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Britannia Airways - by Amanda Austin
13 September 2006

I am travelling next Wednesday to Italy flying with Britania, and from reading this site, I am, as a larger lady, seriously concerned about the width of the seats!! Not looking foward to my flight at all. I have called Britania Airways and been advised that the width of the seats are just 16 inches wide! Unbelievable, that would mean that we would all have to have hips so larger than 32 inches! what a joke. The wider seaths that may be available are just 2 inches wider (18 inches) and cost 40 pounds.

Britannia Airways - by Frances Parr
5 March 2006

We have just returned from Sharm El Sheik. As part of a Thompson package we flew with Britannia. I cannot fault them. I have a bad back and walk with a stick, we warned them in advance, and at check-in they had already pre-allocated mine and my partners welfare seats on our Boeing 767(not premium seats and not by the exits - but they have extra legroom). They were very courteous, asking if we required extra help, and even though there was a medical emergency on the way out the staff remained calm and helpful. On the way back, although the check-in was busy, this was more the Egyptian style of airports than the airlines fault. Again, seats had been pre-allocated. The food was typical airline food, you can't expect anymore. I had an extremely comfortable journey with Britannia, and I was very impressed that the welfare seats were pre-booked, unlike other airlines I have flown with where I have had to wait until check-in to see if there was an available bulkhead seat. A good service overall.

Britannia Airways - by Marje Jones
15 January 2006

We have just returned from Luxor on a Britannia flight - we have to agree with the comments about the leg room. It is one of the worst planes we have been on for the leg space. I have been going on holidays for over 45 years with different holiday compaines and remember when the cabin crew service was outstanding and never had reason to complain. The service I received from a member of the "cabin crew" on Britannia Airways was an aggressive, abusive manner towards my grandson (12 years) and I. We felt embarassed by the situation she put us in - I am in the process of making a formal complaint. All I can say is please bring back the staff who had training and had the personality to deal with the public in a courteous way.

Britannia Airways - by Ron Sewell
10 January 2006

Manchester / Larnaca/ Manchester. The most uncomfortable flight I have ever had, the seats were like rocks no padding and it was impossible to find a comfortable position, how passengers go on long haul on these aircraft (767/300) I do not know. Also sat on the tarmac in Manchester for 2hrs not a drink offered to anyone even those with young children Come on Thompson - get your planes updated.

Britannia Airways - by Connie Hill
30 December 2005

I am not only angry but very disappointed at the type of aircraft laid on for us on a nine and a half hour flight to and from Orlando. It goes without saying that one expects on such a long flight to be able to move around with ease. Not so the particular aircraft on the 3rd December to Sandford and the return flight on he 17th December to Gatwick. The seats were so small and cramped that I inadvertently pressed the 'Hostess' button on the seat arm three times trying to find a comfortable position. My husband is 6'2' tall and I have been extremely worried over the cramped conditions we experienced. A video was shown at the start of the flight showing what exercises one could do to avoid the dreaded DVT - what a ridiculous video to show on these particular planes. I shall not fly with Britannia ever again. I am disgusted that Thomson should think so little of their passengers that they are unable to provide the cleanliness and comfort we are paying for. It is time they listened to their Customers!

Britannia Airways - by Robert Dicketts
13 December 2005

Luxor to LGW. Hope we never have to endure another flight in such discomfort. Britannia Airways have the nerve to show a video on how to exercise to avoid DVT; this would be fine if there was enough room to move one's legs! In this day and age it is unbelievable that an airline could subject its passengers to such discomfort for a five and a half hour flight. Besides this discomfort one also has to sit clutching one's book, newspaper or whatever since there is no place for storing this - eg. netting on the backs of seats. We would actively put off anyone flying with Britannia on a flight that lasts more than two hours.

