Last year i took my daughters on a First Choice holiday to Turkey. Being single with two girls i chose to "select a seat" and paid the money to do this. When boarding i noticed the seat numbers on our tickets were not what i chose though we were all together. This happened again on the return journey! So i paid for seats we never actually got on either flight!Complaining to First Choice once back was pointless, they dismissed it and actually stated that "select a seat" doesn't actually mean select a seat, although this is what you do online, i was told it just means your party will be sat near one another, possibly a row or two apart anywhere on the plane! i paid to sit together on the back row of the plane, and we were seated over the wing! A joke of a company!
Been to Turkey at the end of June 2012. Pre-booked a "late checkout". On the arrival was informed by reps that there is an all-day tour to Daliyan with transfer to the airport. Asked reps about cancelling my "late chackout" in place for the tour, they made some notes, but after coming back home and trying to claim (with all relevant vouchers) for the cancelled "late checkout" got refused with a vague explanation that it was my choice to take another tour and whatever I book and paid earlier won't be refunded. So you have my £40, FirstChoice, but I wont spend any penny with you and will not recommend you to anyone.
I wrote a letter of complaint to Thomson 's complaint department which is a part of the First Choice group on the 20th September after arriving home from my holiday in Mexico. This review is about the the service Thomson provided. Their information in their brochure stated that only Mexican peso's be taken as the dollar is not accepted, this was untrue as the majority of people in the complex were American and Canadian who spent only dollars. The prices were marked up in dollars and when asked to convert into pesos the price was the same. The flight which is ten hours long was an experience on an obsticle course and being told to only use the toilet near where we were sat and not to go beyond the curtain as we might disturb the passengers who had payed extra for larger seats was a joke as they came to use the same toilet which became flooded, we were then told to use the toilet at the back of the plane so one toilet for approximately 70 standard passengers and first class was rediculous.The brochure and information from the holiday reps recommended the VIP going home at a cost of £20.98pp which we booked but were not told you would only get one drink a capful of peanuts and that there could be no seats all of which happened to me and my partner. I have recieved a reply to my letter today 1/11/11 saying they were sorry I had had a bad time but were thanking me for my feedback and it would be passed to various departments. As the letter was a complaint not feedback makes me wonder why they have a complaints department as they don't read what you write and do nothing anyway. I hope to never use them again but when you think they have the monopoly on the travel business I could use them without really knowing which is worst luck for anyone who has a complaint.I I had to rate this company on a scale of one to ten on Customer Service I would have to give a minus seven and rename it the Mickey Mouse Company.
I booked and paid for a hotel in Portugal for December 2010, using First Choice as an agent for just the hotel, my flights I booked with Easyjet.
Due to the snow, we couldn`t travel and Easyjet very swiftly allowed me a credit to re book new flights whenever I wanted.
I contacted the hotel in Portugal and they agreed there would be no charge for the booking due to the situation and advised that I go back to First Choice for refund or re book. Bearing in mind that FC hadn`t paid out a penny, and they would only have made a small commission, you would have thought it would be easy.
NO ! Customer service don`t respond to emails, they leave the phone unanswered for ages and are generally very difficult to contact.
Eventually I managed to get through and they have refused to allow me to re book or have a refund. Obviously I was very unhappy, I could understand the hotel being difficult as they would have prepared our room in good faith and lost valuable income, but First Choice in my mind are just stealing my cash!
After a lengthy runaround and several calls back, customer service eventually told me they would have already paid the hotel. (IF that was the case, why not tell me that in the first 5 minutes of the call !)
So, I asked repeatedly for confirmation that the hotel had been paid, and each time she said they had.
I then asked her to just confirm that via email or in writing but she refused point blank !!
By now, I was really trying to stay calm, didn`t want to give them an excuse to put the phone down!
I asked for the last time for confirmation in writing that hotel had been paid, so that I could take it up with hotel and rebook but she was adamant she didn`t have the financial authority to do so, when asked who did, she didn`t know !!!
Crap company, terrible customer service, have now ruined my chances of a break, as I now how flights but no hotel.
Steer well clear, use Easyjet and Alpha rooms for excellent customer service.
I have used First Choice for holidays to Margarita, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Cancun, and couldn't fault them on any occasion.
