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  • bad everything else!
  • Poor inflight entertainment
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    31 Reviews
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      09.08.2005 21:11
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      Outstanding!

      Thomsonfly is the new name for the well-known British charter carrier Britannia Airways. They've been around for well over 20 years, operating flights to the sun for UK package holidaymakers to sunny European and Far Away destinations. After my last experience with Britannia, I can say I wasn't looking forward to my flight, on July 30th 2005 from Bristol to Las Palmas (Gran Canaria). Stats: Code BY083A Dep BRISTOL 21:50 {departed 22:00} Arr LAS PALMAS 02:05 {landed 01:32} Date 30JUL2005 Aircraft BOEING 757-200 / G-BYAT Code BY083B Dep LAS PALMAS 03:05 {departed 03:07} Arr BRISTOL 06:50 {landed 06:31} Date 07AUG2005 Aircraft BOEING 757-200 / G-BYAT Review: ~Check-in~ Being the nervous the flyer that I am, I did not want to sit apart from my travel companions, and due to the fact were unwilling to pay the extra money to guarantee we were seated together, I decided to be in Bristol Airport nice and early. So we got there... an hour before check-in was due to open! The inbound flight from Málaga was expected in early, which was obviously a relief for my companions and I, because we've all suffered long delays in the past! The check-in desks were clearly visible from the terminal doors, covered in light blue Thomsonfly logos and posters. There were customer notices around informing of what we were and weren't allowed on-board the aircraft, in our hand luggage, and in our hold luggage. The desk opened promptly where we were greeted by a friendly assistant, who weighed our luggage and asked general security questions. The service was fast and satisfactory. Checking-in at Las Palmas was pretty much the same experience, there were Thomson representatives at the check-in desks to ensure the process was speedy and safe, which comforted you to an extent due to the lack of service from the actual check-in assistant. *NOTE: If you wanted to pre-book your seats on-board the aircraft, it's a £10 per person charge to ensure your sitting together, and if you wish a further £10 can be paid to select your exact seat on board the aircraft. (I wouldn't personally recomment this as if your at check-in early enough, you can ensure a decent seat and that your sat together) ~Boarding~ We were called to board our aircraft on-time, 35 minutes before our ETD (estimated departure time), the large queue that had formed went down at a speedy pace, and before we knew it we had boarded our aircraft. At the door of the plane we were greeted by a friendly smile from an air hostess, who directed us to our seats and wished us a good flight. The experience was the same on the return flight. ~pre-take off~ On the ground as we were waiting to taxi, Thomsonfly supplied music from KT Tunstall and Coldplay, shortly followed by a welcome message from the crew team-leader. We were shortly taxiing whilst watching an informative, lively security video which would keep both children and adults occupied as we taxiied towards the runway. After a short wait, the engines powered up, and we were on our way to Gran Canaria, just 10 minutes behind schedule! Once again the experience was the same on the return flight, with the same music, and even the same cabin crew! We departed only 2 minutes behind schedule. We found on the return flight that the cabin crew had already given every row at least 2 blankets and pillows - which I have never found with any airline in the past! This was very profiessional and comforting. **IN THE AIR** ~in-flight service~ There was the same on offer on both flights. A wide selection of beverages, snacks, perfumes, cigarattes etc., all at reasonably good prices. The best offer I found was two cans of Smirnoff ice for £5, which was even cheaper than in the bars and clubs abroad! Due to the flight being in the night, the cabin crew only offered one snacks service, and we were informed of this beforehand, this was due to the fact they respected that passengers would want to sleep, and due to security reasons were unable to offer a service in the dark. We found no stock problems on both flights, and that's saying something because we would have been more than capable of selling them out! This was less surprising on the return flight when we were the 3rd row to be served, as opposed to the outbound flight where we were the 24th row to be served. The service was speedy and of a high standard! The cabin crew even gave my mate a free drink because he'd lost his wallet at Bristol Airport! That's what I call good service! ~in-flight entertainment~ On the outbound flight we were shown Miss Congeniality 2, followed by a selection of cartoons and comedy programmes. It was pretty much the same on the return flight, but Miss Congeniality 2 was replaced with 'Millions'. Both films were suitable for people of all tastes and ages. There was also a wide selection of radio stations available to listen to, playing a good variety of music from Elvis Presley, to Kylie Minogue. There were in total, 12 channels to chose from, 2 of which being for TV, and the remaining 10 for music. Even though the in-flight entertainment wasn't the best, it cannot be faulted. ~cabin crew~ The cabin crew on both flights consisted of the same members. They were an extremely professional, friendly group of hard working staff, who cared for their customers needs (which is more than what can be said for my last experience!). The level of friendlyness was outstanding, and I was glad to be treated as an equal, no more superior, and no more less than the person I was speaking to. The crew members oftenly walked up and down the aircraft, giving passengers the opportunity to ask any questions, or just have a random chat. They were particularly friendly to our group, which consisted of me (nervous flyer), my friend (diabetic) and my other friend who lost his wallet in Bristol Airport, the crew catered for all our needs and much more, and I shall ensure that Thomsonfly are aware of the excellent standard of service we recieved. After landing in Las Palmas Airport my other friend believed he had left his passport on the aicraft - therefore all members of cabin crew searched the whole aicraft from top to bottom, and ensured that the bus to take us to the terminal waited until the passport was found - they didn't manage to find the passport because it was in his bag the whole time! ~pilots~ The pilots on both flights were extremely informative, and managed to get us from A to B, safely and comfortably. They introduced themselves at the beginning of both flights, and gave us flying conditions for take-off and ascent, and also informed us of the estimated flying time and the weather at our destination airport. After take-off they informed us of our route and things to look out for (even though it was dark!), and also informed us of the weather conditions for our flight. Then finally just before landing, we were once again greeted and thanked for flying on their flight. All take-offs and landings were comfortable - not too steep, with a soft touchdown on both occasions. ~aircraft~ The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200 (G-BYAT), had been re-fitted with the new Thomsonfly aircraft interior. This was leather seats and completely navy! The aircraft itself was fine, no unusual noises, no flashing, or anything out of the ordinary! However I did find it to be rather uncomfortable. The aircraft was cramped, with very little legroom (myself being 5' 11'' it does help to have some room to move my legs!). the seats themselves were rather hard which made sleeping on-board the aicraft uneasy. Thomsonfly could work on the comfort of their aircraft to ensure they have 100% satisfactory ratings. ~overall service~ Overall, Thomsonfly more than exceeded my expectations of a UK charter airline. Our flight took only 3 hours 30minutes (on average), the cabin crew were excellent, what was on offer was more than enough, and I shall definately be using the airline again in the future! (and I'll definately stick to Bristol Airport!). Thank you Thomsonfly for making my flight experience one of the best ever! Star rating - ***** Satisfactory rating - 95% (comfort needs improvement) --- FURTHER DETAILS --- Thomsonfly have a range of over 25 aircraft of the Boeing 737-500, 757-200, 767-200, and 767-300 varieties. They fly from a total of 18 UK airports, including Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, London: Gatwick, Luton, Stansted; Coventry, Birmingham, Nottingham East Midlands, Norwich, Humberside, Liverpool, Doncaster Sheffield, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester, Durham Tees Valley, Newcastle, and Glasgow International. They are part of the World of TUI group, and more information can be found at www.thomsonflights.com or www.thomsonfly.com