Britannia Airways - by Peter Fawcett
23 November 2005

Leeds/Bradford - Arrecife. As we were travelling flight only, we arrived at the check-in with ample time to spare, out and return. LBA check-in was therefore quite quick and we were offered choice of seat location which suited us very well. The same choice was offered on the return leg. However, in spite of arriving about 3 hours before take-off ahead of the coaches etc. we were taken aback by the length of the queues already at the check-in and the resultant time standing waiting which is less easy with advancing years. However, that said, other arrangements, timing etc. went to plan. The outgoing meal was excellent(as good as any we have experienced on scheduled long haul flights) so we thought it unlikely that the return would be as good. Once again excellent and well worth the 10 each meal supplement. Cabin staff and service also excellent. Seat pitch as good as one would expect on economy. BUT no netting pockets on the lower back of the seat in front. In consequence nowhere to store wine bottles etc. purchased prior to the meal being served, or for that matter, parking odd items during consumption of the meal and any emptys awaiting collection by the clearup trolly. We were told that the reason for the absence of this most useful netting receptacle was to maximise legroom. Rubbish! A netting pocket unless used at ones own dicretion, when empty only detracts from leg room by about inch. A small but important detail having regard to the cramped space available for consuming meals.

Britannia Airways - by Tim Hall
9 August 2005

Doncaster to Gerona return this week. Flights on time both ways. I was allocated emergency exit seat both ways without asking for them. Cabin crew friendly and smart. Overall quite impressed.

Britannia Airways - by Steffi Foulkes
29 June 2005

Coventry to Ibiza After arriving at the aiport to discover it was a pre fab shack I was disappointed when I had to wait an hour on top of our scheduled flight time. After waiting patiently I was at least relieved to find our pre-booked seats still stood. However my relief soon faded when we discovered we then had to detour to Doncaster to pick up another lot of passengers, adding another half hour onto our flight time plus turn around. The main body of the flight once we were up in the air again was fine. On the return journey, Ibiza- Coventry,I have never experienced such a complete shambles. Again an hour late boarding and at 3 in the morning this is no laughing matter. Hoping this would be the last hitch I was mistaken again when we were informed we would be detouring to Alicante to pick up yet more stranded passengers. On arrival at Alicante half the stranded passengers refused to board as they had been stuck there for 9 hours and didn't see why they should be squashed onto a someone else's plane. This rebellion added onto turn around time and what we were told would be a quick stop turned into nearly an hour. Once up in the air the cabin crew apologised profusely, but informed us that they had next to no food on board but they could offer us complimentary drinks. This did nothing for morale and I felt particularly sorry for the children on board. When we did finally land at Coventry exceedingly late and tired we were frog marched back to another pre fab shack to wait nearly an hour for our luggage, all 226 of us squashed into a tiny room complete with carousel. The idea of quick, easy and cheap flights is all well and good, but is it really worth the above experience. I have not flown with Britannia for some years but am very disaapointed with the quality of service it now provides.

Britannia Airways - by Tanya Morris
29 June 2005

Having read many of the comments on this website regarding flights to Sanford I was anxious about the comfort and quality of Britannia. I couldn't have been more wrong - food was fine, staff were professional and friendly, and the pilot very communicative about our route and points of interest. I am not sure why people complain about lack of room and comfort on these flights - you get what you pay for - its the same turbulence and you still have to sit still for 9 hours whatever plane you are in - if you are that unhappy pay to go first class.

Britannia Airways - by Sarah Singh

29 June 2005

Gatwick to Varadero return and it was the most uncomfortable flight I have ever had. I am only small but I was surprised at how narrow the seats were. I even had to stretch my arms as well as my legs. Two weeks later and I have only just lost the neck and backache incurred as a result of the flight home. This was also the only flight I have experienced where the crew did not offer water and did not tell you how to get water other than buying it off the trolley. Never Again!

Britannia Airways - by David Woodrow

7 June 2005

Just come back from a two week holiday to Florida. Check-in at Gatwick was ok, and flight departed on time. We paid an extra 150.00 each for so called premium seats, which were very cramped and seemed the same size as economy but with wider headrests to give the appearance of a wider seat, the cabin crew on both flights seemed very chatty to each other and unapproachable. The snacks (pringles etc) we were asked to pay 1.20 a tube we declined!! Drinks & a meal were included in the 150  - I could not recommend this airline. Also allow an extra 2 hours when you get of the plane for immigration as you now have to be fingerprinted and have your photo taken! Hope we will do this to the Americans soon so they can get a taste of what it feels like!