We booked all of our holidays in the Stevenage branch and the staff were courteous and helpful, and responded to our needs and provided us with enough information and brochures to make a decision. We were able to put down a deposit of 10% and the rest was to be paid 12 weeks before. One of our party was only able to pay 8 weeks before and it was no problem and there were no fines or charges.
We received packs two weeks before our departure dates containing tickets, luggage labels and booklets on our destinations which included information on tours and excursions which was helpful to research before we arrived at our locations.
The flights themselves were roughly the same amount of time (between 9-12 hours) and on each flight we were provided with pillows, blankets and a small television screen on the back of the chair in front. These had interactive maps with flying times, speed etc, games, a selection of films and television programmes and children's entertainment. The seat pitch was excellent considering it was a basic scheduled economy flight. My friend is 6ft and said that even he was surprisingly comfortable. The in-flight meals were also surprisingly good with a nice selection of food. On each flight there was a hot meal (roast dinner, pasta etc), a fruit salad, bread roll, crackers with cheese and butter and a pudding. Tea and coffee were free throughout the flights, however other drinks and snacks had to be paid for on board. Every flight accepts pounds sterling, the euro and american dollars, plus the currency of your destination.
The hotels we chose (Blue Water - Sri Lanka, LTI Costa Caribe - Margarita and Bahia Principe San Juan - Dominican Republic) were also excellent, as was the First choice reps who looked after us on each occasion.
Overall I have always had excellent experiences with First Choice. Admittedly they are not Kuoni but they are excellent value for money and provide a brilliant service for such affordable prices. I will definitely be using them again in the future and would recommend anyone to aswell.
We have just had a wonderful holiday in the Dominican Republic, our accommodation B.Principe San Juan, was clean and comfortable, with maids coming every day to clean and change towels, also fridge replenished daily, we had a wonerful sea veiw,the sea comes in quite shallow, great if your not a very good swimmer like me. I do have one complaint, Why does my name come up as being the lead passenger, when it is my husband that does the booking and pays with his debit card. Is it because he is 78years old and I am 64.( I hope not)Age discrimmination springs to mind.Regards. Mrs Freda G M harris, Newent, Gloucestershire.
For the past three holidays I have booked with First Choice and have received consistently good service, especially so on my most recent holiday booked in the Wolverhampton Branch.
They have always been happy to help with any booking queries or follow up questions and have made the experience of booking a holiday completely stress free, suggesting locations when we were stuck and much more. The most recent holiday I went on was the most special, I gave the Travel Agent a list of everything I wanted to do while away along with flight and food specifications. Two days later she had called me with a quote and complete booking for my dream holiday. Throughout the course of the next few months I'd go in every now and then to ask questions or pay instalments and every time they'd know who I was and showed genuine enthusiasm. The staff in the Wolverhampton Branch of First Choice are top notch and I couldn't fault them if I tried, they made the holiday a magical experience and went out of their way to make it the most memorable holiday I think I'll ever have!
Whilst on holiday, the reps are available at specified times which have always been made clear at the beginning of the holiday. Any problems I've encountered have always been dealt with quickly and efficiently.
I've always been satisfied with the quality of hotel offered and believe that the ratings given to hotels in the brochures are accurate. The "New Arrivals Meetings" are always informative and there are always plenty of options for added extras to enhance your holiday while you're out there. The pools are always ample, having 3 or 4 per resort in my experience. The food is always of a decent holiday, obviously going into a foreign country it's not going to be the same as we eat at home but, as someone who's willing to try anything once, it's never been a problem for me or anyone I've travelled with.
I believe their deals to be some of the best on the market, they always have last minute deals and their package deals are fantastic in price. In my experience, if there's been a way to get a holiday any cheaper than anywhere else they'll do it!
Obviously as they are combined with Thomson it's the luck of the draw which plane you get but in my opinion both offer ample leg room and the flight crew are always willing to help in any way they can. Premium Class is well worth opting in for as you get a dedicated cabin crew and free drinks all flight, which comes in handy as they can be very expensive, along with many other perks.
Likelihood of being a return customer?
I will most definitely be booking with First Choice again, hopefully at the Wolverhampton Branch as they really do make you feel like the centre of the Universe! They are a credit to the company!
