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XL Airways Passenger Reviews and XL Airways Customer Trip Reports



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XL Airways review by Michael Shoesmith

12 November 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick to Sharm el Sheikh return on Boeing 737-800. Flight both ways were on time, very informative Captain and cabin Crew. Breakfast a little dire, cold and soggy looking but I wouldn't pay money for airline food when a good sandwich to take onboard is far cheaper. Seating ok for me, paying for blankets a little extreme, just be sure to wrap up when you fly XL and get an aisle seat if you are tall and you will be fine, especially for the fantastic price I paid.

XL Airways review by J Curtin

1 November 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Flew to St Lucia with XL One. Excellent service. Good food and inflight entertainment. Only complaint was that the seats didn't recline that much to get a good sleep.

XL Airways review by G Williams

28 October 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

We flew to Lanzarote - flight was good, however no inflight entertainment due to technical problems, and very cold, had to buy a blanket which cost 5. Return flight again no inflight entertainment. Hot and cold food to buy, however when it got to the far end of the plane where we were all food except chocolate was sold out. Bearing in mind our flight was over lunch time their should have been enough food for everyone. Sorry but like all the other comments, we will not be flying with XL again.

XL Airways review by S Siddiqui

26 October 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Manchester-Sharm El Sheikh. Extremely poor service - from 7 hour delay to tatty aircraft, unprofessional staff in appearance and manner. Extra legroom seats in a freezing cold draught from the exit door! Cost of 5 to get a blanket to keep warm, no inflight entertainment due to technical fault! Would never use again!

XL Airways review by G Maudlin

23 October 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

My wife and I flew XlOne - spacious seats and a good outbound service, with a delay on the service for a scheduled maintenance delay. Whilst the staff in the departure lounge a little confused announced that passengers should go to the gate for boarding then announced the delay. Passengers had started to leave the lounge and then where called back. It was very disorganised. Flight back on 12th October was cancelled (see comments below) flew back to Gatwick with Virgin, delayed their flight some two hours, sorry guys. Will not fly Excel again.


XL Airways review by J Pearson

18 October 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

My wife and I along with two friends of ours booked to fly to Barbados on Friday 5th October 2007 with Excel Airways. The cost of the flights almost seemed too cheap at the time of booking. They were indeed. When we arrived in Gatwick we where told that we only had two of the four extra legroom seats we had booked and that there was a one and a quarter hour delay. This turned out to be two hours because the plane battery was discharging and had to be replaced. At that point we could not have made up what was to happen on the return flight. What return flight? It never actually got off the ground. On Friday 12th we arrived at Barbados airport and boarded the plane as planned. Now I don’t know for sure if it was the same plane we had travelled out on but I suspect it was. We sat there for two hours. After an hour or so they told us there was a ‘technical problem’ and the engineer was looking at it. The pilot then explained the fault in a little more detail. I’m not engineering minded so it passed me by really. When the second hour was up we where told that the plane needed a new part and we would be found hotels for the night. We were lucky and managed to be first in the queue to be allocated and got a nice place to stay. It was a Friday so nothing was spoiling in terms of getting back for work. After collecting luggage we were at the hotel by 8.30pm. The following day we were trans1orted back to the airport at 5pm. After check in we heard a rumou2 that the plane still wasn’t repaired. This turned out to be true. We sat for five hours repeatedly being told of another hours delay due to a ‘technical problem’ and that the engineers were working tirelessly to fix it. This in itself worried me a little. It turned out they had been working for 24 hours solid. Why on earth did they make us sit in the departure lounge when they knew the plane could not fly? We were getting some information from an airport member of staff who was pretty good but there was no sign at all of anyone from Excel. At 10.25pm the aircrew ran ‘out of hours’ but this made no difference as the plane still wasn’t fixed. The flight was cancelled. This was actually a relief to some who were getting more than a little concerned about the safety of the plane. To the captain’s credit he came out to speak to us all and explained the problem was with a back up system that automatically restarts the engines if they stall. He said that while this was highly unlikely he would not take any risks with safety. Reassuring in the circumstances. He had also expressed concern about bringing passengers to the airport in the knowledge the plane wasn’t fixed. He said he had been overruled by operations in London. We were sent to another hotel for the night. This time it was not so nice and by the time we got there and checked in it was 1.30am. At this point the extra time on the island was not so welcome. The following day we made our own enquires by telephone to Excel. A number of options were on the cards. They still hoped to fix the plane. They thought about bringing in another plane from Trinidad. They mentioned booking us onto another airline. We persisted in calling them every so often and eventually found out that we had been booked onto Virgin Atlantic to get home. We opted to fly to Manchester instead of Gatwick as we live in the north east and we’d missed our connecting flights by more than two days. Virgin were excellent and very accommodating. When we arrived into the UK approximately 52 hours late there was an Excel rep waiting for us. Thankfully only around a dozen people had opted for Manchester. The rep waiting at Gatwick, if there was one, must have been mobbed. She was very good and could not be more helpful. Although at this point I think she had little choice. We explained we’d missed connections and she booked and paid for an airport taxis mini bus to bring us home at a cost of some 280. We were all due back at work on the Monday but obviously missed it. Just as well we have understanding employers otherwise it might have been suggested this was a tall story. We will think very very carefully about using Excel again. In a sense we were lucky. The major delay was on the way home so it extended our holiday. If it had been the other way around we’d have been very unhappy. Worth bearing in mind if you are thinking about using Excel.

