Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4022 times:
Its sad but their is the smack of truth about it. The trouble is the charter carriers have tried to copy the no-frills airlines. They charge for meals, charge for drinks and out has gone all the extras like sweets, hot towels and the like.
there is now nothing to set them apart from the no-frills airlines who are flying on the same routes to Spain and the like.
BananaBoY From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1565 posts, RR: 24 Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3978 times:
Quoting SignalOne (Reply 2): If the Charters are offering poorer service, people are going to chose the Budget Airlines, as their prices are lower.
Not always... just as BA and the like can be cheaper than U2 and even FR on occasion.
Don't start thinking that the charters are on the way out. Remember that they are the "original low cost" carriers, and may well continue to succeed.
Package holiday market is not in steady decline.. just annual flux. There is something to be said for picking a holiday out of a brochure / website and paying an "all-in" price for the holiday, rather than hunting down accom etc.
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 1): there is now nothing to set them apart from the no-frills airlines who are flying on the same routes to Spain and the like.
... other than IFE, assigned seats, hot meals and so on.. Granted, the differences are getting fewer by the day, but nevertheless, they are still different products.
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
777Heaven From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3955 times:
As a person who has worked in the charter industry for a few years now I hav 2 say First Choice at least has come leaps and bounds over the last couple of years as anyone who will fly with them will see. Its unfair to compare them with rival operators (have u seen their 767s)
Ricci767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 151 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3938 times:
I totally agree with this. I have been on the following:
I definatly have to say that the LCC's such as Monarch performed better than the charters. The worst I have experienced have to be MyTravel and Britannia. I don't have any idea whether Futura is a LCC or not but is was crap. Not even a safety demo! If you are a tall person I would suggest you avoid all airlines in my list except Virgin Atlantic. Virgin was also the best airline I have been on in terms of service, cleanliness and other factors.
Jmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1296 posts, RR: 7 Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3911 times:
I always take these holiday which surveys with a pinch of salt. Who do they survey? Ok, so they took a survey of 19,000 people. And Palmair came out number two? Thats a little odd. I bet If I took a survey of 19,000 people, I'd be lucky to find 5 that had even heard of Palmair!
So Singapore are the best and Palmair are number two. How can the two be compared? A two aircraft charter operation being compared to some of the worlds biggest airlines, that is not a level playing field. I don't want anyone to think I'm Palmair bashing. They're a great little operation and do provide excellent service. Just trying to demonstrate the HolidayWhich surveys are not all they're cracked up to be.
I think its got a lot to do with expectations. I think when people buy cheap loco tickets they dont expect much at all. So when the airline operates the flight bang on time, on a nice modern aircraft, the customer is very pleased. When people book a holiday, i'm not all that sure what they expect. The charter airlines always seem to get a rough deal. In reality they are doing the same job. Getting people somewhere, with very similar service to a loco. Yet they get bashed all the time, and everyone champions the loco's?
RightWayUp From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 86 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3837 times:
One thing that people tend to forget is the tight planning of aircraft schedules by charter companies during the summer. In most charter companies the aircraft basically only gets 1 or 2 long breaks during a week. i.e. for 5/6 days the only break the aircraft will get is during the 1 hour turnarounds. If you get big disruption such as fog at Med destinations the aircraft lines could take upto 3 or 4 days to get back on time. The Locos obviously have their bad days but tend to do very little night-flying so they will catch up by the next morning. This of course is as long as all their aircraft end up back at base. Therefore charters tend to get very high-profile delays during the summer.
ThomasCook From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 782 posts, RR: 9 Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3801 times:
I must agree with jmc757.
The survey is a complete load of rubbish! 19,000 people since September 2002 out of all the people that use these airlines every year! Then consider how many will have travelled on Palmair compared to BA and suchlike?
I certainly wouldn't make decisions based on that!