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        10.07.2004 04:14
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        Flew from Newcastle airport to Rhodes on Wednesday 30th June with Britannia airways flight BY269A. Check in was about 7am and the ques were short so fortionately we only had to wait about 10 minutes. Then we went through to departures and boarded the plane about 8.10am before departing for 9am. Everyone was baorded early and an early departure would have been made if one missing woman had turned up sooner. They said they were going to offload her but she boarded 10 minutes late but we left on time anyway. We were welcomed by the crew on board what they call "your Thomson Flight operated by Britannia" as the Britannia fleet are begining to carry the 'thomson.co.uk' titles. The crew on the outbound flight were really friendly and looked fabulous in their new World of TUI uniforms. The plane cabin was also in the TUI colours of vertial stripy light blue seats and matching headrest colours. The cabin and uniforms of TUI are very stylish and modern, but not tackey. After take off the crew served us a breakfast tray which I would say was average airline food, tasty, but i've tasted better! The tray also included some melon slices, cheesecake and tea and coffee served by the crew. The bar trolly service and the skystore shopping service followed breakfast and we were sold head phone to watch the movie 'Along Came Polly' starring Jeniffer Anniston and Ben Stiller. It was funny to watch bit not a fantastic film. We landed slightly early as we had good tail winds all the way, and the heat of Rhodes hit us as we stepped off the plane. Great weather and the holiday in Ixia at the 5* Olympic palace hotel with Manos / Panorama holidays was great. I may review Manos and Panorama Later, so if your interested watch out for that! Return journey, I was sad to walk up the steps of the plane looking back at Rhode airport, remembering walking towards it after i'd just arrived a week ago knowing I was returnin g to miserable weather england and facing reality of life! I was pleased in a way though to be able to get on the plane and fly Britannia again! I doubted that the inbound flight would be as good as the outbound but I was wrong it was better! Barbera was the Crew manager on the flight and she and her all female crew provided a top class serive. After take off there was the bar service straight away and then we were served the meal. The meal was stewed pieces of Beef in gravy, Creamed Potato, Beans and Carrots. It was really tasty and one of the best airline meals i've ever had! The desert was a berry pie sort of thing and there was a long stube of custard like the ones kids yoghurts come in for packed lunches. The custard was a great idea! Tea and Coffee was served by the crew and me, and my brother and sister were given a glass of pure orange as an alternative to tea and coffee as they had no orange squash, I thought that was really kind on the crew and we didn't even ask! As the flight lasted 4 hours the crew did the bar service a second time which was nice, epsecially as they only have to do the trolly service once on flights usually.They also sold Magnum Classic lollies. We landed in Newcastle on time and I was sad to leave the plane. I love flying and Britannia were fantastic. The seats on the planes were average for a charter airline economy seat, but not too bad for comfort. I flew on a Boeing 757-200 aircraft both ways. If your flying Britannia or thinking of flying with them, go for it!