XL Airways review by B Walker

18 October 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

We had flown with Excel (as they were then known) last year and swore then that we would not fly with them again, however to go to the hotel we wanted to we had to either fly with them or travel to Manchester (approx 4 hours by car). As soon as we had booked our holiday we went online and paid 69.00 each Gatwick to Hurghada for extra leg-room seats. As they were 2 bookings, one for my husband and I and one for my brother, we linked the bookings so that we would sit together. When we arrived at Gatwick we were allocated seats 1A, 1B and 17G. Seats 1A and 1B were in front of a screen and the legroom was equivalent to what I would expect from an ordinary seat, however the rest of the travellers were in extremely cramped seats. Seat 17G was behind the toilets in the middle of the plane, again with very little room. The occupant of 17H advised that he had booked extra legroom seats for him and his wife 3 months prior, but on arrival at the airport was told that they had been overbooked and his wife had to sit in another part of the plane. We were unable to watch the in- flight entertainment as our seats were too near to the screen. Seats 17 onwards did not have any IFE due to technical faults. Whilst in Hurghada we telephoned XL in England to ensure that we would get the extra leg room seats that we had paid for on our return and if possible to sit together. We were the first to book in at Hurghada Airport however we had seats 17G & 17H and 20 C. The leg room was much improved however the width of the seats were laughable. There was no IFE at all on this flight again due to a technical fault. The staff did their job but only their job. No extra drinks were offered for sale. This airline is the worse I have every flown with and will not ever fly with them again, I would rather travel out of my way and fly from a different airport.


XL Airways review by Pam Popple

23 September 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 5 Star Rating

Flew to Barbados on XL One. The inflight service was excellent as were seats and food. Our return flight today was delayed by 2 hours but made up time and arrived back at Gatwick 1 hour late. Again the seats were roomy & comfortable and the food / service were excellent.

XL Airways review by M Attard

18 September 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

CAG-LGW. Scheduled departure, 21:10, eventual departure 04:00. I am very concerned about this airline and some of the comments about repeated technical problems. What annoyed most the passengers was the lack of any representation and the lack of any information given to us. We were all left abandoned in the terminal building and were prevented from proceeding through passport control until 2am – but again no-one knew this until after queuing at customs for 30 mins. When we boarded the plane we were told “The plane was delayed because a previous plane had ended up at Stansted rather than Gatwick” but we were not told why this had happened. Can they really be this stupid? However here is the dilemma – XL return cost for 2 adults and two kids 600 whereas BA quote near 1600! Its our choice I guess but we all must accept that cheap airlines such as XL do not perform when the chips are down. Issues such as poor legroom should be another issue but they are not alone in this. XL Airlines – not for me I’m afraid.

XL Airways review by K Morgan

2 September 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Gatwick to Hurghada (Egypt). Our outbound flight was reasonable - for some reason we had front row seats which meant that my very tall family members weren't too uncomfortable. The inflight entertainment was good - a recent film and some TV shows. The problems with the IFE was the screens (either flickering or out of focus) and the ridiculous policy of having to buy an adaptor to plug headphones in (I thought this stopped in the 80s, but clearly Excel fancy grabbing a few extra quid from their customers). Food reasonable. The flight coming home was appalling. The seat legroom was tiny, and seats themselves were worn out and had bits of metal digging into our backs. There was no IFE due to a fault, but we were not compensated (how much does it cost to just offer passengers a drink or something?). The crew could barely understand each other, let alone the passengers - I dread to think how they could have dealt with an emergency. They were slow in serving people and rude. The flight to Hurghada lasts 5 hours on average, which apparently classes as short haul which is why you only get the old planes with broken seats, but 5 hours is still a long time to be sitting down in cramped seats with metal digging into your back. Excel should be ashamed of this service.

