‚Äú One of Europe¬ís largest low cost airline. UK¬ís leading non-London centric airline. 83% of Flybe¬ís flights are UK domestic compared to 22% easyJet and 7% Ryanair. In November 04, Flybe reported half yearly profits of ¬£14 million. 36 aircraft in Flybe fleet. Flybe are owned by the Walker Trust, as featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 Rich List 2004. ‚Äě
Having to take a short weekend break to Belfast. Ok that sounds wrong. Ok, I will try again. Having planned a short weekend break to Belfast I needed to take a flight there. (That sounds better!) Looking at all available options for the times I needed, I ended up making a booking through Booking.com with Flybe. The price was reasonable so I was quite pleased with it.
There were added extras for things such as picking your seats or hold luggage. However, as I was travelling alone and only for a short period, I had no need to add to the expense.
Having chosen online check in, I was able to book in 36 hours before flying. I was told there was a way to send this to your smartphone as a scanned code but I couldn't find that option and settled for the printing it out myself method. I would have preferred the code sent to the phone and had selected that method via Booking.com but it was beyond my ability to find it in the time I looked. That was slightly disappointing, as I would prefer to do online check-in whilst away and cannot always access a printer. Assuming that I could find out how to do so, I would definitely do that in future.
My experience of the flight itself was pretty decent. I flew from Gatwick and passed through security quickly with the printed out check-in. At the gate it was just as smooth. The plane boarded by allowing the rear most seats on first, which included me. I was greeted with the usual smooth, smiling stewards, who directed me to my seat. The plane I was on had 2 sets of 2 seats and these were leather (or something close to it.) The thing I liked most was that these were relatively wide seats with plenty of leg room. I am not a small person, playing as a forward in the pack at rugby has bulked me up over the years (not to mention the after game drinks...) I was comfortable in these seats and I did not find myself even close to impacting on the space of the other seat, unlike when I flew to the Canaries recently. There was the usual amount of overhead storage, which fitted my bag fine.
The flight itself was absolutely fine. It is a no-frills airline and you must be aware of this when booking. You are not going to be getting any snacks or drinks but that is hardly an issue. They do come round with the refreshment trolley and manage this very well. It serves the usual range of snacks at the usual over priced rates but it wasn't anything more expensive than the food in the airport. As this was a flight due to last a mere 1 hour 30 minutes, this was hardly something that I felt it was necessary to do.
I felt that the staff did their job competently and politely. Despite being in the air for just over an hour, they got around and did their snack run, 2 rubbish runs, the Duty Free run and still had time free to deliver a few personal touches, like helping out parents and taking time to smile at and talk to their small children.
My return flight was just as smooth and I feel that I can recommend them for this kind of short-haul trip. They delivered everything I needed. They got me too my destination and back with no fuss. They were relatively cheap and I felt that the staff did their job to a decent standard. You have to take this as you find it but I was wanting a bargain flight not all the frills added. In flying, as in so many other things, you can get what you pay for. However, would you want to pay much more to go on a short haul flight? I certainly wouldn't and if you are like me, then you may find this the airline for you. It runs on many short-haul routes, some 180 around Europe I believe and so you may find you can get a flight that suits you.
Overall, a good experience for the cost.
I feel it's my civic duty to warn anybody out there who may be considering flying with Flybe NOT TO!
