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XL Airways Passenger Reviews and XL Airways Customer Trip Reports


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XL AIRWAYS review : 8 May 2008 : by M Crossley

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Gatwick - Antigua return with no problems. Seats a bit hard but you can sit on your pillow. Temperature fine on both flights. Food OK and staff are pleasant. I enquired about the extra leg room and found that it was 150 per person both ways (ie 600 in total). We decided to spend that money on trips and souvenirs when on the island, and put up with the plane travel discomfort. Yes, I'd use them again, but bring an inflatable cushion!

XL AIRWAYS review : 1 May 2008 : by J Finnerty

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Manchester to Fuerteventura. No problems checking in. We did have a slight delay which wasn’t really an inconvenience. Cabin crew friendly, professional and presentable. We were allocated seat numbers 17C/D/E and F which meant that our family of 4 could all sit together (the plane layout was 2-4-2). These, being the front row of the latter section, were extra legroom seats which did make the journey a lot more comfortable and meant we had plenty of room to do our exercises. The in-flight entertainment was a family film which was a good choice considering the amount of children travelling. However the screens are ready for an update and a few people mentioned that their headsets weren’t working. Both outbound and inbound were ‘no meal’ flights but snacks and nibbles were available to buy including baguettes, wraps, pizzas and the usual Pringles and chocolates. You had to be quick as the cabin crew informed us that there was a limited supply and popular choices did run out.

XL AIRWAYS review : 30 April 2008 : by V Price

Customer Rating : 5/5

5 Star Rating

Flew to Grenada and pleasantly surprised. Check-in staff courteous, flight on time. I flew in the middle part, and it wasn't the most comfortable but plenty of legroom, plane spotless, and the staff faultless. The only downside on the return was the entertainment system wasn't working in our part of the 'plane.

XL AIRWAYS review : 29 April 2008 : by Robert Doyle

Customer Rating : 1/5

1 Star Rating

Both outbound and return were with XL Airways which owns Kosmar Holidays. The flight left Gatwick on a Saturday at 8pm and arrived early. It was a Boeing 767-200 and we had two seats together in this twin aisled aircraft which has a 2-4-2 seat configuration. Meal served and we were impressed! Staff were nice. Bar prices onboard were reasonable and complementary tea/coffee. Return flight was on time and left at 3am. This again was the 767-200 and the 2-4-2 seat configuration except this time we were in the 4 part of the configuration. This was the worst flight of my life and I have travelled extensively. The arm rests barely had enough room between the four medium/thin individuals sitting together. We certainly couldn't eat our meals at the same time, no room to read - not even the emergency instructions, the temperature was so hot onboard. The flight was both tiring, irritating, and so terribly uncomfortable that the two weeks I had spent relaxing was now defunct! Never fly in the 4 part of the 2-4-2 seat configuration with XL Airways, I cannot imagine how anyone could have coped with this arrangement on one of XL's transatlantic crossings.

XL Airways review by M Van Ling

15 April 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Outbound flight good. Inbound 22 hour delay, Spent nearly 11 hours in a hot airport in Grenada waiting for news. Checked in at 1245 for the 1445 flight. I feel we were fobbed off as we were given information a spare part was coming and this never arrived. In the end they put us up in a hotel but we didn't check in until 2330 and we were very hungry as we were only offered a ham sandwich at the airport and the cafe ran out of food. I felt sorry for the families with children. The whole situation would have been a whole lot more bearable if XL had taken the decision earlier to take us out of the airport instead of making us wait in vain. Cabin crew on both flights very good.

XL Airways review by E Poole

22 March 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

We have just returned from Barbados on XL Airways and have never had such an uncomfortable flight in our lives. We will never be using them again!

XL Airways review by David Grey

22 March 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Bristol to Fuerteventura on time and aircraft was clean. Flight crew very informative and the cabin crew did their jobs courteously. Pleasantly surprised to find food and drinks for sale were not too highly priced. My wife and I were happy with legroom. All things considered we had a good experience with XL and would not hesitate to travel with them again.