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          08.07.2003 18:48
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          I returned home from Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt very early on Monday morning with Britannia Airways. Im not usually one for writing reviews but this just had to be done. I am a regular flyer and have flown to Sharm before, however this was my first experience with Britannia. There are no direct flights from UK to Sharm with any of the big airlines which means you tend to have to get a budget airline flight or a package holiday - we chose the latter for convenience. Apon getting to check-in at the airport we were offered the extra legroom seats on Britannias 757 flight (my boyfriend is nearly 6'5") so we thought that was a stroke of luck! Cabin Apon boarding the craft we were very dissapointed. We sat in row 23 - me at the window and my partner next to me. Now, i understand that these rows are the emergency exits but the bulkhead covering for the emergency exit door was taking up half the 'extra room', infact i had to sit at an angle so that i could have my legs infront of me. My tall partner could not have sat like that for over 5 hours (and these 'larger' seats were really for him) His seat was infront of the crew jump seat so for take off and landing he had to lean his legs one way while the stewardess leant hers the other so they could both sit comfortably. Also, being in the exit row meant that we had no 'seat backs' and therefore no inflight magazine, safety instructions, sickbag or headphones for the film. Britannia charge a whopping amount if you want to prebook the extra legroom seats (over £100 each) - i would have been very angry if i had paid that much and recieved the seat that i got. Although, i was greatful i had a seat as check-in had allocated some seats to several people and we were delayed for a long time trying to sort this out. Entertainment Once i had finally found some comfort i then noticed that the gangway tv was situated so that i could barely se e it, the top right corner excluded from view by the overhead baggage store above me. The picture quality was also very poor. I felt upset that as well as not being comfortable in my seat, i could not enjoy the entertainment properly. I should not have bothered - they tried to show the same set of programs on both journeys - after some frantic complaining by other passengers an old film was selected to watch instead. Food/Drink The meals were truly awful. I requested a vegetarian meal which got translated as a vegan meal, i almost wept at the sorry looking tray i was presented with. I tried to explain that i just didnt want meat or fish in my main course and that i did want the bread roll and piece of cake - but to no avail. I didnt eat the meal. I think the standard meal was chicken, not that passengers were given a choice. I requested a Baileys on the return flight but was told they had no Baileys or no ice. Because their flight was not a stop-over they had not picked up any fresh supplies so choice was very limited. This wasnt good to hear, when you have paid good money for your ticket you expect a reasonable service. Also, soft drinks had to be paid for as only tea or coffee were served with the meal. I think that they could have stretched to supplying water at least. Onboard the plane it was very cold, i had noticed several passengers with blankets and eye pads so i asked the stewardess for a blanket (sitting in the exit row seems to be colder too) i was told that they didnt have any more and was asked to sit down. It seems a shame that Britannia try to provide good services (like blankets for night flights) but are let down by not having enough. I think i would prefer they didnt have any at all if they didnt have enough to go around. Space aboard a 757 is tight, but on many occasions the gangway was blocked with meal trolleys that were not in their places, these were placed infront of the toilets at one point, stopping tw o pasengers from gtting out. I thought this was particularly bad from a health and safety point of view. I can honetly say that my flight with Britannia is the worst flight i have ever had. I was almost in tears at the prospect of being on the flight for five hours with no form of escape. Britannia offer a budget service but not a budet price, they need to work out what they want to offer and stick with it!

