* Prices may differ from that shown
We flew with Thomson from London Gatwick to Holguin in Cuba.
The plane itself was clean, modern, and it was exactly what you would expect from what I think of as the higher end of the budget airlines.
Because of course Thomson specialises in package holidays the plane was full of noisy children. This is absolutely to be expected, however, as a couple with no children it did grate on us, especially on an overnight flight on the way back.
The food was average, typical plane food. If you wanted to buy extra things these were really pricey, again, typical of airlines and what you would get with any of them.
The in-flight entertainment was pretty poor. Basically the films and TV shows play on a loop and you had to yay to upgrade to "premium" which was £5 per person. This allowed you to actually watch films from the beginning and gave you a lot more choice. On a 9 hour flight I found this pretty poor. I know it's only £5 per person to upgrade, but it's the principle of the matter! I've flown with lots of other airlines and never had to pay extra for this.
Would I fly with Thomson again? Yes. We're flying with them in two weeks for our next holiday! Their package holidays are good value for money, however we have upgraded our flight to premium this time.
I've flown with Thomson Airways a few times now, both as part of package holidays and as flight only, and I feel that the sum of my experiences with them are now enough to write an informed review! I can truly say that I've only ever had positive experiences with Thomson Airways and they would always be my first choice for short haul flights around Europe.
The best thing about Thomson is that they somehow seem to be immune to delays. I don't really know how they manage it but they hardly ever seem to suffer from the long delays that other airlines do, I don't think I've ever been delayed by more than about 20 minutes for a Thomson flight. I realise there are no guarantees that this will always be the case but it does make me feel more confident knowing that they've always been on time in the past.
The online booking process is quick and easy, and there's a fairly new feature that allows you to take your hold luggage to the airport the day before your flight to avoid queues and to make the airport process quicker on the day of travel. If you live a substantial distance from the airport obviously that's not much use, but if like me you're only a short drive away its really very convenient and makes things easier on the day of the actual flight to know that your bulky luggage is already dealt with and you only have to worry about your hand luggage and your passport! Speaking of luggage, while other airlines seem to be getting stingier with weight allowances Thomson still allows a pretty generous 20KG per person.
The planes are reasonably comfortable, of course none have as much legroom or space as we'd all like but sitting on a Thomson plane for a few hours is no real hardship for someone like myself who is slightly above average height. The staff are always friendly but not too intrusive and thankfully they aren't too pushy with trying to sell you snacks and toblerones and perfume, which I find really irritating on some airlines.
I would definitely recommend Thomson Airways as a more comfortable and less stressful alternative to the budget airlines such as Easyjet, Jet2 etc. The prices aren't even that much different most of the time and the benefits of going with Thomson more than make up for a small increase in price anyway.
My first encounter with Thomson Airways (or Thomsonfly as it was then) was during the early 2000s when they operated low-cost flights from Coventry Airport. I used them to fly to Nice, Lyon and Rome and found them to be as good as any budget airline, with the added bonus that they flew from my home town.
This summer, I booked a week to Turkey and due to my previous experiences with the airline, I had no problems with the prospect of flying with Thomson for the 4 hour journey to Bodrum. I had a minor panic on the day of my flight as I'd forgotten to provide the Advanced Passenger Information (API) necessary to fly on this route. However, I phoned Thomson's call centre and was assured that this wouldn't be a problem as I could provide this information at check-in.
I can't hold Thomson Airways solely responsible for the long queues at Manchester Airport, although their decision to check-in a flight to Zante using the same 3 desks probably made the situation a lot worse. Despite this, they had no problems with the fact I'd forgotten to provide API and the check-in process itself was very quick and easy.
I was impressed that Thomson used the Boeing 767 for this route, as it's very spacious inside with a three blocks of seating with two aisles separating them. The same unfortunately couldn't be said for the seat pitch, which at 28 inches felt more like a National Express coach that an intercontinental airliner. While Turkey is technically a short-haul route it would have been nice if the airline had recognised that 4 hours is still a fair amount of time to be on a plane. There was no entertainment to speak of and while we had personal televisions, these were only used to display the safety briefing before takeoff.