My New Year's resolution is NEVER TO FLY WITH FLYBE AGAIN! I wrote to the CEO explaining how Flybe losing my luggage for 36 hours on the outward leg of a weekend trip to Cheltenham Literature Festival on Oct 5 had completely screwed up my plans and prevented me from attending the festival (on the first weekend I'd had off after working non-stop 7/7 in India and Kenya for a few months). Didn't hear a dickie bird. On the return leg Flybe damaged my baggage. I had to go to the official dealer myself, who of course then sent me elsewhere for the repairs. Three return trips across Paris, all requiring an afternoon off, all at MY expense. Flybe will only cover the cost of the actual repair! UNBELIEVABLE. They are so miserly, they won't even cover the cost of public transport to effect the repair that their shoddy service made necessary. So, to recap, FLYBE completely ruined the weekend, making the actual trip pointless and then they break my baggage and I'm the one who has extra time, trouble and costs putting THEIR mistake right. You'd think they'd make some form of commercial gesture and at least refund the transport costs associated with the repair, wouldn't you? Whoever they've got running PR should be sacked. Why would I ever want to travel with Flybe again? Oh! That's right. I don't! Since October I've travelled to the UK four times, each time with EUROSTAR. I heartily recommend anybody considering traveling between France and UK with Flybe to think again.
Their web site is abysmal and tries at every stage to charge extra for everything. Apart from that, it actually selects the wrong flights (on Safari under OS X) and then you can't get through to their call centre to get it changed. A truly noxious company.
As someone who has been flying regularly on low budget airlines since their inception (Ryanair,Easyjet,Aer Lingus,BMI etc), I have found the systems FLYBE employ are the worst I've came across. Their website seems to have been written by morons ( e.g. their rewards scheme doesn't accept the flight reference numbers and as I write (Boxing day) I can't book a flight for Feb 2011 from my account as the calendar is not updated) and their call centre seem to be permanently on hold. Nor do they reply to email complaints.
For all the failings of Ryanair/Easyjet -your on your own if problems occur- at least they employ efficient websites that can process the elementary tasks such as bookings and ticket changing in a seemless manner . It may be because they are much smaller than their rivals and can't make the sort of investment in the IT systems as their rivals have ,but in any case I would NOT use this airline again if an alternative exists. Their systems simply aren't fit for purpose.
Earlier today I took a short flight on a Flybe flight from Aberdeen to one of the Scottish Islands and was pleasantly surprised for such a short flight.
Booking was easy online and I took advantage of the option to pre-select my seat on the aircraft for only ¬£6. This was worth it as I picked a seat at the front of the aircraft which although next to an emergency exit, seats at the very front had all the legroom as normally is the case.
The flight did depart on schedule and today the aircraft was parked right next to the gate so there wasn't any having to get buses to ends of the airport.
During the flight, it was smooth other than some weather conditions making it a little bumpy and with it being a very small plane; a Sabb 340 this can be expected but is certainly less bumpier than taking the ferry sometimes which also is 12 hours whereas flying today was less than 1 hour.
I was pleasantly surprised that tea, coffee, orange juice and breakfast bars were complimentary. Even for such a short flight of only 50 minutes today, this was certainly good.
The price of the ticket was around ¬£105 including taxes and charges which was quite a good rate. Booking in advance sometimes is advised otherwise the price of flights can be higher unless there are sometimes special offers on which I believe there were the last time I looked at the website.
The flight landed safely on time and the flight crew were very friendly to passengers on the flight today.
I would happily fly with this airline again.
There is also the option to go with Flybe Economy Plus which costs slightly extra but gives you many extras including complimentary servisair lounge, extra baggage allowance and extra snacks/drinks complimentary on board.
Flybe are a large domestic airline operating within the UK, and to some extent, Europe. They connect a lot of smaller UK cities that the more traditional UK airlines fail to.
Being born out of Jersey European, they are now a very viable and realistic alternative for anyone travelling inter-UK, or between the UK and limited destinations in Europe.
But what about the quality of the product?
Online booking is USUALLY easy and efficient. The website has suffered some downtime in the past few months, but this now appears to be fixed. As for the transparency of prices, this is an area where some improvement is needed. The overall fare including taxes and charges is not initially evident, and furthermore, there are a lot of additional charges (such as baggage, seat selection, insurance) which get automatically added on, and which you must opt out of. This is not very user-friendly, and last time I booked, it was actually hard to navigate past the seat selection page without having a seat selected for you, and hence an extra charge. It took a bit of time to figure out how to opt out of that. Online booking therefore needs big improvements and greater transparency.