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            04.04.2003 03:36
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            Some of you may know that I wrote this review in 2003, and didn't rate Britannia very much, with an all round poor service. This review was based on my experiences in 1998. I have just returned from a Thomson Holiday with a Britannia flight - and they were excellent this time! So, I like the airline now! First, some info on the company. Britannia is part of the 'World of TUI', created in about 2001/2002 which owns companies all over the world. TUI UK own Thomson Holidays, Lunn Poly, Skytours, Portland Direct, Travel House and many more, and of course- Britannia! You will also notice, Britannia's livery is changing to fresh blue and white, with the red logo, and the 'TUI' smile on the tail, with only a few aircraft with the awful 'classic' Britannia livery. At the end of 2003, Britannia started to call the charter operation 'Thomson operated by Britannia' and aircraft are being replaced by the small Britannia logo, with a large 'Thomson.co.uk' logo, with 'operated by Britannia' in the nose. They also recently launched 'Thomsonfly', their low cost operation. Uniforms of TUI companies have all been standardised, and are very smart I must say. Now to the flight... BY196A BRISTOL-CORFU AUGUST 1st 2004 BOEING 757-200 AIRCRAFT REGISTRATION OF AIRCRAFT: G-CDUP Thomson.co.uk TUI livery. Arrived at airport at around quarter to 4 in the morning on Sunday for our 7:40am flight. Check-in was very quick and efficient. Bristol's new terminal (opened in 2000) is very nice and modern, glass and silver, very open with many shops and restaurants like Burger king, WHSmith and many. Whilst I like Cardiff Airport, I think Bristol has a bit more, and is busier, so has more of a buzz. Just my opinion. Boarding was on time. I was happy to see an aircraft painted in full TUI colours with Thomson.co.uk, very nice, I would of hated that awful old livery! Boarded a nd seats were the World of TUI fabric seats, with stripes of blues and very thin colours. Staff were all friendly and it was in no time before doors were closed. The new TUI uniform is very nice, with light blues, dark blues and light yellows, better than the other one with all those different colours everywhere! I've heard though on the internet that the 757s will be fitted with new '777' interiors and leather seats in October, lets wait and see! The safety video was shown, and we were soon on our way. The flight to Corfu should take about 3 hours, but it was around 2 hours 40 minutes. It was unfortunately announced that the entertainment system wasn't working. Oh well... Food arrived after around 45 minutes and a very good breakfast for us who had paid for it was given with all the cooked breakfast items in (even Bacon!). Also was a roll, melon, tea and orange juice was on the plate with something else that I can't remember. If you didn't book a meal, then Skystore has some snacks to choose from, but we had a meal so it didn't matter to us. Skystore was served (shopping) followed by a drinks service shortly before landing. I bought a model 757 and 767 in TUI livery, but with the smaller Britannia/TUI logo, rather than the large Thomson logo. They said that they have only just changed, they will be stocking the thomson ones soon. Oh well. We landed safely onto sunny Corfu (a lovely island) where the TUI livery looks even better! We disembarked, into the quiet airport of Corfu as it was a Sunday. The holiday at the Hotel Athina, San Stefanos (NW CORFU) was superb! Service from Thomson was very good too! The return flight: BY196B CORFU-BRISTOL BOEING 757-200 G-CDUP THOMSON.CO.UK TUI LIVERY This flight was also excellent. Not much different than the outbound fligt rather than it was 3 hours, drinks were before the meal, the entertainment was working and the meal was a beef stew, with a berry/strawberry tart with custard and a roll, and of course tea/coffee served afterwards. entertainment was movie Jersey Girl, Creature comforts and friends with audio channels. Headphones were £3.00 but you could keep them. Britannia along with Thomson Holidays and the World of TUI overall was excellent. Let's see if the 757s are fitted with leather seats then. They also operate 767-200 and 767-300s as wide bodies. We are flying them again next year to the same place and hotel. keep up the good work! oh, remember, that my original review of BY was bad, so that's why comments may say this and that I was 8 when I flew. I was 14 this time, and the flights were very good. Is my review as good as the original?

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              21.03.2002 04:20

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              Excellent flight - 12 hours to Mexico. Legroom bearable. Would use again. - Advantages: Service, Punctuality, Cabin Interiors - Disadvantages: Short Haul Legroom