XL Airways review by Paul Pearson

14 March 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

XL to St Lucia and back. Outbound flight on time and service / food were fine. Plane was ok, clean, drinks available as and when required and crew helpful. On the homeward leg we were delayed due the high winds at Gatwick causing the flight to leave late. We stopped at Barbados to pick up more passengers and were delayed there too. I'd fly XL again. If they could change anything, I'd like 2 more inches of leg room and a proper inflight entertainment system. All in all an enjoyable experience.

XL Airways review by W Foster

10 March 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick to Sanford. Check in efficient and friendly as were cabin crew. Took off on time, food and drinks included (choice of 2 meals). Plane clean and we had sufficient leg room. Excellent value for money.

XL Airways review by Ciaran McCafferty

6 March 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

Gatwick to Chamberry as part of a skiing package. Interior of plane was clean with leather seats in good condition. However, the problems started when we were all seated and ready to go when the captain announced that ATC problems in Geneva meant that we would be delayed by 1hr 15mins. No apology for this. Once airborne service was efficient and friendly. The return flight was also delayed, although not as badly, and bags appeared relatively swiftly on both ends. A mixed experience all told - I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend someone fly with XL.

XL Airways review by A Moore

4 March 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

We travelled to Barbados from Gatwick. We had paid extra for extra leg room and it was worth the extra 68. We were surprised to see that there were not individual TV screens, but you could rent players for 10 and head phones for 2.50. Water free but all other drinks had to be paid for. The flight was slightly cold and blankets were 5 (you get to keep the blanket!) - on the inward flight blankets were free. I had ordered a bottle of champagne for the outward flight - the downside was that we had to drink it in plastic tumblers. Overall an ok flight - I probably wouldn't choose to travel a long flight again with XL but you get what you pay for.

XL Airways review by I Furnass

25 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

We flew xlone to Tobago. We were dreading the chaos of Gatwick, but with seperate check in for xlone passengers we sailed through. Another benefit is priority boarding. Even when the seat in front was reclined there was still ample room to get out from the seat without the next person having to move (the seat configuration is 2-2-2 rather than 2-4-2 in economy). Drinks served as and when required rather than waiting for the trolley. I dont know if the food is the same in economy but the choices we were offered was good. The attendants in xlone did everything possible to ensure you were happy. In Tobago the priority baggage worked again and were first out to a waiting taxi. The return journey was somewhat marred by a seven hour delay. When the flight did take off the cabin crew did everything possible to help but by then most people were already nodding off.

XL Airways review by N Burnett

15 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

This airline offers a pretty standard charter service on their long-haul Caribbean service to Grenada. Out-bound I had an over-wing exit row which was great as the legroom is much better but you can't recline these seats - however the main problem on the 767 a/c exit seat is that it is freezing cold. There was literally ice forming around the door seal after a few hours and made the ride akin to sitting by an open freezer. Inbound I had a standard aisle row which is awfully confined and at 6ft I spend the best part of 9 hours with my knees moulded to the seat in front - this really isn't fair and should not be an acceptable standard for airlines to operate. The initial food service was standard with a menu choice of 2 (eg chicken or sausage and mash) followed later in the flight by a second meal service, a cream tea. The food service was free, the drinks service not (however water is provided for free as is tea/coffee). The cabin crew were generally friendly and efficient (there's always one who lets the team down). The airline provides a fair in-flight entertainment programme which is delivered on a rather dodgy system, which included LCD screens at the front of the cabin which didn't work and an over- head projection system which was out of focus. They do also offer the rental for 10's of a hand-held system which has a wider choice of entertainment. All in all I would have rated XL 3/5 but it was the seating that let them down. They do have new A330 on the route starting soon so maybe they will improve the pax space on the operation.