XL Airways review by Michael O'Connor

2 September 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick to Antigua return. We had excellent service from polite, friendly and efficient cabin crew. The plane was comfortable and clean. Food more than adequate on both flights. Inflight entertainment was first class! XL was very inexpensive compared to all other airlines. Will I fly with XL again? I will look forward to it.


XL Airways review by Steve Roberts

21 August 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick to Grenada return XL One. The seats had plenty of leg room, but weren't terribly comfortable compared to Virgin or BA Premium Economy. But it was significantly cheaper than BA or Virgin (a factor when there's 6 of us). XL One prices were not much different to BA / Virgin economy.

XL Airways review by L Dickson

18 August 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Arrived at Manchester Airport 3 hours before our Excel Airways flight to Sharm El Sheikh was due to depart. on arrival at the airport informed of 26 hour delay due to technical problems. Two weeks later arrived at Sharm El Sheikh to again being informed of our flight being delayed for 22 hours - arrived back to Manchester 29 hours late. Would never fly with this airline again.

XL Airways review by S Chandler

9 August 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Manchester to Zante, the cabin crew on this flight were very unhelpful, not a smile between them. When they were selling the food, by the time they got to row 9 -10 there were nothing left. The people who did get pizza, or a breakfast had to send them back because they were cold, no apology was given. Every time the head of the cabin crew came out to give out tea or coffee, she was eating, (perhaps it was her who had eaten all the food). The worst flight we have encountered for a very long time and we have flown with xl on a number of occassions. The staff need more training on customer care.

XL Airways review by L Wood

25 July 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

London Gatwick to Faro. Booked these flights 5 months ago, mainly due to price, and we got what we paid for. Outbound and return flights on time, excellent cabin service and for once at Gatwick on Saturday, baggage handlers that did their job properly! We were lucky enough to be moved to emergency exit seats on our return to the UK as the original occupants couldn't seat their child with them and we therefore enjoyed our flight in relative comfort.

XL Airways review by B Marsden

19 June 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

Manchester to Paphos. Booked this flight 6 months prior to travel specifically due to 8am departure giving an arrival time mid afternoon. Two weeks prior to departure I got a letter stating that the flight is re-timed to 13.15 giving arrival time of 20.00. Not best pleased due to inconvenience of re-arranging certain bookings, I wrote asking for the reason for the re-timing which applied only to this one date of departure. No explanation forthcoming except for 'commercial reasons'. Arrived at check-in at 10am to find dozens of people who had not been told of the re-timing, had been waiting to check-in since 04.30. Despite being told at check-in that the flight was on-time, the departure board showed a 1 hour delay. The flight eventually left 3 hours late at 16.15 without any apology or explanation. The flight itself was pleasant enough and a 'standard' meal was included. The aircraft (B757) was a little geriatric but for a charter flight was comfortable enough. The cabin crew were polite and efficient but not enthusiastic. All in all, I will be reluctant to trust any future holiday plans with this airline.


XL Airways review by Dan Moore

19 June 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick to Paphos return. Both tickets showed departure and arrival at North Terminal and so we went there and searched with other passengers for the check in desk. After some considerable time we finally learned that XL only fly from the South Terminal and so further rush was had to the South Terminal for check in. Should we fly with this airline again we shall make sure that what is printed on our tickets are valid. Apart from that inconvenience the rest of the flight was good although some delay each way.

XL Airways review by P Tomlin

14 June 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

LGW - Grenada XL One and were not disappointed. The food and service were good - friendly crew. The seats could have been a bit more comfortable, having said that we were able to sleep well enough on the return leg. The priority luggage labels were honoured on both legs of the flight which was a bonus.

XL Airways review by Paul Ryan

5 June 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Dublin - Faro. Minor delays outbound and return (less than one hour each time). Good level of service, nice plane (737-800) with very good legroom, which was great. Odd animated exercise video at start which was too loud, but overall this is an excellent charter airline with helpful and professional crew. Especially good if you've got long legs, and are used to having your knees pressed up against the seat in front.

XL Airways review by S Porter

31 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Manchester - Malaga return. Original flight details when booked where then put back 3 hours on both legs when tickets where sent out. Delayed 6 hours outbound due to the "technical fault" the delay being caused by another aircraft being called for our flight. 8 in vouchers given to each passenger as a consolation for the delay. Boarded "new" plane and took off dead on 6 hours after revised flight times on tickets. My extra legroom seats booked for myself and 2 companions where two thirds of the way there, that is to say that two seats did indeed have extra legroom, the third (mine) was occupied by the door to the aircraft, thus I did have extra legroom for one of my legs. On return, again a technical fault led to our plane being delayed again for 2 hours, no vouchers offered this time so a wait of 5 hours in Malaga ensued. The only highlight was the cabin crew were very courteous and helped you where possible, some of the crew had obviously been working well over hours after chatting to them.

