The easyJet group bonus…or single traveller penalty

The easyJet group bonus…or single traveller penalty

I love hunting for bargain flights. Almost as much as I love flying. Almost. Everyone knows that prices can vary wildly depending on destination, travel dates, the day of the week you book and the length of time between booking & your flight.

But the price can also vary depending on the number of people on the booking. And the lower the price of the flight, the greater the discrepancy.

The evidence

Here’s a little experiment I conducted with the easyJet app this morning, Saturday 30th September 2017. I chose one of our favourite routes which regular Txiki Tales readers will know to be Manchester – Bilbao. If you are wondering why I make such a fuss about the largest city in the Basque Country, you can read why here.

Blibao from Mount Artxanda

It’s a place that I’ve been with Mrs L, a group of friends and we’re also taking the youngster over Christmas. So in the past I’ve booked for a range of party sizes.

I selected a quick weekend in mid-January 2018 as I expected it to be a bit of a bargain. And so it would turn out to be, but with a little surprise.

Test 1 – 1 person

Wow this looks cheap. Yes, I could add a pre-booked seat and other extras but I could pay as little as £39.98 for a return flight to the capital of fun.

1 person price


Test 2 – 2 people

Hmm. This is interesting. If I am to take Mrs L, and she would probably lynch me if I ever tried to go back there again without her, the price per person drops to £32.48. Even more of a bargain.

2 person price


Test 3 – A group of 4

So let’s make this more of a party and invite a couple of friends. The new price per person has dropped again to an unbelievable (Jeff) £28.74.

4 person price


The bottom line

Whether this practice unfairly penalises solo travellers or rewards those travelling in groups depends on your personal situation.

And I might be accused of being the new Scroogy McScrooge-Face but I detest paying more than I need to for anything. It infuriates Mrs L at times but we couldn’t take the number of trips we do if I didn’t take such a frugal approach.

One view is the difference between the highest and lowest prices is only £11.24 which on a return flight to Europe is pretty negligible.

Another views is that single travellers could be paying around 40% extra for their fare.

My view is that if four of us are travelling, the combined saving is the equivalent of 25 glasses of Rioja at Sorginzulo on the Plaza Nueva!


Now that is one heck of an evening. Any takers?


Note: The same effect doesn’t seem to happen with Ryanair flights although I can’t say that I have tested it exhaustively. With easyJet, a group of 6 or more can achieve even more savings although the rate of discount reduces with each additional traveller until the fare stabilises. 


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