As our flight took off at 9.15pm, we expected that they'd treat it as a night flight and dim the lights, leaving us passengers to our own devices. However, once we were in the sky the lights remained on and the hard sell began. Having been spared the task of performing a safety demonstration, the cabin crew could instead turn their attentions to peddling cigarettes, souvenirs and booze for what felt like the entire flight. There was no complimentary drink (I know it's a budget airline, but 4 hours is a long time and I've been given a meal on shorter Monarch Airlines flights before) and no announcements from the flight deck until we were about to land.
There was some improvement on the return flight, which took off at 4am. This time, the staff respected the ungodliness of the hour and we were left in peace. Having flown with Thomson on a relatively long flight I've realised that airlines should develop a more flexible attitude towards their inflight service. It's silly that a short hop to Dublin and a 4 hour flight to Turkey are both classed as 'short haul'. I would happily have paid more for a drink and an inflight film but unfortunately the Thomson experience was an unpleasant bookend to the holiday rather than the simple, painless journey that it should have been.
I used thomson to return to the UK from corfu in October of this year and had an easy and pleasant journey back, although there was not a single seat empty it was a tight but enjoyable flight.
The cabin staff were helpful and friendly, however the drinks and snack prices were stupidly overpriced and because I had only euro's in cash they charged an excess fee for converting the currency so it cost approximately £4.50 for a can of coke and £9.20 for cheese and crackers with a bag of crisps!
The onflight entertainment had a selection of content to choose from including several tv channels, 3 films which were free to choose from and premium extras which you could add on during the flight, there were also games and radio channels so a fair bit to stay occupied for a while..
My ticket cost me £129.00 with tax so was fairly priced considering it cost over £600 for the flight outwards with another airline.
Would recommend thomson for flights
-- Our holiday
In May 2011 we planned to go to Orlando in September the same year as a party of 3, 2 adults and a child of 22 months. We've been to Orlando many times in recent years and so we felt confident to book our holiday independently, booking flights, villa and car hire separately.
The first thing that we researched was the flights. There are a lot of airlines that fly to Orlando from Gatwick which is our local airport, so I spent a lot of time looking at all the options available to us.
-- Why Thomson Airways?
After looking at ever conceivable option to get us to Orlando we chose Thomson as they offered the cheapest prices for our chosen dates. We initially were planning to fly in economy with whichever airline we selected but ultimately ended up booking premium as it had the following benefits:
~ Priority check-in
~ Priority boarding
~ Priority baggage collection
~ More legroom
~ Free drinks
~ Increased baggage allowance (23kg per person rather than 20kg each in economy)
~ Lounge access on the return journey
We were travelling with a 22 month old toddler so the extra space and the fact that we would be off the plane first was the thing that clinched it for us to upgrade. We also chose to book our son a seat rather than have him on our laps for 8ish hours which added to the cost, but again we felt that the benefits would outweigh the cost for us. We paid £2402 for the flights for all 3 of us.
We couldn't book our flights online because of this so had to call them, but they did still offer us the web discount on our booking. The booking process was easy and the person I spoke to very helpful. The only thing that didn't impress me about this was the fact that it was an 0871 number costing 10p per minute to call.
-- Day before check-in
As part of the service at Gatwick you can check your bags in the day before departure, meaning that you then only have to go straight through security on the day of departure. We decided to do this as we are very local to the airport. However, this was not the right decision as they were severely understaffed and we queued for over an hour to check our bags in. There is no distinction between economy and premium at the day before check-in so the benefit of priority check-in was completed lost for us. I've done day before check-in for other airlines previously and never had such a bad experience and I was very concerned that it didn't bode well for the rest of the trip. This wasn't helped by the fact that we didn't get our boarding passes that day as we were travelling to the USA. We had to go back on the day of departure to collect these before we could proceed through to the departure lounge.
-- At the airport on the day of departure
As we knew we had to pick up the boarding passes we went back to the check-in area expecting to just pick them up and be on our way. Unfortunately we had to queue in the premium queue in order to get them, meaning that other than not having any luggage with us, there was no point in us going to the airport the previous day and our stress levels were quite high at this point! Once we had these though everything went smoothly and we were on our way. At security we were directed to a lane dedicated to families and others that may need special assistance. This was an easy process and before we knew it we were in the departure lounge and beginning to relax.
-- The flight to Orlando
As we had priority boarding we were among the first onto the plane. We were able to take the pushchair to the gate with us and we left it right near the plane door.