Britannia Airways - by Martin Searby

26 March 2005

Manchester Orlando (Sanford) in Premium seats in January 2005 and I must say the service was excellent, the seats comfortable and the 38 inch leg room adequate. After reading the horror stories about Britannia we feared the worst but the FAs were polite once they found that the passengers were prepared to be polite!

Britannia Airways - by Phil Acreman

5 March 2005

In response to comments by Jane Doe, posted on the 15th January 2005. I am not and have never claimed to be a Director of Monarch Airlines. I am a manager at Monarch Technical Support, part of the Monarch group. It would be of interest to find where Jane Doe got information about my directorship? To my knowledge and belief I have never said anything rude about Monarch passengers. However, I still find it hard to believe that 50% of the British population are overweight or taller than average. This is not derisory and was not intended to be. My advice still holds that if you find it difficult to travel on charter aircraft, or for that matter, low fare airlines, then look to fly scheduled. This is not being rude, but common sense says that if you have already travelled on a charter flight or low cost scheduled flight and felt uncomfortable, then the next move is to try the leg room on a major scheduled carrier. With regard to disabled passengers. Again, my comments where directed to Mike Frank who was advising them not to tell the airline they were disabled if it was not obvious. My answer to this was based on genuine safety issues. Mr Frank works within the travel industry and should know better than to give out this sort of advice. One wonders how he would feel if seated next to somebody at an exit who was unable to open the door during an emergency. No airline would be taking care of its passengers safety if it allowed a disabled person to occupy exit seats, particularly the disabled person themselves. We have a duty of care to all passengers and the rules for seating disabled passengers are laid down by the CAA. Our disabled passenger are treated with care and respect and are seated on the aircraft so that the crew can assist them in the vent of an emergency. How can this be deemed disrespectful or derisory? Jane Doe is right, I do like to be treated as a decent human being. I have flown with many of the worlds scheduled and charter airlines. The majority have treated me well, but some have not. Many have the same seat pitch in economy as we have. Cabin crews have been both good and bad. I, like most airline employees want to see our passengers have a pleasant flight so that they will use us again. On the whole our cabin crews work hard to look after their passengers as they to know that if we loose passengers they may not have a job. It is a fact of life, and one that Ryanair, easyjet, Wizz and other airlines will tell you, the cost of a seat depends on how many seats you have on the aircraft. We could give more leg room, but the cost of the seat would rise in proportion to the number of seats removed to allow this. Over the years the cost of flying has dropped dramatically from being the preserve of the rich and famous to the stage where most people can now afford to fly. Surely that is a good thing. But this has only been achieved by airlines cutting costs where possible and maximising aircraft capacity. In closing I wonder what Jane Doe feels so angry and bitter about ? If she has had a bad experience on Britannia or Monarch then let the airline know. We do take complaints seriously and we do want her custom.

Britannia Airways - by Norman Jacobs

25 February 2005

I have just returned from Lanzarote flying both ways with Britannia.  I am pleased to say that I found the flight excellent. I had no problem with leg room (and I have long legs!) and the cabin crew were courteous and efficient. The meals both way were ok - I would say as good as if not better than the average plane fare. Going we arrived 15 minutes early. Coming back we arrived 45 minutes early.

Britannia Airways - by Mike Frank

24 February 2005

I am very glad Mr Wootton enjoyed his recent Brittania flights. He may like to know that the excellent catering on that flight is because Fred Olsen Cruises contracted this when chartering the aircraft - it is not standard with Britannia or any other charter airline flight. The airline provides what the charterer pays for ! Not a fact realized by passengers.