That's the problem with surveys, the surveyors don't know what the passengers are comparing them to. I've flown Charter all my life, and know nothing different (apart from one VS flight) and think charters are fine, but others may have flown BA and a Charter little times, and that's where all the bad reviews come from.
I think MyTravel's statement hit it bang on the nail:
"Mytravel said Holiday Which? readers were not their target audience and the survey did not offer any "helpful hints" on how to improve their service."
I think its the down to earth attitude of MyTravel which makes me like them so much!
I think its an appropriate moment for a MyTravel picture:
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3786 times:
In the good old days, charters were great, minus the delays and cramped seating. you got good service, hot meal even on short flights, boiled sweets for take off and landing, menu cards at meal times, hot towels after meal service, free tea and coffee and a 'childrens fun pack' to keep kids amused.
Now though they dont offer much more than Ryanair. You have to pre-pay for a meal and all the little touches have dissapeared.
ThomasCook From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 782 posts, RR: 9 Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3775 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 13): you got good service, hot meal even on short flights
All passengers on MyTravel Airways still get a free hot meal apart from those on Sun or Snow Deals. Bar MyTravel Airways and Astraeus, I can't think of any other charter airlines to still offer free meals. Even Excel now charge. Most charters still offer free Tea, Coffee and Orange and the children's fun packs.
SignalOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3764 times:
I've got this really old Airtours brochure from around 1992/ 1993, and this is what it says about flying with Airtours International: (Now of course MyTravel)
Caption from the Airtours Winter sun 92/93 brochure, with a few words removed that were irrelevant.
We have a brand new fleet of MD83 aircraft , highly respected for their reliability, safety and passenger comfort. Add to this the friendly professionalism of our cabin crews, quality in-flight catering, and you have a superb journey in the skies. If you've flown with us before, you'll know all about the smart, distinctive livery, and the generous legroom. And you'll no doubt remember the attentive service that includes tasty hot meals, hot towels to freshen up, and complimentary Buck Fizz on early morning breakfast departures.
A340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4104 posts, RR: 52 Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3747 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 13): Now though they dont offer much more than Ryanair. You have to pre-pay for a meal and all the little touches have dissapeared.
Are you insane!? I think you need to seriously look at this statment!
I flew with FCA on one of their 757's yesterday, and, as always was pleased. Our free hot meals were welcome, as well as the ski version of BBC's holiday. This one FR! I do, and always will think FCA are above the rest, never a bad experience on numerous flights,
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
Crosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2592 posts, RR: 59 Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3686 times:
Not all our passengers have to pay for their meals, and generally those First Choice Airways passengers booking more expensive holidays plus longhaul passengers have meals included in the ticket price.
The full breakdown is as follows:
• Eclipse Select
• First Choice Premier
• High frequency charter
• Independent brans (Sovereign, Hayes & Jarvis, Meon Villas, Longshot, Citalia, Sunsail)
• JWT/Falcon passengers (Eire/Northern Ireland)
• Longhaul flights plus Egypt and the Gambia
• Premium Cabin passengers
• Scheduled seat-only passengers (DP flights)
• Ski flights
• Third-party tour operator passengers
• First Choice
• First Choice Lakes and Mountains
• Island Cruises
• Saver brands
• Sun brands (Sunstart, Sunquest, 2wentys)
Due to the very short flying times, all passengers on Ski flights will continue to get an abbreviated hot-breakfast/snack, as has always been the case.
It's also worth noting that pre-pay catering is a tour operator driven option - if the tour operator wants to provide "free" meals for everyone then as long as they pay the airline for full catering, that's what the airline will provide. None off the extra money generated by tour operators charging for meals is passed on to the airline, catering is part of the contracts between tour operators and airlines, and as airlines are now providing less meals on most flights the overall cost to tour operator is reduced.
According to the newest Travel City Direct brochure they have just bought some more aircraft to compliment their 747-200's. Apparently they have acquired some "brand new, top of the line" 747-300's which are "very sophisticated and modern".
BCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 18 Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3520 times:
Charter flights in the UK have come a long way since the 1960s and 1970s when the likes of Dan Air - London was a dominant player. I remember that the BEA Comets were configured for about 76 passengers in a two-class layout but the Dan-Air Comets were configured for over 110! Seat pitch was an incredible uncomfortable 28". Monarch Airlines, who are still around today, initially flew B720s from Luton to St Lucia, with an en-route refuelling stop (at Shannon I think). It was an arduous uncomfortable ride but compensated by the pleasant Monarch crews and the knowledge that you were flying to paradise at a fraction of the normal cost, so you either bore the drawbacks or got off! They were also the Coronados operated by the likes of Spantax - fly with them at your own risk!
In the 1970s Monarch led the way and started investing in brand-new aircraft by purchasing some of the first 757s off the production line (I think they were the first European airline to operate the 757), charter airlines having previously used old aircraft that had probably outlived their usefulness with the legacy carriers. Tour operators, seeing that MON was offering a superior product, then demanded that the airlines they used invested in newer equipment. Thomas Cook (who at the time did not have their own in-house airline) insisted that Dan Air ordered 737s, so they could offer a comparable product to MON and Britannia. Smaller charter airlines soon appeared - the likes of Orion, Air 2000, and the short-lived Air Europe etc - and the standards improved.
As stated previously, the tour operators dictate the standards of service provided on their flights, including whether or not a "free" meal is provided. A tour operator could dictate to a carrier that all meals and drinks are to be provided free, IFE must be state-of-the-art, catering must be of an exceptionally high standard to shame a first class restaurant, etc. All these extras come with a price that is added to the fare. However, there was pressure for tour operators to remain competitive and cut prices - if they could save £5 per passenger by not providing "free" meals, they could reduce £229 for 2 weeks in Spain with accommodation and flights included to £224. Cut out a few more extras and the price goes down to £199, which sells faster than a similar holiday at £229. Thomas Cook started the trend to charge extra for meals in order to keep the basic price low, and this is why so many services taken for granted on charter flights are slowly disappearing. I see that having cut costs on the flights, tour operators are now directing their attention to the resorts by cutting out the traditional on-site tour reps.
Of course, the LCCs have also had an affect on charter services.
[Edited 2005-03-21 15:30:37]
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3490 times:
I enjoyed reading BCal's succinct summary of the charter airlines progress over the years.
While the charter carriers worked hard to improve the image duing the 80s and early 90s, they are now going backwards and offering service levels worse than the seat back catering of the 60s and 70s. I think thats a shame.
Why book a charter seat only when you can book a no-frills flight to Spain at a lower cost. If the charter carriers had kept the free meals and little extras, they would offer a clear difference in product to the no-frills carriers.
I am afraid charter airlines muct accept some of the blame for their steady decline.
Cornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 55 Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3478 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 23): Why book a charter seat only when you can book a no-frills flight to Spain at a lower cost. If the charter carriers had kept the free meals and little extras, they would offer a clear difference in product to the no-frills carriers.
Well seat-only's on a charter flight mean that not all the package holidays have been taken up. (I'm not talking about some of the charters scheduled ops here). If you look on a seat only ticket on a charter flight it will often give you the hotel that holiday/seat was allocated to. As the number of these seats are realtively low per flight, they can charge a fairly high price for them.
People who are buying a package holiday will still fly on a charter flight. The LCCs are getting some of the seat only demand off them and have grown on routes to Spain etc hand in hand with the rise of the more independent minded traveller who chooses their own hotel and flight, and also due to the growth in holiday homes and timeshares.
