I flew with Thomas Cook airlines in February 2010 when I travelled to Hurghada in Egypt.
We booked our holiday as a package so we did not specifically book this airline; it just came as part of the package.
Our paperwork told us that we would be able to check in with Thomas Cook 3 hours before our departure. You can also check in online although we chose not to do this. We arrived at the airport 4 hours before we were due to fly and we really pleased to find that the check in desk was already open. I found this quite useful as it allowed us to check it our heavy luggage and then we were able to enjoy something to eat and drink and have a quick browse around the shops. As we had arrived at the airport so early, needless to say, there wasn't a queue. In fact we were the 10th and 11th person to check in for our flight!
We were travelling economy class and were allowed 15k of luggage. The check in lady obviously checked our passports and tickets and went through the usual security questions. She also asked us if we were aware of the restrictions on hand luggage and that we would not be allowed certain items. Check in was quick and professional.
We were called to board our flight a few minutes early which is always welcome. Boarding was organised by seat number and we were in the first lot of people to be called. As we boarded the plane, we were greeted by a member of staff who asked to see our boarding pass, she then directed us to our seat. Even though we were the first group of people to board, the whole boarding process didn't seem to take very long at all.
My first impression on getting seated in the plane was how little room we had. I would like to point out that I usually fly long haul and fly with the slightly 'posher' airlines such as Malaysia Airlines and these airlines tend to have things such as extra leg room as standard. So to me, this plane seemed very basic and very small. I am only 5 ft 4 and my legs already touched the seat in front of me when I sat down so I felt awfully sorry for anyone taller than me. The plane was set out in two rows of three with a middle aisle. Personally I wasn't really that keen on the layout of the plane as the majority of people travel in two's of families of four so I feel that setting the rows out in three's just separates people. Having said all that, the plane was nice and clean.
Our flight was only 5 hours so we had one film showing and then a selection of half hours programs such as Gavin and Stacey. The TV's were set at various points within the plane and the idea is you watch the one nearest to you. Headsets were either £2.75 each or you could get two headsets for £5. Luckily I remembered to pack some headphones that I had bought on a previous flight so I didn't need to by any.
Food and Drink
I am a vegetarian and often have lots of trouble trying to get a veggie meal on flights. Even though I order it there is usually some confusion when I tell them I have a meal and more often than not it has not been ordered and I end up with nothing. When they brought the food round, I was given a normal non veggie meal and I explained to the woman that I had a veggie meal ordered and she informed me that they had no record of it, but they did however bring some spares with them so it wouldn't be a problem me having one. Obviously I was very appreciative of this as I had paid for my in flight meal. My meal on both the outbound and inbound flight was absolutely delicious and I am not normally a fan of plane food but Thomas Cook airlines definitely get a thumbs up from me for their food.
The staff brought round a drinks trolley twice during the flight but I didn't opt to have any drinks as I thought they were too expensive at £1.50 for a cup of tea and £2 for a hot chocolate.
The staff were exceptionally helpful and always had a big smile on their face. They were all dressed very smart and were well presented with perfectly neat hair and make up. I always think it helps a plane journey to be more pleasant when they staff are nice and I felt that the staff on both my flights with Thomas Cook were both professional and friendly.
All in all, my experience with Thomas Cook airlines was a fairly positive one. I really didn't appreciate the fact that the plane was so small, neither did I particularly like the layout of the plane. Having said that, I felt that the staff were very friendly, the flights all left on time and Thomas Cook seemed fairly well organised in the whole process or boarding / unboarding. I was also impressed that the staff had thought to bring on extra veggie meals as quite often I have had to go without with other airlines. The food was delicious too so I felt it was well worth booking the in flight meals.
Average wait times to call center 15/20 minutes plus. Had to try three times over two days to get through. They are clearly using poor customer service to make money on a premium rate number. Charged £40 for correcting minor typo in name. Seats/service very poor for the price. Left my mum abandoned at destination with no assistance which had been arranged. Don't use this airline if you possibly can.
If you want next to no hand luggage allowance, cramped seating,uncomfy seats,no custommer satisfaction,no customer service,no entertainment,This is the airline for you,The price could be good if you can get around Thomas Cooks attemtps to try every trick it the book to charge you extra for everything possible.Then when you have parted with your money and they send you the tickets you still may end up paying extra,Its no suprise they are having problems selling ther services?