Once aboard the plane (a Boeing 767 for any of you aviation geeks out there) we found our seats in the central section of row 3. The plane still had the old First Choice branding on the outside and the seating configuration was 2-3-2. My husband and I sat on either aisle with our son in the middle. As our son was under 2 he needed to sit on my lap for take-off and landing, but other than that was pretty much free to sit in his seat.
We were very pleased with the room on board. The seats were leather, felt fairly wide and, although I'm only short, the legroom was really comfortable (the seat pitch was 36"). The only thing I didn't like about the seat itself is that the armrests were fixed in position. We knew this prior to booking though so this wasn't a surprise. In hindsight it may have been easier for our son to lie down and sleep in economy where we would have been able to put the armrests up.
Once on board we were offered a drink before take-off which made a nice start to the flight. Once in the air the cabin crew came round often offering drinks and if you needed anything you could always press the call button and they were happy to help.
We had ordered a kids meal for our son and this came out before our food. While this was good in some ways as we could help with with anything (mainly blowing on it as it was very hot!), it wasn't so good as he was then all over us while we were trying to eat ours a little bit later. From memory the meal wasn't anything special compared to other airline food I've had in the past, nor was it inedible either. My favourite parts are usually the cheese and crackers and the dessert and these didn't disappoint. We were offered a further meal of sandwiches towards the end of the flight and I felt that we were adequately fed and watered throughout the journey.
The flight itself was pretty smooth and the pilot gave us updates about how long it would take, where we were flying over etc. The seatbelt signs came on once while my son was asleep (strapped into his seat) and the cabin crew kindly let him stay there rather than come back onto my lap.
I didn't get to use the inflight entertainment system much as I spent most of my time occupying my boy, but it was an on-demand system with tv shows, films, music and a sky map showing where you are in the world as you travel. That's always my favourite part of the entertainment anyway so I was happy just having that on.
The flight seemed to go really quickly and before we knew it we were coming into land at Sanford just outside of Orlando. Once we had landed we were off the plane quite quickly at there was no queue at immigration so we didn't have to wait at all. At this point we were very thankful for the premium seats as we could see the queues mounting up while we were being admitted into the US.
Our luggage was all out very quickly as well (including a car seat and pushchair) and from getting off the plane to walking out into the arrivals hall to find the car hire desk took around 30 minutes.
-- The flight home
Compared to the previous journey the check-in procedure at Sanford was amazing. The priority check-in meant that we were at the desks within a matter of minutes despite there being quite a long queue. The check-in agent was very pleasant to deal with and she checked that we were aware of the lounge access that was included for us. She gave us directions, took our bags from us and we were on our way.
Security was a little busier than we had found at Gatwick, but it's only a small airport so it was no real bother. Once we were through we made our way to the lounge (which was a really great place to spend some time before the flight with complimentary soft drinks and snacks).
As with the outbound journey boarding was easy and once again we were in the central 3 seats, but this time in row 6. The journey home was almost a carbon copy of the flight out there, although we were all quite tired after our fortnight in Orlando. The only real comment I have to make about the flight is that it took a long time to do the meal service and then clear up again afterwards which caused us a few issues as our son didn't want to go to sleep while there was so much activity going on in the cabin. I'm not sure that anyone else would have felt like that though, or whether we were just particularly conscious of it because of having a small child in our party.
The flight home was incredibly long as we were sent on a very long route over Canada and Greenland. While there was nothing really wrong with that, I don't sleep well on planes so I just wanted to get home to my bed!
Before landing we were offered breakfast, but we were all so tired that we didn't have the appetite for it.
The longer flight time meant that we landed about an hour late and we had to wait a while for another plane to leave the stand that we were going onto. Once at the stand we were off the plane quickly, although it took approximately an hour to get through passport control and then get our bags. Not so good when you're tired after a long flight.
I am rating our experience with Thomson at 3 out of 5. This would have been a 4, but for the experience of check-in at Gatwick to begin with. That really spoilt the holiday mood at the beginning. The flights were all fine, nothing special, but I don't have any other real negatives about them.
We found it a benefit that they flew into Sanford rather than Orlando International as, although it's further from the tourist areas, we were on the road considerably quicker than previous trips with other airlines.