XL Airways review by Simon Channon

28 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Newcastle - Funchal return. 60-minute delay on outbound jouney due to cabin crew sickness; arrived back 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Excel cabin crew on Finnair -branded Boeing 757-200 made us welcome and served reasonably tasty free food. Legroom and general comfort adequate and much better than other charter airlines I've flown. Would use them again.

XL Airways review by T Sanderson

28 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Manchester to Skiathos. Express check in avoided long queue. Departed on time. Helpful cabin crew with breakfast . Arrived 15 minutes early. Great flight. Returned 25/05/07. Should have touched down at Karvala en route to refuel but came direct as only 80 passengers on board. Little late leaving but made up time on the way. Sausage and mash was excellent. Lots of room, no criticisms.

XL Airways review by Rose Preston

22 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

We booked from Manchester to Alicante on 11th May 2007. The flight was brought forward by 5 hours, we noticed the different time when the tickets arrived, querid it and were told the new times were correct. We were actually notified less than 24 hours before the flight - XL claimed they did not know sooner, so how come the tickets gave new time and their customer services confirmed it? The return journey was a nightmare, we were due to leave Alicante at 21.40 on 18th May, and their telephone line confirmed that time right up til 2 hours before the fllight - when we arrived at the airport to be informed the flight would leave at 3.20am. It was obvious from other sources that the flight had never been scheduled to leave at 21.40. I have emailed XL and they have not bothered to reply.


XL Airways review by J Willis

22 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Manchester to Las Palmas return. Aircraft was only 3 weeks old and we had enough legroom at the back of the aircraft, in light service was very quick. You can purchase meals onboard - chicken korma was very tasty. Return aircraft a bit older and not as comfortable for the very morning flight back. I think XL are getting there act together which is good to see.

XL Airways review by Ray McKenna

20 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

East Midlands to Faro 10th May. Everything like clockwork with the minimum of fuss and on schedule. The aircraft was clean and as good as any charter aircraft we have experienced. An inflight hot meal was of a good standard and enjoyed, inflight service also of a high standard. We paid an extra 20 per seat which not only gave us a guaranteed seating position together for myself and my wife, but also gave us a few extra inches of comfort which made the additional payment well worth while. The return trip on the 17th May was also on time and actually landed about 15 minutes early.

XL Airways review by Marsha Hemingway

17 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick-Tobago. XLOne, quick check in avoiding queues, fast track thru security, used our own lounge access. Plane left on time, champagne before take off and throughout flight if you want it. Good leg room but seats do not recline very far. Hand held for entertainment - start it and stop it when you like. Food well presented, simple choice but good tasting. Excellent wine. Friendly service and felt requests were no problem. Arrived early. Return flight overnight and the lack of recline made sleeping difficult, also cabin crew chatted too loudly to each other. I was allowed to sleep right up to landing - none of the aggressive wake up stuff have had from other airlines. In both directions the luggage handlers did not honour the priority labelling. BA flat beds give better sleep - but does not justify the incredibly higher price, food service general comfort excellent - overall incredible value for money!


XL Airways review by R McClean

14 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Gatwick to Barbados return. I was anticipating a repeat of the horrors of last year when we were delayed by 27 hours, with a bus trip to Manchester, misinformation, overnight stay and 5 hours on board on the tarmac. This year we were delayed for 90 minutes on the way out, but that can happen to any flight - there was good space, helpful staff and reasonable food. Some people were able to stretch out and sleep on the vacant seats. On the return journey it was on time and, again, some passengers could stretch out and sleep, as the plane was not full. I had feared that we would be delayed and that I would miss my connecting flight to Belfast, but, we actually arrived at Gatwick early. I know from personal experience, and reading reports, that Excel has a bad reputation but this time all went well and my wife and I breathed a sigh of relief. Will we fly Excel again? If the price is right, perhaps.

XL Airways review by Brian Phillips

10 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 5 Star Rating

Gatwick - Tobago, Xlone return. All flights were on time. Cabin service excellent. Seating was good enough for the price paid. Well satisfied. Would use again.

XL Airways review by Sheila Cowen

4 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

October 2006 from Manchester to Monastir. Staff polite, helpful and friendly, flight itself was very good, and seats comfortable. Maybe some of the interior could have done with a bit of spray Flash to move stains etc but very acceptable! The food was good and served with thought and politeness In contrast to this, last month I flew for the first time with BMI to Monastir, it was absolutely shocking, and the staff were unbelievably unhelpful and never again! I am more than happy to fly XL again and as I am a regular traveller to Monastir always looking for a good deal.

