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Worst Charter Airline Flight?  
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13860 posts, RR: 17
Posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4009 times:

What was your worst Charter airline flight? Either a flight operated by a charter only airline or a charter operated by an aircraft owned by a regular airline. Don't include where the airline or charter agent went out of business just before your flight.

For example: I recall a miserable flight JFK-LGW in 1983. It was my first flight to Europe. While could buy walk up or same day standby flights then, wanted to make sure had reservations for the r/t. I cannot recall the airline, but was a charter only company. Was on a beaten up 707 with seat pitch suitable for legless people (and this is from someone who is 5'4"!) flight was full, crowded, late departure, lousy food, bad entertainment, window seat so every time had to go to the lav, had to tightrope on the armrests. Got very little sleep. Seemed like the flight would take forever to get there. My return flight was on a scheduled TWA flight from LHR and MUCH better. Another example, a charter LGA-to Nassau, Bahamas, on an Air Florida a/c, on a day when snowed. This was after the Air Florida crash at DCA earlier that year. Flight delayed for a number of hours until weather clear and sunny!
I am quite sure these experiences are nothing in comparison to some of the horror stories out there!

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3203 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Britannia, Monarch, Air 2000, MyTravel, and Thomas Cook.

All charter airlines are a disgrace!

The UK market believes it is OK to put a passenger in a seat with 27-28 inches of legroom for a 9 hour flight.

On the A330's operated by, Monarch, Thomas Cook and MyTravel they have 9 across as opposed to 8 across in economy on all scheduled airlines that operate the A330.

They do however offer off a "Premier Cabin" at the from of the aircraft with a seat pitch of 33-34 inches for a premium of £199 each way (Bargain!!!).

User currently offlineWillo From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

It's no use complaining if you are only prepared to pay peanuts for a charter. The masses want cheap holidays, so there has to be a trade off in comfort. The service on most UK charters is as good as and some times better than scheduled.

If you want more room pay premium and fly scheduled!!

User currently offlineNavega From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 741 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3703 times:

Got to be ATA, hands down. MDW to CUN.

Bad service, bad pitch. Nasty flight attendants, and I do mean nasty and
ugly on the inside.

Where do they get these people.

User currently offlineMrwayne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

All charters are shocking, I will only fly on a scheduled service to make sure I can get back, and if i cant, they will look after me.

...and I dont wear my knees for headphones.

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3660 times:

My worst charter airline flight was in December 1999 on LT (DUS-ALC-DUS). It was not the LTU service I knew from previous flights on this airline, the seat pitch in the A 320 was horrible, (I felt like in a cattle carrier), the F/A's were totally unfriendly and the food disgusting. Later I flew again on them and I was glad to see that their service improved.


User currently offlineUshermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2999 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3609 times:

Mine was technicially not a charter flight but rather a scheduled flight operated by a charter airline. It was LGW-TPA-LGW on British Caledonian. It was nice to fly on a DC-10 but there was basicially NO seat pitch. Thus it was a very uncomfortable flight. The worst I have ever experienced.
But the crew was very friendly and I still haven't seen a prettier F/A than on that flight.
 Wink/being sarcastic

Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offlineJmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3551 times:

SunCoutry- STL-LAS-STL 1994.
Old DC-10, cattle car class. I think they had roof top class, but we paid for the up grade  Big grin

Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlineGLAGAZ From UK - Scotland, joined Feb 2004, 1988 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3549 times:

Euro Atlantic 737 GLA - FAO

Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
User currently offlineBGR1962 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

I flew ATA to CUN from BOS about 12 years ago on a L-1011 I think. The flight down wasn't that bad, but boy the return was a trip from hell. The airline was okay and I actually felt bad for the flight attendants because most of the passengers where horribly hung-over. You couldn't get near the toilets without gagging.

User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3471 times:

All my charter flights have been great, I especially enjoyed my flights on Astraeus and Excel Airways.