XL Airways review by Lesley Edmunds

15 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Flew to Antigua 28.01.08. We were delayed a couple of hours on the flight out but I don't consider that too bad. There was fog that morning and a lot of flights delayed. Aircraft was clean at the start, staff pleasant and attentive, good amount of leg room for economy - seat width a bit narrow. I thought food was quite good. I paid extra (9.99) for a personal entertainment system and it was worth the cost - myself and my partner could watch the films together as there were 2 headphone sockets. The return journey was excellent, left on time, arrived at Gatwick 20 mins early. I appreciate that, from what I have read, they may not handle things well when they do go wrong, I can only comment on my own experience which I thought was well worth what I paid for the flight.

XL Airways review by H Alston

12 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

On arrival at Gatwick for a flight to Grenada/Tobago we were told that our plane had technical problems and was still in Amsterdam. They would not speculate how long the delay could be. We took off 2.5 hours late, so that turned out ok. To do this they booked all their later Florida flight passengers onto a Zoom plane and gave us the Florida plane. On take-off there was a very loud bang at the back of the plane - 40 minutes later the pilot tells us we have to return to Gatwick to check the 'bang'. However, as we had a full tank of fuel we spent 2.5 hours flying around Southampton. During this time they offered us a snack - orange juice and a slice of cake. This was already 6 hours after we had had breakfast in the airport. On landing back at Gatwick they gave us a 5 voucher to use in the satellite terminal Metro cafe. This cafe was manned by 2 people trying to serve 275 people, needless to say the queue was so long that even in 3 hours of waiting we never got served. After no information was forthcoming until they were getting harrassed, they finally got us back on the same plane but with a different crew at 5.30pm and took off again at 6pm - nearly 9 hours later than scheduled. The crews first priority was to sell the headphones and entertainment systems before selling us drinks and snacks - I found this to be an insult that they could not even provide a complimentary drink for our testing experience. They finally served a box of chicken curry (which no child's palate would have managed) with rice at 9.15pm - our first proper opportunity to eat in 14 hours. The plane was cold and several people were asking for blankets of which they only had a few. On a flight of 8 hours 40 mins, we were only served drinks once - totally inadequate. We were very thankful to arrive in Grenada - eventually. I can honestly say in all my years of flying I have never had such a bad service - incompetence, a complete disregard for customer care and such a miserable flight where I felt physically uncomfortable. But, it was not just the outward flight - when we boarded the aircraft to come home, we joined the outgoing passengers to Tobago. The plane had not been cleaned and it was like walking into a flying dustbin - filthy. At Tobago we got off for 1.5 hours while they then cleaned the plane. The flight home was ok, but again it took ages for them to sell headphones and drinks etc before the food was served, and most people wanted to get on and sleep sooner. When we landed at Gatwick 1 hour 20 mins late, the XL experience was still not over... we then waited for 1 hour 30 mins to get our luggage. There appeared to be no other problems for any of the other flights coming in who duly got their luggage in the usual time. Needless to say - I shall never fly with XL again nor do I recommend anyone else to do so. The little bit more for Virgin or BA is more than worth it - we've travelled to the Caribbean with them too and never had a problem.

XL Airways review by Phil Walker

12 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

Gatwick to Tobago. We were delayed 24 hours due to a "technical" issue with the plane. At 3.00pm on our departure date (scheduled for 11.45am) we were told no flight, would have to be put up in Gatwick Hilton overnight - we got a 5 food voucher during the day and an evening meal at the Hilton. XL staff were good during the delay and on both flights. Cake and orange juice for breakfast which was poor, other meals ok. Both planes clean, no seat faults, toilets ok. For the price paid I have no complaints. It's just the way XL do things. Not the best for customers obviously.

XL Airways review by F Wilson

12 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

XL Economy from Gatwick to Tobago return. Flight attendants delightful both ways and food not bad considering the price. Only complaint was the uncomfortable seat. They really need to put new padding in! I had to sit on my pillow and blanket both ways.