I have just returned for the Coral Sea Rsort Hotel Sharm Eygpt. The hoilday its self was ok although the entertainmetnt was poor and the food was all not that great all chicken dishes were on the bone.
The kids pool is great for removing hard skin it is rough concrete and I wondered why the rest of the pools have a liner and this area is not.
Kids entertainment apart from the kids club not run by First Choice the room was dirty and the area looked very tired and was stuck in a corner of the hotel and of course there was the kids Disco 8pm til 9pm but the same thing every night you could set your watch by the song being played although the girls that run it are great but all the equipment is what has been left by guests.
Ok the worst part if you are flying from Edinburgh DON'T! the flight is not First Choice it is Lotus Air.
The plane is Old, Broken seats and food it bad. One and half hour before you get anything to drink and in that it is soft drink only and you only get one through the whole flight.
There is no entertainment which is wrong for a flight of 5 and half hours. Then if you book in December like I did and your reciept says 20kg then when you get the tickets you have to search because they dont tell you that it is reduced to 15 kg.
It is rip off and First Choice are charging the same money as if you are flying from any other airport.
I would have been better booking this myself hotel and Flights through budget airline beacuse First Choice had no part in my hoilday at all apret from taking money for trips that are half the price elsewhere.
I will never use First Choice again for me they are now the LAST CHOICE!!!!!
I have just returned from the First Choice holiday village in Turkey - Sarigerme and although I was slightly sceptical after the bad publicity that Watchdog gave it last year, I was pleasantly surprised. The resort was lovely, the hotel was lovely. Everything was very clean and there were no concerns about the food or hygiene in the hotel or it's restaurants. There was a huge choice of food for both adults and children and there was constantly a representative going round checking the temperature of the food as well. One negative point would be about the brochure description of our room, which stated that it was a jacuzzi room and the jacuzzi was on the balcony or in a seperate room, however this was not the case, it was actually the bath. The reps and the porters said that they had this problem occur on a regular basis, which obviously was a disapointment, particularly to my children. Overallthough, a really great place and it shows that you shouldn't always listen to Watchdog. What does Anne Robinson know???
Our original booking was not with first choice, it was with Thomsons, which we believe is they have merged, but coming back from Florida our plane was delayed for more than 12 hours so we had to have a first choice plane.
Well it was like it was something that sunk with the Titanic, we had booked premium economy, there was nothing premium about the plane , i think we was lucky it made it back.
As premium economy class we were supposed to get first choice on the meals, but when they came with the food they tried to palm me off with a vegetarian option , i am not vegetarian, they had to go and see if they could find me something else.
The air host/hostesses were very rude and i got the impression that the passenger on the aircraft was an inconvenience to them, well we probably aren't what they call a perk of the job are we.
I have never booked with Thomson's or First Choice, since this holiday as i feel that they aren't customer friendly, and I certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
We did complain about the way we treated , but got a couldn't careless type of letter back , which doesn't exactly fill you with confidence to book again with them does it
i only gave 1 star because you can't give none.