Recently I booked a simple 6 day stay at a car park near Newcastle Airport. this should be a simple thing and not something to write a negative review about. I paid 37.99 for the pre booking, this included 0.50 "insurance" in case I would need to cancel the booking. Just a little less then 24 hours before my depature I learned that I would not get the necessary VISA for my trip and I tried to cancel. But this was not possible since the clever website had set it self to a 6:00 arrival for my booking even though I only needed the booking from 13:00 onwards. I contacted the "customer service" to ask them If the could refund me (why did I pay 0.50 extra again?) But they said it would be to late now...
... I know all of this nonsense is written in the small print, but If you don´t even want to help me with 37.99 WHY would I ever book with you something much bigger "Mr. Thomas Cook" ;-)
Thomas Cook Essentials is part of the Thomas Cook Group plc
I can not recommend booking via essentialtravel.co.uk it was a bad experience.
Just got back from a week in Ibiza with my hubby and my 10yr old grandaughter. We booked an Airtours holiday at a Thomas Cook shop. Luckily for us the hotel we stayed in was lovely, but the flights, oh dear what a shambles. Firstly I am disabled but I can walk short distances with sticks, so I need help on boarding and disembarking the plane. This was done very well on both sides of the airport on our holiday, although there was a hic-up at check in on the spanish side due to a computer breaking down so I had to stand longer than I ought to have done. But my main gripe with this firm is they dont give you enough legroom, I had really bad knees by the time I came to have to stand upright once again, if you dont buy yourselves extra legroom, they would rather leave those seats empty as they did on our flight back home, if you dont buy them, they then pack you in like sardines (I,m not kidding you folks). My 2nd gripe is down to the useless rep who was meeting us on the Ibiza side. Firstly she did,nt have an introductary letter for us explaining what was what, So we thought we would be able to ask her things in the hotel. (Not a chance). We never saw her again until the transfer coach came to pick us up at the end of our holiday. Then once at the airport she told us to stay on the coach while she found out which checkin desks we were to use. Which yes, she managed that ok. Once again though she let us down by not getting me the help I needed, we had it all to do ourselves yet again. So Thomas Cook seeing as we more or less had to do everything ourselves, we will be going back next year, to the same hotel, but through a different firm. All I can now say is its no wonder you are having trouble if this is how you treat your customers. From A VERY UNHAPPY CUSTOMER
Me and my partner recently went on a skiing holiday with Neilson (the ski package company of Thomas Cook). Although the actual holiday was fine the flights were absolutely terrible. The outbound flight was delayed by 3 hours and the return flight was delayed by 13 HOURS. During this time in spent in the airport the 250 passengers were given a single bottle of water and what can only be described as uneatable mush. We therefore spent an additional £55 of our own money on meals in the airport.
TC made no effort to ensure that the flight delay was minimised (the flight duration was only 1.5 hours, so another plane could have potentially have been despatched 11.5 hours prior to when we finally took off). When we finally arrived back in the middle of the night, TC would not help any passengers who had missed their train get home, so we spent an additional £70 on a taxi home.
After writing to TC on 3 occasions (and each time waiting over 3 weeks for what can be described as 'template' reply) they offered a mere apology and 'Hoped we would consider flying with them again soon'.
I discourage anyone from flying with TC or any TC brands, as the service you are likely to receive will probably be terrible!!!
What an absolute shambles - absolutely appalling that the API section and all other sectors down to not allow one to book their seats - totally frustrating and gob smacking that Thomas Cook announce that this problem will take 3 weeks to resolve - one extremely discontented and fed up one time, not to be again customer
I will never fly with thomas cook again, and i havnt even gone yet. i payed for reserve your seat but when i tried to do this it wouldnt let me unless i payed again, when i tried to get in touch with the airline i just got given six different numbers on six separate phone calls, all of which led to the exact same menue each time costing ME.i never got through to talk to anyone and the last time i tried i got connected only to get cut off straight away.thomas cook you have terrible customer service. i am not only out of pocket i will also have quite a hefty amount added to this next phone bill, i will pass on my experience to anyone i know wanting to make a booking, this may help them to make an informed decision of who to book with.