XL Airways review by Yvette Gillespie

4 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

We flew with XL to Funchal. legroom was Ok although the plane looked a little old. The crew were friendly. The meal was hot and tasted fairly nice. Check in was easy (although we were there 3 hours before departure). On the return leg we had the same aircraft. We were one row back (seats 8A/B) Seat 8B had a plastic bit under the seat in front which prevented my husband stretching out his left leg. Again the crew appeared friendly. Check in was quick & painless but the queues in Funchal airport were terrible. Took us over an hour to get through after check in and past passport control. There is not much in the lounge apart from a small coffee shop and the boarding gates. And avoid Monday afternoons at Funchal as this seems to be charter flight day and the airport was packed. All in all not bad flights with XL and we were quite happy as we only paid 60 each return, but we're not sure if we would use them again or not. Probably would for short haul but certainly not long haul.

XL Airways review by Phil Walker

4 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

Gatwick to Tobago Jan 12th 2008. We were delayed 24 hours due to a "technical" issue with the plane. At 3.00pm on our departure date (scheduled for 11.45am) we were told no flight, would have to be put up in Gatwick Hilton overnight - we got a 5 food voucher during the day and an evening meal at the Hilton. XL staff were good during the delay and on both flights. Cake and orange juice for breakfast which was poor, other meals ok. Both planes clean, no seat faults, toilets ok. For the price paid I have no complaints. It's just the way XL do things. Not the best for customers obviously.

XL Airways review by Martin Thomas

31 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Never again. The outgoing flight was 21 hours late. The staff however made us check in although they knew the plane was stuck in Antigua and that parts had to be flown out. Anybody who had bought duty free then had to return this before picking up their luggage from baggage reclaim. Worse of all, once they told you there was a delay, the XL staff seemed to hide When we eventually found someone she had the cheek to say, that she was busy with other departing passengers - I think they need to arrange some training in customer relations. One can accept some delay but to treat their passengers like cattle is inexcusable. The breakfast was most unusual, scone, clotted cream and marmalade, but worse of all the cabin staff refused to communicate to their superiors, that passengers were complaining - I hope their catering manager reads this.

XL Airways review by A Holland

24 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

What an unpleasant experience! Arrived at Gatwick bound for Grenada for an 11.15am flight, only to be handed a letter telling us the plane had technical problems and would not leave until 9.00am the following day. What annoyed us was the fact that they apparently knew about this 3 days beforehand and didn't contact anyone. We were given a paltry voucher for 10.00 with which to buy both breakfast and lunch and were put up at the Hilton overnight with a school dinners buffet evening meal. The plane left, thankfully, on time the following day. I have to say the plane didn't give me much confidence - tatty, with frayed carpets, chipped paint, toilets right at the start stank, and there was no soap in the toilet I used. Service poor - when we pressed the "call" button nobody arrived for 10 minutes. On the inbound flight, we taxied to the runway, only having to turn back due to more technical problems. This thankfully was fixed within 30 minutes. Again, no soap in the toilet I used, and on one occasion no soap, toilet paper or hand towels. I informed the stewardess who told me that they can only carry so much on the plane (I would have thought toilet paper and soap was a basic human requirement!). The cabin was freezing on the way home and I had to wear approximately 5 layers of clothing to keep warm, despite asking if the heating could be turned up. The staff were unhelpful and we had to ask for a drink was water at least twice before it turned up - we had the feeling from them that they were doing us a big favour. The "Continental" breakfast was a piece of cake and orange juice - never heard of that one before! When we asked if we could have tea or coffee with breakfast, we were told we couldn't because due to the turbulence of the flight earlier on, they now didn't have the time and had other duties to perform. I will obviously never fly with this company again and I can only think it will be a matter of time before they go out of business. I know that compared to Virgin and BA they are cheap, but could safety be compromised here ? I draw this conclusion from reading other comments on this site about technical problems that seem to happen quite frequently - is this normal on well maintained planes?

