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Most Uncomfortable 4 Hours of My Life
Thomas Cook Airlines
Member Name: DixieChick101
Thomas Cook Airlines
Advantages: It was the only flight available, it's cheap
Disadvantages: NO Leg Room at all, even for someone who is 5"5. Uncomfy seats. No Entertainment
When it came to booking our holiday back in May, I knew I wanted to book it through Thomas Cook as they did such a brilliant job with our trip to New York last year. The wonderful travel agent who actually booked my trip last year, found us a fantastic deal for the three of us to go to Turkey well within our rather small budget. We had to however, go on Thomas Cook airlines, which I had heard from friends were rather dire.
Checking In (Birmingham)
Checking in took a stupidly long time for some reason, we spent at least an hour just standing in what was a relatively small queue compared to the one we were in coming back, and it took twice as long. We decided to risk not sitting together, so decided not to the book the seats, however we were lucky and both there and back were seated together. Once we had checked in, we went to security which had a rather long queue but went a lot quicker than check in and we had no problems at all getting through. We were then allowed to go shopping and of course being the three of us, we found the nearest WHSmith, stocked up on food and found the nearest Spoons and sat down until we saw the flight was boarding.
Boarding the Plane
When we were all seated on the plane, the air stewardesses looked quite frantic and were moving about the plane at a very fast speed. Someone had to be taken off the plane, which meant we were delayed for a good 45 minutes because they couldn't find their bag. The flight was already long at 4 hours, however adding the extra 45 minutes when it came to sitting in the seats provided, I think we were all getting antsy and quite uncomfortable.
I'm quite small compared to my friends at only 5.5" and have apparently 'freakishly small legs' as well, so when I started to complain about the lack of leg room I think there really was a problem. For the whole trip, the three of us had to almost sit sideways just to get our legs into a remotely comfortable position. The leg room was atrocious, and on the journey there, every time I had to get out, I ended up falling over the foot of the man sitting behind me, who made no apologises about sticking his feet out into the aisle, and made no move to move them when I was struggling to allow my mates to get out. If you are of a tall stature then please attempt to book the extra leg room seats, because you will be too un-comfy for words by the end of the journey. The seats are also very un-comfy, they are very small and there is no room to really move about in, and the seats recline very little, so little that you barely notice the difference when it's put back to its normal position.
We did not need any assistance on the plane but most seemed to be rather polite and willing to help if there were any problems. The one thing I found rather rude was a gentleman who must have been over 6.7" at least, came on the plane, and three air stewardesses stood in front of us giggling, even using the phones from the different ends of the plane to make jokes. I found this very distasteful and quite rude, but otherwise they seemed quite nice and willing to help.
Entertainment & Food
I suppose when it comes to airlines, I am a little bit of a snob. For a good few years I will never be able to even dream of paying for first class, but I do like my luxuries on a plane, especially a plane as uncomfortable and claustrophobic as this plane. The only entertainment on the plane provided was a rented PSP for around £7, which is pretty good. As well as that, due to our flights being quite late, we opted not to get any food. I have never been so glad that we didn't pay for the meal, as it looked utterly terrible and the poor people looked quite disgusted with what they had in front of them. If you are going to fly on Thomas Cook Airlines, I would recommend using the shops before you get onto the plane and stuff your bag full of food if you want to eat on the plane, that way you know you'll be eating something remotely edible.
When we finally got to Izmir airport in Turkey, we had to get ourselves some Visa's. I was shocked that there were no people helping us get to the Visa place, and at 4am we had to find our own way there. Once we were done with all of the stuff at the airport, we were literally guided to our bus by the lovely Thomas Cook rep who was standing outside waiting for us. They were brilliant and once on the bus we were taking to Kusadasi and dropped off other people at the hotel.
Checking In (Izmir)
We got to the airport for the flight home at just past 1 o'clock in the morning; we were shattered and were shocked to see that we immediately would be checked through security. It was so different than the flight in, the Turkish security guards were lovely, they were friendly and were joking with the lot of us. Once through that we had to wait around for 2 hours until our flight.
Boarding the Plane/Flight Home
In the holding area waiting for the plane, we waited, and waited, and then we were told to get ready to board the plane. Half an hour of watching this gentlemen who was using a dot matrix printer or something printing out page after page after page of paper, we were allowed to board the flight. I have to admit however, as soon as we were situated, and the stewardesses checked our seatbelts, me and my friend were zonked out. I don't remember take off, but I do remember waking up about 2 hours later to find my whole body aching and to find that my knees were again up around my neck. It was probably more un comfy that the flight over, however this time at 4am were we too tired not to sleep.
Would I fly with Thomas Cook airlines again? Yes, if my flights and accommodation was as cheap as ours were for this holiday then yes I would. To be honest, the seats were just as un comfy as the seats on the Virgin Atlantic plane I went on last year, and despite a bit more leg room on that flight, it felt just as un comfy.
I wasn't too impressed by the attitude of the stewardesses on the plane however, they seemed relatively helpful, but I heard a lot of people being laughed at by them and to be honest it's not what you want to see by these people that are being paid to do a job.
Would I recommend flying with Thomas Cook Airlines however? Probably not, if you can find a different airline to get there with then I would try and do that. The leg room was just ridiculous and I would really recommend paying extra for the extra leg room on those flights. Your legs and the rest of your body will thank you for it believe me.
All in all, it was a necessary evil to fly with Thomas Cook Airlines, it was the only flight available and the flight and the accommodation together was £330 which is really quite a bargain.
Hopes this helps and I hope that you've had better experiences on this airline.
(C) Kirsty 2010
Summary: It was a very uncomfy flight, however cheap flights like this are a nessesary evil.
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