I've travelled with them earlier this year in early March to go to a conference in Prague and I must admit that I've never heard of them.However,since this was a late booking I didn't seem to have a choice,I went... The flight was just before midnight from Manchester Airport and the plane wasn't full, something that I suppose that helped them to be very polite, pleasant and quick. As an overall judgement I must say that I've travelled with better carriers.But Sabre were not bad either. The food quality was good (and not at all overcooked), the in-flight entertainment was carefully selected (I have an objection about their pop-music channel but hey-tastes differ from person to person) and the staff was polite and ready to help: Just before entering the plane I found out that I was travelling with a friend and they were very responsive to my request to change seat after departure, sothat I could sit next to my old friend. Additionally, we didn't face a major delay, which is important when you want to be somewhere on a certain time.The return journey also didn't have any unpleasant surprises, since we departed and landed as scheduled. My opinion comes from a round trip to a place not very far from England however I think that if you find that their fare is low-why don't you try them?
Looking through the other opinions for this airline, and how bad most of them are, I think that it is only fair to let everyone know that Sabre has changed its name to 'Excel Airways', and all aircraft seem now to be operating under this livery. The change occured on May 1st 2001, and seemed to be due to the bad press and reputation that it has amassed as Sabre. They are part of the Libra group of companies, who are responsible for the tour operators 'Priceright', 'Libra' and 'Goldenjoy'. The majority of seat allocations on most of their flights go to these companies, but they are also used by other operators including Kosmar, Goldensun, JMC, Airtours, Olympic/Odyssey, Intersky, Airglobe and others. Many people will be pleased to know that they have phased out the Boeing 727 aircraft,which previously were the workhorse of their fleet (for anyone who is not familiar with this type of aircraft, these were the ones where you sometimes boarded through the back fuselage of the aircraft) in favour of the more modern Boeing 737 - 800 series mainly, and most of their aircraft are quite new from the production line. They were also in talks to charter a Boeing 767 aircraft from a major operator, enabling them to operate inter-continental flights (hence assisting their sister companies Florida operation, currently operated by Britannia and Monarch among others), this would be a brand new market for them. From personal experience, I had never flewn with Sabre as they were, but have recently travelled with Excel, and can tell you that they seem to have recovered from their previous reputation, the leg room is good, there seems to be a plentiful supply of blankets and pillows (which on my return flight from Heraklion were on my seat waiting for me), and the food seems to have mooved on from a simple salad to a roast diner. I hope people will give them a second chance, and put behind them the previous Sabre, because yo
u would never know that they were once the same airline.
Sabre 'airlines' must be the worst airline company going, and there I could seriously leave this opinion. However, I have to produce at least 75 words, so I guess I better carry on writing. Last year, we went to Cyprus, and we obviously flew by Sabre. The four of us had eagerly anticipated the holiday, and when we booked we didn't ask the travel agent the airline we would be travelling on. Big mistake. We were looking forward to the holiday, so the airline didn't seem important at the time. So, after a couple of weeks waiting for the day of our flight to come, it finally came, and we arrived at the airport really looking forward to the next two weeks. After all the usual rituals, checking in, waiting around and getting impatient, boarding time came, and so the four of us made our way toward the plane. We boarded through a tunnel, and couldn't see the plane before we were inside it. We walked over the threshold, and were greeted by, well nobody! That's right, how many times have you boarded a plane and someone has greeted you and/or shown you to your seats? Pretty much always I would think! After finally finding our seats, I struggled to find an available overhead compartment to put my hand luggage in, receiving no help from any staff. My bag ended up half way down the plane, brilliant I thought. Take off, to be fair to Sabre was OK, pretty smooth and my ears didn't 'pop' as they sometimes do, so I was pleased about that. And they did get my bag when I asked for it at the second attempt. During the flight, we were served a pretty naff meal of salad with cheese and a cracker. With it the choice of drink was tea, coffee or fruit juice. Nothing special at all, and I'm not a fan of salad so didn't enjoy it one bit. I was looking forward to that meal too. In the air, I was the more uncomfortable than I have ever experienced, and I'm about 5"10! I had basically
no room to move, and walking down the aisle I managed to knock just about every person on the end seats as it was so narrow. The seats were very cramped, and I would advise anyone afraid of deep vein thrombosis to take that asprin! No legroom, and the seats didn't tilt back much at all, so I knew I had no chance of any sleep. I couldn't wait to land! In flight entertainment wasn't too bad, the plane had a screen every 4 or 5 rows with 'The Whole Nine Yards' and 'The Simpsons' showing, however you had to buy some cheap and nasty earphones, which set me back about £4! I later discovered that I could use my minidisc earphones, so I was pretty naffed off... The music wasn't brilliant either, but wasn't terrible. We finally landed, after five hours of torture. I was so relieved! The holiday was a great experience, and we are returning to Paphos in a few weeks as we enjoyed it so much. However, in the back of my mind was the thought of Sabre airways taking us home.... The return journey wasn't good, with a similar situation as the departure journey. No in flight entertainment this time round, although it was 12:30 in the morning. Then, after about an hour, I received the biggest shock of the whole trip. The crew were coming round in their nasty uniform, with bangers and mash! This was almost 2:00 in the morning and I couldn't believe it. (Still ate the food though ;o) The return journey was also freezing cold, my feet were like ice whilst we in the air, and I couldn't get comfortable at all, and I couldn't sleep at all. We finally landed, and I vowed never to fly with Sabre again, unless I was condemned to Hell. I really would NOT recommend Sabre, please think twice before you fly.