XL Airways review by T Bunnell

28 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Flew to Luxur after being delayed at Manchester. Leg room must be under minimum standards - then diverted to Larnaca due to engine sensor. 2hrs on plane on runway, head office allowed cabin staff to offer a free drink. Returning, arrived at Luxor airport to find notice board showing 2hr delay - discovered that the plane was still in Nice with a Technical fault - 2hrs became nearer 4 hrs. The crew were over allowed flying time so we diverted to Athens for a crew change and fuel top up. lights flickered on and off as we took off. Will not travel with XL airways ever again.

XL Airways review by D Thwaites

27 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

The worst airline I have ever travelled. Terrible leg room, over priced and poorly prepared food, and badly organised cabin crew to mention but a few. We flew from Gatwick to Sharm el Sheik on the 18/4/7 and returned 25/4/7. The outbound flight was delayed by 3 hours whilst we sat on the plane because the aircraft failed to start! This doesn't fill the passenger with confidence, and judging from what I've read about this airline, the fleet appears to be old poorly maintained planes nearing the end of their natural life, with a track record littered with technical faults. This was certainly the case on this flight. I wish I'd read the reviews on this website before I booked the flights and I would never have had this hugely unpleasant experience. I strongly advise that everyone heeds this warning and avoids this airline like the plague.

XL Airways review by Tracey Gibbs

26 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

As a group we flew with the appalling XL to Luxor, with the ominous announcement that we had engine sensor gauge not working we diverted to Larnaca, where we stayed for nearly two hours, with the message that head office had been contacted and yes we could have a free drink we went on our way. Hoping for a more trouble free journey home we arrived on Monday 23rd to Luxor airport to discover that our plane was in Nice with some fault not inspiring, so after another long delay we boarded the old 767200 are we now in series 700 Boeing??? to Athens as the crew were flying on the edge of their time, so once again a free drink but not a free blanket!!! we flew the 21/2 hours were the new crew came onboard, here I was struck by how few indeed the minimum for safety their mission to hide and keep a low profile on the further 31/2 hour flight to Manchester, the fault had been smoke from an oven. These flights were not bargain basement at 230 so budget not quite spending money on keeping their planes in the sky I think not ever use them again no my advice go to London fly Egypt Air.

XL Airways review by Anne Kingston

25 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Flew with XL (their choice of name is ironic) from Manchester to Luxor on 16 April and returned on 23 April. Suffered long delays and diverted both trips, inbound flight via Cyprus and outbound flight via Athens. The crew did their best but frankly it was the worst flight experience I have ever had and marred our wonderful holiday in Egypt. XL use old, fault prone aircraft and are clearly not reinvesting in improving standards for customers or even seeming to care that they have such an appalling experience. I would not recommend them to anyone and would certainly not fly with them again.

XL Airways review by T Pearse

25 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Gatwick - Tobago March/April 2007 A truly unique experience, in that we will not be flying with XL again. Paid extra and flew Excel One, not a good experience. All XL flights on that day were showing delays. Check in was slow and not friendly. Our flight was due to be one hour late but in the event was delayed by four and a half hours. FAs were ungracious and did not provide the promised level of service. As with a previous reviewer the wine was provided with reluctance and delay. The food was mediocre and the whole experience was worse than BA economy class except for the leg room. The planes are old and tired, my foot rest fell to pieces, the single screen IFE took me back to the old days, our promised individual DVD players did not materialise. No newspapers or magazines on the way out. The internet promised no more than four rows of 'One' seats, there were double that and the service suffered accordingly. Return flight - crew rested and relaxed gave better service. Magazines provided, food better, DVD supplied, only a short delay in take off. Wine still rationed by slow service. Priority offloading of luggage did not happen on either leg. Still, judging from the comments from those in economy XL will be charging people to use the loo soon - we had only one loo amongst all of XL One and that was in a poor state towards the end of the flight.

XL Airways review by Roger Allen

20 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Just returned from Sharm El Sheikh traveling on flights 6064 & 6065. The outward journey was delayed nearly two hours. The aircraft was tired & well worn & the extra leg room seats paid for (17A & 17B)were (although better than the remaining) appalling with little extra room & extremely narrow & uncomfortable plus just worn out. I spent most of the five hour flight standing. The flight crew were excellent & worked hard to compensate for poor circumstances they must find themselves in every day. The journey back was a duplicate of the first, same lateness, same excuse, same seat Numbers's etc.No wonder they are changing their corporate from EXCEL to XL as the experience certainly does not live up to the name nor the blurb on their Web site.

