Newest Review: ... usually fly long haul and fly with the slightly 'posher' airlines such as Malaysia Airlines and these airlines tend to have things such as ... more
Not Perfect, But Not Too Bad Either!
Thomas Cook Airlines
Member Name: MollyWH
Thomas Cook Airlines
Advantages: Great food, very friendly staff
Disadvantages: Plane was tiny, didn't like lay out of plane
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.
Summary: Not Perfect, But Not Too Bad Either!