XL Airways review by Linda Fowler

15 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Never again! That was the opinion of most people - expressed in no uncertain terms - on the badly delayed XL flight from Manchester to Hurgada on Jan 5th. Delayed by 30 hours due to a technical fault. Departure times consistently put off, and with a minimum of explanation. A paltry GBP5 voucher was offered to cover the cost of refreshments during the wait, and by the way, a hot chocolate at Manchester airport costs GBP2-50 so the voucher didn't go too far. Apologies were offered by the airline, along with a letter to make a claim from our travel insurance company, but it doesn't really make up for losing two days of one's desperately awaited holiday, and spending two days drifting around the depressing environment that is Manchester airport. Further fun a games on the return leg - we were left standing on the airport shuttle bus for forty minutes with no explanation. Babies crying, people swearing, everyone breathing in nauseating aviation fuel. Then trooped back into the airport to meet with hysterical confusion by the Egyptian authorities who didn't know how to deal with folks going the wrong way through the boarding gate. Flight eventually left an hour late. XL staff slow at service and by this time v dispirited themselves. Come back BA all is forgiven.

XL Airways review by Sian Hayward

9 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

I paid an extra 20 to ensure I had a seat next to my partner on the flight to Sharm El Sheik but I was disappointed to find that when I boarded the flight the seats were not actually together but on opposite sides of the aisle. I complained to the cabin crew who passed me off with 'It isn't anything to do with us you must complain when you get home'. Tip - don't bother paying this supplement as it isn't worth the money! I also noted that the legroom on this flight was poor. It is probably worth paying to have extra leg room. All in all it was a very disappointing experience.

XL Airways review by Sheila Hammond

4 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 5 Star Rating

My husband was taken ill on our flight home from Tenerife 28/12/07 and the plane had to be diverted to Lisbon Portugal for him to be taken to hospital. I cannot fault XL's cabin crew in the way the whole situation was handled, first class. Cabin crew look like they actually enjoy their work.

XL Airways review by K Wilkinson

2 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Returned from Hurgada 29/12/07 - should have been 28th. Pick up time 4pm in Egypt at 4.10 informed new pickup 6pm (no chance). We were informed that due to "technical fault" the flight was delayed, if so why was the Gatwick flight delayed for same reason. Told that new pickup would be 11pm and the travel company then handed us over to the transport agent whom the airline had chosen and were informed any queries had to go through them (fine if you are fluent in Arabic).11 o clock arrived as did 3 coaches for a full plane load of passengers, I am no mathematician but could see very clearly this did not add up. The airline agents had no idea about getting people onto the coaches so it was every man for himself it was a case of throw your luggage into the storage and get on.It was about this time that we were told we would be going via Sharm to pick up a new crew as ours had run out of hours, it still puzzles me as to why they could not get the new crew to Hurgada in 7 hours, I can only think the hotels in Sharm are better or cheaper. Flight finally left Hurgada at 2.30 am for Sharm - en route were informed that the plane also needed refuelling - 1 hour on tarmac at Sharm, no drinks offered. Left Sharm 4am : everything on board was rushed, drinks, meals duty free. Arrived Manchester to be handed a letter to claim from insurance - but as most do not cover unless longer than 12 hours this was a waste of time - no apology, not a word, and having just looked on the site I see that exactly the same thing happened 2 days later (must have a very consistent maintenance crew). Needless to say in future if the travel agent says XL airways I will keep clear.