When booking your holiday with a travel agent now you are often given the option to pre-book your seats, an added extra on top of you flight cost, however beware this is not always what it seems and you may not be getting the service you think you are paying for. This has happened on 2 occasions for me now. The first was after a 2 week trip to Cyprus. On most holidays there is a welcome meeting on the first or second day, which I attended. Now one of the extras we could pay for was to pre-book our seats which we had to pay the travel rep for, being not too keen on flying we decided to do this. When boarding the plane for the journey home we found we had 2 seats next to each other separated by the isle. After complaining we were informed this is what the airlines class as being next to each other. Pre-booking seats with the travel rep is not something I would recommend as we were also told that they class seat infront of each other as being next to each other, not what I would call next to each other. Personally I feel this is a total waste of money, and should anyone decide to take this extra up with the travel rep make sure you check exactly what you are paying for, if we had not have paid for the 2 seats (separated by the isle) we may have got seats next to each other which was what we had been told we were paying for by the travel rep. On a second occasion I decided to pre-book my plane seats with the actual travel agent (FIRST CHOICE) after being told that airlines now offer the option for you to actually choose you seat numbers (again for a small extra fee) Again beware as this a is also not always what it seems to be. Inorder to choose your seat numbers you are told to call the airline around about 90 days before you fly (earliest it can be done) Now when booking your holiday and deciding whether to go for the option of choosing seat numbers you are told that the extra money you are paying is defiantly for this option and you can choose seats that are next to each other not separated by the isle or infront of each other, now through experience I have found out that when you actually phone to choose the seat numbers you are told that you have to pay a further fee to the airline!!! This is on top of the money you have paid for this option to the travel agent. Making what turned out to me a small added extra double the amount it started out as. Naturally we complained but have been informed that the airline changed its policies which it has the right to do, ok this is acceptable but our point was the travel agents should be informing customer of any policies changes which may affect them and cause them extra money. So to anyone who is thinking of booking a holiday and taking up this offer of choosing seat numbers whether it is with a holiday rep or the travel agents themselves check what it is you are paying for and make sure you are up dated on any policy changes by either the travel agents or the airlines otherwise you may find yourselves in the position I did where you either end up with a totally different thing you paid for or paying out even more money on top of what you have already paid, and speaking from experience it is not a quick and easy problem to sort out, it has taken me nearly 2 weeks to book 2 plane seats (should have taken a few minutes) and it is still on going through the complaints department, the travel agents are very helpful when it comes to taking your money but when it comes to a complaint help and information is very slow forthcoming.
As a student, whilst paying for my own holidays, I've always gone for the cheap 'n' cheerful.
First Choice is a good agency which represents good quality affordable holidays but still with the representation that you'd want if things go wrong.
I've been on two first choice holidays, one with my friend when I was 17, we went self catering to Zante in Greece for a week, and secondly in October this year me and some friends went all inclusive to a First Choice Holiday Village in Sarigerme Turkey.
The first holiday, the reps were really helpful but obviously not over involved, we were invited on excursions but not pressured and just generally chilled out and did our own thing.
The second holiday, and most recent, was just a pure example of how helpful First choice are when things go wrong that are not their fault.
On our way out to Turkey, when we arrived at the airport we were informed instantly that our airplane had been diverted to land in Rome and that we did not have a plane to pick us up, but not to worry because they were very swiftly going to relocate us to the next nearest airport (40 mins away) and we would be flying only an hour after originally planned.
This was followed through and everything went to plan, we were very pleased with this.
The holiday village was fantastic, you can tell the staff are constantly striving to work hard, everything about it was really good.
The first choice reps were really entertaining and gave us the inside scoop on everything, the locals, the local drinks, where to go and where to avoid and everything.
They all remembered our names despite hundreds of people being there and all took the time and effort to say hello and ask how our day was constantly, and just generally made the holiday a pleasant stay.
The day we were due to come back, our plane was delayed for 24hours, now because we'd checked out of hotel First Choice booked us all (a plane full of people) into an AMAZING brand new Hilton Hotel, a hotel that at minimum costed 200 Euros a night so wow what a treat.
First choice turned an unavoidable situation that wasn't their fault into a fantastic extra night, granted, people were annoyed because we were ready to go home by then but it was purely unavoidable, and First Choice did the only thing they could, they could have put us in some dingy horrible hotel, or abandoned us at the airport, but luckily because they're a decent company we were properly looked after with food included and just generally felt like we were kept up to date as much as possible.
The only slightly negative note about First Choice are the First Choice airplanes, but then again, if you're paying £550 for two weeks all inclusive holiday in the sun, I guess you expect a slightly uncomfortable journey.
Highly recommended for budget holidays.
When it comes to holidays my Husband and I like to go for cheap and cheerful; our typical holiday for the past 10 years would cost under £500, be in the EU and fully self catering. We had never booked a holiday with First Choice before as I prefer to search the Internet and find the cheapest deals myself, cutting out the shop assistants commission.
I first entered the First Choice in Rotherham while looking for a wedding destination for my then Fiance and I; as soon as I walked in I was impressed by the store, the main desks were set out as though they were in a large ship, then had a waiting area made to look like an old 60's dinner with a duke box and refreshments. More importantly for me they also had a small child's play area with cars, jigsaws and other toys to keep the children entertained throughout the long drawn out process of purchasing a holiday.