Only recently I have ahd my first experience of Sabre, and if at all possible it will be my last. Just over a month ago my mum and I flew from Manchester to Larnaca with this airline. The wheelchair assistance took us over to the plane and raised the lift for the wheelchair users (and helpers) to get on. They had been notified that the plane was ready to board. We left left waiting for 5 minutes while they got themselves oragnsied. Eventually we got onto the plane only to encounter the foot passengers getting on at the opposite side! Of course they had to wait for those in row 2 to take their seats. The air hostesses (in what must be one of the worst unifoms going)were trying to get the wheelchair users into the window seats until it was pointed out that they had been allocated the aisles just in case they needed to use the toilet facilities. Eventually we set off 40 minutes late due to the inefficient cabin crew ensuring that we missed our slot. The usual charter flight hard sell then followed "Buy our headphones", "Buy our drinks". Lunch was served in the middle of the film and was the worst food that I have ever tasted - main course resembling tinned dog meat!. My mum ate nothing and I made half a meal from our two meals (this is the person who usually eats everything it sight!) This was followed by a choice of dishwater or liquid tar to round off your meal. A lover of Greek coffee such as myself were the only ones able to stomach the tar! Of course the trolley then came round with duty frees so that they could try to rip you off even further. Prices are no longer the duty free prices of old. Finally we landed in Larnaca and had the same to look forward to on the return.
I flew with Sabre to Corfu from Gatwick a couple of weeks ago. For a package holiday airline I thought Sabre was okay. Flight only slightly delayed from Gatwick and arrived late at Corfu due to congestion (so nothing new there). However, one thing that did impress me was the friendliness of the outward flight crew. Obviously, aware that some people are apprehensive about landings the First Officer explained that the landing at Corfu would be abrupt (there is a short runway) so that the passengers were made aware of this. The food was average for this type of airline - at least there was a hot breakfast on the way out. On the way back again the flight was delayed for 20-30mins (1. because a group of 30 morons had somehow missed the flight call and 2 due to the congestion above the airport) but it was pretty uneventful once airborne. The in flight entertainment was okay - Chicken Run on the way back and most of the radio channels operative with a good mixture to appeal to all age groups. The only gripe I had was the hideous outfits that the stewardesses had to wear. At 5.00am, quite frankly, the sight of blouses that seem to have been covered in the vomit of the past 2 weeks worth of passengers was not what I wanted to see! Sort this out Sabre!!
When choosing a last minute holiday, your choice of flight is pretty much made for you. I found myself a passenger of Sabre Airlines, on my way to the Greek island of Rhodes, in July this year. On arrival at the airport (4.15am check in) we found that the flight was delayed by two hours - (why don't they show delays on teletext?). When the flight was called, we were herded (literally), to the boarding gate where we had to wait for another half an hour. Once on the courtesy bus to go to the aircraft, I thought we were finally on our way - wrong! We were delayed on the tarmac by another plane with engine difficulties (not Sabre's fault obviously). The bus halted at the foot of the steps and the air-hostesses were in an incredible hurry to seat us - they needn't have worried as there were still two more busses to come - they then counted us and recounted us several times. By the time we were ready to take off, the 'plane was so late that the pilot had lost the take off slot and we had to wait another 20mins for another one! The pilot apologised and explained that the first delay was due to the original pilot being ill and them only having one other person to step in for him - hardly inspiring confidence in the company! The rest of the flight passed fairly uneventfully (apart from an appalling film, which had to be broadcast to the whole plane because of sound difficulties on the video player) and we arrived in Rhodes at 4.30pm local time (2.30pm UK). So the total delay time was 3 hours for a 4-hour flight! The real comedy was the over-made-up hostesses rushing to put on their hideous uniform jackets (red) and black gloves, to escort us from the 'plane in 32°c of heat! Our return journey with another carrier was far less eventful and we actually arrived back in the country 1½ hours early due to us being able to take the take-off slot of another delayed aircraft?. You guessed it the returning Sabre flight! Given
the choice - go Virgin!
It's always a worry when you fly with some airline that you've never heard of before.... ...I'm not a good flyer at the best of times so I was a trifle worried about flying to Greece with Sabre. I flew from Manchester and my butterflies were eased a little when I saw the plane at the gate, it looked like a relatively new 767. (either that or it had just had a coat of paint!) However the butterflies returned when the flight got delayed due to 'technical problems'....four hours later the flight took off.... The outbound flight was OK, small LCD sreens popped down from the roof for everyone one to "enjoy" the in flight movie, Patch Adams!. The food was just about OK, nothing spectacular, but then in never is. The air stewardess were pleasant and helpful, but clothed in the most awful uniform I have ever seen...I wonder if it was designed by Lawrence Llwellyn Bowen..? The return flight wasn't fun. I'm veggie and they had no veggie meals on board (despite the fact that I'd ordered one), they had apparently given them all out on the outbound flight and didn't restock for the inbound flight. In flight entertainment...constisted of a loud Liverpudlian man on the row in front who insisted on videoing the flight, and providing his viewers with a most humerous and informative commentary ! (hah!) No Film. Not even any musak or classic claming music to listen to.... Very Poor indeed - get your act together Sabre...see how Airtours do it!