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By: James Larounis

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June 26th, 2018

Transavia | Firsthand Experience

Travel Guide | European Travel | Wanderlust

I’ve never flown Transavia before, so to say I was timid in booking this flight from Amsterdam’s Schipol to Nice’s Cote d’ Azur, is an understatement. I’m a oneworld Emerald member thanks to my American Airlines Executive Platinum status, so I tend to book on oneworld carriers when convenient — in this case for Europe, that primarily falls to British Airways, Iberia and Finnair, neither of which had any sort of schedule that remotely sounded appealing, all of which required layovers in London, Madrid and Helsinki, respectively. Transavia, a low-cost subsidiary of Air France/KLM, operates a hub in Amsterdam with flights across Europe.

Booking the flight

The flight I booked was the only one to Nice for the day I needed, with the departure being at a surprisingly convenient 8:00pm. When I booked my flights the price was fairly reasonable, hovering in the around 100 Euro range, which I thought was quite worth it for a non-stop flight. Three options were presented for booking — a “basic” fare, a “plus” fare including hold luggage and a reserved seat and a “max” fare which included premium seating, additional hold luggage and priority boarding. I chose the “max” option since I wanted to secure a prime bulkhead row aisle seat. This only ended up costing me an additional 50 Euro which wasn’t bad overall.

 

Boarding the flight

Upon boarding, I was called out special with three other passengers to board the aircraft, thanks to my “max” fare. I thought this was a fantastic touch — nothing like the US domestic airlines. I was personally scanned through the boarding pass reader, and told to wait at the jet bridge with the two others. At this point, they didn’t allow anyone else to board, and we were escorted down to the plane. It felt like a private jet experience.

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Onboard the flight

Once onboard, I sat in a bulkhead aisle seat — with fantastic legroom. I actually ended up having the whole row to myself, thanks to the fact that Transavia charges for these types of seats. Once the plane leveled off, a beverage and meal service was offered — all for pay, the usual low-cost-airline model. I had a sausage roll and chips, something that didn’t cost me more than $5, so I was happy. For such a low ticket price, I was okay spending a few dollars on a refreshment. The remainder of the flight was uneventful and actually really pleasurable. I had a great seat, no seatmate, an empty row and would be first off the plane with my bags, ready to enjoy the warm Nice weather. This plane was not equipped with any Wi-Fi, so entertainment options were limited to what you brought, but it was such a short hop, that didn’t bother me and I watched a few episodes of some TV shows I had missed on my iPhone. 

 

After the flight

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Overall, I’d totally fly Transavia again, and would definitely pay the “max” package to have a secured extra legroom seat and guaranteed bag storage overhead. Even with this extra charge, they beat out all the other legacy carriers on this route by at least $200, so I think I got quite the steal. Even with being a low cost airline, Transavia is still protected by European Union regulations, so if your flight is delayed or canceled due to a reason within the control of the airline, you’re owed compensation just as any other flight — a fact that not many realize when traveling on a budget airline. 

 

About James Larounis

James joined Flightbucks Team in 2018 as a consultant. He is passionate about the travel industry and shares great resources with his audience. He also travels quite a bit!

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