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              11.11.2001 20:43
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              Britannia Airways are one of the biggest package holiday airlines in Britain and most of their passengers are customers of Thomson Holidays. We go Thomson most years when off on our summer hols so I’ve used Britannia a several times now. I’ll be honest from the start, Britannia are not a patch on British Airways. But it is unfair to compare the two airlines as Britannia operate on a much tighter budget than British Airways. If you compare the amount of money you pay for a seat on British Airways and the amount Thomson pay for your seat on Britannia I am sure there will be a big difference. So Britannia are a package holiday airline have tight budgets and as well as flying you to your destination they are expected to provide entertainment, decent food and overall give you a pleasant flight. What would you prefer – pay an extra £250 for each person and go with BA or just put up with Britannia for a relatively short flight? I think you’d answer the latter. Food wise I have to say I think Britannia failed miserably. Returning to England we had dinner onboard and we were served some soggy vegetables, a small fatty bit of chicken and a delicious rhubarb desert. In my several flights experience of flying with Britannia I would say that breakfast and lunch are the best meals to have onboard. Breakfast is quite nice as you can normally get cereal. Lunch is nice as its often a sandwich or baguette on Britannia. But dinner is frankly disgusting. Britannia seem to almost try too hard and just fail. I think most passengers would be happier for them to just do something simple like a baguette or toastie for dinner rather than attempt a proper meal and just miserably fail. Entertainment on Britannia is quite good. They have 8 radio channels and a fixed TV channel which is on overhead. The TV channel is specially made by Britannia but has popular comedies and dramas on. I saw The Royle Family, Absolutely Fabulous and T rigger Happy TV to name a few on my recent flight with Britannia. The radio channels offered are not brilliant, the music is very stereotypical. The music is very limited they only seemed to have very mainstream stuff. All of the channels played mainstream music of that type. I don’t normally mind if the music channels aren’t very good as I can listen to my Discman but Britannia don’t allow Discmans on their flights. So I just watched the TV channel, which to be fair was good and had some entertaining stuff on. Britannia fly from Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Norwich, Southampton, Exeter, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Humberside, Teeside, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Though they have very few flights from some of these airports. Overall Britannia aren’t a bad airline but I would avoid going with them at all costs long-haul. Legroom is fair, other airlines are definitely more generous. And if you compare Britannia to Monarch, they seem quite a good airline.

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                20.10.2001 23:45
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                • "No pillows available for those with back problems"

                Welcome to the airline that treats vegetarians like second class citizens! And where you can still visit the pilot. Please read on for more details. My recent flight to Cyprus was the second time that I have flown with Britannia in the past 12 months and things seem to have gone downhill - along with the Thomson brand in general. SAFETY When I flew to Krakow in November last year we actually had the air hostess giving the safety demonstration, but on the recent trip to Cyprus we had a video. I am glad I have flown frequently enough to know the procedures because the video kept going on the blink. This meant chunks of the video were missing. Also because of the position of the screens they are not easily visible to all passengers. I had difficulty seeing the videos from my seat near to the window. Another safety issue was the fact that due to the recent events in the US, the front toilet was closed for passenger use. How impressive I thought! Must remember to warn my mum due to fly with the same airline two weeks later (who has difficulty walking and has the misfortune to suffer from Crohns Disease) to request a seat near to a toilet. (She did just that but was assured that the front toilet was be free for use - which it wasn't, and so had to trail half way down the plane with her walking stick). Impressive security at first sight, but low and behold there were about 5 children taken with a parent into the cockpit to see the pilot. Sorry, but I think this practise should be abolished. PUNCTUALITY One hour late into Krakow, one hour late leaving Krakow, on time from Newcastle, one hour late from Larnaca. I suppose one out of four ain't bad! COMFORT My usual request for a pillow because of back problems was dismissed on the outward flight because priority for children was given. Every other airline I have travelled with has never refused this request - even Sabre who I didn't rate either. Ins tead I opted for a rolled up fleece behind me instead. Although I am no giant at 5'2" there was very little leg room and even the width of the seat seemed less than usual. FOOD In the past I have always envied my friend who is vegetarian because her food usually arrives first, but for once I was thankful to be a meat eater. We had breakfast on the outbound flight. My offering was a scrap of bacon, a tiny sausage, some rubber egg, and 10 baked beans. Along with that came a roll, some orange juice and a cake (plus only one cup of coffee). The veggie meal was stone cold - but also burnt black! On the return flight the meat meal was OK but again there was a very obvious black around the edges of the veggie meal. The peas were cooked so much they could have been used in a pea shooter as ammunition. SERVICE Trolley service with drinks was offered to us twice on each trip. The duty frees were wheeled around but I noticed from the brochure that two comparable bottles were actually more expensive than the tax free shopping offered to travellers to the EU. STAFF They seemed just to be doing their job with nothing extra offered. There was none of the false smiles - and no real smiles either. ENTERTAINMENT Great I thought, free headphones to use. But the previous occupant of the seat had walked off with mine. When I requested a set, I was told 'Sorry we don't have any spares'. Just as well really because there were no films on offer, just repeats of programmes such as The Royle Family and cartoons. CONCLUSION Safety still doesn't seem to be high enough. The food for vegetarians needs more thought. They need to carry more headphones and pillows. Duty frees are more of a rip off than they used to be for unsuspecting travellers (ie. those who are not accountants!) I certainly shan't be rushing to fly with them again.