After waiting for roughly ten minutes to be seen by a representative I was greeted by a lovely woman who sat me down and talked me through what type of holiday I was after. I didn't make life easy for her, I knew I wanted somewhere special that I had never been before that would look fabulous in my wedding pictures, that would stick within our wedding budget of £5,000 and could accommodate a child who at the time was under two. The obvious choice was the Caribbean and the main two places that stood out for me at that time were the Dominican Republic and Cuba. I made it very clear that I would need to go home and research the countries and talk it through with my Fiance, the assistant was fully understanding of this and in no way rushed me knowing she would not get a sale that day, in fact she wrote her contact details and shift times down for me so we could go back and deal with her again.
The brochure that I was given in store was a huge help in deciding what destination to pick, at the front on the brochure it was broken down into countries letting you easily flick through the pages to read about you're chosen destination. The first few pages on every destination showed a map of the country, gave some brief history to the country, the temperature and rain fall every month and listed activities that you may be interested in. Once past the fact and figures you are displayed with the hotels on offer around each country, each in given it's own 'Sun Rating' which really made no sense to me as there was no information on what they were basing this rating on; I also found while on our holiday that we were in a four sun hotel and there was a five sun hotel right next to it, however our hotel was by far better and people from the other hotel were always coming over to ours to have a look around.
The other brochure that we were given was for the wedding, In this brochure we were told about the resorts that held weddings and renewal of vows and what the wedding packages would include. Most of the resorts offered the same things, private check in, free room upgrade, flowers, private meal the night before and night of the wedding, wedding cake, breakfast in bed, champagne, and all this normally costs an extra £500 and obviously also includes the cost of the registrar and legal documents. One of the main problems we came across when looking for the wedding destination was finding somewhere that would allow such a young child as most of the long haul destinations seemed to be adult only.
After spending all night looking through the brochures together, my fiance and I decided on Cuba and went to the Rotherham First Choice again to speak to the same lady I had dealt with before. She was incredibly professional and built a great rapport with us making sure we were happy with every little detail regarding the holiday and wedding.
We were given two days to pick for the wedding day and were told this would be confirmed to us when we met our wedding planner, looking back this was pointless as we didn't really care what day we would get married and we didn't get married on one of the days we chose anyway!
The price of the holiday along with the wedding package at this point came to just over £3,000 and that also included £100 for two weeks holiday insurance. When we booked the holiday we had 16 months to wait before the actual holiday but everything had to be paid in full three months before we would travel, which unluckily for us landed on Boxing day. We paid a £300 deposit at the point of booking and then tended to go into the store every few weeks to pay a bit off at a time.
A few months after we had booked the holiday my fiance and I were discussing what hell it would be flying for 10 hours with a 19 month old child and decided that we thought it would be impossible to keep him seated on our lap for that length of time. The next day I went back into the Rotherham store and enquired about the price of buying a seat for our son, they said it would cost an extra £480, which we gladly paid.
While I was slightly angry that the price of our holiday had dramatically risen I knew we had made the right decision and would be thankful for our child having their own seat.
After booking the wedding we were sent a wedding pack through the post, which included a list of legal requirements we would need to send to them to get a wedding licence; we quickly sent off all the information they asked for and never questioned anything further as we were told we would have a call from the weddings department two months before the holiday. After we never heard anything from the weddings department up to 6 weeks before we departed we again went into the Rotherham branch to make sure everything was OK and they had all the paper work required; we were told that my fiances birth certificate was causing some problem as his surname was spelt wrong, something we had never realised and had never been an issue before. We did as they said and went to our local registry office and bought a new birth certificate and were reassured everything was now in order.
While I was pleased the issue with the legal paper work was sorted I couldn't help but feel let down by the weddings department, they had had 14 months to contact us about this and get it sorted and yet they left it for us to chase them up. This unfortunately was only the beginning of my issues with the weddings department and every time I had a question for them they seemed incapable of answering me and always resulted in them needing to call me back. I am almost certain that as a bride-to-be I was not the only person to ever feel the need to call and ask them a nagging question, for example if I could take my dress on as hand luggage or how much the photographer would cost- which they never could answer and said it varied from each resort.