The actual on board experience was good and I would fly with them again if they were offering a competitive price, although I wouldn't pay a premium to choose them.
i used thomson airlines a number of weeks ago.a number of us flew from belfast to Gran Canaria and it was going good until we got on the plane firstly it wasnt a thomson plane it was a sun wing plane that was really cramped.the seats alocated were a disgrace,i askd for extra leg room but it had all been taken (more leg room). when we got to the hotel the place was excellent (cay beach princess bunglows) and are holiday rep MATT couldnt have been more helpful and professional about things.advising all holiday users of thomson airways never to take (or let your travel agent make you think its safer) aTHOMSON TRAVEL MONEY CARD.A week or so into my holiday i needed money so i went to the bank machine and tried to take out cash and it was declined.i tried it twice and again it declined. the next day i phoned customer services and they had explained to me that as i tried to take the money out of the machine and it declined it was still a pending debt on my card. thomson cuastomer servcie then asked me to go the the bank machine i used (which was 2 mile away) and i couldnt as i had no money. he then told me that it would take 48hrs for the matter to be dealt with. i had to go 30hrs with a small bottle of water i had left and no money.i then contacted them again requiring an update and the had told me the pending debt was cancelled and the money was in my account. i then went and emptyed the card.Disgrace.if that is not enough theres more. when we checked out our transfer coach arrived and we headed for the airport.our transfer rep SAM provided excellent service.about 5 minutes from the airport sam informed us that the plane was delayed by up to 7 hours. when we checked in we were handed a £15 voucher for food.with the amount of money the company makes you would expect more than £15 and for the price of the holidays!!!!!!....we were eventually delayed for roughly 8 1/2 hrs.we got on the plane at 3.20am and we didnt fly out of las palmas until 4.15am.i will never use this airline again or a thomson travel agent..........
I would never book another holiday with Thomson....
1. We had booked (and paid for a specific seat) on our flights with Thomson airlines as part of a package holiday.
2. On the way home, we were told our Thomson plane was full and instead of arriving at Gatwick at 10:30pm, we arrived at Luton at 12:30.
We eventually got home at 4:30 in the morning and it was a long day as we had queued for 4.5 hours in the airport (yes stood in the boarding queue for 4.5 hours) while the Thomson reps did nothing to get things moving in the airport. The whole thing was a farce.
Our holiday was great, our Hotel was great, but you expect a company as big as Thomson to be able organise things and they were simply a JOKE. I have now been told after complaining that they would not even refund the charge they made for booking a specific seat on a plane.
I would never travel with them again and would not recommend them to my worst enemy. I'll go back to using small reliable companies who really want my business.
After Christmas the thought of going back to work was so unappealing that my partner and I decided to look into a hot January holiday. We were quite last minute but decided on Mombasa, Kenya as we've always wanted to go on safari and it would certainly get us away from the cold English weather. After some internet research it appeared that a package deal would offer us the best value even though two of the days we would be out of the hotel.
The package we chose was through Thomson as they had the best offer for half board at our chosen hotel. It also had good flight times which meant we would have all 7 days actually at the resort instead of eating into the week.
= Before the flight =
So our experience with Thomson started badly. I received a text message from them on the departure day at 1.00 p.m. to say the 7.50 p.m. flight was delayed for 5 to 6 hours! I couldn't believe it, especially as I had planned my day around it taking my suitcase to work to leave early. It was too big and bulky to take back home so I decided to work late and meet Alex at the airport just a few hours after we would have anyway. It meant a long wait at the airport but we figured that a few drinks and some food would kill some time before the flight. When we arrived at the desk we found out that because we hadn't paid to book our seats we hadn't been allocated seats together and with a full flight we couldn't change this! Great! Anyway, Thomson gave us a £5 food voucher each which I thought was nice of them although didn't make up for the delay. What we didn't realise was that the last scheduled flight on a Friday evening would be at 8.00 p.m. and the shops and restaurants close soon after! Oh dear! Well it was an absolutely shocking start where nothing had gone right but anyway, time passed (slowly) and finally at 1.05pm we set off to Mombasa!
