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See What A UK Charter Airline Can Get Away With...  
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1217 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 14467 times:

Ok, I’ve just spent an interesting afternoon trying to book a flight to Crete for my dear old mother to visit friends and the only reasonable option is to book her on a charter flight. Its been a while since I’ve flown a charter airline and I was shocked, yet quite impressed at the number of extras they can now charge you for if you are gullible enough to believe the crap they spin you.

This is probably nothing new to a lot of UK/EU readers but might give a few North American flyers complaining about where the pretzels have gone on NW, the feeling that at least things could be worse (and probably an indication of how it could get worse).

I’m not picking on any particular airlines but got most of my information from First Choice, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson (Britannia). Enjoy!

The first thing I noticed was that you can spend a small fortune on getting that seat you’ve always wanted. For example First Choice charge, get this, £17 each for long haul flights (£10 for the kiddies) to sit together. But don’t worry if you’re just taking that 2.5 hour flight to Malaga because that will only cost you £7 (or a bargain £5 for the little’uns)

The best seating “deal” though is Thomas Cook who charge you £10-15 each to sit together:

“Seats together ensures that your party will be seated together, seats numbers will be given to you at check-in, you will receive seats numbers in advance if you have also paid for Your seat. Your choice.”

Now why if you have paid for a particular seat number for you and your companions would you pay an extra £10 each to sit together. Surely just assign yourself x number of seats next to each other?? Of course they have thought of that and give you a discount on the seat assignment fee of £20-25 if you have paid to sit together  Cool

Having paid all of this money, surely you want to know what your expensive seat will be like? Fear not as the trusty FAQs will enlighten you and make you feel glad you paid all that money to park your backside in 29A.

“On a First Choice Airways shorthaul flight you will have 28" of legroom in a normal Economy seat, or 33" if you have upgraded to the Premium service”

Thomas cook: “The seat pitch (distance between the back support cushion of your flight seat and the back of the seat or other fixed structure in front of your seat) will not be less than the minimum stated in the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s Airworthiness Notice No.64, issue 2 of the 29th October 2001 (ie at least 26 inches)”.

And if the thought of sitting in that 28” seat is too much for you then how about an extra legroom seat for £30 (First Choice, Monarch). Lying long haul? No problem, just cross our palms with an extra 30 quid. Yes folks that’s £60 to avoid DVT on your next trip to Hurricane swept Florida.

But if you like living dangerously and will take your chances at check-in then you can check-in the night before for just £5 per person on First Choice.

But if you’re an A.netter you’ll also want to know what type of aircraft you are flying on, no? Fear not, a return visit to those informative First Choice FAQs will surely yield an answer.

“Your flight will be operated by a charter airline using modern passenger aircraft”.

See  no 

So finally you settle into your seat which reassuringly conforms to minimum CAA standards, surrounded by your nearest and dearest to whom you can make endless complements about the airline and their great product. However you get that horrible rumble in your stomach. Yes, you are hungry. Now lets be fair some charter airlines still give you free grub and a  bigthumbsup  to them. If you are flying Thomson (Britannia) though that’ll be £10. But don’t worry because you might get lucky and be flying an airline like First Choice that gives meals for free and even lets you choose a vegetarian and diabetic meal if needed. But wait, remember last week when you went to the Synagogue to take a vow of Judaism. Poo, that Kosher meal you want costs £10, oh no you’re flying to Florida aren’t you, that’s £20 then.

So here is how it stacks up for your average Jewish family of 4 flying First Choice to SFB (as an example):

Sit together: £17x2 £10x2
Extra Leg Room: £30x4
Night Before Check-in: £5x4
Kosher Meal: £20x4

Giving a grand “extras” total of £274, just enough to pay for granny to come along  eek 


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
96 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14413 times:

Wao, and people complain about AA's crappy service.

User currently offlineBA757 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2832 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14380 times:

This is why I don't fly charter...

Adam


User currently offline777adoration From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14323 times:

Well so much for that good deal they claim to be!

This is my first post here at airliners.net! Long time reader through!
Nicole


User currently offlineUnitedgirlie From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14308 times:

me too not only the thought of all of that but sitting with a whole plane load of chavs turns my stomach......this to me would be a living nightmare.