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                  29.09.2001 07:21
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                  SAFETY-Before take-off a safety video was played, not as good as being showed but still done well. The captain was very friendly and even a bit witty which from my past experience doesn't happen often. On both ways the air hotesses/stewards were all very helpful and friendly which was nice. ENTERTAINMENT-The entertainment at first didn't really interest me because it was just things like The Royle Family and all that sort of thing. It was good though when they put on a film we got Miss Congeniality on the way there and Bridget Jones's Diary on the way back two new films. The radio was quite good atleats the earphones were free. There was a channel for everyone although after a while the same things were repeated which got boring. FOOD-The food was quite nice on the way there it wa, chicken, little potatoes, andvegetables, crackers and cheese, and a little chocolate cake. Later they gave you a hot snack which was a toastie the food was always served at the right time. On the way home I got chicken and sort of the same thing but the hot snack changed it was like breakfast because it was like a roll with egg and bacon in it and you were given a Nutri-Grain too. The food was really good and at first you always get handed drinks. COMFORT-The leg room wasn't that great but luckily the people infront always had their seat upright through the flight, some people behind were annoying but the seating was comfy. When I travelled back it was night so I was given a pillow and blanket which was good if you were planning to sleep. ALL ROUND OPINION-I think Britannia were a good enough airline. I am not really a person that makes a fuss over the flights all I want to do is go and arrive home safely. I would definitely fly with Britannia again because they were good and always arrived on time. They were pleasant and tried to always help. There is the 360 swervice which allows you to watch films the whole flight you get your own tv, and there is more legroom this costs £60.

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                    11.08.2001 01:00
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                    I have flown Britannia a number of times now on various holidays and have not had any major problems. All of my flights have been on time and event free. However, on a flight you have to be comfortable which unfortunately is not always the case. Each time, I have flown on a Boeing 767 to the Canary Islands (about four hours)I have had very little leg room. I am not excessively tall but found these seats especially cramped, especially the window seats. Meal times can be problems trying to get a tray down in a confined area with your knees pressing against the top of it. The food served on board was not bad, typical airline food with a meat and a vegetarian option. Although the portions were not huge the food was tasty. However, only tea or coffee are served with the meals and any soft or alcoholic drinks must be bought at an astronomical price. Britannia also offer an in flight service called 360. This includes television and about ten radio stations. The radio stations play good music but are repetetive so you cannot listen to them for your whole flight unless you are especially boring. Some of the programmes on the television were also good. They had the new Blackadder on last time I flew (the one commissioned for the Dome)as well as One Foot in the Grave and the Fast Show. The TV is worth watching but there are quite a lot of breaks and adverts during programs which can be annoying. Overall this is not a bad airline and runs from many of the UK airports, especially the smaller ones such as Humberside and Teesside. I would fly on Britannia again but probably not for much longer than four hours because of the lack of space.

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                    27.07.2001 06:11
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                    • "bad everything else!"

                    I thought I'd start this review by listing everything that's good about Britannia....um...er,well...the paintscheme is good...and...that's it. Everything else (and I mean EVERYTHING else) about this airline is so staggeringly inept it hurts. I'd worked out that flying from Newcastle to Orlando would be an interesting experience when I boarded the plane to find that I was really going to Bangor in Maine. Something about how we'd crash if the plane took off with full tanks - the atmospheric pressure was too low (or high - no, it was low. Or was it...). The fact that I was going to the wrong place didn't exactly bode well for the rest of the flight. Still, as long as it was fun... It wasn't. Britannia's in-flight entertainment policy seemed like an afterthought. One in-flight film (and not a very good in-flight film - it was a TV movie, for God's sake!) and a whole raft of old TV shows does not an entertained passenger make. Especially when one of those shows is the first ever The Vicar Of Dibley. There's some in-flight reading, but a whole magazine has been used as a Britannia propaganda leaflet - although it reassuringly mentions that Britannia have never had a serious accident. Strangely, there is no mention of any minor incident figures...I wonder! The radio channels weren't bad, but suffered with the continual loop syndrome that blights any long-haul trip. They did at least serve to show me just how much of a decline the career of Pat Sharp is in... If you decide that sleeping would be more fun than the 'entertainment', you're out of luck. Britannia operate a sardine tin-style seating policy. This is fine if you're a pigmy or one of Santa's helpers, but naff-all use if you're 5'11" like me. Sitting down is an ordeal and standing up is an even more perilous task, so any twisting or turning activity is out of the question. You may also be lucky e nough to have a 3-year-old brat kicking you from the row behind you, making shut-eye completely impossible. Trust me, I tried. It might help if the cabin crew issued cushions rather than padded napkins, and gave out those eye-covering goggle-like things (do they actually have a name, or what?) at the start of your journey. To top it all off, the food is sub-standard, even for an airline. One of my meals consisted of a rubbery concoction that may once have been beef slices with vegetables, all served up by the most thoroughly unpleasant cabin crew in the world. One steward very nearly started a conversation about my Hartlepool United shirt, but everyone else was as pleasant as a cow's backside. Flying with Britannia may be fun for those of you who are hard of hearing, short-sighted and three feet tall, but for everyone else it's an experience you really should miss out on. Oh, and if they stop in Ireland, be careful - they probably want someone to give the plane a shove over the Atlantic.