XL Airways review by S Boddington

2 January 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

London Gatwick to Chambery as part of a ski holiday package. It cost 15 extra per piece to carry a 'ski bag' in addition to your normal luggage allowance. This was a good deal for us as our one piece ski bag carried two sets of skis, poles, boots as well as our ski clothes and weighs around 30kg. We were expecting some possible trouble (extra charges) with this at the check in desk, but they had no problems with it. Check in for both the outbound and return legs was quick and easy. The flight boarded on time but we sat on the tarmac for one hour due to "missing our slot". I am 5 ft 3 and have a small build and I found the seating cramped and short on leg room. Food was available for purchase, as were headsets, blankets and eye masks. Our return flight was on 29 Dec which was a very busy day to be flying. This was delayed by 2 hours (we were given advanced warning of this by our tour operator on the coach to the airport). The explanation given by the captain for this was that it was a combination of delays from the previous leg plus the auxiliary power unit on the plane was not working. He said that you normally need this power unit to take off on short runways such as Chambery, but they had done some calculations and thought they would be ok without it. This was not a confidence inspiring comment and in general the communications from the XL team all seemed too informal. There were then further delays as some bags bound for Birmingham had been loaded onto our plane so the plane had to be unloaded to remove these (causing some concern to those who spotted their bags being taken off the plane) and re-loaded. All in all we had no major delays and nothing catastrophic happened, but I was left with the uneasy feeling that things weren't in good shape in terms of organisation, maintenance and discipline.

XL Airways review by J Crisp

30 December 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Still stuck in Hurghada after 6 hours. Sitting typing this on the hotel lobby floor. Finally offered food in an overcrowded hotel along with half the other passengers in the queue in the 3rd hotel we have waited in. But we had already eaten - they told us we could claim it back but I would imagine pigs will fly first. Apparently we will be collected at '11' for a flight leaving at 2am. Need to stopover at Sharm to change crew and due to arrive in the UK at 8am. Typical when flights are delayed - precious little information or assistance. No idea what will happen if we are later again - I guess we will be dumped at the airport so they don't have to find us accommodation. Bad enough, but there are stacks of young children too - ours are extremely well travelled at 13 and 11, and consequently pretty good, but not everyone is so lucky. Why is it that the moment an airline has a problem, it puts on its politicians hat and treats you like a mushroom - sticks you in a corner and feeds you rubbish? I wish XL Airways would live up to their sales blurb 'At we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best possible service.' Oh, and beware the 5kg hand luggage allowance that is not stated anywhere in your paperwork. Another excellent way of ripping you off for more money when you get to the airport. No wonder I never book package holidays normally - this one was paid for by another family member and not my choice. You get what you pay for, and with this bunch of cowboys, you get nothing more.

XL Airways review by Heather Gamby

20 December 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

We flew Gatwick to Barbados. The flight left on time - a pleasant flight, arriving on time. The return flight was 1 hour late leaving. Again the flight was pleasant. The cabin staff on both outward and return journeys were1st class. They were cheerful and efficient. The meals served were also fine. We were pleased with XL and would have no hesitation in flying them again.

XL Airways review by Diane Maguire

12 December 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Returned Florida 5th November. Can only say what a disaster. Flight left Sanford to Manchester - 3.5 hours out and we returned to Sanford with technical problems. 24 hours later we tried again 1.5 hours out and the plane turned round again. 24 hours later transfered to Virgin Atlantic from Orlando to Gatwick. 2 hour wait and another flight to Manchester. Total Delay 52 hours. We were assured that this situation never happens. Have just read this Web site - can only think that Travel City Direct and XL Airways will go out of business soon. No inflight entertainment only handhelds for 10 each. Come on guys you seriously need to get your act together.

XL Airways review by A Button

4 December 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Flew with XL Airways to Florida - 3 hours late to start with. On the plane we were told due to the late flight there was no inflight entertainment, but we could pay 9.99 for a personal entertainment unit - with 2 children, I had to pay for 2. My wife's seat kept moving backwards and forwards on take off and her food tray was broken - kept falling down. On the flight back there was entertainment provided, but our headphone sockets didn't work, so we watched the televisions without any sound. No kids meals or special diet meals had been put on plane for trip back, lots of people upset with this.


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