= The flight from London Gatwick to Mombasa =
I was pleasantly surprised as I boarded the plane. Even though the plane was old, the leather seats gave it a modern feel and I immediately noticed that there was more leg room than on other flights and wider aisle space. The air stewards greeted us with a friendly smile despite the fact that they had also been delayed five hours, and each seat had a pillow and a blanket on them. The best thing was the small pack we each received containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, L'Occitane face wipe and socks! I don't think I've ever had anything like that before on a long haul flight and I didn't expect any extras like this on a Thomson flight.
The captain came on over the speaker to apologise for the problems so far and to explain that due to the delay we would be entitled to an upgrade on the entertainment package which meant more films and television programmes. This was great although at 1.00 a.m. and with a nine hour flight in front of me my only intention was to fall asleep! The seats were very comfortable and reclined back to the point where it was easy to get comfortable and fall asleep (even for me who can never sleep on planes no matter how long the journey). This along with the head rest which moved around flexibly allowed me to fall into a perfect position straight away. As soon as the food had been and gone, I fell straight asleep under my blanket.
The air hostesses brought the food round almost as soon as we were in the air. I think they assumed that at 1.00 a.m. everyone would want to get some sleep as soon as possible which I appreciated. We had the choice between sausage and mash or chicken casserole. I went for the sausage and mash which was served with some carrots and gravy. I actually really enjoyed it! In fact I thought it was delicious! This says more about my simple tastes I'm sure than the actual food but I was happy with all of it. It was accompanied by a small pasta starter which I didn't touch - it didn't look great and a chocolate cake which went down very well! The air crew brought round bread rolls which was a welcome addition to the meal. Drinks were not free with Thomson and had to be purchased - however there was a wide selection and we just bought a bottle of water to share. Tea and coffee were served straight after the food but I didn't have any as I wanted to get to sleep!
Alex, my partner watched The Social Network on the plane which he really enjoyed but there were also a lot of other films to choose from including lots of new releases. There were also different television shows available including How I Met Your Mother, Malcolm in the Middle and children's cartoons. Games on the entertainment system included Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and various puzzles. However, like I said, I slept most of the way through the journey so didn't pay much attention to the entertainment!
The flight was relatively painless and I managed to sleep for over 4 hours of the 9 hour flight and dozed through most of the rest of it! Our onward journey to the hotel was also booked with Thomson and after two hours on a hot, stuffy coach we finally arrived at our destination!
= The return leg =
Needless to say, the flight home was a sad affair. We had a fantastic holiday in Kenya and didn't want to leave after such a wonderful experience. The flight was a 10.00 a.m. morning one so very different to our outbound journey. We were wide awake and intended on making the most of the entertainment system. However, to our disappointment we remembered that we had been given the upgraded package on the way out to make up for the delay and that instead we had the choice of just 3 films which all sounded quite average. However this wasn't the worst part - the film was on a circle so you couldn't just start whenever you wanted, you had to start depending on where it was up to in the cycle! Gutted! We didn't actually realise this until a couple of hours into the journey when Alex was laughing at the Jennifer Aniston film 'The Switch' and he tried to pause it to tell me what was going on. After realising he couldn't, I tried to watch it myself to find it was in the exact same place - close to the end! Having watched some random TV shows which were also on a cycle I hadn't noticed this so as soon as he'd finished watching The Switch, I put on my headphones and watched it myself! For anyone who's interested, it's a bit rubbish but easy enough to watch on a plane!
Anyway, food came about two hours into the flight and we were offered a choice of beef casserole or roast chicken. Both Alex and I opted for the chicken which turned out, again, to be very nice. The chicken was in small pieces and served with small cubed roast potatoes with tomato and carrots. It was very tasty and quite filling so once more I was left satisfied with the meal. It was accompanied again by the rubbish plastic looking pasta starter which I didn't touch and a small cheesecake which was okay. Warm bread rolls were served and tea and coffee was offered.
Again, I didn't fancy a hot drink so I asked the lady if I could get a glass of water. She returned with a bottle of water and told me there was no charge! When they found out we were travelling on Alex's birthday they kept coming back to ask how we were doing and gave us something free (but I won't go into detail in case someone loses their job!) Another three hours later we were provided with an afternoon snack box which only contained a piece of Victoria sponge cake and various other bits like a serviette, plastic cutlery, sugar and UHT milk. Luckily we were then given a hot cheese and onion Panini to accompany it which went down very well indeed!