User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9149 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14292 times:

...and there's still lots of opportunity for the charter airline to cash in. Why should the use of toilets be free of charge, just to name one?


E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14275 times:

Quoting Unitedgirlie (Reply 4):
me too not only the thought of all of that but sitting with a whole plane load of chavs turns my stomach.

well try not to throw up - they even charge for the sickbags now  Wink



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
User currently offlineMaersk737 From Denmark, joined Feb 2004, 678 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14271 times:

Why don't you bring your own food?

If you pay almost nothing, that's what you get  Wink

Cheers

Peter



I'm not proud to be a Viking, just thankfull
User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14261 times:

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
Kosher Meal: £20x4

That is very poor indeed. And probably on the verge of illegality in the European Union. Couldn't this be considered "racist" against a particular group of people?

I know BA offers all their special meals for free (which means the system can get abused by passengers), but at least BA can proudly say they do not discriminate against a certain type of people by charging more than others to eat what their faith allows them to eat.

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
Sit together: £17x2 £10x2

That is simply unacceptable!

Safe flying all.


User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1217 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14247 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 5):
...and there's still lots of opportunity for the charter airline to cash in. Why should the use of toilets be free of charge, just to name one?

Please don't give them ideas!

Quoting Unitedgirlie (Reply 4):
me too not only the thought of all of that but sitting with a whole plane load of chavs turns my stomach......this to me would be a living nightmare.

I wasn't trying to be snobby but i'll have to agree with you.

Quoting 777adoration (Reply 3):
Well so much for that good deal they claim to be!

This is my first post here at airliners.net! Long time reader through!
Nicole

The joke is the actual flight prices to Crete are not that cheap. I reakon I could just about get myslef to New york on a good airline for that (£220)

Oh and welcome!



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 offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14223 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 5):
...and there's still lots of opportunity for the charter airline to cash in. Why should the use of toilets be free of charge, just to name one?

Because as you are in a confinde space, it would be illegal to charge in order for people to excise body functions... (Human Rights)

Plus you'll probably get people sneeking a wee by the side of the door to save pennies. The follow up cleaning will render any profit made on the toilets useless!!!

Al.


User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1217 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14218 times:

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 8):
That is very poor indeed. And probably on the verge of illegality in the European Union. Couldn't this be considered "racist" against a particular group of people?

To be fair they also charged £10 for a childrens meal, but yes you'd have thought so. Here it is in black and white:

http://www.firstchoice.co.uk/info/flightsprebookables.html



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 offlineACEregular From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 675 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14215 times:

If you do not prebook seats or meals they tend to allocate the remaining scum before the flight anyway and tend to seat you according to your booking reference so its not often someone travelling on the same booking is split up, apart from maybe an aisle. See its a just a con, they will sit you together anyway.
I flew BY and did not pay the extra for any of it, all of our party were sat in the very last row of a 757 on seat A,B,C and D both ways. thats not just a fluke.


User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14151 times:

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the standards of services on UK charter flights improved. No longer did the package tourist have to suffer from the inconvenience of departures in the middle of the night from the middle of Bedfordshire, flying in an old aircraft that had seen better days, and the "sardine salad" in-flight meal. The UK charter airlines started to invest in modern, quiet and fuel-efficient aircraft, meals and services improved, IFE appeared and on some airlines they introduced "Premium Class". Departures at convenient times from convenient airports also became the norm.

Towards the 1990s, the charter airlines saw competition from LCCs and people were keen to get a "bargain". To remain competitive and keep prices rock bottom, charter airlines decided to offer "basic fares" that covered only the minimum services they were forced to offer - i.e. a seat, baggage allowance, and services of their employees and agents. Anything else would be charged extra. Hence, the price of (say) £150 to fly LGW-PMI could be reduced by £10 if the provision of meal service was taken away, another £10 if the service to select seats was taken away. Having taken away extra services, the airlines then decided that they could raise revenue by charging for popular things like seats with extra legroom, daytime flights, and this might subsidise other aspects of the fare. Suddenly the £175 fare could be reduced to £99.99 and advertised as "Cheaper fares". Joe Public sees this as a bargain and jumps on the bandwagon, and the fare matches that charged by the LCC.

