First Choice Airways Passenger Reviews and Customer Trip Reports
FIRST CHOICE review : 11 May 2008 : by Michael Barling
Customer Rating : 1/5
Bristol to Lanzarote. First time with Firstchoice and unless something changes it will be the last.
The seats were the tightest providing the smallest leg room I have ever sat in after many years of
airtravel. I am not a giant, just over six feet, and to have to endure over three hours of cramped
conditions is unhealthy. The service was fine and cabin crew worked hard but when will airlines
understand that it is the seat and not the drinks trolley or the movie that make for a comfortable journey.
FIRST CHOICE review : 11 May 2008 : by Colin Pay
Customer Rating : 4/5
Gatwick-Monastir return.B757 out A320 back. B757 had plenty of spare seats allowing people to spread
out. A320 full but legroom was better. FAs friendly both ways. Both flights on time.
First Choice review - by Philip Butterworth
8 April 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick to Margarita economy return. Check in at Gatwick (weekend before Easter) was chaotic as all
flights queue up together for all desks and took nearly 2hrs 30mins to get into the departure
lounge! Therefore no time to do anything there. Plane Good and seemed fairly new, seat pitch fine
(much better than Thomson Fly 2 yrs before to Brazil), Entertainment ok but limited if you dont
upgrade for £5. Food pretty good. FA's good. Entertainment even more limited on the way back but
everything else was fine. Altogether though, good value for money and reasonable comfort. Would fly
long haul with them again.
First Choice review - by David Annakin
28 March 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Manchester - Taba return. I'd heard that the seat pitch was tight so had to pay £100 for 2 seats
next to exit. I'm 6'4" and there was no way I could have got into a standard pitch seat - I felt
sorry for everyone else behind me. The food was appalling - I couldn't believe any airline could be
so mean. FA's did their best in difficult conditions.
First Choice review - by Colin Pay
13 March 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick to Taba return. Over 90 minutes late leaving Gatwick- flight starts in Manchester much to my
surprise! B 757 showing their age, minimal seat pitch and narrow seat width. FA's both ways only
interested in selling headsets, drinks, snacks, duty frees etc. FA's on the way out reasonably
friendly, return was a different matter. I have been flying for over 40 years for work and leisure
and this flight had some of the most unhelpful and arrogant FA's I have ever come across. On
boarding at Taba at least 2 of the overhead bins at the rear of the aircraft were full of items for
sale and one was full of video equipment, leaving very limited space for passengers to store their
carry on baggage. FA's very reluctant to move their stuff. The behaviour of one of the FA's was
childish in the extreme throughout the flight. My wife and I were seated in the aisle seats in row
39 one row from the back and the FA's crew station. During the taxiing to the stand at Gatwick the
man next to my wife turned on his mobile phone and received a phone call, which he answered and
informed the caller that we were just taxiing and he would be about 20 minutes. Everybody in the
area (apart from the FA's who were too busy chatting) heard this. My wife brought this to the
attention of the male FA in charge of the rear. His comment was that it didn't really matter as we
would be arriving at the gate soon. He was then heard to comment on the intercom to a colleague
that he would complete a task, but he had just been told how to do his job by a passenger! When I
confronted this man about current regulations concerning mobile phones he became defensive and
arrogant stating that of course mobile phones should not be used till in the terminal building he
said that he could not deal with the complaint as he was disarming the doors, we were still moving
when the complaint was made. I would not recommend this airline. Unfortunately on some holiday
destinations there is no choice and you have to put up with First Choice's money making service and
rude and arrogant staff!
First Choice review - by D Felton
12 March 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Manchester – Bridgetown return with Premium upgrade. All seating pre-allocated by First Choice on
both outbound and return flights, so no choice of window or aisle seating. Poor 2-3-2 seating
arrangements throughout the plane, so do not expect to sit next to each other. Both ways, my wife
had to sit in the row in front of me and we were not the only ones. Outbound flight FA’s cheerful
and attentive throughout, but unable to supply any drinks whilst we sat in the aircraft and waited
on the ground for two hours due to technical problems. IFE was a good choice of films in both
directions, but the same TV/Radio and music programmes on both flights. Good choice of menu and one
of the best meals we have had on a charter flight. Afternoon snack before arrival, which consisted
of a couple of sandwiches and a scone with jam and cream. Priority luggage on arrival in Bridgetown
was a joke, we had the wait nearly three hours to obtain our suitcases, along with everyone else and
no information. Return flight FA’s very grumpy, positively rude and ignorant to say the very
least. The worst FA's I have ever come across in years of travelling. Everything appeared to be too
much for them and all they wanted to do was sit and talk and do a crossword in the galley. Food for
the main meal on return journey was appalling. This was our first experience and will definitely be
our last with First Choice.