I managed to doze off a few times on the journey which helped pass some time but naturally, 9 hours was boring and I couldn't wait for it to end. However, I was comfortable, ate decent food and was semi-entertained so it wasn't the worst 9 hours of my life.
= Overall =
I was very happy with Thomson - especially how comfortable the aeroplanes were. I liked the little treats that were left on our seats for the overnight journey and thought the food was at least as good as I've had on other long haul flights. I have travelled with BA, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and various other airlines across the world and while Thomson planes might not have looked as attractive or provided the best entertainment or free drinks that others do, I was very impressed. The staff were great on both journeys and I have very few complaints... apart from the huge delay to kick start the holiday! For an airline that I think of as budget, I think Thomson was very decent indeed! 4/5
Never had a worse holiday, felt like throwing the tickets out of the window. Certainly nothing positive. They have no presence nor courtesy at the airport nor hotel.DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY HOLIDAYS FROM THOMSON AIR / FIRST CHOICE.CO.UK. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!
I have flown 4 times with thomsonfly this year, each time to and from Lanzarote.
I have to say i am quite pleasantly surprised by Thomson fly. They are a good company despite what other people may say.
First time i flew to and from Birmingham airport, and the second time to and from Exeter.
Upon arrival to the airport all of the Thomson check in staff very helpful, quick and friendly.
On the flight there were some very friendly staff who couldn't do enough for us.
There was a lovely older couple sat near us and they had some problems with their leg room and the staff went out of their way to move them to a seat that had more leg room at no extra cost.
The seats are quite comfortable with a lot of bottom room, just not the greatest of leg room but then what planes do.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to drinks, snacks, food and entertainment.
I am always happy to fly with thomsonfly and i will be again next year.
Best deal on a flight to Florida by miles and the quality of service was as good as any other airline.
We were looking for a break to Florida and looked up flights on all the various price comparison sites when we stumbled on flights with Thomson fly for £248 incl taxes which was such a bargain we snapped them up.
On the way the service was great, we had entertainment and by airline standard good food. The journey past without event and was as comfortable and easy as would have been with any other carrier. We also flew into Sandford which meant that the immigration queues were shorter.
On the way back the journey wasn't quite as idyllic, we were charged an additional £10 in order to access the entertainment system and no one could explain to us why it was free on the way over and charged for on the way back. The food was cold which was a shame because it was good on the way.
There was also an incident with a person the flight becoming ill which created a fair amount of drama but it was all handled exceptionally well by the flight staff.
Overall I would recommend flying thomson to anyone, despite the entertainment issue the flight was still better value and equal quality to any other airline.
This year we booked our holidays through Thomson and received a really good quote for the flight as there were only a few seats left. There was no problems in getting seated together and no delays departing or arriving home. In fact when arrive home we set off 15 minutes early and arrived back to England half an hour before arrival time on the tickets.
The pilot landed the aeroplane perfectly. Usually I worry about the landing been painful on the ears after previous negative flying experiences. My ears didn't even pop.
The plane was immaculate and the staff were really friendly and helpful. On the way there we would have been sat in seats near the toilets that were bolt upright. One of the flight attendants came over and offered us the opportunity to swap and move further down the plane which was more comfortable. In the past we have had very few problems with this airline and will consider using this company again.
I flew with Thomson to Egypt as part of a package holiday in November 2007, travelling from East Midlands Airport to Sharm El Sheikh.
The flight was due to depart at 10.30 in the morning so check in opened at 8.30 and we arrived around fifteen minutes after that. Check in was quick, it wasn't busy at that time in the morning, but the lady on the desk was fast and efficient.
We boarded the plane around half an hour before it was due to depart so it gave us some time to settle in. The plane wasn't huge, the seating configuration was 3x3 with one aisle, but it had leather seats and there was adequate leg room. The overhead luggage compartments were quite big too, with enough room for my hand luggage anyway. The plane appeared fairly new and it was clean and tidy and well presented.
We sat in the back compartment and there were four toilets between us and the next cabin area, which got used quite a lot over the next five and a half hours but it did seem surprisingly tidy by the end of the flight.
You could buy headphones for the overhead TV screens but I didn't bother because I had my own, and the films didn't really interest me anyway.
