THE FLIGHT: Flight 5441 from London Gatwick's South terminal to Budapest Ferihegy. easyJet now operates from both terminals at Gatwick so check the departure point.
THE CHECK-IN: Well worth checking in online the previous evening as there was a long – though fast-moving – queue for the carrier's various early morning departures. One check-in desk was reserved for those passengers cutting it fine, with easyJet staff calling along the line to identify them. The wait at the bag-drop, meanwhile, was less than ten minutes. Passengers on flights departing before 8.30am can check both themselves and their baggage in the previous night from 8pm.
THE BOARDING PROCESS: Our flight was called quite late but it was one of the nearest gates. Didn't have to hang around for long before boarding a bus which subsequently embarked on what felt like a comprehensive tour of the airport. Boarded at the rear of the plane and there were still plenty of seats available and room enough in the overhead lockers. The plane was around 75 per cent full.
THE SEAT: What you expect on a low-cost airline – comfortable; clean and bright upholstery; and as much legroom as you need for a two-hour flight.
THE SERVICE: A computer glitch kept us stationary for 30 minutes but the much-loved IT trick of 'turning it off and on again' did the job. Once airborne, the cheery crew were quick to come round with the food and drink trolley, and prices weren't too bad – the carrier now serves Starbucks coffee too.
THE ARRIVAL: Remarkably, we made up all but five minutes of the time we'd lost on the ground at Gatwick, and landed smoothly in snow-covered Budapest. It was a short walk across the tarmac to immigration which, on my return, was frustratingly done by bus.
TOP TIP: check in online in advance! Speedy Boarding and lounge access can be purchased to further smooth the journey.
THE DETAILS: Flights vary greatly in price, typically rising towards departure date and over weekends. The lowest return fare spotted while booking was around £60 a month in advance of travel. Look out for regular sales and promotions.