Such is the demand of today's travellers, as seen by the charter airlines and tour operators, and the power of advertising.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineCandid76 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 733 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 14051 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 13):
Hence, the price of (say) £150 to fly LGW-PMI could be reduced by £10 if the provision of meal service was taken away, another £10 if the service to select seats was taken away

Not sure I understand this. As a former check-in agent I can tell you it is no quicker to select seats for the pax at check-in than not to, and there is certainly no cost involved!

Yes, on trunk leisure routes the charter airlines must compete with the LCCs but when flying longer routes to places like Heraklion where there is not currently any LCC competition, it's just an excuse for poor service.


User currently offlineJmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13986 times:

The seating charges are just a way to spin more money. But as long as stupid people are willing to pay for it, then they will charge it. I have never payed for "Group Seating", yet my group has always been sat together (and there were 24 of us last year - on an A320!). Its not as if they are forcing anyone to pay it.

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 10):
The joke is the actual flight prices to Crete are not that cheap. I reakon I could just about get myslef to New york on a good airline for that (£220)

When does she wish to travel? See if your fantastic schedueld airlines can get her there any cheaper.

[Edited 2005-08-25 17:45:58]

User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13963 times:

Not flown on a charter flight since 1982 and, having read the piece by ManchesterMan, nor will I in future.

If I can't afford/don't want to pay for a FCC I'll fly LCC - at least I know then that I'm only likely to be fleeced on tax and charges.


User currently offlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1995 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13920 times:
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Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
and the only reasonable option is to book her on a charter flight.

You state you're booking charter to get a "reasonable" option (implying that scheduled carriers would be much more expensive). But, then you complain about all the extras that would be charged so that you can have all the same amenities of the higher priced scheduled service. What part of this don't you understand?

For those that don't want all the "extras" that come automatically in the higher prices of scheduled carriers, there is the charter option. What the charters do however is give you a range of optional extras so that you can pick and choose what extra amenities you might like, and be willing to pay for. If you select them all, you might as well have flown and paid for scheduled service.



It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineSausageandmash From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13886 times:

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
So here is how it stacks up for your average Jewish family of 4 flying First Choice to SFB (as an example):

Sit together: £17x2 £10x2
Extra Leg Room: £30x4
Night Before Check-in: £5x4
Kosher Meal: £20x4

Giving a grand “extras” total of £274, just enough to pay for granny to come along

Obviously you didn't do your research JUST that well. If you are commenting on the "awful" service of charter airlines, perhaps First Choice to Sanford would not be a good example to use. I suggest you do a search on this forum and look at exactly what FCA long-haul flights offer - I really am tired of repeating myself. Suffice to say, the standard of service and - as you make such a song-and-dance about it - seat pitch (at 33" standard and 36" premium) is greater than BA and Virgin in their economy cabin.

I take your point about the extra charges. You aren't being forced to pay for them, are you? Charter airlines operate in a much more price sensitive market than most major scheduled airlines. Customers choose to pay for these extras if they want to, or else they get a cheaper holiday. Perhaps not all people flying are overly concerned about whether or not they sit together on an hour-and-a-half flight to Palma? They certainly aren't on Easyjet. And personally, I woud much rather at least have a seat allocated than have to queue up in the cattle crushes amongst the stampede that EZY use.

Quoting Unitedgirlie (Reply 4):
sitting with a whole plane load of chavs turns my stomach......this to me would be a living nightmare.

I am fed up of the snobbery against charter airlines. I fly regularly on Virgin and frankly see just as many "chavs" as I see on my own flights. (I work as crew for First Choice, in case you hadn't realised.) And just take a look at some EZY or FR flights. Why shouldn't people who are perhaps not as "classy" as you lot be allowed to fly? All airlines offer low fares; BA and bmi - the "high class airlines" - are aiming their fares at those who want a bargain. It is the nature of today's market. Low fares = everyone can travel. If you want to avoid your "chavs", fly First Class.

