FCA7E7
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:12 pm

Best Charter Airline

Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:28 pm

Hi all!

I was wondering....

What in you opinon is the best charter airline, and why?

Would be interested in hearing your comments!
 
7LBAC111
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:17 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:34 pm

I reckon the best charter airline I have flown with is First Choice (Air2000 before that)

I never experienced any delay on over a dozen flights I took with them, in the last few years, the aircraft were always clean and comfortable (by charter standards). I recently flew MAN-IBZ on a 757 which was a great flight - full though, so a bit cramped. However on the return it was a brand new A319, with only 33 pax on board. The cabin crew gave us two breakfasts each andlet us spread out across the cabin. It was really good.

I alos flew TCX in December. Also good, no real complaints. And about 2 years back I flew JMC, which was, well - a little too green for my liking!

Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
pilot kaz
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 9:07 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:37 pm

I would have to say BY.

great friendly service
nice interior design
yummy food
never been delayed


I have flown with them 6 times and never had a problem with them.

kaz
(Long live the classic livery!)
-
 
Fly_ATA
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:10 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:55 pm

I would have to say ATA...ooops thats right I work for them.
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:06 am

If you were referring to charter airlines in the UK, my 'first choice' would be good old Monarch easily. They have been around since the late 1960s and have given a consistently reliable and trustworthy service. Their flight crews and cabin crews generally come across as real professionals, and their fleet is young. Check the Monarch website and you will see that they were the pioneers in many fields in increasing standards of charter flights. I have always had enjoyable flights with Monarch, and try to book a holiday where they are the airline used.

First Choice (previously Air 2000) and Excel are relatively newcomers and their standards of service do vary from flight to flight. For some reason their cabin crew do sometimes appear amateurish. Even Thomas Cook has had several changes in ownership before it became the airline it is today. Britannia is probably second choice, but they have now been absorbed in the world of TUI.

MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
LBA
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 10:24 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:04 am

First Choice were OK - let down badly by Manchester baggage handlers last Xmas - nearly 2 hours for luggage to appear on the carousel

Monarch - longhaul service to India awful. 28" pitch and 9 seats across on a A300 for 12 hours is no fun.

MyTravel - their longhaul upgraded service to India was excellent.
 
gilesdavies
Posts: 2271
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:51 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:13 am

I would have to say Thomas Cook Airlines without a doubt, I have only flown the once and that was this year from LGW-JSI return.

There A320's are really nice and modern. Love the seats on board, they look ultra modern compared to other airlines and have great support and decent amount of recline. The legroom seems far improved upon compared to Britannia.

The cabin crew were excellent, very attentive, extremely smart and gave excellent service. The food was not bad either! Even on a three hour flight they showed up-to-date cinema release films.

Before I flew with Thomas Cook the only other charter airline I am familiar with is Britannia (due to me living close to LTN and they operate more chaters from there than any other airline) and as far as I am concerned Thomson Holidays there UK owners (Part of TUI) are killing them. Basically everything on board there flights are now chargeable, £10 for an in-flight meal, £3 for headsets, £7-£10 pre-reserved seats, £30-£100 for extra legroom seats (not increased service, just seats by exit!) and £20 charge for transfer from airport to the resort.

When I booked with Olympic Holidays when travelling with Thomas Cook Airlines they never charged me for any of the above.

The new interior they are rolling out across the Britannia fleet looks hideous, with dark blue and white striped seats. They use to operate 7 cabin crew on a 757 flight and have reduced this to 5 (the legal minimum on a 757 with 230 pax), the crew always look run down and tired and there uniform looks awful with blue, red and yellow suits (something more suited to a clown!).

As there 757-200's are definately showing there age I have on three occassions experienced there IFE with the monitor near me broken, I much prefer these drop down LCD screens. The IFE is usally made up of some dodgy BBC comedies and kids cartoons which were shown years ago! Does anyone remember the days when Britannia had there flying maps and advised of height and speed these have gone too!

I remember the days when Britannia were the envied charter airline and other airlines aspired to be like them and some customers would ONLY fly Britiannia - gone are those days. They are just a typical mediocre airline as far I am concerned.

First Choice Airways new products they are launching in summer 2005 seem very exciting and seem a breath of fresh air in the charter industry and looks like they will even give come long haul scheduled carriers a run for their money.
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:39 am

I think Thomas Cook was the first airline in the UK to introduce charges for meals on ad-hoc charters. The Thomas Cook brochure was certainly the first that I saw this supplement quoted in. Other airlines were forced to follow in order to appear competitive.

You get good flights and bad flights on both First Choice and Thomas Cook. Monarch have been consistently good.

MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
ScottishLaddie
Posts: 2309
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:30 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:34 am

Going by personal experience, I'd say JMC who are now Thomas Cook.
The service just seemed better overall compared to the others I have flown, including Airtours, Mytravel, Virgin Sun and Flyjet
 
JBLUA320
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:45 am

Had a great experience on Trans Meridian Airlines- the only charter airline I've flown with. Still, that experience will be hard to beat!!

JBLU
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:57 pm

If there was ever a choice for the best charter airline in the world, then that award must surely go to Wardair of Canada, who sadly are no longer around.

Before members of the forum shout and say Wardair was not a charter airline, may I point out that before it attained scheduled status it specialized in ABC charters from Canada to Europe and also Canada to Florida.