Check-in at the airport is much better. Most airports have self service counters where you can print your boarding pass and select your seat (FOR FREE). On board luggage allowance is reasonably generous at 10kg for economy.
On board it is quite cramped. Flybe operate a fleet entirely composed of Bombardier Dash 8 Q400's and Embraer E-195's. These are smaller, and less spacious than Aer Lingus, Bmi, Ryanair, Easyjet or BA's which largely operate A320's A319's or 737's for short haul routes. Instead of 3 seats at either side of the aisle, there are 2, and less overhead locker space, as well as less leg room. Bear this in mind if you are taking bulky luggage on board, as you may be retrospectively asked to check it in.
Meal services are no longer free. Food must be purchased. Due to the short haul nature of the flights, there is no in flight entertainment.
Flybe do have a good safety and on time record, although it should be noted that the Dash 8's are propeller and not jet based.
Overall, Flybe is a perfectly acceptable airline, superior in service and general customer service than Ryanair, but still with a lot to learn and improve upon.
Have flown with them three times so far - twice from Birmingham to Paris and the third from Birmingham to Aberdeen.
Birmingham to Paris CDG was problem-free, except for the second time when my wife and I were returning home from a week-long break in the City of Lights. Flybe actually operated the Air France flight, and Air France do the ground services at CDG airport, less said about that the better (long queue, not enough check-in staff) :)
However, Birmingham to Aberdeen has been in the snow this month, and the only problem was that we left about an hour late because there was a snowfall at Birmingham requiring the plane to be de-iced, which put us back to third place in the queue. The captain was able to make up about 15-20 minutes of lost time, so it wasn't as bad as I feared.
Simple check-in process, whether at the airport, or online (but make sure that you have easy access to a working printer to print off your boarding pass if you do an online check-in, or it could cost you 10 pounds at the desk for a reprint), and a nice little Bombardier Dash-8 (aka De Havilland Dash-8 for those of us old enough to remember) to fly in.
My only issues about the Dash-8 are that the seats are a bit small (I'm 6 feet tall) and close together (it's a 78-seater plane), and that it can seem quite noisy if you're seated near the engines as they're turboprops, so run at slower speeds than normal jets, and have the propellers slapped on the front.
Overall, I've had a good experience with them, although I wish they'd drop the charging for drinks and snacks onboard: the airport shops and bars charge enough as it is...
I have used flybe on a number of occasions to fly between Avignon and Southampton and Paris and Birmingham, and so far I have to say I have yet to experience any problems with my flight. I use Flybe when Ryanair's flights have not been on the day I wanted and although Ryanair's pricing has been creeping up Flybe are a little more expensive and if you book in advance you won't get as cheaper flight as if you book with Ryanair in advance.
The main advantage that I find with Flybe is that you get up to 20kgs luggage allowance instead of the usual 15kg with Ryanair. This is great for me because I travel with a backpack so to get over 20kg in it would be a real challenge. Therfore I know when I go that I am not going to be over the weight limit. Another advantage is that you do get allocated a seat. If you book online you can book your seat in advance for a charge but as I travel alone I don't mind where i sit. As a family you might want to book in advance though. It certainly relieves you of the cattle market rush that you can get on budget airlines where seats are not allocated.
One of the downsides is that the overhead cabin storage space is tiny! You would not be able to fit the maximum hand luggage size bag in there. It is most good for laptops and bags but anything else and you are stuck with it by your feet for the whole flight.
The seats on the aircraft are quite comfortable and I find it easy to fall asleep in them. During the flight they have the usual sell like most airlines but no one disturbed me the whole flight and the cabin crew were very pleasant and weren't huffy or seemingly overworked.
I did have to check-in at the machines from Southampton but they were easy to operate although the passport swipe wasn't working. I did get a sinking feeling when I saw them as I am not a fan of relying on computers but it was really quick and easy. So quick and easy that I took 5 minutes to check in and then I was hanging around. Next time I will arrive later! Then I had to proceed to drop of my baggage, which was equally as straight forward and simply produced my ticket and passport and my bag was off on its way. There were no queues either so that was a nice surprise.