First Choice review - by Bob Ellis
7 March 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Flight to and from Goa in Star Class. This was our first trip in First Choice Star Class, having
suffered the miseries of other Charter Airlines to Goa. As a fairly tall individual, I normally to
pay for extra legroom seats, so the promise of 33 inch legroom seemed ideal. We boarded the plane
and when we got in our seats we were pleasantly surprised by comfort and space. Our happiness lasted
until after take off when the seat belt sign went off, and the reclining seat back in front was
lowered on to my knees. With the seat backs in recline the leg room was as bad as or even worse than
the cheaper charter flights, with a leg room less than 27inches. It was not even improved by
reclining my own seat as it did not give me any more leg room and just made the person behind me
miserable, so I put it back up. The return journey was another 11 hours of misery. If you have long
legs and want to travel First Choice Star Class, book an extra leg room seat.
First Choice review - by Nick Batchelor
2 March 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
LGW-POP-LGW. Premium cabin. Boeing 767-300. Overall great flights, this is my 4th longhaul with
FCA and whilst seat comfort, pitch, cabin crew service and AVOD are fantastic for a charter carrier,
the cabin furnishings look very worn and in need of a refurbishment, the food served and quality is
slowly diminishing, menu descriptions are slightly over optimistic and the breakfast is now no more
than a small snack, in fact you get a far better breakfast on many European short haul carriers in
First Choice review - by G Carter-Smith
21 February 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick-Cancun-Gatwick. On our way to Mexico we had no problems, good legroom for charter,
entertainment a choice of several recent movies although you had to upgrade £5.00 for the latest
blockbusters, food was nice and cabin service professional. On our way home it was ok but not as
good - we were subjected to no end of PA's by the purser which seemed to be never ending and
trivial. These must have gone on for about 20min. Choice of meal was beef or beef - so no choice at
all. They had no replacement headphones as mine had broken, and my entertainment kept crashing and
having to be reset. We were eventually allowed to go to sleep but were woken by the purser doing yet
another PA advising that if we dont want breakfast leave our trays up. I would fly first choice
again but hopefully with different crew.
First Choice review - by G Saxby
4 February 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
I would say that First Choice would be classed as a typical charter. LGW-GVA-LGW outbound flight no
problems even departed early but inbound we took off an 1.5 hrs late. Not their fault and they kept
us regularly informed. Legroom is minimal. A hot meal was served both ways but on the in bound we
were served an out of date chocolate muffin! Cabin crew good. Service was a bit confusing outbound.
Breakfast / tea & coffee / duty free but on the in bound Lunch / duty free whilst still with our
trays and no tea of coffee. This is due to the merger and is as TUI want the services now. Think
they may go downhill once the merger has been completed but overall a fairly good experience
First Choice review - by D Whiteley
4 February 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
FCA to Punta Cana Dominican Republic in the premier cabin. Checked in hold bags the day before at
Gatwick very easy and then drove up the next day. Quickly through security then through to Aviance
lounge. Lucky with seats both ways (Row 1), very good service from crew, take your drinks and meal
order (our veg meals didn't seem to be onboard but there was a veg option anyway). Crew made an
announcement to stop people passing across to the toilets in front of us. On the way back sat in the
last row so you could recline without upsetting anybody. Good film choice and you can pause and
rewind. Some toilets stopped working on the way out near end of long flight. I thought the crew
worked hard. Comfy seats, good pillows and blankets, amenity kit, water and newspaper at the seat on
the way back. On the way out, crew came round selling pringles and stuff if you were still hungry.
We normally fly to the Caribbean with Virgin in premium and I was very impressed with FCA, a good
trip both ways.
First Choice review - by Jackie Waring
22 January 2008 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick to Cayo Coco. We paid for a premium upgrade at a cost of around £500 for the 2 of us. I was
not expecting business class but you do expect something for your money. This upgrade does not
include the VIP lounges. In the row behind us there were 4 infants that made the 10 hour outward
flight a nightmare. The crew did nothing to resolve the situation. This led to a very fraught and
unpleasant atmosphere. Food ok, small amenity set. Inflight entertainment limited and TV selection
same on both flights. Supposed to have had priority baggage service in with the price - this did not
happen and late off oad of bags caused us to miss our onward flight to Manchester. My advice would
be think very carefully about what you are getting for the extra that you pay.
First Choice review - by John Leonard
30 December 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Lanzarote/Dublin. I paid 38 euro for extra legroom at the airport and it was worth it, IFE very good
- novel idea of having "trival pursuit" type of questions on the drop down screen between movies.
Inflight catering was included and was fine except they have switched to ECO friendly re-cycled
cardboard boxes to replace the traditional trays, and it does not work! Even the friendly crew were
having difficulties trying to serve the meals with these.
First Choice review - by K Wright
12 December 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
MAN-POP (Puerto Plata) return. Excellent premier class cabin, well worth the upgrade when you're
over 6'4 tall! The comfort, food and service was excellent. However, priority baggage off load was a
joke, took longer than economy luggage to come off the belts, both ways! and separate check in
wasn't worth it on the way back, took forever, might as well have checked in with economy passengers
All in all though, I would travel again with First Choice.