The drinks trolley came around twice and had a decent range of drinks and snacks, sandwiches and other items to buy.
I hadn't pre-ordered a meal as I thought it was a bit too expensive (I'd got a sandwich, crisps, drink etc from Boots in the departure lounge) so I can't comment on the food but it was brought around quite quickly and cleared away quite fast too.
The flight seemed to go quite quickly, no turbulence or anything which was to my relief, and the staff were friendly and efficient as well as well presented.
The return flight was much the same service wise, although a headwind all the way back added another hour on to the flying time and caused some pretty rough turbulence. The captain came on and said that it was nothing to worry about but unfortunately we'd have to put up with it for twenty minutes or so and would have to stay strapped in our seats.
Overall I'd say the service was very good. We flew with Thomsonfly as part of a package but when you consider we paid £489 for the flight to Egypt, transfers, and a week on a cruise full board it was pretty good value for money.
Thomsonfly (now known as Thomson Airways) is a great well known charter brand (and did for a short while do some scheduled flights from Coventry). Everyone has heard of them and it's easy to see why they are the UK's largest and most popular tour operator & charter airline.
I have flown with them a few times now and never had any problems, yes you get delays from time to time but it's how the airline handles passengers during a delay not the fact there is a delay as ALL airlines have them.
The process of booking a flight on its own (known as flight only i.e NOT a package holiday) is easy, their website is easy to navigate around with destination ideas to give you inspiration on where to go, flight timetables so you can see at a glance when flights operate between certain airports and a very simple booking engine, simply select the flight you want and when you want to go and it brings up the best available deal. It shows you various options on dates close to the one you choose so you can see if it's cheaper for you to fly on a different date, it also shows alternative airports nearby which may be cheaper to fly from too. This helps you manage your money better and means that Thomson really want you to get the best deal for you. The booking engine lets you select extras including extra space seats, seats together, meals, hotels, car hire & insurance.
Their checkin is always super fast, well has been at all the ones I have used, Newcastle, Manchester, Palma Mallorca, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Las Palmas Gran Canaria (can't think of any others right now). They operate a multi-checkin system, where all their flights that are checking in at the time, check in together so you may have 20 desks open and 8 flights checking in together but because checkin is spread over 2 to 3 hours, not all passengers checkin at the same time so you really do get a quick checkin.
Their aircraft are some of the best charter planes I have ever known, both Thomsonfly and ex-First Choice Airways planes (all now part of Thomson Airways) are spacious roomy, with ample leg room and now offer a cheap extra leg room upgrade fee which has been reduced this Summer. The cabin crew are friendly, always with that lovely TUI smile on their faces even at 4am.
There is some good onboard entertainment with top movies and TV shows to keep you entertained in-flight, along with their onboard magazine, Indulge, which has great stories from celebs to top holiday hotspot features. It also has their on-board duty free offering, with excellent deals to save money on alcohol, perfume, aftershave & cigarettes, buy onboard and you can save a fortune on the cost from the highstreet.
The inflight meals are very nice, I am the world fusiest of eaters so even your fussy kids (or adults like me) will enjoy their inflight meals, which have been designed by celebrity chef Aldo Zilli they are great value & low-cost, served also in bio-degradable trays so they are great for helping the enviroment too.
Overall Thomson Airways offer FANTASTIC value for money and great aircraft, happy friendly crew and a professional service.
Thomsonfly, or Brittannia to more aged users, has developed into a mid-price airline catering mainly for holiday makers.
Its recent amalgamation with First Choice has added even more capacity and additional routes around the world.
One of the down-sides of this recent change has been the new cabin crew uniform, which is a rather unflattering off-beige colour.
On the upside, many of the aircraft are new and the amount of leg-room is much better than the likes of Thomas Cook and Monarch.
The food: well, not too bad but, as with many airlines, could be better. I have always found the breakfasts to be good, the lunches insubstantial and the evening meals rather hit or miss.
Punctuality is something that is very much out of the control of many airlines but, generally, I have never had anything too serious - unlike some scheduled airlines where I have had to sleep on the floor of departure lounges.
One top tip - do not pay by credit card or in foreign currency when aboard the plane. ALWAYS pay in Sterling as there is a surcharge for credit card use and the on-board exchange rate is poor.