Onboard: The flight was short (less than two hours) and the kids were relatively well behaved.
Arrival: Buggies were available to collect as soon as we were off the plane, and we walked straight through to immigration and baggage reclaim. There was a huge queue for the car hire desks once we had picked up our luggage, if we did it again I’d have one of us wait for the bags while the other picked up the car. We weren’t very impressed with the car hire desk, they took forever to process each customer and our car was filthy. They did provide us with a car seat which appeared to be in good condition.
Return journey: Beziers airport is very small, with one café airside and a small kiosk in the departure lounge, and a baby changing table in the toilets. The return journey was very simple and they did not ask me to test any of the baby milk or food pouches in our hand luggage.