In June 2011 we booked a holiday to Turkey with broadway travel and on the 1st of august i flew to Dalaman with Thomas cook airlines. The flights were decided by the travel company but after finding out i was flying with Thomas cook i did my own research and found that actually TC was the cheapest by far! I was pleased to learn we were flying with them as we hadn't before.
When we arrived at Gatwick, the thomas cook section was well organised and there was no massive queue as with some airlines, just a few people. The lad at the check in desk was very nice and told us all the important info we needed to know. In my opinion the ground staff of an airline are just as important as the people in the air with you so this was a good first impression. After some shopping we boarded the flight, we were flying in a plane with seats in the pattern of 3-3-3 so a large aircraft, and i was surprised to see we had in flight entertainment for a reasonably short flight. The aircraft was quite clean and the seats were not bad, they were comfortable and had average leg room, nothing amazing but enough for the 4 hour flight. However if your flight is longer it may not be adequate.
We didn't book in flight meals so i can't comment on that but the menu of food and drink available was quite sizeable and the prices weren't too bad, a bit overpriced but there is no other choice so they can get away with it! The duty free selection was impressive with a wide range of alcohol, cigarettes , perfume , beauty and many other products for sale at reduced prices. I purchased some perfume that was originally £50, for £30.
The journey back was very much the same, nothing went wrong and everyone was friendly so not much to say there :)
Overall, the flights were cheap, the staff were helpful on the uk side and the products available to purchase were good. My only complaint is that we were delayed on the way back by about an hour so nothing terrible but the staff in Turkey seemed a bit uninterested and didn't give info as to why we were delayed. They also seemed to do things quite slowly at Dalaman airport and the ground staff at Gatwick were just a bit more keen to help and nice.
Flew to Paphos, Cyprus from Bristol on 9th October. What an excellent flight. Left on time from Bristol. No entertainment on flight, as Thomas Cook no longer have entertainment on short haul flights, hence the 1* rating.We had booked a bundle of pre-chosen seats and meals, as it worked out cheaper. Was a morning flight, so the meal was breakfast. The hot meal consisted of bacon, sausage, beans and scrambled egg. There was also another sort of 'bag' that had a blueberry muffin, orange juice and cutlery, serviettes and salt and pepper in, as well milk and sugar for either tea or coffee. I hate airline meals, even the thought of them makes me feel rather ill, but I have to say it was delicious, and the first airline meal I have ever eaten! The cabin crew were brilliant. Lovely, happy people who were pleased to help you in anyway they could. They obviously love their jobs! On landing we were told that it was the pilots last flight after 47 years of flying, and his wife was on-board and everyone on the plane gave him a round of applause. Landed on time at Paphos, and a great flight.
Return flight was on 23rd October. Checked in at and went through security and customs, only to hear a last call for all passengers! Dashed to the gate (Paphos is a very small airport and it took literally 30 seconds to get to the gate) and got the bus to the plane. All the cabin crew welcomed us aboard and we took our seats, only to find we were about the fifth group of people on the plane! Obviously this was not TC's fault, and we later discovered that the plane from Bristol had landed early, and had an earlier take off slot. Took off early, and again we had pre booked meals and seats. This time it lunch. We had sausage and mash with peas and carrots, followed by cheese and biscuits and apple crumble, and of course a choice of tea or coffee. Again, delicious, and I ate it all! Crew, again were happy and attentive, especially since we one of them saying later on in the flight she had been up since 3.30am that morning, and it was now 4pm! No entertainment as on the outbound flight, but this didn't matter as most people have a book and some kind of entertainment with them anyway. We had a 4h 30 flight time, rather than the usual case of being a longer flight because of wind etc. Arrived at a very windy Bristol 20 minutes early.
Overall 2 great flights, great cabin crew and amazing service! Will use again.
Thomas Cook Airlines.
I flew with Thomas Cook Airlines in the Autumn of 2010 on a flight to Fuerteventura. I was going on an all inclusive holiday with my friend, for me it was very last minute as the person she was supposed to go with let her down at the last minute, due to this I cannot comment on the booking process, but I believe she booked it all online, the holiday was with First Choice and Thomas Cook was the flight part only.