If you prefer life easier than this Flybe also operate an Economy Plus programme, which allows you 30kg of luggage and also you can take a laptop on in addition to your hand luggage. This would really benefit any business travellers. Also your ticket is interchangeable so you can change it at the last minute with no charge.
Overall I like Flybe, OK a little more expensive but so much less hassle than Ryanair where you are fighting your way to the plane. If they did my regular route for a cheaper price I certainly would use them more often.
I flew with Flybe from Exeter to Amsterdam in February 2008.
I flew with my brother, for a short break back to The Netherlands. The flight itself was delayed by about an hour and a half. Although this was annoying, because we had an onward train to catch, the airline staff did a very good job at keeping us informed. They told us where to go and when etc...
The flight eventually took off, and we arrived in Amsterdam a couple of hours later, just in time to catch the last train to where we needed to go.
The flight was lovely and smooth, in a small twin propeller aircraft, and the staff were really professional, and attended to everyones needs efficiently. They took all requests seriously, (even really weird ones! Haha!)
The airline is a great boost to the region, because before they arrived, we had to go to London to catch many flights everywhere. They also generally have reasonable prices, but you need to book well in advance to get hold of these.
Overall, they are a great little airline, and are really professional.
We recently used Flybe for a trip to Northern Ireland, flew return from Manchester for around ¬£35 (this was booked a fair few months in advance hence the cheap price!). The booking process was smooth, however about a month later we had an email to say our flight home was cancelled and we had to take another one, which was a bit inconvenient but we did have months notice.
The checking in process is easy, you just type your confirmation into the machines at the airport, so no need to worry about printing off barcodes or anything, everything prints for you in the airport. You can even change seats to sit with your mates or grab a window seat, which we wern't expecting!
The plane itself is basic, but they flew on time and we had no problems with staff. Just what you would expect for a budget flight, no frills, can't complain for the cheap price. We had a slight bit of turbulance on the first flight, and people started screaming, which was hilarious, and a bit more on the way back, but I love turbulance!!
Other than the change in flight time, no problems with this airline!
I have flown on flybe a few times recently, because I have been going round cities looking at universities- I most recently flew down to Gatwick from Newcastle. My experience with flybe has been extremely positive I must say.
The planes that I took were never late, even the late on ones which are notoriously late (due to 15 minute shuffles run by budget airlines). From handing tickets in to be checked at the gate to getting off the plane, all of the staff were very nice and made flying all the more pleasurable.
There are two things I found particularly good about flying with flybe. Firstly the planes I flew on were small propeller panes. Although this does mean that they are nosier, in the case of the planes I flew on it meant that there were only two sets on either side of the plane. In my case I would imagine in most cases this meant that I did not have to worry about speaking to someone I did not know sitting next to me, which all though this can be nice is not something that I would chose.
The second good thing is the price which is fantastic. I paid just over ¬£30 return to Bristol from Newcastle including tax which is fantastic. Their prices aren't always as good but they do tend to be pretty decent. I would highly recommend flying with this company.
I flew with Flybe.com on Xmas Eve 2007 and was massively disappointed with the airline and the service received.