XL Airways review by N Hadland

15 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Flew to Sharm El Sheikh on 22nd March. Checked in ok but as time for the flight drew nearer no news about when we would board eventually found someone on the customer service desk who told us our flight was delayed by 4 hours due to a 'technical fault'. It wasn't until some time after the flight time that the screens were showing the flight as delayed. On our return on the 31st March we arrived at Sharm airport to find out our flight was yet again delayed due to a 'technical fault' and it could be up to 24 hours before a new flight could be arranged. Eventually we were told there were 125 spaces on a flight Bristol which we decided to take. The flight was due to depart at 7.45pm but we weren't able to check in until nearly 7.30 (and we were near the front of the queue). At which point we were hassled through, no weighing of cases, airport staff shouting at us to run and then we had to sit on the bus waiting for everyone else to come through. Finally got on the plane when the pilot came through to tell us they had been unaware of the extra passengers and consequently only had enough food for the Bristol passengers. He assured us packed lunches would be waiting for us at Bristol. Needless to say when we arrived in Bristol no food! Coaches were arranged to take us back to Gatwick - they had no heating and the driver didn't seem to know his way around Bristol as we took a convoluted route through the city adding yet more time on our journey. Finallly arrived back at Gatwick about 5.30 in the morning and then had another 2 hours journey home. Spoke to quite a few of the other passengers who had all gone to Sharm on different flights and every one of them had a delay due to 'technical difficulties'! The only positive note I can make is the cabin crew on the Bristol flight were superb in such difficult circumstances. Seems to me that they need new aircraft!

XL Airways review by C Gallagher

15 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Gatwick to Banjul and back. One of the worst airlines I have ever flown. The departure time for both flights were changed without informing any of the passengers. We therefore arrived at Gatwick at 6.30am (as we were told the last check-in would be 7am) but had to wait around for 2 hours to be able to check in. Staff organising the queues at check-in didn't really know what was going on and actually directed lots of people into the wrong queue. When we finally got onto the plane we were unable to put our carry on bags into the overhead compartments as the cabin crew were storing things like toilet rolls and pringles up there. I managed to put my jacket in the compartment but when we arrived struggled to find it as they had put even more of their sundries in the compartment (and we weren't even at the front near the 'kitchen'). The seats were awful with no lower back support, anyone who has back problems I would suggest that you take your own cushion with you or something to roll up to support your back (5 charge for an excel blanket or cushion). The seats and tables themselves were filthy and covered in bits of left over food and drink. When the attendant gave me my meal I pull my table down for it to end up in my lap as it had broken. She didn't even acknowledge this and put the food on my knee instead. There was hardly any legroom - I'm 5'2 and my knees were touching the seat in front. On both flights I tried to put my seat back to find that it worked its way back up into the upright position pretty quickly so there was really no point. When going to the toilet there was nowhere to wait other than in the aisle of the plane and for some strange reason on the way out the attendants were dictating whether or not you were allowed to use the toilet. For example on a number of occasions the toilet was empty but the next person in the queue was told that they still weren't allowed past the curtain. All in all I realise that its at the budget end of the industry but for some things there really are no excuses. Given the option I wouldn't fly with them again unless the only other choice was actually staying at home and not going anywhere!


XL Airways review by L Fagan

12 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

We flew to Orlando with this company in March 2007. The flight, food, complimentary drinks, service and comfort were excellent. Our flights were on time. The cabin crew couldn't have been nicer and went out of their way to make sure passengers were happy. I thought I would write this report as its mostly the complaints you get to hear about.

XL Airways review D Marlow

12 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Good old Excel, Poor old Excel. I have flown withis company always from Gatwick to the Med, Canaries and Caribbean. Down to earth staff, polite and doing a thankless job. On our second Tobago trip the plane hit debris on St Kitts runway, hardly the fault of the airline, we were treated to food, hotel and another day on the island, they chartered a 747, got us home and refunded the excel one cost to all concerned. A pain yes, but not the end of the world. Using them for Grenada in May 2007, if they have problems so what. Excel is cheaper than Virgin and BA. Do not fault an airline by one bad experience, its your money your choice !