*** Check in and Delays ***
Our flight was from Birmingham airport so nice and local for us. When we arrived at the airport we had a look on the departures board to see what check in desks we needed to use. Upon arriving at the check in desk we were greeted by a lovely long queue, however we were a little early and check in hadn't actually opened at this time. As soon as check in opened the queue moved at a reasonable pace and we were only waiting around 15 minutes until it was our turn at the desk. As we got closer to the desk it was clear to see we were at the correct one. The monitors behind the desks clearly displayed our flight information and destination.
When it was our turn the lady behind the desk called us forward and we handed her our tickets and passports, she politely asked us to place our cases on the weighing part of the conveyor and asked the usual check in questions: Did you pack your bags yourself? Has anyone asked you to carry anything for them? and Could anyone have tampered with your bags? Of course we answered correctly and then she checked the weight of our cases. The usual weight allowed is up to 15kg, however my friend had paid extra to be allowed 20kg. Both of our cases were within the limit, mine easily and my friends narrowly, however the check in lady did advise us that if our cases came to under 40kg in total then it was alright for one to be slightly over weight. Baggage labels were then attached to both of our cases and off they went on the conveyor to meet us in Fuerteventura. We were then handed our documents back along with our boarding cards and told to have a pleasant journey.
We then proceeded to do the usual airport things, shop, eat, play in the arcades and keep an eye on the departures board. By the time we had gone through security the departures board was informing us that our flight was delayed by 45 minutes.
*** Boarding the Plane ***
As our original departure time was approaching it started to flash on the departure board to proceed to the departure gate. I felt a little excited at this thinking we might be leaving on time after all. However my excitement was short lived when we arrived at the gate but there was no boarding gate staff present. After a further 5 minutes 4 members of staff appeared and went through the departure gate doors, minutes later they called for any wheelchair passengers and passengers with pre-booked assistance to make their way to the front of the queue to be boarded first, once these passengers were though the gate staff started checking everyone else's boarding cards and passports and moving us through the gate and along the tunnel to board the plane. Inside the doorway of the plane were a couple of cabin crew checking boarding cards again and telling us how far down the plane we needed to walk to be at our allocated seat.
Once everyone was seated and the cabin crew did their final checks of seat belts and overhead luggage compartments the safety demonstration began as the plane taxied towards the runway. The safety demonstration was well presented and clear to understand and their is also a safety card seat back pocket in front of you in case there was anything you were unsure of.
Also in the seat back you will find a magazine and just in case you might need it... a sick bag.
*** Comfort ***
The seats themselves I noticed straight away were small and felt rather cramped, there was only the 2 of us sitting in our row of 3 so we sat with a seat between us to give us a bit more room and once we had taken off we lifted the arm rests to make them a bit wider too, I'm very grateful there weren't three of us in the row. The seats were actually quite comfortable to sit on, however the leg room was minimal, I am only 5ft 1in and I found it difficult to find a comfortable position to sit in where my legs didn't feel cramped. When the tray table was down space was down to a minimum so I felt better to fold the tray table up and read my magazine holding it instead.
*** In Flight ***
After take off the in flight service was good. The cabin crew did the usual move through the cabin offering items for sale including duty free gifts, snacks and drinks. There was a nice variety of goods available, but as usual I found the prices to be a little expensive. However this didn't stop me from purchasing the most expensive dog toy I have ever bought for my little Izzie. I bought her a squeaky plane on a rope tug toy at a price of £10... Izzie's appreciation of this £10 toy? Not interested at all, she prefers the 2 Euro cuddly parrot toy instead!
During the flight meals were served to those passengers who had booked for a meal when they booked their holiday, we hadn't done this though. The food smelt lovely wafting through the cabin as I was sitting munching on a chocolate bar and a packet of crisps that I'd bought in the airport!
In flight entertainment was non existent unless you are willing to pay a hire charge of £9.99 for a Sony PSP to watch in flight movies on or play games on it. I found this idea to be ridiculous especially when some people are travelling as a family and there would be no chance of getting children to share one PSP and watch the same thing, therefore either having to hire multiple consoles or have bored children! In my opinion they should be using the TV's that drop down and then if they have to make money somewhere then go back to selling earphones like most airlines who offer in flight entertainment do.