And incidentally, hop onto one of our Bodrum flights from Luton (that place in Bedfordshire, you know) and you'll find that the vast majority of the passengers are Harry and Chloe from Hertfordshire who are going on sailing trips in the Med. Not exactly "chavs", are they?

Stick to your BAs and Virgins and whoevers if you must. Those who fly FCA - especially on long-haul - will have a better time.

Rant over.



Hello - it's me again
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13864 times:

As regards charter vs scheduled, I have often found it cheaper to fly BA (or rather GB Airways) scheduled flights from LGW to LPA than on a Monarch or First Choice Charter. Last time the BA fare was £179 all inclusive, and the Monarch fare with meals, extra leg room etc was £274.

So out of curiousity I did a quick search for LGW-HER (could not find any direct BA or OA flight MAN-HER) outwards on 04/10 returning on 18/10. The BA fare was £217.50 with all taxes and fuel surchages added. The cheapest charter flight (out with FlyJet and returning Monarch) was £228.00, including meals but not pre-assigned seating/seats with extra leg room.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineB6sea From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13782 times:

I always love it how the seat pitch on the UK charters is 26-28" and on one of our local bus systems (sound transit) it's 29".

Also why does anyone fly the charters? I mean, sorry, but airlines that think they can get away with treating their passengers like cattle in return for a good price dont deserve to be in business (looks over at southwest). But that set aside, Why haven't changes like that occured in the US? Why haven't airlines like southwest or any others drastically changed the seat pitches in order to squeeze in a row or two and why dont they charge for every convenience? My thought is because in the US no matter how much the "southwest effect" sets in, flying is still "glamorous"... even though its far from that. And also they would go out of business because people would complain and we all know how Americans like to complain (Being an american, I, for one also like to complain, just to clarify im not trying to offend anyone, merely stating how I feel about our society as a whole, which is probably why I have to write this paragraph in perentheses about how im not trying to offen anyone).


User currently offlineARGinLON From Vatican City, joined Jun 2005, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13772 times:

Just the idea of travelling with all those typical “holiday makers” keeps me well away from charters!

And the check-in queues? Just appalling.


User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1217 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13746 times:

Quoting Jmc757 (Reply 15):
When does she wish to travel? See if your fantastic schedueld airlines can get her there any cheaper.

Well the scheduled options require 2 changes from MAN and cost out at £800 (as she is travelling in less than 2 weeks) so no they can't.

Quoting PA110 (Reply 17):
But, then you complain about all the extras that would be charged so that you can have all the same amenities of the higher priced scheduled service. What part of this don't you understand?

I'm not complaining at all. I even said I was impressed that they could get away with some of them. I was just sharing my surprise at some of the things that pass as extras these days. Good on them if people pay it.

Quoting Sausageandmash (Reply 18):
Obviously you didn't do your research JUST that well. If you are commenting on the "awful" service of charter airlines, perhaps First Choice to Sanford would not be a good example to use. I suggest you do a search on this forum and look at exactly what FCA long-haul flights offer - I really am tired of repeating myself. Suffice to say, the standard of service and - as you make such a song-and-dance about it - seat pitch (at 33" standard and 36" premium) is greater than BA and Virgin in their economy cabin.

I'm well aware of FCA's excellent long haul service and if you read some of the threads which you suggest I search you will find me praising them for it. SFB was not really a bad example because they still charge all those things if you want them. I'm sure the service is excellent and the cabin looks very comfortable. Again I am in no way criticising charter airlines just making an observation in a light hearted way about all of the things some charge for. I grew up flying airlines like Monarch, air 2000, Britannia etc. and have fond memories of my flights with them, I was just surprised to see how things have changed.

Quoting Sausageandmash (Reply 18):
I am fed up of the snobbery against charter airlines.

Me too but I have nothing against them. I would dladly fly FCA to SFB but I certainly would't pay for any of the extras but that's my choice.



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 offlineB6sea From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13699 times:

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 22):
Me too but I have nothing against them. I would dladly fly FCA to SFB but I certainly would't pay for any of the extras but that's my choice.

