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UK Charter/leisure Airlines- Why So Bad?!  
User currently offlineEnglandair From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2000, 2228 posts, RR: 3
Posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2781 times:

Our scheduled airlines are famous around the world for their high class service, so why is it that the United Kingdom's charter airlines are just so bad?!

In the UK, airlines such as Britannia, JMC, Monarch, Airtours International, Air 2000 and Excel have dreadfull reputations among holiday makers for craming passengers into seats that have appauling legroom and are too many abreat for the a/c type. They're notorious for giving poor entertainment, unedable food and delays that often make a simple hop to the Med seem like an epic journey!

I'm convinced that passengers are getting ripped off- just because they're paying for a holiday that includes flights, it doesn't mean the flight has to be as cheap as possible. And some charters even have the nerve to try and just sell seats!

Charters of other countries in Europe and Canada have certainly got it right in comparison to those of the UK.
I've recently been visiting the sites of many charter airlines from the UK and elsewhere and to be honest I was shocked with the high standards of service offered by forgein leisure carriers.

Being used to the disscusting 'service' provided by the UK charters, I could hardly beleive that the charters of other countries actually seemed very simmilar to scheduled airlines.

I was mostly shocked by the size of the seats in standard class.
For example the A330:
Monarch (UK) & Airtours (UK) both have 9 abreat seating on their A330s.
LTU (Germany), Edelweiss (Switzerland), Corsair (France) & Canada 3000 all have 8 abreat seating- typical of a scheduled airline.

Britannia's and Excel's B767s have 8 abreat seating. LTU and Condor have 7 abreat seating (again typical of a scheduled airline).

I don't know about Novair's A330s and Spanair's, Air Europa's & Balair's B767s (???)

Anyways that's the main peice of evidence I have against UK charter airlines getting away with what they'd never be able to do on the Continent.

I'm personally fed up with the way charter airlines are getting away with taking passengers money and providing a hidious 'service' and even less seatroom!

The only good thing I can see about our charters in comparison to others is that Airtours (and soon JMC) will have individual seatback screens on A330s.

Also, why is it that Monarch and Britainnia (and AIH on the DC10s) don't have premium classes and so allow passengers to upgrade to more comfort aswell as the airline raising more money for the airline?

And before you start with all your 'you get what you pay for' rubbish, just remember that people in the rest of Europe are paying simmilar airfares for their holiday flights, so why are they getting such a good deal, and we're getting riped off and aching backs?!

ahhhh, well that's my rant over- I'd better go and practice wrapping my legs round my neck in preperation for my MON flight to Corfu soon.....Hell at 35,000 ft!

Your thoughts?

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEnglandair From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2000, 2228 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2760 times:

....and I do realise that they cram as many in as possible, but still why is it only the UK airlines that get away with it?

User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2754 times:

People want cheap holidays and the only way to lower cost is get more ppl on their aircraft and anyway who says there so bad? I have been on quite a few UK Charter airlines and I really enjoyed it especially MON. My dad flies on an excel 762 next week so il see what there like


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 3, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2747 times:

It all a matter of money, UK holiday flights are awful but they are cheap, and that is what matters to most in the market, a really good price.

Charter flights in Europe are really not much better and are almost as crowded. Its amazing how many people they can stuff into these aircraft. Holiday travellers will tolerate poor service and uncomfortable airplanes, but they will not tolerate an increase in price. At least most of the charter carriers are flying newer aircraft these days, that is a step in the right direction.

User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1828 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2744 times:


just to give you some information about Italian charters who use long-haul planes:

Lauda Air Italy: B763 with 24 business class in 45 pich (2+2+2) and 234 economy (2+3+2).Also the service on their charter routes are the same used by Lauda Air AG (Austrian division) on schedule flight.I mean 2 menu available in economy, free headset, free drink including alchool, pillow and rug also in every economy seats.

Air Europe: B763 with 24 business and 238 economy. B772 with 42 business (2+3+2) and 297 economy (3+3+3) with PTV's and same LaudaAir Italy service.