The take off and landing of the flight were both smooth and hassle free, on our return flight there was a rather loud bang which we had no idea what it was, but we landed safely and nothing was mentioned. Upon landing the cabin crew make another announcement to welcome you to your destination and thank you for choosing Thomas Cook airlines.
*** Disembarkation ***
Disembarking the plane was what I am coming to accept as the standard procedure, everyone was stood up as soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off and the isle was blocked with people removing baggage from overhead compartments. Once the doors were opened though the isle soon cleared and we could leave the plane.
*** Home Time ***
Our return flight was pretty much the same once we had actually taken off, however before we had taken off we boarded the plane as usual only to be told that just as we were about to start moving towards the runway a piece of radar equipment in the control tower had stopped working and under Spanish law no aircraft can take off or land with out this equipment. I appreciate that this is not the fault of Thomas Cook Airlines, but we were now stuck on a stationary aircraft. Overall we were sat on the plane for almost 3 and a half hours before the equipment was up and working again. During this time the pilot of the plane made regular announcements to keep us updated and apologise for the situation. He did his best to keep the air-conditioning on as much as possible as it was rather warm, I think he only turned it off when the plane was being refuelled as they had to refuel to allow for the air-conditioning running and also because of the air traffic control strikes taking place in France when we did take off we were going to have to divert around French air space. While we were waiting the cabin crew served us with complimentary cups of water and they offered us the chance to purchase non alcoholic drinks... yes thank you I will stick with the water!
*** In Conclusion... ***
Overall I don't think I would recommend Thomas Cook Airlines. While I found the cabin crew to be polite and efficient I felt that some of them lacked enthusiasm with regards to pride in their appearance and representing their airline. One male member of crew in particular was unshaven and wearing creased clothes, so I just feel they could have made a little more effort. We travelled with hold baggage and encountered no problems. Our luggage was not damaged or lost and all of the contents were present and in one piece. Finally... if you are tall or have long legs then Thomas Cook Airlines simply isn't the one for you.
Thanks for reading :)
I recently flew on a chartered Thomas Cook flight having booked a package holiday with Manos, who are part of the Thomas Cook group. This was the first ocassion that I had flewn with them and I was left a little disappointed.
We arrived very early at the airport due to the transfer times we had from our hotel that morning and check-in from Glasgow was very quick and easy. The check-in staff were friendly and supplied us with all the information required. On our flight home there was a number of check-in desks opened, however, the check-in process was slow and was a far cry from the experience in Glasgow. Whether this is down to Thomas Cook or not, I suppose that is debatable.
You have a 15kg baggage allowance as standard, but can pay to check-in 20kg. There is also a hand baggage allowance of 5kg per passenger. We were a little over with one of our checked-in bags and this wasn't a problem and we weren't charged which certainly wouldn't have been the case with one of the likes of easyJet or Ryanair.
~Aircraft and In Flight Service~
Our flight was approximately 3 and half hours from Glasgow to Zante, Greece. I am around 6ft tall, which I think is about average these days, and found that the leg room I had was pretty awful. This was probably the biggest disappointment about my experience with flying with Thomas Cook. My knees were touching the seat in front and I found myself quite cramped. In my opinion, I felt I had less leg room on this flight than on previous easyJet and Ryanair flights I have taken.
The overall standard and cleanliness of the plane was acceptable. Rubbish was collected fairly regularly and the toilets were clean throughout the flight, which is no mean feet when the plane is half full of people on 18 - 30's holiday. The seats were well kept, leather seats. However, I would say that I felt that the seats were quite narrow and I felt like I was going to elbow the lady sitting next to me.
The flight attendants were a bit of a mixed bag. Some were very attentive and others couldn't have looked more disinterested. It certainly was customer service at it's best.
I certainly won't be rushing to use Thomas Cook Airlines again. I would also seriously have to consider picking a different tour operator if I was going to be flying any greater distance. Either that or pay to upgrade to a seat with extra leg room.
I went on holiday to Mexico, Cancun in May this year and we flew with Thomas Cook.
I have to say that i was very happy with the way the flight, staff and atmosphere was flying with this company.
The meals were ok.... not dinner at the ritz but when do you expect gormet food on a flight???!!