Not singling you out or anything, but HOW CAN YOU SIT IN THE CATTLE CAR FOR 6+ HRS???? What is yout secret? I mean, I'm only 5' 10" and I think 31" is crampt albeit do-able. For me its a matter of principle too, would you rather support an airline that is forcing standards down the toilet in order to make a profit (this also forces the standards on the other airlines down because they have to make money from the passengers they loose to the competitors and uniformly lower their standards to stay in profitability/offer the lower price). I mean I would rather fly BA(or any other non-charter) and pay an extra $100-$200 in order to 1: keep my comfort 2: know I was making a difference (however slight) in keeping decent standards.

#2 is also why I am such an adamant fan of B6


User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13692 times:
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And the case for the defence;

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
The first thing I noticed was that you can spend a small fortune on getting that seat you’ve always wanted. For example First Choice charge, get this, £17 each for long haul flights (£10 for the kiddies) to sit together. But don’t worry if you’re just taking that 2.5 hour flight to Malaga because that will only cost you £7 (or a bargain £5 for the little’uns)

Point 1 - There is no charge to sit together, or anything similar.

The charge is to have your party pre-allocated seats together, which allows the recommended check-in time to be reduced to 60 minutes. When my family used to fly charter we usually tried to get to the airport 3 hours before departure to make sure we were seated together. If you choose to pay for the service, you can arrive later without worrying about seat allocation. If you choose not to pay, the status quo is maintained, seats are allocated on a first come first served basis at check-in, if you arrive early you will be allocated seats together, if you arrive late there is a chance that it will not be possible to seat your party together. The service is aimed at families, there'd be little point in a couple booking it, you'd have to be the very last person to check-in on a completely full flight for a pair of seats together not to be available.

Again going back to my own experiences, on the return journey you have

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
On a First Choice Airways short-haul flight you will have 28" of legroom in a normal Economy seat, or 33" if you have upgraded to the Premium service

Point 2 - The seat-pitch is clearly documented, and as pointed out upgrades are available if you want more legroom. Short-haul premium with 33" costs £29-£49 return on the A321 and exit-row extra legroom seats are £30 return on short-haul, where the pitch is at least 45" except on the A320.

People know what to expect in terms of legroom on a short-haul charter flight, there won't be any, and I honestly don't think the charges for extra legroom are in any way unreasonable. Especially for taller people like myself, it means you don't have to get to the airport unreasonably early and try your luck in the lottery of exit-row allocation.

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
And if the thought of sitting in that 28” seat is too much for you then how about an extra legroom seat for £30 (First Choice, Monarch). Lying long haul? No problem, just cross our palms with an extra 30 quid. Yes folks that’s £60 to avoid DVT on your next trip to Hurricane swept Florida.

Point 3 - No charter airlines have 28" pitch on their long-haul aircraft - the standard is 30" Standard seat pitch on First Choice Airways' long-haul aircraft is 33"

First Choice Airways offer more legroom than any other UK charter airline, British Airways, bmi, Virgin or any US scheduled carrier except American Airlines on their Trans-Atlantic flights as standard. If you want to pay £60 return for 45" pitch then it's available, but it's by no means essential for a comfortable journey. No mention made of the 31 channel PTV system in economy on our aircraft either...

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
But if you like living dangerously and will take your chances at check-in then you can check-in the night before for just £5 per person on First Choice.

Point 3 - It's an option by no means compulsory, some people living near the airport or staying overnight in hotels use the service to get rid of their suitcases the day before and arrive later for their flight the next day. You also get your pick of the available seats - no need to pre-book group seating if you check-in the day before!

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
But if you’re an A.netter you’ll also want to know what type of aircraft you are flying on, no? Fear not, a return visit to those informative First Choice FAQs will surely yield an answer.

“Your flight will be operated by a charter airline using modern passenger aircraft”.

The website and brochures list carriers for each specific flight, so you will know when you book who you are due to fly with. As soon as you book your confirmation invoice lists the airline and also flight number and terminal information. If you are flying with First Choice Airways you could go to the Fleet Information page for technical details, albeit slightly out-of-date.