Britannia Airways - by David Wootton

23 February 2005

I flew Britannia (thomsonfly) from Manchester to Barbados on a flight booked entirely for Fred Olsen Cruises and this is how a Charter Transatlantic flight should be!!. I was early at checkin (4 hours prior) and was able to have seats 4hj window and next. There appeared to be plenty of room for me and my wife and because we were not by the exits, we had enough room for our hand luggage - hold baggage allowance was 25kgs. We were delayed by the airport because they could not use the jetway as there was an other aircraft at the next gate which took up too much room. The crew were great . The first bar service (free) and wine choice for the lunch then another bar run followed by lunch. The movies were OK but they did not have seat back screens. The 6 hours after take off we had the best afternoon tea I have had on any transatlantic flight. Fresh tasting sandwiches, fresh fruit platter scone and devon clotted cream strawberry jam and Thorntons chocolates - and of course tea. It shows if you pay a little more what you can get. Then the pleasure of Barbados airport (but not for us) straight from the aircraft steps to waiting buses and transferred direct to the ship. The bags followed fairly soon after. What bliss. I was not looking forward to this flight but it proves that it can be done if the airlines/tour operators want to. The return service and meals were as good but I do vote for the tea as the best!

Britannia Airways - by M Carter

15 February 2005

Luton to Fuerteventura "booked". Having not flown with Britannia for some time I was shocked on how awful they had become. When we checked in around 1200 we had no idea that at 1330 - an hour before we were due to fly - we were called to gate and told the aircraft had gone tech - and that we were to collect our baggage and be transferred by coach to Gatwick. The flight was due to depart at 1730, three hours late! We arrived at Gatwick at 1600 and checked in again. No refreshments were offered. We did get away at 1730 on an old, tatty 767-200 having two seats in the middle set of four seats - very narrow and uncomfortable - luckily having extra legroom, poor souls behinds us! We had to wait a good two hours before we were fed and the food was poor - and one free drink for all our hassle. I think we may look at other airlines after this. The way back flew on a 757 on time and reasonable comfort although they need to do something about legroom - when will they listen?

Britannia Airways - by Sue Weekes

25 January 2005

Have just returned from round trip LGW-Sanford-LGW. What a disastrous flight! I usually fly scheduled, and now I know why. The cramped conditions are a joke, as are the inflight exercises they advise. The staff are constantly selling, from take off to touch down. It is easy to see how they manage to sell the tickets so cheaply, they make up the difference on selling over priced food and scratchcards for some bizarre reason. The term "cattle class" really comes into it's own with Britannia Airways. I can honestly say never, ever again. The seat pitch is not just uncomfortable, but down right dangerous given the fears of DVT. I was struggling at 5' 2", my husband at 6'4" found it almost impossible.

Britannia Airways - by A L Fox

25 January 2005

I, too, was under the impression that passengers in the emergency exit seats have to be fit enough to open the doors in an emergency. However, on a Britannia flight to Samos in September 2004, the 3 seats were taken by elderly, overweight passengers, one of whom had to be moved to the seat behind for take off and landing. Yes, they probably booked these seats 12 months in advance, but surely the check in staff should have noticed the state of their health and age and made other seating arrangements. This really is a safety issue and not a comfort issue. And a word of advice to those thinking of booking flight only with Britannia. Order a meal even if you don't eat it. Otherwise you will be packed into the rear of the aircraft, whilst the rest of the cabin is half empty.

Britannia Airways - by Jane Doe

15 January 2005

In response to the posting of Mr Acreman of 13 January 2005, is this the same Acreman who is Director of Monarch Airlines and who is so derisory towards the 50% of the UK population who are 'overweight' or 'over-tall' and complain about the lack of space on Monarch aircraft. His advice to them was travel with another airline where you can get extra legroom. Presumaby he is neither disabled or 'overweight' or 'overtall' but I assume that he would want to be treated like a decent human being. Please read his 2 missives about Monarch passengers, and draw your own conclusions before taking notice of his comments.