XL Airways review by M Taylor

10 April 2007   Customer Trip Rating : n/a

We arrived in good time at Manchester Airport on Saturday 31st March for our flight to Sharm El Sheikh only to be greeted with the news that we were to be delayed for 24 hours due to a a technical fault and the plane was grounded at Gatwick As you cam imagine, not the best start to a holiday. But what really struck me was how well organised everyone on the desks seemed to be for something which was a "technical fault" all the letters were prepared which didn't ring true to me. we were not offered a refund or alternative flight, which i thought were part of the flight regulations.? We did stay in an hotel at the airport overnight, but only because it meant a 5 hour round trip. On arriving at the airport the next day for check in we were ushered away from the main Excel desks downstairs and on further investigation found out why. They had merged two flights into one so both the Saturday XL7018 and the Sunday XL7170 were now flying on the same plane! It would appear that they were simply trying to save costs by putting on one flight and to cap it all, this flight was an hour late. I would advise everyone to stay clear of this airline. How it has won awards is beyond me.

XL Airways review by A Crocker

10 April 2007   Customer Trip Rating : n/a

Bristol to Lanzarote - check in no problem, staff were aware we had prebooked extra legroom seats. Cabin crew efficient. We were aware that Excel had stopped providing in-flight meals and were surprised when we were given one and told that policy had changed. Lanzarote to Bristol - usual scrum at check-in, we were offered extra legroom seats (for extra cost!). When I produced documentation to show that we had already prebooked and paid were told we would have to pay again, took some time to explain that we had already paid and would not do so again!! Moral is take all the paperwork with you, dont rely on the staff at check-in. Flight was good, on time plus inflight meal again!

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Susan McDermott
4 April 2007

Gatwick-Sharm El Sheikh-Gatwick. 4 HR delay outbound given 5 meal ticket. Onboard had to pay for inflight meals on a 5 hour flight. I can understand on a 3 hour flight but not semi long haul. On the return, only a few lucky passengers bought meals before the supply ran out! Likewise snacks ie. Pringles, Cheddars, hot drinks etc also ran out before our stewardess had served 30-40 passengers. Unable to hear any inflight announcement as the PA appeared to be on mute or very low setting. Certainly not basic customer service that is required or expected. We would not fly with Excel again or recommend them to friends.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by David Chown
24 March 2007

Paris CDG to Cancun and back. The outward flight was one and a half hours late, the return two hours. Very little leg room, not acceptable for long-haul. Food on both flights was pasta with what looked and tasted like ketchup. On the credit side, the Airbus was clean, internally well-maintained, and the crew kept quiet without cabin announcements on the return night flight. OK for short-haul but I wouldn't recommend long-haul, mainly due to lack of leg-room.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by S Cunliffe
20 March 2007

Not much legroom but as I am not tall it was not a problem. The meals were ok - I have never had what I would call a great meal on any flight. The staff weren't the best but they did look busy for the whole flight. I would fly with excel again.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Tom Ralston
20 March 2007

I made the mistake of believing the hype about XLOne being an alternative to business class, and flew with them to Barbados.I will not make the mistake of flying with them again. The seats in XLOne are the worst I have had to suffer on a long haul flight, the food was mediocre at best and cabin staff amateurish. Wine requested with a meal arrived about 10 minutes after we had finished eating but the lack of wine with the meal was defrayed as the aperitifs we requested had arrived with the meal. Assistance was requested on both flights, but this did not materialise. The seats may have a reasonable pitch, but the recline mode is utterly useless. Inflight entertainment is practically non-existent.


XL Airways / Excel Airways - by J Barclay
9 March 2007

The joys of flying with XL, not. We were delayed by over six hours going to Egypt but they really cared for us with their 7 pound voucher!! Luckily the replacement aircraft, not one of theirs, had better seats. When we actually got to fly home in one of the XL aircraft what a joy that was. My shoulders would not fit into the seat so I had to sit at an angle. Many people decided to stand unless the seat belt sign was shown. I think the X in XL stands for a cross on a form indicating whether you should fly with them. I will never ever choose another holiday if they are the airline flying to the destination.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by S Ross
9 March 2007

Return flight 1st March 07 from Grenada to Gatwick via Tobago delayed 56 hours in total due to technical faults. Passengers in the inbound flight had already experienced lengthy delays. Although safety is obviously the first concern, a great deal of time was wasted at the airport and in transit on two consecutive nights in Tobago, and some confusing/misleading information, before finally flying home on the 3rd. Only one member of ground staff on hand to arrange accommodation and transport for over 300 passengers in the middle of the night - total chaos! Apparently the same happened the week before with a flight being delayed for two days. It's clear that Excel have an extremely bad record for reliability and I would only recommend travelling with them if you can afford to risk the likelihood of extended delays. The staff were generally very good - in summary, nice airline - shame about the planes!