The philosophy of Wardair was that you did not pay for anything on their flights - all drinks and wines were free. However, they did not have any IFE (they flew before this really took off) nor did they have any in-flight duty free sales. All meals were served on Wedgwood china with real cutlery, and the ladies always had a flower on their meal tray. I remember that the DC10s were configured 2 5 2 instead of the normal 3 4 3 and the seat pitch was very generous. Their 747s were equally comfortable but I cannot remember their seat configuration.

MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
jetset7e7
Posts: 1009
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:56 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:32 pm

I've just returned from a drunken holiday in IBZ with Thomas Cook Airlines, and I have to say they were better than I expected, the flight times weren't great but the service was still excellent. On the outbound I flow on G-JMCE which is the newest member of the fleet, normally on a 757 the engines are loud, considering my last flight on G-OOOB of Air 2000 (now First Choice). On this flight the engines weren't loud at all. The crew were brilliant on both flights. The return flight was at stupid o'clock but that didn't change anything on the flight.
The seat pitch wasn't anything special but you can't have everything!

TCX are great, fly them if you can!
Also flown on a few more Air 2000, Air Scandic, Britannia, Monarch

Mark
Retrofitted Blended Winglets - The Future Is On The Wing
 
FLYtoEGCC
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:56 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:20 am

"normally on a 757 the engines are loud, considering my last flight on G-OOOB of Air 2000 (now First Choice). On this flight the engines weren't loud at all."

I'm not sure of the ages of the exact aircraft on which you flew, and I haven't been on either G-OOOB or G-JMCE, but given that in all probability they had the same engines - Rolls Royce RB211-535E4s - the difference in engine noise you experienced was probably due to the seat in which you were located. I have often found that sitting behind the wing, and therefore behind the engine exhaust, gives nothing but a load roar throughout the flight; however, if you sit ahead of the wing (i.e. adjacent or ahead of the engines) you will hear different sounds, like the trademark RR growl and subsequent change to climb power on take-off. It is often much quieter than if you are down near the back. Even though, IIRC, G-OOOB is one of FCA's older aircraft, I wouldn't attribute this difference in noise to the airline itself.

To answer your question, having flown on Britannia, Air 2000, JMC, Monarch and Airtours, I would say that JMC were the best, followed closely by Monarch (let down only by the toilets on the A330 - see my review in Trip Reports); Air 2000 did nothing but sell us stuff all the way from MAN to FUE and back, and Airtours had the most moody, surly and unhelpful crew I have had the misfortune to experience. The A330 aircraft of AIH, JMC and MON are all excellent; however, the lower-deck toilet arrangement of AIH and their use of on-board nosewheel and under-belly cameras makes their A330s the best of the bunch.

[Edited 2004-08-22 02:21:14]
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
 
ThomasCook
Posts: 676
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:43 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:09 pm

Hi,

Thomas Cook or MyTravel are the best charter airlines I have flown with. The service on board is great, good comfort, good food and drink and excellent, friendly crews! What more do you need? Big grin

Regards
ThomasCook
A380 Crew
 
worldoftui
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Best Charter Airline

Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:37 am

Before I flew with Thomas Cook the only other charter airline I am familiar with is Britannia (due to me living close to LTN and they operate more charters from there than any other airline) and as far as I am concerned Thomson Holidays there UK owners (Part of TUI) are killing them. Basically everything on board there flights are now chargeable, £10 for an in-flight meal, £3 for headsets, £7-£10 pre-reserved seats, £30-£100 for extra legroom seats (not increased service, just seats by exit!) and £20 charge for transfer from airport to the resort.

Just to point out that all of the above are due to the company who pays for the charters, and not the airline itself. P&O Cruise customers have a very different onboard experience when flying Britannia. You actually kinda stated this anyway when you mentioned an Olympic Holiday flying with Thomas Cook. If you had booked a Thomas Cook holiday and flown with TCX, things may have been different. Do you think that Thomson are dragging BY down? WOuld be interested to hear.

But anyway, although I do think Britannia are an excellent airline, (I certainly do remember the maps, and the "Interesting Facts - "there are 7 computers on this 757 or whatever"), I would have to concede that they are beginning to lag behind Air 2000. Never flown with them, but with so many good reports, there must be something in it.


Mark

[Edited 2004-08-22 18:40:12]
 
Ryanair737
Posts: 1364
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:14 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:38 am

I flew with Astraeus last year, and was very impressed with their service.

We got complimentary hot meals, and after the meal we got handed hot towels. They also offered complimentary champagne cocktails after takeoff!

The best charter airline I have ever flown on!  Big thumbs up


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Ryanair737
LAST FLIGHTS= Ryanair LPL-BGY-LPL - EI-DPS/DWV - MAY 08 // NEXT FLIGHTS= TBC
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10002
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:04 am

Having just returned from two weeks in Menorca I would have to say that Palmair is one of the best airlines I have flown on, let alone best charter airline. The service was excellent, the cabin crew very attentive, food good and lots of leg room. In recent years I have flown Iberia via BCN or MAD to Mahon and have seen their in flight service dwindle away to a sandwich and a drink, so it was nice to have a decent meal. Plus I finally got a ride on one of their 732's!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Dan  Smile
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
boeingpride800
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:05 am

RE: Best Charter Airline

Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:33 am

I would go with Miami Air or T9. Although T9 is mostly a scheduled airline now, it might be harder to get a charter with them.

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