William and Kate surprise passengers on budget airline

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
William and Kate surprise passengers on budget airline
William and Kate board a plane in Canada last July.

Prince William and Kate Middleton might be royalty, but it appears they still appreciate a bargain, choosing a budget airline to fly home from their ski trip on Sunday.

Passengers on an easyJet flight from Geneva to Manchester were stunned when they boarded their plane and found the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sitting in the main cabin.

Related: William and Kate's emotional reunion

The couple were travelling with police protection officers, but otherwise behaved like any other passengers.

They went through the usual security checks before boarding, and received no special treatment in the air.

Other passengers were delighted by the couple's appearance, and took to Twitter to express their excitement at seeing the royals in the flesh.

"Still can't believe how close I was to Will and Kate," one flyer Chris Nash posted.

William and Kate were returning to the UK after a week-long ski trip in the French Alps.

William is believed to have organised the romantic trip to make up for missing Valentine's Day due to his six-week RAF posting in the Falkland Islands.

Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her sister Pippa joined the royal couple for a few days, but they finished their break alone.

This isn't the first time senior royals have chosen to fly with a budget airline. William and Kate flew with Flybe to attend Zara Phillips' wedding in Edinburgh last July, while Prince Harry took an easyJet flight to the same nuptials.

Harry also chose easyJet to travel to Geneva for a New Year skiing holiday last year.

Related: Queen Elizabeth the wedding crasher

William and Harry's uncle Prince Andrew, however, prefers a more luxurious flying experience.

The prince, known as 'Air Miles Andy', is frequently criticised for abusing his position. In 2010, he spent $7700 to hire a helicopter to take him to an engagement just 95km away, while in 2009, he rented another helicopter to fly him to his favourite golf course for an hour.

Your say: What do you think about William and Kate swapping first class for budget seats?

Video: William and Kate's adorable new puppy

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