Britannia Airways - by Paul Davies

14 January 2005

I have only flown Britannia once in recent years (well twice if you count the return journey!), the previous time was a flight to Orlando as everything was ok as I recall. This particular flight was from Cardiff - Alicante, when I arrived at the airport the Thomson rep told me that the pre-booked seats were not guaranteed and that sometimes travel agents just take the money and don’t tell the airline – I had booked with britanniadirect.com ! Check-in was a dream, 3 queues and the flight was pretty full but didn’t wait more than 15 mins. Flight departed on time, flight crew were excellent,  polite, even friendly, plane was clean but seating a little less than I was used to with BMIBaby, hot food was also a welcome change from the usual sandwich and made the journey pass quicker. The return check-in at Alicante was the same story, quick, professional and without fuss, I was setup for another great flight, until I sat in the seat! Not only were the full height metal arm rests squashing me, but my knees were hard against the seat in front, to make matters worse, the plane was delayed for 30 mins waiting for passengers who had been in a fight! If I had thought that I would have got a flight with another carrier that day, I would have refused to fly the return journey! In answer to the travel agents that want to justify this, I would have been fully prepared to pay extra for more space, but of course the OAP’s who booked their seats 18 months ago had made sure they are not available! And to say that this is a price issue, you are wrong, I have checked flights for this August for my family, total cost just under 1,000 with Britannia and 500 with BMI Baby , the service may not be as good but at least I will be comfortable. I find the policy of not allowing you to book your extra legroom seats at the same time as your tickets to be a little sharp (online), they must know that people would pay for the seats and that you possibly wouldn’t fly with them if you knew extra leg room seats are not available before you book. Such a pity that a great flying experience from check-in to arrival was spoilt by terrible seats and seat pitch. Isn't it about time that the CAA looked at its regulations for seating, we keep getting told that as a country we are getting fatter and taller!

Britannia Airways - by Philip Acreman

13 January 2005

I have just read the comment from Mike Frank posted on 9th September2004. I cannot believe that he should tell registered disabled people not to tell an airline unless their disability is obvious in order to get legroom seats at exits. These seat must be manned by able bodied people under CAA rules. These rules are for safety in order to ensure that in an emergency the person sitting next to the exit is fully capable of opening it. To suggest that these rules should be flouted in order to obtain extra legroom is not professional and could be unsafe for other passengers and Mr. Frank should no better. While all airlines do their best to look after disabled passengers, the rules are their for safety and are based on past experience.

Britannia Airways - by Simon Hooson

2 December 2004

Manchester to Barbados and return only last week (on 767-300). Would describe the experience as 'average' or 'acceptable'. Check-in and boarding at Manchester was fine and we left on time in a clean plane. Seats are always an issue on charter airlines, so I knew what to expect. Extra legroom seats were sold out, so I had no choice!!! So I will not complain about width or pitch, but the seats were not very comfortable anyway. Paid for and got seats with my partner at a window. Sat in row 26, the middle so was last to get anything (trollies work from both ends to the middle) but did not miss out. Snack prices are scandalous BRING YOUR OWN! Meals were hot and edible. Crew did their job politely and efficiently. Return was very much the same, but seated in row 9 instead. Impossible to sleep in seats, so did not mind that crew spent so long selling duty free that the lights were not turned out until 5 hours into the flight. Breakfast was bad only because I am a fussy eater, and what I would eat, was dry and unappetising. If you want quality and service, fly BA or Virgin. If you just want to get there, and are happy to stand and stretch every so often, Britannia will do the job