By the time the holiday was upon us I had almost lost all faith in First Choice as a weddings provider but was overcome with a mixture of emotions and tried my hardest to relax and enjoy the holiday. We were flying from Manchester airport and were instantly greatest by a huge line of people wanting to check in with First Choice. Now this came as a shock to me as we were there three hours before our departure and I had timed everything down to the T, I then found out that we were not in a queue for our Cuba flight but for First Choice holidays in general. This must have been one of the worst spectacles I have ever seen, my son was getting angry as we were just waiting in a line that wasn't moving, and I was getting frustrated with my son and worried we would be late.
Finally we got to the front of check in and was greeted by a woman who can only be described as a jobs worth. We had three suitcases, one of which was weighing in over the normal 20KG allowance, but we were given an extra 10KG of allowance due to the wedding and had to produce evidence of this, which I expected. Next we were asked how old my son was and why he had his own seat as she didn't think this was allowed. I think it's fair enough to say that after spending almost £500 on a seat for my son I was less then impressed with their attitude when in the end all it took was a nod from a supervisor to give the approval.
After checking our bags in we made ourselves upstairs to the passport control area where I was thrilled to finally see a bit of VIP treatment as were were ushered to the front of the queue (I do think this was more to do with having a baby then anything else).
My next big complaint was aimed directly at First Choice weddings, as we reached the departure lounge for our flight I counted at least another five women all with wedding dresses to take onto the hold. I cornered one of the women and asked her how she managed to get her dress this far to which I was told 'I didn't take no for an answer'. I thought this was grossly unfair, I was told on more then one occasion that it was strictly against policy to take the dress into the hold and as a result my huge dress had to be folded into a suitcase.
The airplane looked immaculate to me and we were flying in 'Star Class' which I believe comes as standard with long haul flights, included in this we all sat together, were given a meal and had the option of games, films and radio as in flight entertainment. The films available were very good and new releases which I enjoyed watching when my son was sleeping, but mostly enjoyed playing the games as you could play against other passengers which was a lot of fun on the return flight as we knew a lot of the people we were playing.
The food and service is one area where I was less then impressed again While the food was fine for my fiance and I, I was expecting (and had paid for) a child's meal for my son and thought it totally unrealistic for them to think he would eat what they were presenting us and also found it disappointing that they didn't bring around something for the children such as crayons like I have seen on other flights.
The service on the flight from the cabin crew was very few and far between, they never seemed to answer the service bell and I waited almost an hour just for them to bring my son a pillow so he could sleep. Maybe this is standard to long haul flights but the presence of someone bringing drinks every so often would not have gone amiss. If we were to fly with First Choice again I might contemplate upgrading to Premium Star Class for an extra £199 per person just for the better service, more selection of the TV (although you can upgrade to this for £10 per person in Star Class), free drinks and a more relaxed environment.
THE HOLIDAY REPS
As soon as we had collected our bags in Cuba we were greeted by a Cuban First Choice rep who showed us to our coach. She was only a young lady and somewhat reminded me of an over excited Butlins red coat. Some of the other passengers were finding any excuse to moan about things and I thought she dealt with them fantastically and more or less told them to be quiet and enjoy the sights of Cuba.
When we arrived at our resort I was more then impressed, it was a fantastic location and it really was like living in the true lap of luxury. We were advised there would be a meeting with our First Choice rep, which we attended to see what trips they had available. While we were happy to listen to the local information and be given some tips on things like finding the best cigars, the trips that were being offered were extortionate and I didn't see anyone sign up for any trips. That was the last I saw of our rep despite her claims she would be there every day; we didn't need her for anything as it turns out but it would have been nice to see someone there representing First Choice.
OVERALL/ CUSTOMER SERVICE
Without a shadow of a doubt the holiday to Cuba was the best holiday of my life, a fantastic resort and the staff at the hotel and our wedding planner (who are not employed by First Choice) were superb, I could not fault them in anyway and it was most certainly value for money at roughly £3500.
However, everything that was right with the holiday had nothing to do with First Choice and more the Sol Melia resort we stayed in. As I said previously I had lost all faith in First Choice before we had even been on our holiday but after spending two weeks in the most beautiful country to unwind, (almost) everything was forgiven and my plan to complain was scrapped- till six months later.