The seats were standard in economy but the excellent staff do provide you with pillows and blankets (on long hall flights) which make your travel so much more comfortable. If you are uncomfortable and need another cushion then just ask...if you dont ask you dont get!
On the long hall flights they provide you with an excellent number of recently released films to watch. You can pay extra for 'the better' selection of films but i dont see the point! the films i watched i had not seen before as they were nearly new and actually managed to watch 4 films in total which made my flight seem a lot shorter than its 10 and a half hours!
There is one thing i would suggest if you fly long haul with thomas cook.. pre-book your flight seats before you leave for the airport. It is a good idea if you want to be sat with a member of the family or a friend as 10 and a half hours on your own can make you quite restless! If you dont get to sit near anyone you know then just stick your earphones in and get settled in to watch the movies. Thata what i did and had a pleasant enough experience with Thomas Cook.
I would definately travel with thomas cook again as the flights were not too pricey, didnt have anything to complain about, flights were on time and as a company their reps in the holiday resorts are excellent. So glad i booked with Thomas Cook!
I returned from my holiday to Jamaica yesterday and let's just say that I will never book a holiday with Thomas Cook again. Our flight was delayed by 10.5 hours at Gatwick after we had sat on the runway for 2.5 hours (Thomas Cook boarded everyone on despite knowing that a technical problem had still not been fixed) we were given one cup of water each and the cabin crew had no idea what was going on. The pilot occasionally updated us with helpful statements like 'we don't how long it's going to take to fix, how long is a piece of string' -a great thing to say to a plane full of people waiting to get away on holiday.
So after 2.5 hours we were taken off the plane and had to wait around in the departures area until 8.45pm, when our plane was supposed to leave at 10.10am. During this time we were barely given any information, the staff were completely useless, it took ages for the manager to come down to give any kind of explanation and they were shouting at us for demanding answers and getting impatient (what did they expect when people have been given NO information). The worst thing was at no stage were we even apologised to. So after waiting all of this time we get on the plane and they didn't even give you complimentary headphones so you can watch a film without paying £2.50 (despite making us sit in a terminal with no entertainment for 10.5 hours) so it's safe to say there was no gesture of goodwill or attempt to better the customer's opinion of Thomas Cook. This was not a cheap holiday by any stretch of the imagination so you can imagine how thrilled everyone was to hear that despite paying over £1200 per person Thomas Cook weren't even going to do the decent thing and give you a free pair of headphones or a complimentary drink or something.
Then we arrived at the airport in Jamaica and because we landed at 1am there were barely any staff working, it took 3 hours for the whole plane to get through immigration and to then top everything off we arrived at the hotel at 4am (bare in mind that there were 2 children under 5 on our plane staying at the same hotel as us) to be told that they didn't have our names down to be staying there. It was unbelievable after everything we had already been through, eventually after 45 minutes they agreed to give us a room.
We complained the next day to the rep who did nothing and kind of shrugged his shoulders as if to say it wasn't his reponsibility as he was local and didn't work for Thomas Cook in the UK.
Thank goodness we had an amazing holiday after the awful beginning, but Thomas Cook are the worst company that I have ever travelled with, the disrespect that the staff gave the passengers was so bad (I caught an air stewardess bitching to another one about a passenger complaining that there were no blankets left)
Our return flight to Calgary was ruined by Thomas Cook. Our flight itinerary did not disclose a hand-luggage weight limit, so we packed the exact same as what we brought for the outbound flight (Calgary to Manchester two weeks prior). Upon checking in, we were told it needs to be only 5 kg! After the humiliation of unpacking everything, the bag itself weighed 3.5kg!
We ended up having to check-in the bag, because it was a health and safety risk! We took the bag all around Europe on several airlines, that must all be exposing their passengers to incredible danger. As an airline pilot myself, I know this is just a cash-grab by the airline. $160 later the bag was checked in.
Other passengers were also subjected to this horrendous treatment, and the ensuing fights with check-in staff were regular and justified. The manager that came to help was useless, and spoke terribly to people with little respect.
Overall, a total disgrace. I would expect this treatment from a "budget airline"; yet at $1000 a ticket this is not the case. As another passenger put it: "stick to a proper airline".