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
But don’t worry because you might get lucky and be flying an airline like First Choice that gives meals for free and even lets you choose a vegetarian and diabetic meal if needed. But wait, remember last week when you went to the Synagogue to take a vow of Judaism. Poo, that Kosher meal you want costs £10, oh no you’re flying to Florida aren’t you, that’s £20 then.

Point 4 - Kosher meals are expensive to provide, they have to be specially prepared and are not produced in-house by normal caterers. As a result these extra costs are passed on to customers - until this year kosher meals were not even provided by First Choice. Anyone of the Jewish faith can still eat for free on a First Choice flight by selecting a vegetarian meal at no extra charge. Did you know that some specialist Israeli tour operators even select all-vegetarian meals for their passengers because of the cost of providing kosher meals on board?

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Thread starter):
So here is how it stacks up for your average Jewish family of 4 flying First Choice to SFB (as an example):

Sit together: £17x2 £10x2
Extra Leg Room: £30x4
Night Before Check-in: £5x4
Kosher Meal: £20x4

Giving a grand “extras” total of £274, just enough to pay for granny to come along

One by one;

-Sit together: £17x2 £10x2
-Night Before Check-in: £5x4
Why would this hypothetical family book day before check-in and pre-bookable seating??? They'd probably be the first 4 people to check-in, there's no way they'll be separated on board and checking-in later the next day is immaterial since they've paid £5 each to check-in the previous day!

-Extra Leg Room: £30x4
It would actually be £60x4, and if a 33" pitch isn't enough for them then that's what they would be charged. Incidentally Virgin Atlantic who offer a 31" pitch also charge for extra-legroom seating, as do LCCs like bmi baby.

-Kosher Meal: £20x4
Again if you want it, it is available, if not the vegetarian option is free.

Reasonably the extras would probably come to £100, and most of that is down to kosher meals, so if you'd chosen a non-Jewish family for example their extras for the flight for Florida would be a whopping £20 between 4 of them!

Competing against low-cost carriers have forced charter airlines to streamline their services, but much of what is "extra" for is charged for on cheaper last-minute holidays. For example a Sovereign Holiday (First Choices' 4/5* brand) includes pre-booked group seating, late check-in, 30kg baggage allowance, in-flight meals and free drinks as standard on all First Choice Airways flights. If you're spending a reasonable amount of the money with us, the service you receive from the company will reflect that. If you book a £199 holiday to Majorca in allocated-on-arrival accommodation and expect to be charged for all the above!

Interesting debate nonetheless...