It was six months ago since we were in Cuba and having our beautiful wedding, but unfortunately six months later and I am still constantly having to ring First Choice and complain. When we first booked the wedding we were made well aware that it can take up to six months to receive the wedding certificate, but told that Cuba tends to be quite quick at issuing them. A few weeks before we flew there was an issue of Watchdog on TV that was all about First Choice wedding's and how they were in some cases taking two years to produce wedding certificates but were assured time and time again that this was a very isolated case at the resort they had the issue with was no longer in partnership with First Choice weddings.
When at the resort we were told by our wedding planner and the First Choice rep to expect up to three months wait for the certificate, after three months I called the weddings department who said they were wrong and it can take 6 months. Feeling the need to chase this I began calling First Choice weddings every three weeks to ask for an update on my missing certificate only to be constantly told it's on it's way and infact on one occasion was told it had been received at the resort and would be sent via DHL within a matter of days, something I now learn to be untrue.
It seems that the weddings department are completely incapable of being straight with me regarding time scales or where my wedding certificate is, I have recently been told two different time scales one of 9 months and one of 12. Feeling the need to catch First Choice out I looked in their new brochure only to find they have changed the wording to 'we can't confirm how long it will take' but on calling the weddings sales line posing as a bride-to-be was told again that it's a 3-6 months time scale.
As much as I loved my wedding and my holiday and had the best customer service at the initial stages of my relationship with First Choice, they have seriously let me down now with their lack of care or compassion.
If they got their act together with the customer service issues mentioned then I would have no issue with using this company again.
I regularly go to Dominican Republic and Mexico, both of which are long haul holidays. I tend to book with first choice as more often than not, they price match and the staff at my local shop are really helpful.
The most recent holiday that I have been on with first choice was to the dominican republic in february 2009. I booked this holiday with first choice as they were by far the cheapest. I booked it in the shop and the staff were friendly and quick.
When you book long haul flights with first choice, you receive a few extras including the following:
33'' leg room, leather seats and a complimentary pamper pack which has an eye cover in, travel socks and a toothbrush and toothpaste.
You have your own personal 7 inch screen built into the seat in front of you and you have a selction of free games, movies and music to choose from. For £5 per person extra you can upgrade this so you get a massive choice and new release movies...although personally i think their is plenty of choice in the basic package.
You will receive a four course meal and a snack before landing.
I don't particularly enjoy flying long distances, however the first choice/thomson aircrafts are a lot bigger and comfier than many other airlines that i have flown with. When you are on a plane for 9 hours, comfort is essential and the planes are very spacious, with plenty of room to walk around too...which is ideal for restless children. Also for children there are a selection of cartoons in the personal 7inch tv screen.
The staff have always been friendly on first choice airlines and will try to help you the best they can. On the flight home i was cold and the air hostess got me two blankets and a pillow.
The food on first choice airlines is nice... not fantastic but i have never had a bad meal. There is normally a choice of two meats... or two breakfasts and there is a vegetarian option which i think you have to pre book.
Overall, i would recommend this airline...especially for long haul flights as they have a few extras and more legroom which you dont have to pay for. Also, you will probably find that they offer more luggage allowance than other airlines which is a big plus when you are going away for 2-3 weeks.
First Choice have recently launched a string of holiday village resorts. We visited one of these in April this year just outwith the school week and managed to bag a bargain all inclusive holiday for less than £900 for 3.
First Choice sent out our tickets a few weeks in advance, and we enjoyed a comfortable flight. The cabin crew were helpful and pleasant, and the on board prices were no better or worse than any other airline.
When we arrived in Costa Del Sol, we were met by a group of reps and ushered to a waiting coach. The coach went only to the holiday village which meant it was a short journey without all the usual stop offs! The coaches were clean and air conditioned. On arrival the hotel was beautiful and again the staff were wonderful. The resort is exclusive to First Choice, and the rep didn't make a nuisance of themselves unlike many!
The holiday was family orientated, the staff were excellent amusing the kids day in day out and providing family entertainment at night. The food was excellent particularly for all inclusive and there was a great family atmosphere within the resort.
I would travel again with First Choice as I found them well priced, but given the opinions of others I would stick with the holiday villages given our good experience!