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                      22.06.2001 04:21
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                      We have just come back from our holidays last weekend. I thought I would write one about the airline in which we travelled with. We wasn't too fussy who we went with as we didn't have much choice of the days in which we could fly. My wife found a flight on the internet for £159 with Britannia Airways, this was to Arrecife, Lanzarote. She then went into the local travel agents and asked them if they had the same flight still available at the same cost. They checked and yes it was still available. There wasn't even any hidden extra costs. We only booked this through the travel agents because we wanted transport to the airport, this in the long run saved us money. Booking through the internet doesn't give you transport to the airport. The flight number was BY266A and left 30/40 mins late, it should have gone at 08.00. It was a four hour flight and even though it's not that long, we wanted it to be as comfortable as possible. The seating was ok though, there were two seats together next to the window, I always have a window seat and my wife usually has to put up with someone at the end, she only complains because there's no room whilst eating. She was happy with the two seats only, across the middle were about another five seats, plus two more across the other aisle. It was easier if you needed to go to the loo, having one aisle is a nuisance. There were no sweets for take-off, luckily my wife had brought some has she has been suffering with her ears popping and that's before we even went on holiday. They seem to have made cut backs on these little extras. There were no hot towels, no newpapers on the return journey. The only good thing was the food, I know I'm sad but I do enjoy those little meals. This airline had what they called the 360 service, whatever that meant. We had breakfast going, that consisted of sausage, scrambled egg, beans, pot atoes, orange juice, a roll, and a piece of madeira cake. On the return journey we had Chicken, potatoes, carotts, runner beans, a dip and breadsticks, apple crumble, a roll , cheese and biscuits and a terrys chocolate orange portion. I really thought it was OK. They didn't show a film which was a bit disappointing for a four hour flight, they did give you free headphones though. You could watch the new Harry Enfield show, a clip on the resort in which we were going to. There were a few audio channels, we didn't bother with any of it, we both just read books and magazines. The leg room could have been better , but for a six foot chap like me, it wasn't too bad. We've had worse on Monarch airlines. The flight was smooth and coming down on the return journey was very smooth. The attendants were friendly enough, except for one who struggled to look happy. I would use this service again as I think it's a decent airline as far as the food and comfort goes.

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                        20.06.2001 22:02
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                        • "Poor inflight entertainment"

                        I have flown with Brittania Airways once which was June last year, and the only reason why I flew with them was because I was a shareholder with Thomson Holidays. As soon as I got onto the plane (I think it was a boeing 747 (the big plane) I knew that I was not going to enjoy the flight. The staff were panicing, they looked untidy, and some were short tempered. The flight was slightly late departing by a few mins, passengers still walking about just before take off, and there was no control by staff to calm passengers. The staff looked very stressed, and as if they have done a double shift. The inflight entertainment was normal tv, so I got fed up with adverts all the time, and everyday tv programmes unlike with rivals like airtours where they put on the lastest film. The music on board was of poor quality and some of the head phones did not even work. If they did, it was only working on one side of the head phones. All I wanted to do is relax and chill out for when I got to the destination. I could not even do that. When the meals or drink came round, the meal trolleys hit me with the staff not even appologising and the distribution of drinks were in no order in giving out, with the staff talking quite, so if you were looking the other way, then you missed out on the round of drinks. The food was although of an adequate standard, and was still hot. The drinks trolley was expensive I thought, and therefore I could see why no-one bought anything. The flight was quite smooth thought, but on this occasion my ears hurt me, and I dont normanly suffer. A factor of this could have been that it was a big plane. Both times on the way there and on the way back, there was enough leg room, but this was only due to me being allocated next to the emergency exit or at the very front on the front row and in the middle of the plane. Overal I would not use them again in such a rush and I would rather stay with Airto urs.