Regards
CROSSWIND


25 Jmc757 : 26"?! I assure you there are no charter airlines operating aircarft with 26" seat pitch. 28" is the minimum. First Choice long haul have a generous 3
26 Post contains images Leezyjet : Don't forget that with charter airlines, someone somewhere has paid to charter that a/c for that flight so the airline has already been paid or will b
27 ACEregular : Charter Vs BA, let me tell you I have been looking for any flights I could possibly get from the Northeast to Tenerife in October (half term week) the
28 Jmc757 : The law as it stands now is that a charter airlines are not allowed to sell tickets direct to the public. Whenever you book a charter seat only, you
29 Gkirk : A message for The people that say that the people WHO DO fly charter airlines are chavs: You are the proper chavs. Stop judging people on what airline
30 Post contains images ManchesterMAN : To be fair very few people actually buy "seat only" on charter airlines and most get the flight bundled in with their holiday but they can be expensi
31 Post contains images Fbgdavidson : Reading the first post reminded me of that UA advert that was UK screens a few years back where the couple are checking out of the hotel.. Receptionis
32 Post contains images ManchesterMAN : I didn't want this thread to make anybody ill. I agree it is very big generalisation for anyone to make that charter airlines = chavs and a wrong one
33 Gkirk : So? I fly charter airlines so that makes me a chav? Well, I guess anyone who flies anything other than Economy are retarded, twats who think they are
34 Gilesdavies : How about if you book a late or last minute holiday with one of the major UK tour operators... For example Thomson website "Holidays from only £129!"
35 Post contains links and images AIHTOURS : I notice you mentioned the charge for select a seat, after you have reserved the seats in the first place. I have experienced this with Thomson Holida
36 ExPedia : Although charter carriers were among the first (and are the strictest at enforcing) extra charges, it's worth noting that the are not alone. N. Americ
37 BCAL : Why use charters? Well often they are the only airlines flying the route direct and non-stop. BA only started serving LPA direct from LGW a few years
38 Post contains images Gary2880 : Does everyone not go abroad on their BBJ?
39 Post contains images ManchesterMAN : Not since I got my A319CJ
40 Air380 : Please tell me what chavs are!!!
41 BCAL : Chav is a slang term, usually derogatory, used in the United Kingdom to define lower-class youths seen as tawdry hooligans. Source: Ask Jeeves?[Edite
42 Post contains images Air380 : Thanks! Learned some proper English
43 Post contains links ManchesterMAN : All you need to know here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav
44 VSMike : Please. Full-service Virgin Atlantic change GBP75/USD75 on the day-of-departue for Emergency Exit seats (not including the window seat), providing the
45 Post contains images 707lvr : As a genuine plane/travel enthusiast, as we all are, I just have to shake my head at all of this. The industry has gone totally in the opposite direct
46 Ricci767 : Let me just say that in my experience I think all charter airlines suck. The main offender has to be MY TRAVEL!!! Closely followed by Monarch. I am ab
47 Post contains images ExPedia : While I agree it is sort of a shame, in many ways I think the "comfort and style" part is a bit of a red herring. Remember, back in the early days of
48 Air380 : Well, it is not in the UK but Condor flies FRA-MCO for 99 Euros one way! I would definitely book that over any regular carrier! You just have to pay f
49 Post contains images ExPedia : And that is exactly the point. There will always be many, many people more than prepared to make this tradeoff, and no carrier in its' right mind (an
50 EmiratesA345 : I disagree. If you cost them more money to produce your "special meal" you should pay more. The same applies to larger people. If you take up two sea
51 A321fly : Isnt it Monarch who charge £1.00 to rent the headsets for a flight? Or did they stop that ridicilous act? Oh but wait, every second the scratchcards
52 Sausageandmash : Please. It is not my concern what my company charge to get you to Tenerife. My concern is that when you are on my flight you will receive a good stan
53 ACdreamliner : I have to put my neck on the line. I really don't think its all that bad. I am 6'3/4 and i have flown with nearly all UK charters except BY (I think).
54 Orion737 : Typical of UK charter airlines this day and age. Charter airlines aint what they used to be!!!!!! Bring back Orion, Air Europe and Dan Dare!
55 Gilesdavies : I remember travelling with Britannia back in 1996 LTN-PFO-LTN. They operated their "Royal" service and would boast how they would be offering their aw
56 Planesailing : Have you ever flown with Excel Air? I am 6'2 and it was a complete nightmare. My knees had to be angled, and I couldnt get my feet under the seat inf
57 Post contains images A340600 : Ok, take a deep breath, here we go... Because the bulk of seats are sold as part of the package, a whole holiday, you are assigned a flight to get you
58 Planesailing : London Gatwick - Malaga, 2 years ago, on a 767-200. It was frankly appaling!
59 Orion737 : GilesDavies, I am adding you to my respected users list. I used to love Britannia's Royal Service too. I come in for a fair amount of stick on this fo