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by A Tomkinson
26 February 2007

We've flown twice with excel and both times that have delayed for several hours and even cancelled the return flight. There is no excuse for delays like these unless the delay is caused by means beyond their control. However, in my pinion they use this excuse all too often for their inability to keep to schedule. I think they often amalgamate flights to reduce their losses. We're staying well clear of excel.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by J Houston
26 February 2007

Without a doubt the worst airline I have ever flown. Outbound we were delayed at Gatwick waiting for our flight to Barbados for 24 hours due to a technical fault with the plane, missing a whole day of our holiday. We were given 7 while we waited all day and then put up in a hotel at the airport. On the inbound journey we got to Barbados airport to be told that the flight was delayed from 6:30 pm until 2:30am and eight hour delay, also due to technical problems with the plane. On the return leg, we were due to stop in Manchester on the way to Gatwick but the airline decided not to and all the passengers due to get off in Manchester had to fly to Gatwick, pick up their luggage, go through customs, check in again and wait for 5 hours until a plane could be found to fly them to manchester. They were given 4 pounds while they waited. What this tells me is that they are flying very old planes that are having regular faults. I would rather pay more and be sure of my safety frankly. Also, the amount of time I was delayed for, I spent so much money in the airport, I may as well have flown on Virgin or BA. A terrible flying experience, and I really recommend you don't fly with them.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Franco Carnevali
26 February 2007

Gatwick to Grenada return. The check-in was quick and efficient. Leg room was enough (I’m 187 cm tall) and they served 2 quite good meals during flight. Service is similar to other airlines but quality-price ratio is very high. I recommend Excel Airways and I’ll use this company again.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by John Henton
26 February 2007

LGW-Sharm return. 8 out of 10 for punctuality, value for money fare, meal, quality of cabin service. The cabin crew were enthusiastic, hard working and the outbound crew demonstrated their professionalism when my wife was taken ill. 3 out of 10 for comfort. The 28 " seat pitch was totally inadequate for tall / large passengers for such a long flight. Several complaints made to the crew on the return flight. Why not make these long sector services to the Canaries / Eastern Med 32" seat pitch & charge more. Also add ExcelOne biz class type cabin on these flights. There is a significant market willing to pay more for service quality.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by R Colbert
26 February 2007

Plane was clean and comfortable with leather seats, the staff were pleasant and cheerful, meal was nicely presented. On one of the reports it mentioned paying for a blanket, what it didn't mention was it was a fleece blanket which you kept and the pillow turned into a hot water bottle cover - not bad for 5. Check in staff were very good, and we would fly with Excel again.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Mark Russell
19 February 2007

Delayed and transferred from Cardiff to East Midlands on the outward journey, with no explanation resulting with the loss of a day and night of the holiday. Delayed by over 7 hours on the return journey from Palma to Cardiff, again no explanation. Really poor service.

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Roger Warren
8 February 2007

27 January flight due to depart Gatwick 1145 - delayed 22hrs. Put in Gatwick Hilton and given meals. Staff in Gatwick and Tobago did best to keep people informed. We were Excel One and pleased with [apart from the loss of a whole days holiday] the flight. Return flight on time. We shall have to consider very carefully ever entrusting our holiday plans to Excel in the future.


XL Airways / Excel Airways - by C Hindley
26 January 2007

Manchester - Sanford, Florida. Excellent flight, Plenty of legroom, no seat back TV but of little consequence when compared to the price of Virgin, BA etc. Very pleased with the level of service on this flight.


XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Becky Castledine
9 January 2007

The worst airline I have ever flown! A 6 hour delay going out (Bristol to Sharm in Egypt), allegedly due to 'act of god' (i.e. fog), but we later found out they sent the plane to France to pick up passengers there. Using the 'act of god' claim meant they didn't have to provide any services such as a drink or food voucher or a complementary drink on the flight itself. It gets better - almost 24 hour delay on way back. They abandoned us in resort, refused to provide accommodation for us, so we had to pay for a room or sleep on the street for 24 hours. Plane itself was a wreck - broken seats, no films as entertainment system broken etc. They promised a rep would meet the plane & funnily enough no one arrived. Trying to speak to a human being afterwards is impossible! I will never use them again! - they Excel at one thing and that is being the worst airline!

XL Airways / Excel Airways - by Richard Ashton
12 December 2006

This is the worst flying experience we have had. 3 hour check in at Manchester because of poor organisation and no guidance for the passengers in the fractious crowd.No record of pre booked medical seats for my wheelchair bound wife at check in. To meet original departure time the plane left Manchester without 60 luggage cases, these arrived after 3 days with no apology and after several downright lies from Excel staff about the luggage whereabouts. People who paid excess baggage had no cases on arrival in Paphos. Babies left with no change of clothes for three days etc. Ran out of food for the pre paid meals and a hostess tipped a tray of hot coffee over us on the return leg. After three of our party complained in writing we have no response from Excel 3 months later.



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