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                          03.05.2001 17:59
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                          I'm sorry Britannia, but your service simply does not make the grade. I have flown a wide variety of airlines, especially charter airlines such as Britannia, Airtours and Air 2000. And, it has to be said, that while if you never flown with anybody else, Brittania is that bad, but, when you experience the others, you realise just how poor the Brittania service truly is. Almost every time I have flown with the company, the flight has been delayed. On many occasions, the plane has been dirty as we boarded, due to the stupidly fast 30 minute turn around (which they do in an attempt to make up time). Plus, the comunication with the passengers is appaling. OK, this is not entirely Britannia's fault: some of the blame must lie with actual tour operator. However, I do find a bit annoying to be told you plane will depart on time in 2 hours, when the plane we would be on hadn't even landed at it's previous airport! How can they be excussed of this kind of customer care? The quality of service on board is not much better. The cabin crew are in my experience inattentive, and generally not very helpful. When serving drinks, or selling other products, they never have any change to give you, and if you wish to pay in foeign currency, the exchange rate they impose is abmismal! Come on Britannia. All the other airlines manage a far superior service, and i'm sure that it would not take much effort to bring this airline up to scratch.

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                            16.04.2001 21:19
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                            I have flown on no less than 10 occasions with Britannia (the airline arm of Thomson Holidays), and always found their planes to be clean, good quality and comparable with scheduled airlines. FOOD & DRINK The food, is of reasonable quality, if a little predictable. In all the time I have travelled, over a five year period, there has been little variation in their menu, according to the time of day. They also offer a wide range of reasonably priced drinks from their trolley, remember all their spirits are doubles. Childrens meals are provided at no extra cost, and they are also provided with a 'goody' bag, containing things to keep the occupied during the flight. FILMS Short haul flights on Britannia, do not offer the benefit of TV's in front of your seat, and TV screens drop down from the top of the plane after take-off. The selection include, Vicar of Dibley, One foot in the Grave, Keeping up Appearances & Cartoon network. In all the time I have been flying with them, the selection has remained fairly static, and therefore I think I have seen everything they have to offer. The kids however, enjoy watching them. Maybe this time I will be surprised, who knows OPTION 360 In addition to their standard fayre, you can select to take advantage of their additional service, where for a fee of (I believe) £30, you can have a choice of a selection of pre-prepared meals and gift boxes on the flight. (In my opinion not worth it on short flights) DUTY FREE They have a wide range of reasonably priced duty free items, including gifts, drinks and cigarettes and the service is speedy and friendly. Whilst you cannot purchase duty free goods when flying within the EU. goods are sold on a tax-paid basis, emanating from other EU countries where the tax is lower, and therefore there are still some good bargains to be had. ATTENDANTS I have a couple of bad flights due to bad weather, and not be ing a very good passenger, have found the attendants to always be pleasant, friendly and very supportive. DELAYS Only once have we ever experienced severe delays with them, and this was due to circumstances beyond their control. We were informed at the point of check-in, and provided with vouchers allowing us to purchase a meal at no cost from the airport lounge. CATERING FOR THE DISABLED Upon returning from a recent holiday, the flight crew had to accommodate a severely disabled child and parent together, and openly asked the passengers to move, so that they could sit together. For those people who offered to move, they provided with free beverages from the drinks trolley throughout the flight. PRE-BOOKED SEATS In addition, for the small sum of £7 per adult, and £2 per child, you can pre-book your seats on the plane. This can be very useful for the return journey, which then allows you Express check-in at some return airports, including Majorca, Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. (this may vary out of season - check with the Travel Agent) LEG ROOM My main complaint about Brittannia is the amount of leg room, or rather lack of it. My partner is 6'2", and has encountered quite a few problems on even short haul flight. For a fee of £30 per person, you can book extra leg room seats, but naturally if you all want to sit together this adds quite a substantial sum onto the holiday price. Also the number of these seats are limited, and I would imagine that preference would be given to those passengers with disabilities, in wheelchairs etc. They do not allow children under the age of 12 to sit in these seats, which up until now has caused us a problem. This year they will both be over 12, so maybe we will give it a try. SUMMARY In summary, a very efficient airline, providing an above average service for a relatively low cost.

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                              01.03.2001 18:05

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                              Myself and a few friends decided to go to Egypt, after we had finished at college, for the summer and were going our seperate ways. We had a great deal, for just £320 going to Egypt, staying in a four star hotel along the Nile, we coudn't wait. When we got to the airport and saw our plane, we were gob-smacked, it was so small. What made it worse was the fact that it was very cramped inside, and service was terrible. the highlight was when the stewardess accidently tipped some water over my friend, and it landed in such a spot, as if my friend had wet himself. He obvioulsy wasn't very happy, and in a mood for the rest of the flight. On the way back after spending two weeks in Egypt, our flight was delayed half an hour, which isn't that bad, and we got to see two decent films on board. Pity they only had TV's fitted to the inner roof of the plane rather than on the back of the seats. Overall i'm not very happy with Britannia, but they are cheap and get you to where your going in one peace, thankgod.

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