60 Post contains images Cornish : No - its a whole load of other things that make you a Chav Kirkie (aka ASBO Boy)
61 ManchesterMAN : I remember flying BY in 1994 from MAN-Rhodes, I remember it very well actually as it was my first wide body flight on a 762 and I thought the 2-4-2 l
62 B707Stu : The market ebbs and flows. It's just a matter of time before a charter company uses technology to allow people to online check-in, pre-assign seats, e
63 Ukflyer : I just recently took a flight from bhx to agp on Monarch's Scheduled service and whilst I can't knock the level of service received I couldn't help bu
64 XXXX10 : I can't really see the problem in the 70's Laker airways charged passengers for meals. In the 80's I believe peoples express made passengers load thei
65 Aeroflot777 : I'm glad most Russian charters all have reasonable legroom ,and all give food, even on short flights. Aeroflot777
66 BCAL : Laker Airways only charged for meals on Skytrain scheduled services. When the fare for LGW/JFK was £59 outwards and $99 for the return leg, compared
67 Sulman : I can live with paying for food and drink, and even exit seats. What I can't live with is nasty seat pitch. At 6'3", I don't expect absolute comfort,
68 LGW : Hi all, Why all this UK charter bashing all of a sudden? I love the way lots of people on this forum have just realised that UK charters put as many s
69 FlyCaledonian : As has been mentioned, Charter Airlines serve their clients (or owners) the tour operaters. The package holiday, like flying, has changed due to LCCs
70 D5DBY : ive been over this before...but Unfortunately u cant decide what kind of service they should have and what they should charge for it. the airliner dec
71 707lvr : Oh, no! I bought a Burberry raincoat in Edinburgh during that wonderful late spring trip in 1986 (Chernobyl, Libya) when I had Europe all to myself ba
72 Post contains links and images AIHTOURS : I have to disagree. I don´t notice anything like this. You are going to get the odd few people, but that hardly matters. I agree. They will give the
73 Post contains images Gilesdavies : What a load of Bo**ocks! Of coarse the price included food, drink etc... But tour operators continued to increase the price of their basic package ho
74 Gilesdavies : YES YOU ARE!
75 LGW : Gilesdavies, "What a load of Bo**ocks" How polite of you sir, such a way with words. What is stupid about this debate is that just before charter carr
76 Thomsonfly : Hi As a tui agent, day after day people moan about the costs ontop of a holiday, but like i say most of them are indeed optional. If you don't want an
77 Orion737 : Talking about charter airlines being sell,sell, sell these days. On board a recent FCA flight I couldnt believe my ears. They even did a 'transfer dri
78 Post contains images A340600 : How could someone like you make such a mistake ! Being picky, some charters, like First Choice actually offer 29" seat pitch, Sam
79 Jmc757 : Ooh... I'm going with Olympic on Thursday, it's a Monarch flight. Wonder if we'll get free headsets. I was expecting to be charged, hence am taking m
80 Sulman : Monarch Scheduled gave free headsets out when I used them in July. Doesn't really matter, frankly you're better off with a good book. James
81 AirEuropeUK733 : Totally agree Orion - but I'm starting to sound like a stuck record!! AE733
82 Post contains links and images AIHTOURS : What is a shame is that, you have to be classed as an "Adult" to go in these "Gold" hotels, but in all the other Hotels and excursions you are classe
83 Sausageandmash : Some people actually quite like this service, you know. Bottles of water to drink on a three hour coach transfer in up to 40 degree heat....hmm. Wond
84 Iwok : Could someone please enlighten me as to the meaning of "chav?" We don't use on this side of the pond. -iwok
85 Planesarecool : If you don't like charter airlines then don't fly them! Wow, rocket science! And i agree with Ben (LGW), charter airlines have been this way for ages.
86 A321fly : Ah but.. The brochure states all coach transfers are in air-con coaches so it wouldnt be 40 degree heat.
87 Jmc757 : How do First Choice offer 29" seat pitch?! Their A320's operate in Y180 same as Thomas Cook, MyTravel and Monarch. Their 757's operate in Y233. Some
88 BCAL : See Reply 41
89 Shamrock_747 : I dislike charter airlines, therefore never fly on them. I don't see the need to brand everyone chavs though - some people just want to get where they
90 Post contains images Sausageandmash : Dehydrate then!!!!!!!!
91 Dc863 : You get what you pay for. People want cheap fares. Okay so the airlines give you rock bottom service and comfort for chump change prices. You European
92 Post contains links SATX : Um, it IS crappy. I've flown them plenty of times, so please don't assume this is a one-off from somebody who doesn't know what they're really like.
93 Post contains images Bh4007 : Thank god someone put things right!! On the Chav front, though, it depends on DESTINATION, NOT AIRLINE, any airline under the sun could fly to IBIZA
94 AIHTOURS : I have arrived back from IBIZA on Thomson. I did not see anything like this "Rif-Raf" onboard both flights.
95 A321fly : Thats because it didnt leave from London or Manchester.
96 Bh4007 : Im sure you know what im getting at!!
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