First Choice review - by Kevin Chivers
4 December 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick to Male return. Was told by FCA that check in would not open until 3 hours before
departure. However, we arrived 1 hour before official opening time and were able to check-in with no
problem. We had paid extra to sit together and were pleased to be allocated a window and the one
next to it. Configuration was 2-3-2. Leg room was good - pitch 33" - and the leather seats
reasonably comfy. In-flight entertainment was fairly rubbish unless you paid £5 to upgrade.
Service slow because you have to pay for drinks, snacks etc. The complimentary outbound meal was
dreadful but was a little better on the return. Would not fly with them again.
First Choice review - by Lee Fitzpatrick
27 November 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Manchester-Sanford return. Travelled standard Star Class cabin - excellent wide seats and 33" leg
pitch. Service was good, meals and entertainment good and well worth the £ 5.00 upgrade to on
demand. In my opinion you are better off not upgrading, as all you will get extra are a couple of
drinks, free entertainment and 3" extra leg room.
First Choice review - by Duncan McGhee
14 November 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick - Costa Rica. Generally okay, but we were delayed 24 hours on the way back
and got no advice at all which was very poor service. On the way home we still had to pay to
upgrade the TV / games option which I thought was shocking on a 12 hour flight! A minor
thing which had no cost to the airline but would have been a nice little sweetener. Money
orientated not customer satisfaction. We tried to upgrade to premier on the way home as it was a
night flight, and told this was not possible. Appaerently we spoke
to the wrong rep as we were told a number of others travellers had managed to get a 'free upgrade'
on a cash basis for £30 with the senior Rep. Worth remembering for next time if there is a next
time, as First Choice charge £130 for the premium cabin.
First Choice review - by Jan Copp
1 November 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick to Santorini, group of us flew out for our sons wedding on Santorini. I need assistance as I
am registered disabled, and was I was very pleased with the way they treated me. I was preboarded at
Gatwick, and our party were all given seats near the front . Also on our return, although Santorini
airport is so small I didn't need assistance, but help was waiting when we landed back at Gatwick.
Cabin crew were all very helpful. Food not fantastic but have had worse.
First Choice review - by M Jerman
28 October 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
LGW-Cozumel-LGW. Outbound journey appaling. Check in and boarding ok but once onboard the plane it was
horrible. During boarding cabin crew were to busy chatting to each other at the door, far more
important then greeting the pax. Cabin crew were miserable, unhelpful. IFE is ok but if you want to
watch any of the newer movies, you have to buy an upgrade which is 5 GBP, so we decided to buy it. An
hour later and after 10 or so resets of the entire system, we were offered a refund as it was not
working. From the beginning one of the 6 toilets were out but 8 hours into the flight (some 3 hours
before landing) all toilets apart from one were unservicable. During the service crew were more
interested in gossiping about their purser than taking care of pax. On the bright side, seats are
comfy, legroom plenty, meals good, drinks very reasonable priced. On the way back, different story,
like flying a completely company. Everything working properly (after minor technical issues with the
ovens which was sorted in 20 minutes), IFE upgraded and working, service quick and with smile,
couldn't fault it.
First Choice review - by C Davies
23 October 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
This was the second year running we have flown long haul with First Choice and was a big
disappointment. Gone are the little touches that you got last year that made them stand out, like the
popcorn with your meals, in flight amenity kits seemed much smaller too. The meals were far from
impressive. The planes are looking a little tatty inside, both ways there was chewing gum stuck to the
seat in front. On the outbound flight they only carry 40 pillows and blankets so if you don’t get one
early you won’t get one. They did carry enough for all passengers on the return flight as it was
overnight back from Cancun back to East Midlands. The other big gripe was when they turned out the
lights on the return flight an off duty cabin member of cabin crew was stood chatting to the cabin
crew through the curtain to the rear galley and one of the cabin crew who kept cackling. The IFE was
quite good, though the choice of films poor compared to last year. In future I think I will be going
back to Thomson as their Vegan meals are proper vegan meals! First Choice, not for me in the future.
First Choice review - by Margaret Brandon
23 October 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick to Cancun in mid September with First Choice Premier a nice experience, plenty of legroom,
drinks etc. The gluten free meal was one of the best airline meals I have had. My husbands (normal)
meal looked good. The staff were friendly and helpful throughout the flight.
First Choice review - by Ray Ballard
30 September 2007 Customer Trip Rating :
Gatwick-Liberia return. First time with a charter airline for years, pleasantly surprised by the
standard in premium, well worth the upgrade price. Agree the comments about seat allocation and the
definition of seats together! The food both ways good, better than most scheduled airlines and I have
used a lot in the last few years. Seats and legroom acceptable. A pity that Gatwick stands seem to
require a bus service to get to the aircraft. All in all I found this a far better service (including
the inflight service) than most scheduled airlines.
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