When I arrived at Glasgow airport I looked at the departures board and noticed that my flights to Birmingham were showing but that they were flicking between destinations under the same flight number and showing as Norwich then Birmingham so I walked upto the desk (it was not advising to check in so went to the information desk of the airline) only to be told to wait for further information which I found quite poor as it was obvious something was happening due to the information showing so I went to the check in desk to ask and was advised that due to the fact they had cancelled the Norwich flight of the previous day my flight to Birmingham was going to be going via Norwich and that this would add delays so I pointed out that I had registered an e-mail and mobile number when booking as the website clearly said to register information as they would keep me upto date with any changes, information or updates but this had not been done only to be told that they don't contact in all instances and even registering for this on the site would not guarantee anything. This was not looking good but I thought I would wait and see what they managed to do with the situation as it was obvious complaining would do nothing and was very annoyed to find that the Norwich customers got better treatment due to their delay and those who were actually booked for the Birmingham flight were left to suffer delays and poor service. The flight diverted to Norwich causing delays to my flight to Birmingham (which made no sense as Norwich was further away and to carry out the schedule flight first would have been better for customers but as they wanted the plane in Birmingham over night they did not take into account the customers) and we had to sit and wait as the Norwich passengers disembarked and a recounting of passenger numbers was carried out taking over 20 minutes before the plane even started to prepare for the onwards journey. The airline did offer free drinks but did not actually tell you this as they offered you a drinks service and then following this advised they hoped the free drinks they had just served would help to soothe the annoyance of the delays. When we arrived at Birmingham we had to wait as the steps on the plane would not come down and the plane was so old that the steps had to be specially requested causing us to be waiting for over 45 minutes after parking before being allowed to disembark the flight with no appologies offered. I contact Flybe and was told that it was outwith their control and they hoped I would fly with them again but obviously following the disgraceful service I would never fly with this airline ever again.
I have flown flybe a number of times and have found them to be reasonable.The staff are friendly and check in was very quick and efficient.One of the planes I flew on was a BAe 146. The plane itself looked quite well and modern.The seats were set up with three seats each side of the row and had a cheaper leathery feel to them.They were also wider than the seats on ryanair/easyjet with more leg room but them the cost of the flight was slightly more than I would expect to pay with a budget carrier.The smell from the engines during start up was very overpowering and the strong smell of kerosene at one stage had me worried that something might be wrong.However the flight took of on time and was nice an smooth.The smell either dissapiated or I became used to it.We landed slighlty ahead of schedule so overall was happy with the service and they didnt loose my bag.
I had one experience where i booked a flight with flybe in advance.My circumstances changed and i couldnt take the flight.I contacted flybe but they were not very helpful and would not let me have a refund or change the booking to another date.They said i could cancel but then sure whats the point if your not getting your money back.
Flybe airlines are unacceptable. I have flown with them earlier this time from manchester to paris. one way the luggage was delayed 48h, which left me very stressed, cause i was going there for my weddingand had my wedding dress in it! but finally we received it, so ok.worst thing happened on the way bag, our luggage was totally lost! they told us it probably stayed in paris, and will be sent to me in 24h time. unfortunetly it never arrived... 5 months now. happily i was insured... i lost all of my wedding presents....i received 1500 puonds from insurance and ..... 200 pound voucher from flybe! not even an apology! radiculous! not wort it....
FLYBE AIRLINE-No Frills
I needed to get to Newcastle very quickly so I decided to fly up there. The only airline that flew from London Gatwick to Newcastle was Flybe Airline. This is a no frills airline and as it only took me one hour to fly up so I did not mind that it was a little basic. The seats were fairly comfortable and the only thing I would say was the leg room was a little limited.
The staff were very friendly and helpful and was always willing to please and to make your journey as enjoyable as possible even though this was a very short flight.
It was my first time using the airline and I would certainly use them again for Domestic flights.
The only thing I would grumble about was using the website I did not find this particularly at first user friendly but I got there in the end with my booking.
The cost was reasonable and I did get a good choice of flights and prices.
Flybe flies 167 routes and to twelve countries and they fly from twentyfour different airports mostly regional ones.They fly to thirty European different countries and it is the largest no frills airline in Europe.
They are well known particularly as an domestic airline . and a majority of their routes are domestic. It is the only airline which offers a business service which have different perks particularly if you use them on a regular basis. Also they offer a loyalty card for anyone which you gather points which you can then put to further flights or services which the airline might offer.
The company owns 77 aircraft. So it is quite a sizable company and appears that it is do well.