Eurofly: B763 with 24 business and 245 economy (2+3+2) and they are owned by AZ so they offer on charters the same service of AZ long-haul flights

User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 25347 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

Ok....I have NEVER had a bad charter flight with any UK charter airlines, on European charter airlines, however, such as Futura and Spanair, I have had both good and bad flights, so its not just Uk charters. Ok the name of the game is to make money, right? So with all pax paying low fares then charter airlines need to fit as many as possible inside the a/c.
If you want extra legroom, u should prebook a seat, if you dont do that, well then, u get what u get.
I get annoyed, when people take a pop at charter airlines, they are trying to make money for god damn sake, if they didnt make money, then who would fly you to places such as TFS, RHO, PMI, SFB etc???
BTW I agreee with you on one thing, the food could be better, but its not the airline who cooks it.
Also, the delays are not usually the fault of the airline, but when pax turn up for boarding late, weather conditions etc.
Just my thoughts.

When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

So what do you actually expect for £49 for a week in Tenerife????

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2696 times:

Its cause you cant get caviar for tuna sandwich prices.

User currently offlineBY757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2699 times:


You were saying about the difference between UK charter Airlines and German charters in particular,

German charter airlines such as LTU, Condor have better service, space and comfort than any UK charter airline simply because of the fact that they pay much more for charter flights than we do.
When Britannia set up its German arm, the aircraft where fitted out inside as the UK Britannia Planes, talk to any German who has flown a number of charter airlines and they will most likely say Britannia is the worst one in the world.
This is because Britannia Deutch had the same service as the UK and The Germans expect higher standards from charter airlines because they pay more, this is why merging Britannia and Hapag-Lloyd into one airline wouldn't completely work. Thus Britannia Deutch closed down last year. Similar things have happened to Airtours' German arm, flyFTI, but I believe for other reasons.

I think charter airlines are great and have only had bad flights on 4 occasions, out of flying charter airlines 40 times. I dont believe we are being ripped off, they aim to make a profit, and raising fuel costs means the overal level of service has been forced to drop in the past few years to cover the cost.
If you want quality service on a UK charter airline, book seats on 360 extra, 360 premium, Premiair gold, classic premium etc etc.


User currently offlineV1-Rotate From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 53 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2690 times:

If you look into the costs of a non UK charter flt such as LTU,you'll probably find them far more expensive than UK charters.I have some German friends who like the carribean and regularly fly through London on a scheduled flt(BA or VS) as its cheaper than say, LTU.It adds a few hours to their journey,but they say it's worth it.
The profit margins on Uk charter flts is very small.Some years ago,a friend of mine worked in finance for what was then Caledonian Airways,and told me a story of Monarch undercutting them for a series of MCO flts for a tour operator one winter,for the princely sum of ....2 PENCE PER SEAT! The logic being that aircraft in the air making some money,sales of drinks,duty free etc,was better than aircraft on the ground costing money in lease payments and high airport parking charges etc.
Not sure if these sort of things are still true today,as most of airlines are now owned by tour operators(vertical integration) but you see what I'm getting at.
Personally,I think they offer fairly good value for what you pay.I'd rather pay extra for scheduled flts on L/haul though..leg room,better IFE etc.

User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1828 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2684 times:

I live in Italy and I paid to go one week to Caribean less than some friends paid from UK.
We were in the same resort in Mexico with the same service.
Also my charter from MXP took 1 hour and 20 minutes more than my friends from LGW.
I flew LaudaAir Italy, they flew Monarch.

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

It´s the market - the UK market wants dirt cheap prizes and is treated accordingly.

BTW: Hapag-Lloyd A310 is 3-3-3, Condor A310 was 3-3-3, Condor DC10 was 3-4-3.
Being 6´3´´, I prefer narrower seats but more legroom over wide seats but less legroom.

Daniel Smile

User currently offlineEnglandair From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2000, 2228 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (14 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2682 times:

BY757 & V1-Rotate,
Thankyou for answering my question and not going totally off topic like all those before you. Big grin

Airblue & Airsicknessbag,
Thanks for the information.

It all makes sense now!

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