Britannia Airways - by S Ahmad

20 October 2004

Returning to Manchester from Larnaca, Cyprus what an ordeal. We vacated our rooms at 11.00 am as most tour operators request. We left the hotel for our flight home at 11pm. with 2 children it was tiring at this stage but we booked the flights. Just before reaching the airport the Thomson rep announces we will have a 2 hour flight delay.. most passengers threw a fit at this point. The reasons for the flight delay was our incoming flight from Manchester had gone tech, a crew member was ill and the crew were out of hours. Our flight was now due to leave Larnaca at 3am. They fed us we had a choice of pizza or pizza. By now nearly all passengers were very tired and wanted the flight home. 2.30 am we were called to the gate - just to be told we will be staying in a hotel for the night. The place erupted with angry passengers - shouting, swearing and a lot of pushing a very hostile place for children and the old. I do understand the frustration because the flight meeting us from Manchester was due to leave at 18.45 but never took off.. surely before we left the hotel at 23.00 they new we had no flight why put every one through this. We were all stood on the tarmac at gate 9 trying to find our suitcases, passengers were off loading the cases themselves, they had two baggage handlers off loading a full B767 flight, every one was smoking including the airport staff and at the next gate was a flight due to take off - great for the plane spotter - one man in military uniform appeared to calm the situation. We had no assistance from thomson reps through out this ordeal. It was a free for all the young and singles got on the first coaches leaving families/elderly waiting. Finally we found our luggage and boarded the coach at 4am and arrived at the crowded hotel reception area at 4.50 am. As we were on the last coaches most rooms were full and had to take a room with 2 single beds my wife and I slept on the floor leaving our 2 children in the beds as they were shattered. We finally got in bed at nearly 6am. We had to be at a Thomson meeting at 11am. The reps new nothing and stayed out of the way. Thomson need to revise their cancellation policies or better than that have a plan at least. We finally boarded our flight home the following day at 1.30 am.

Britannia Airways - by Graham Prebble

12 October 2004

Birmingham to Canary Islands. Getting in the queue to in the lounge was 26 minutes (excellent). Flight left on time. However, the somewhat old 757-200 had a big problem and we landed at Gatwick 35 minutes later. The cabin crew seem pretty amateur to me and did not exude confidence, particularly as they had been at pains to pint out they had the legal minimum crew so drinks and grub would be a while. However, the captain came one during final approach and made reassuring noises. We finally took off around 7 hours later in a 767. The crew were on rest days and had volunteered. They were sympathetic to the frustrated and helpful to all - very good, and they gave us some drinks for nothing to put us in a positive frame of mind. Flight back was uneventful and okay (767 again). One word about Gatwick. No information, Overcrowded, very poor of the airlines management... but they have a very fine Whiskey shop with a mad South African who knows his malts, so it was not all bad.

Britannia Airways - by Stuart Allen

10 October 2004

Have just returned with my partner from a 4 hour flight to Gran Canaria. The extra-legroom seats booked and paid for a year ago were 'not available' at check-in for the outbound flight and we were forced to make do with ordinary seats, in the now infamous row 14 which are the middle 4-abreast seats. Not only did we have to put up with ridiculously little legroom but it feels less than the minimum laid down, especially if someone in the row in front inclines her seat. On top of this I was in the outside aisle seat and kept getting hit by cabin staff pushing trolleys of food or refuse - who were too busy to apologise. Our main grumble though was with the width of the seats. A lot is made of seat 'pitch' and legroom but we were both seriously cramped width wise, and were uncomfortable for he whole 4 hours, my partner suffering bruising. We were so cramped it was impossible to eat the meals provided properly (just as well looking at the food!) - does anyone produce a table of seats widths as opposed to seat pitch. We were convinced the 2 window seats we got for the return flight were slightly wider. Having read the comments on this site it seems all 3 popular carriers, Britannia, Thomas Cook and First Choice suffer from seating problems which makes for Hobsons choice when it comes to package holidays - shame Thomsons were more concerned wth selling headphones, duty frees and extra drinks and snacks than providing basic comfort.

Britannia Airways - by Mike Frank

9 September 2004

Read with interest the comments from David McCurley ( 8 Sept ). As a travel agent, I sometimes get involved with requesting seats for passengers, registered disabled or otherwise, with the various charter airlines. Mr McCurley, I am afraid Brittania have policies similar to most other charter airlines. It IS the check-in staff who allocate the emerency exit row seats to fully able-bodied passengers - this I believe to be a CAA ruling. I think the best thing next time is not to mention that you are registered disabled if, as you say, it is not obvious. Regarding the extra costs, I call it customising your holiday flight to your requirements, so if you don't want the in-flight meal, why pay for it in the ticket price ? Brittania normally offer the extra legroom or window seats at the end of the booking transaction and if people decline, then that's up to them. It's about personal choice , whilst the airline naturally has to stick to the CAA regulations.

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