View Large View Medium

Photo © Manuel Marin - IBERIAN SPOTTERS
View Large View Medium

Photo © Paulo carvalho

UK charter carriers are not that bad compared to some charter airlines in other countries.

Ryanair737  Smile

[Edited 2004-03-02 21:41:44]

User currently offlineSammyhostie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3450 times:


As former cabin crew on AEU I thoroughly agree with you, for a charter they provide excellent full service,including free hot meal and hot towels.

Not all charters are as bad as you say!

User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3391 times:


AEU were great. I flew with to Malaga from Manchester last year but was on G-BZZA, its great that they gave every passenger a leaflet about the company and their in-flight service at check-in.  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineJmc777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

What you have to understand is that the CAA in the UK state that the minimum seat pitch needed for a safe and effective evacuation in an emergency is "26 inches" !!!!

All the UK charter airlines offer more than that. If enough passengers wrote to the CAA to complain about it maybe more would change. As it is, unfortunately it isn't likely to any time soon.

The reason most charter airlines are in the business is to make money, not a lot, usually enough just to cover the bottom line and stay in business. in order to do this they offer very competetive prices on flights.

In my experience charter airlines offer a very good service as they have a lot of competition, but across the board, the seat pitch os more or less the same.

Passengers and Crew alike have been complaining about it for years, but nothing has changed, and it wont unless the british public stop travelling on charter airlines........and spend more for scheduled services, like easyjet, ryanair etc...............hehe

If the CAA did increase the minimum seat pitch in the UK for UK registered airlines, to say about 30 " for short haul and 32" for long haul, who would pay for that? The british public. So if a French airline operated say CDG-LGW-PFO-LGW-CDG with a seat pitch of 28", but the price was I dunno £25 cheaper, who would the majority of passengers choose to fly with?

I obviously don't have the answers, but would love less seats on our aircraft, as it allows us to deliver a better service, but not holding my breath..

Incidently, Ushermittwoch: I used to work that route on that aircraft, and the aircraft in question was owned and configured by British Airways for that particular route (and others). We disliked it as well, for a scheduled service.
But thanks for the comments about the crew, will pass it on  Laugh out loud  Laugh out loud

User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2650 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3215 times:
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CAA AWN64 states that the minimum space between seats must be 26"
- this is defined as the distance from the back of the seat infront to the front of the seatback behind. In simple terms it is the seat pitch minus the thickness of the seatback.

So the CAA mandated minimum space of 26" equates to a minimum pitch of 28" - assuming a 2" thick seatback cushion.

The airlines concerned know they don't offer a lot in the way of legroom, but it is something of an economic necessity.

Things are changing, Thomas Cook Airlines are operating 2 B757s with 35" seat pitch next year on Canadian routes, (as I'm sure Jmc777 is aware!) and First Choice Airways' "new" B767s due next year will feature better-than-scheduled seat-pitch and entertainment as standard.


User currently offlineAviationman From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3183 times:

TS to several destinations from YMX to Cuba. What a bunch of amateurs they can be sometimes. Totally unbelievable....Flights being delayed for hours....and no announcements made to passengers. The barman at the bar informs you of your flight being late....Not TS people. Flights being delayed from 14:00 until 03:00 am and flight attendants waking you up, shaking your shoulders, to offer you to eat a "frozen", poorly prepared an apparently hot (frozen and cold) omelette.

User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3140 times:


How are these guys still in business - cramped seats (fair enough thats what you pay for), poor service, aircraft replacements and poor time keeping - consistently.

I haven't flown a charter for a while but have generally had a decent flight when doing so. Except of course for my two flights with MYT, one of which didn't turn up for four hours, the other was operated by Air Holland crew and aircraft and yes, late again!

I have however bitten the bullet and booked on the Thomas Cook extra leg room 757 for a trip to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in June. 35" for £230 to Canada in June is a real bargain. Just hope the plane turns up!

Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineFLYtoEGCC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3110 times:

Regarding UK charter carriers...
I may be wrong, but as far as I knew, the long-haul aircraft of Thomas Cook (A330), Britannia, First Choice (both 767), Monarch (A330) and MyTravel (A330, B767) have Y class seat pitch of 30". The difference between them and the 757/A320/A321 is very noticeable - these normally have seat pitch of 28" as they are classed as "short haul" (personally I don't class a 4hr flight to FUE crammed into a seat like that as "short". I'm 6'1 and I just about managed to bear 10hr flights on Thomas Cook and MyTravel A330s - other times I tried to cram into seats on Air 2000 757s/A321s and it was really painful.

Apologies if I'm mistaken with this seat pitch info, I'd appreciate it if someone could correct me if I am!

[Edited 2004-03-03 01:09:42]

Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
User currently offlineMiles_mechanic From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

The story I have is not me personally but what has been on the news the past few weeks.

It was a Skyservice flight from Cancun to Regina, Sask., Jan. 2004. The plane was delayed leaving Cancun for technical reasons, and so the passengers were on the flight and it was backed away from the gate, the engines weren't started or the apu, so these people were sitting in this plane and thinking it would be a short delay, and time kept going on, people started wanting answers and not getting any. People were starting to get hot, but the flight crew refused to start the apu to supply air conditioning for the passengers or to open the doors to let any fresh air in. The passengers next wanted water and other refreshments but the cabin crew refused to give the passengers anything.
Finally 3 hours later the flight finally departed for Regina, the flight crew and cabin crew were not supposedly very apologetic about what happened and didn't seem to care about the passengers well being sitting in this hot airplane.
And to top it all off the lieutenant Governor ( Queens Representative in the Province ) was onboard this flight.
Well today some 3 weeks later after Skyservice refusing any compensation for any of the passengers, one of the passengers got a package in the mail, and if he accepted there compensation he has to sign this waiver relieving Skyservice of any wrong doing.
I will keep you posted on what happens next.



User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1904 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3040 times:


Spring break of 2000 as college students, we booked a spring break package. It was BOS-NAS on CASINO AIRLINES which seemed very shady to me. Of course, I was NOT looking forward to this.

I am 6-3, and I know they had the minimum space between seats to fit as many DRUNK OBNOXIOUS college students (mostly from state schools--haha) onto what was probably the first ever 737 produced (just kidding) but was obviously an old Iberian relic (the service carts had the stickers still on them, in addition to all placards being in Portuguese-- still why no Spanish, I still don't know). So takeoff felt near vertical, and on the level-off, it was so fast my stomach was up near my mouth. Uneventful flight, aside from on the return, we were delayed in NAS a day because a luggage truck crashed into the plane, and they'd have to spend a day repairing it. Of course we had to pay for our own accomodations, which is a rip off in NAS if you are a poor college kid like we were then.

The 2001 spring break trip to ACA was vastly improved, and all on CO! Though the cranky F/As literally YELLED at us on the return for requesting landing cards, since we were asleep on her first pass-though. She got on the PA and said "do anymore of you SMART COLLEGE EDUCATED individuals require additional landing cards like these people right here?" as she pointed us out.


User currently offlineKevin752 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 747 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2937 times:

I have one experiance with a charter airline. I went LAX-AMS and AMS-LAX on Martin Air. The first leg was terrible. The service was Horrible, no leg room, bad entertaiment, and terible food. The LAX- AMS flight was on an MD11 the plane had irregular leg room pattern so some rows had more room than some and some rows had 2 windows and some rows had no windows. The food was bad and it smelled up the entire cabin. Breakfast was terrible the food was bad and the bread felt, looked and tasted as if it had been dried for days in the sun. the entertaiment was really bad. The LAX- AMs flight had good will hunting which has swear words in every part of the movie and there was no editing done so all the little kids on the plane were learning swear words. I hated the movie.
the service was much better. The food was still bad. The leg room still bad. The entertainment STILL BAD. I was glad to be back home in Los Angeles safe and in one piece.

"Keep Climbing"
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