18 days. 6 countries. 1 bag: Why Easjet will forever be called BooBoo Jet

Easyjet = BooBoo Jet...but I'll still fly them!
Known for their crazy low fares, Easyjet, like similar budget airlines both domestic and abroad, are known for their crazy addition of fees. Don't check in online - pay £20. Luggage need checking in? Pay 25£ Over 40 kilos? Throw me another 10£ for EVERY kilo over the weight allowed. This can get very expensive without adequate planning. Well the one rule that I was willing to push my luck with was this one-bag carry-on luggage rule. I mean are they really checking? I had one suitcase and I had my purse (though large and tote-like). I was flying extremely light according to US standards but i'm not in the US so we would have to find out for ourselves:
Our carry-on suitcases wouldn't even warrant a second glance by US airlines. On EasyJet they see $$$$$.
Our flight from London to Rome on Easyjet left Gatwick at 6 am.  Travel time, airport check-in time, get ready can do the math on how early our day started.  I read about the first come first serve seating arrangment so Mr. P and I were super early and first at the gate (FIRST!). Bad idea #1. The gate attendants—specifically this crazy Italian lady—immediately called us out.  "1 bag!! 1 bag only!"   I play dumb: "Excuse me? my purse is not ok? no? oh uhh..ok..." So I proceed to put my purse into my suitcase. It's tight...  I have to use the extender and do the squeeze/sit/zip fight to close it but it closes. After putting in all that effort, crazy italian gate attendant now goes "It must fit into that carrier!"  Alright lady, calm down with that attitude.  I really wanted to give her the side-eye but I did the whole dumb look like "what? that? oh it'll fit" (no it won't)  and she's like "I must see" knowing she's seen this a thousand times a week but she just gets a kick out of it.  I'll give you something to SEE! so Mr. P goes to push my suitcase into their little carrier ruler gauge thing even though we obviously see this is not going to fit without a little muscle. But no... gate attendant chirps in "Must. Not. Squeeeeeze!" FINE lady you WIN. 

Sort of... 

SIDEBAR: If you're flying a budget airline and you want to avoid checking in bags - you're better off not carrying a roll-on suitcase..I don't think they make them that small in the US.. go shop in kids luggage.  Or better yet think sports duffel bag you take to the gym.  Their gauges measure at: 56x45x25cm (including wheels and pockets).  Did you read that? wheels and pockets!  Easyjet site: check-in this fee is £25 due to higher handling costs at the airport if you don't buy the bag online and at the boarding gate this increases to £40. that's ~$62 a bag people.  Our tickets to Rome were ~$70 each.

Back to story: Gate attendant lady could barely contain her smile at the extra money she was makin off us american tourists but uh uh uh slow your roll lady...I had a backup plan!  I prepaid our luggage just in case this exact situation happened so when she eagerly hopped onto her computer to charge us, her face suddenly went to quizzical.. then she says: Did you buy luggage already? Me: I'm not sure maybe (playing dumb because I did -it's only £14 (about $20) a suitcase) Her: Will since it shows that you did, we do not have to charge you. Betta recognize, woman!  From this point forward, Mr. P started calling easyjet BooBoo Jet. ha.
So our luggage was checked at the gate (less chances for it to be lost!)  I was only concerned about a lost luggage situation for this leg of the trip—London to Rome— since we would only be in Rome for 2 days before boarding our cruise and then we'd be in different cities every day after that. we'd be so screwed and it'd be so expensive to have to shop for everything with a weak exchange rate (where's a forever 21 when you REALLY NEED it lol). Coincidently we did meet a passenger on our cruise who had this exact scenario happen to her and her mom and they had to purchase EVERYTHING til their suitcases caught up with them 5 days into the cruise! (Screwed i tell ya!) 

So moral of the story: One bag and one bag only. In the US, one bag + "personal" item is normal.  But Easyjet takes this rule seriously to heart.  1+1 = 2. Not one + personal.  We flew Easyjet 3 times on our trip and employees march up and down the boarding gate just waiting to strike some unknowing passenger with an extra bag fee - HI-YAH!  
Way too much drama before even hitting 6am.. I need a nap.
Save this one situation, for the crazy low prices of the tickets alone I would still fly easyjet. They were fairly on time or early everywhere we flew. I do recommend getting the earliest flights out.  We didn't have any problems at the airports. Post-cruise, we automatically checked our luggage in instead of trying this gate check scenario above. Also note that they don't use the gates in the airports we visited  (Rome, Milan, Madrid, Gatwick, Luton). You board and deboard via buses/walk to tarmac, climb steps to get on/off the plane. "Speedy boarding" especially on early flights is a sham - don't buy it.  just get to the gate early.  Check-in, security, customs, everything went by really quickly so I'm for it...easy breezy BooBoo Jet.