Never, ever, fly Czech Airlines [CSA] -- their motto is the old communist "screw the customer". Flight was ok, BUT if anything ever goes wrong you'll always regret it! They lost all my luggage flying to Prague [certainly can happen]. Horror story is getting it back -- lying about everything. They were clearly in possession of my luggage [US], but they prefer flying cargo and get paid top $$ than return it back. Called Customer Service in Prague and their answer was "it will arrive tomorrow". Next day, more lies -- again "tomorrow". The following day even more lies "tomorrow"... imagine this for 7 [seven] straight days! When you ask for a Manager they simply hang up the phone on you, over and over! Utterly fed up, we went to downtown Prague CSA office in person and asked for a Manager after 3 days of lies [it's urgent now, nothing clean to wear etc.]. There wasn't any -- just gave me an email address to email to. Nobody replied in 3 years -- that's how CSA Management handles "Urgent" matters, hello?! Can you imagine your vacation with irritations like this every day, wasted time, etc.? Two different Agents told me to purchase basic clothing/shoes and I'll be reimbursed in full. Of course, they lied again(!), never did [see the pattern here?]. They confirmed they got all my receipt$ as agreed by Registered Mail. Now Czech Airlines even lies to BBB [Better Business Bureau] in New York they didn't know about this -- too late for any reimbursement now. Yup, right! I called/talked/mailed/emailed with only 20+ CSA Agents? Avoid Czech Airlines, not worth the hassle if something goes wrong. Many honest airlines around. [Please... feel free to 'czech' the Internet, you'll find similar horror stories like this, this is *not* an isolated set of incidents -- it's the rule and overall horrible/outrageous *attitude* of Czech Airlines Management and all their Agents around the World]. How many more people don't take the time to share these facts with you? So, if you want to be screwed royally -- fly Czech Airlines!!! They should be put out of business!
I'm afraid this will be the first negative review that I have had to write.
Late last year, we looked around for good prices on flight from the UK to Prague, Prague to Tallin, and back again.
CSA Czech Airlines came out the cheapest, so we went ahead and booked. However, we had nothing but problems. The night before our flight, I tried to check in online, as we were supposed to be able to. But it would not recognise my details - I could view my booking online, but not do the online checkin.
I called, and was advised not to worry, that I could just check in at the airport. The lady did not sound overly certain, so I called back again later to speak to someone else and confirm. After much confusion, they confirmed they could see my booking, that all was fine, and I would just have to check in at the airport.
Upon arrival at the UK airport, straightaway they said we should have a paper ticket - but we were booked as an eticket, as per our booking confirmation. We had to wait ages, then the checkout man said he had sorted it out, and we could checkin.
Sadly, we had the same problem on every single flight we got on to, so we were continually hanging around feeling rather worred. Worst of all, on the flight back from Prague, they actually refused to let us board.
Despite explaining all that had already happened to us, and everything we had done to try and get it corrected, they made out it was all our fault, and that they were not responsible in any way. They refused to help in any way.
By then I was feeling extremely ill - literally almost sick and my head was throbbing with worry. It was hundreds of pounds to purchase new flights - and they also said there were no seats available. Luckily, to cut a long story short, we eventually found someone else at the airport that sorted it out for us, but the Czech Airline staff at both the checkin desk and the sales counter were not at all interested in trying to help.
We wrote to complain when we got back also. After 2 attempts at contacting them they finally responded, and said it was not their fault, and that basically it was just hard luck.
I would never risk flying with them again.
Czech airlines have expanded quite a lot in the last year or so, with their main hub (perhaps unsurprisingly) being Prague. I have used them to fly to Prague, Istanbul Vienna and Frankfurt - in some cases by changing airline. However this review will focus on the quality of the Czech airlines service.
New ones are always being added, I have flown with them from Edinburgh. You can also fly with them from London and Glasgow.
Not always the cheapest but if you get in early enough UK to Prague flights can be £79 return, more often than not though it will cost you around £140+.
Quality of Service
If you book early enough the cost of flying with Czech airlines works out as good value for money. Often not much more than the budget airlines. They are a full service airline so your bags go their destination, they offer compensation if something goes wrong and their is free food and drink (including alcohol) on the flights. The catering usually consists of some stew type meal with dough balls, its usually quite pleasant (for airline food) and much better than what you will receive on budget carriers (where you have to pay) or even some full service airlines.
If you fly with them enough it may be worth signing up for their frequent flier service.
I have had no problems with the flight times on any Czech airlines flights so far, although some of their partner carriers have been a bit unreliable.
Punctual, good value for money with friendly staff. Why chose a budget carrier when for almost the same money you can go with a full service airline?
Cheapest flight for economy and business on this route (it was personalso I flew the former) and it proved suprisingly good value for money,leaving on time, arriving early, feeding once (and well) on a 2 hour flight, and with service coming close to the best I have seen (in economy). Now in its 76th year, CSA has a modern fleet of A310-300, B737-400 and-500, and ATR 42 and 72 aircraft. It provides direct transatlantic flights from Prague to Newark(NYC), Montreal and Toronto as well as an extensive European network of about 30 destinations, in addition to Beirut, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Dubai, Bahrain, Bangkokand Singapore. In-Flight magazine was dull but bright spot existed in the form of this gem - CSA recently ordered a state-of-the-art B737 FullFlight Simulator, which, although apparently extremely expensive, will save a great deal of money by avoiding the necessity of sending their crews abroad for simulator training in Europe and the US. So now you know. Go Fly. (ps Prague is beautiful but the houses are a little blackened).
I flew CSA for the first time this week, flying from Prague to London and back for Christmas. I had had a lot of rubbishing of CSA (gladly unfounded) from friends, who made comments about the flight being segregated into "Swine Class" and "Cattle Class", although the seat pitch was no worse than any other airline's was, and the flight did cost me a lot less than with other carriers. My flight out was delayed by 90 odd minutes, which would have been critical had I had a connecting flight, and the flight back was an early morning affair, and generally their Prague-London service is fairly frequent. Neither flight was completely full, with the evening flight home on 22nd being at best half full. The food was fairly bland, although it was piping hot, and was certainly very edible. The hostesses were very pleasant, although one did snap at a couple of drunken businessmen, who had polished off a bottle of vodka whilst we were taxiing onto the runway. She offered them another drink, namely a beer, and it did look as though she may have added something to it, as they crumpled up and lay in a slumber for the remainder of the flight. All of them spoke very good English and German, in addition to Czech. The free newspapers were mainly Czech or American, although I did manage to get a copy of The Guardian. The in-flight magazine was a bilingual affair in Czech and English, and there were some good interesting articles in it, although some information about getting to/from Ruzyne airport would have been welcome. I had no problems with baggage reclaim, and on the return flight from London, where the baggage is handled by Air France, was quite relieved to see that the baggage reclaim is after immigration so you don't have to lug you cases through. Baggage security was a bit more lax than with other carriers, as there was none of the usual "Have you packed this yourself?..." rigamarole, but then again as
long as all baggage is properly checked and scanned, it isn't an issue in any case. I would have no hesitation about travelling CSA again if necessary, and found their service overall a very good one.
I had my first and only experience with Czech Airlines when I flew back from Prague (single trip - student price at around £80) last year. I remember the staff were all quite helpful and professional, that the flight was quite comfortable and on time, but above all, I remembered that pasta dish they served on board. I have never been a fan of airline food, but the pasta that day was simply the best food that I had ever eaten aboard an airplane. It was served hot at just the right temperature and was simply delicious. I haven't had the chance to fly with them since then but if given the chance I would choose them simply for their food!