It is that, rather than any lack of service, high price, etc etc that has seen people move over to LCCs.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
25 SignalOne: Hello, Remember that the Airtours brochure was from 1992, when the MD-83 were probably brand new I wonder where those new 747-300 are coming from? I t
26 Petazulu: Charter airlines in Europe will decrease in prominence as LCC's become the norm. The reason such a large charter market exists in Europe has to do wit
27 BCAL: I tend to disagree. If you look at the routes offered by UK charter airlines to Mediterranean destinations and compare them with those offered by the
28 Ryanair737: Not exactly new! TF-AME was previously F-GSEA from Corsair and has recently just recieved the full Travel City Direct livery, after spending the last
29 SignalOne: Has anybody flown with Travel City? What are they like? Thanks for the information Daniel. Cheers, Ryan
30 ThomasCook: Hi, Your joking right? We spent about £1150 each, last June for a First Choice holiday in Turkey; 5* All Inclusive - we where the first customers at
31 Crosswind: Thomas Cook, I provided a list of which holidays include meals, and which don't include meals. Unless you booked a First Choice Premier holiday then y
32 ThomasCook: Hi, I have a stalker! Always wanted one but now I have changed my mind! To be honest, it was disgusting and the comments of most the people onboard re
33 ThomasCook: Hi, The deserts for FCA come from "The Roberts Food Group" as stated on the label - I can take a picture for you if you wish? Roberts Group Regards Th
34 SignalOne: Hello, I think its rubbish like this First Choice food policy for 'Luxury' passenger's that is spoiling parts of charter flying. Passengers which are
35 Sausageandmash: About the Gu - if you ever go to Sainsburys you'll find these in the "trendy" aisle, next to the must have brands such as Innocent smoothies and the l
36 Foxiboy: regarding free meals etc, FLYJET offer free meals,hot tea/coffee,juice for the kids,hot towels,and sweet b4 and after take off. Yep you pay for drinks
37 Planesarecool: You'll probably find that where you don't get a free meal, you get a cheaper ticket. I think Britannia initially started off the pay-per-meal trend, w
38 SignalOne: Planesarecool, you brought up some interesting points there, and I respect you for that. Of course, money can made by not including an In-flight meal,
39 ThomasCook: Hi, I agree with what you are saying SignalOne regarding seat charges etc... The price of Thomson's holidays is generally more expensive then all UK T
40 SignalOne: That article Craig supplied shows exactly what I mean, TUI is about screwing every last penny out of you really. The prices in the Dutch brochures sho
41 Foxiboy: Also paying to sit together will make sure you sit together,as its happened to me that I was split up from my partner by 3 rows due to (us checking in
42 BCAL: It was Thomas Cook who were first to charge extra for meals in the UK inclusive tour market. Like every service industry these days, they were not on
43 SignalOne: Hello, Again, some good views raised BCAL. I don't think I would mind paying to sit together, if it was £5 each or something. Normally my family gets
44 LGW: Hi all, I always make a point of flying on Monarch, for me they are the best charter carrier Cheers Ben Pritchard
45 Planesarecool: There has to be a loser in this situation. Are you saying that an elderly couple who got to the airport and checked in 3hrs before a flight should be
46 SignalOne: All I am trying to say is that I think it is an absolute disgrace to be have to pay high sums of money(for what it is) to make sure you sit together.
47 Planesarecool: Yeah, but when you have three quarters of a plane load of people who are seated as they wish, there are bound to be a lot of single seats dotted aroun
48 Crosswind: The service is not compulsory. If you decide you don't want to pay for it you will still be seated together without any problems whatsoever, as long
49 SignalOne: I suppose that about sums it up. Cheers Ryan
50 BananaBoY: Been away for a few days, and had to respond to the direction this thread has taken. And "in the good old days" people flew a lot less. Flying, partic
51 ThomasCook: Hi, BananaBoY May I point out that the survey for which Thomson did not rate was separate to that of the survey regarding Charter Airlines. Regards Th
52 BananaBoY: Yes. I am still interested to hear what it is in particular that made the Sky survey credible to you and the which? Holiday survey one which you did
53 ThomasCook: Hi, There wasn't a Sky News survey; they reported the results of the Which? survey in which it was reported that Thomson did not rate! It was credible