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First Choice Airways Passenger Reviews and Customer Trip Reports

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First Choice review - by T Thompkins

23 September 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

We have flown with First Choice twice so far this year as both times their prices beat anyone else and flight times were good. The planes are a bit tatty. FA's pleasant, although seen to be obsessed with selling drinks and duty frees (they must be on commission!) The only complaint is that if you choose not to have the inflight meals, they allocate your seats on booking and you sit at the back of the plane. Apparently it's easier for them to have those eating sat at the front

First Choice review - by H Steward

20 September 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Manchester to Brazil on premier seats. Very disappointed to find that, despite checking in early, our pre-allocated seats were one behind the other. The check-in woman said she was completely powerless to change this and she had had numerous complaints. What's the point of paying 400 to upgrade only to find you might have well have flown by yourself for all the interaction you get with your holiday companion ? A very lonely 10 hour flight. We, and quite a few others, complained to the rep about this but, guess what, all those separated from their partners on the way out were also separated on the way back - which was exactly what the FA had said would happen. Not sure why we should pay the same as everyone else for a much lower quality service. The same was true for people travelling in Star class - even if they had paid extra for "seats together". Apparently in FC terms, "seats together" means next to each other, across the aisle or one behind the other - so don't waste your money paying for this. Seats are (according to our useless rep) randomly allocated so arriving early, booking through a travel agent, complaining or anything else you might like to do is a waste of time - so nervous flyers, like myself, beware ! Sitting next to your holiday companion is down to pure luck and nothing else. Everything else on the flight was fine. Legroom excellent, food good, entertainment adequate and we found the staff absolutely fine. Won't be flying with FC again, though. First holiday I've ever been on where I've not sat next to the person I booked with.

First Choice review - by S Lewis

15 August 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

As a party of nine we recently flew from Bristol to Sandford via Manchester, although the fuel stop in Manchester was not on the tickets or mentioned, until we arrived at the airport we were unaware of it, and believed as stated that it was a direct flight. The outgoing flight was fine with comfortable seating although food left a lot to be desired. However the return flight was horrendous, we had three rows of three next to the doors and with toilets each side it was an extremely claustrophobic atmosphere, surrounded by people queuing and subjected to the sounds of flushes and banging doors. This continued for the entire 8 hour journey so that it was impossible to sleep or relax, having paid over seven hundred pounds each we should have been entitled to the same level of comfort as other passengers. These seats are undoubtedly the worst on the aircraft.

First Choice review - by R Brockhurst

25 July 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 5 Star Rating

Manchester to Orlando return. At Manchester as Star Premier Passengers, we were able to check in by a priority line, without any wait. The lounges at Manchester are nothing to get excited about, so we did not bother to pay extra for this service. Priority boarding offered. The cabin was clean and very comfortable, with good legroom, and larger than average leather seats. The crew worked hard - a drink on boarding, several bar services, dinner, and afternoon snack. You could have as many drinks as you wanted, and the choice, and quality was very good, and at no extra cost. The entertainment system was fantastic - on demand films offer flexibility. The food was served on china, drinks in glass, cutlery better than average - the food quality was also very good. The priority service meant first off the flight, and bags were also priority. The return flight was much the same, the crew were more attentive. I have paid a lot more for a lot less - this was an excellent experience, and worth every penny.

First Choice review - by S Baxter

15 July 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Manchester - Mombasa return. Very good flights in Star Class Premier. Travelling through Manchester is a breeze compared to Gatwick or Heathrow. The ground staff and cabin crew very friendly, and seats in the premier cabin very comfortable with excellent legroom. The food was pretty good, and constantly offered drinks and snacks. First Choice is leaps ahead of other charter airlines I have flown on.

First Choice review - by N Reeves

4 July 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 5 Star Rating

LGW-JSI Return - took this flight as a late option. Large queue at North Terminal but booked in within 15 mins - well organised and good service. Booked extra leg room and found plenty of leg space but a little tight on seat width and seats were very hard - would not wish to sit in them for more than 4 hours! Good announcements by Cockpit and cabin crew keeping us informed as to progress. Service efficient and cheerful with cooked breakfast served - typical charter airline fayre but fresh and edible - I have had a lot worse, (normally on scheduled airlines). Slight problem with movie but rebooted after 10 minutes and no issues thereafter. Uneventful flight with good landing and clearance. Return very much the same, no big queue and despite record temprature (43C) the aircraft was clean,cool and took off on time. I thought this was good service and value for money. Having flown with FC before a couple of years ago the service is as good and I would have no problem flying First Choice medium haul again.

First Choice review - by L Faris

14 June 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 4 Star Rating

Manchester to Montego Bay and back. Manchester Airport is a horrible place if you are a smoker. The smoking room is disgusting and filled to capacity all the time. Pre-booked seats allocated on both out and inbound flights with no problems. Plane left more or less on time. Comfy Seats. TV & Radio working. Very efficient Flight Attendants. The meals were good. Toilets were clean and working. Oh no, one wasn't, but it didn't seem to matter. Arrived more or less on time. Diembarked and then found that FAs had given out the Wrong Immigration / Customs forms and the whole plane-load had to re-do them whilst stood in a line for Passport Control. Tempers were slightly frayed. On the return journey, there were no Customer Survey Forms on board which was disappointing as I wanted to give some feedback for our Resort Representative as she had been lovely. It was a shame that the same TV programs were shown on the outbound and the inbound flights, although the films were a little different. Again the meals were fine and edible, the FAs were happy and smiling and helpful. There was a fair bit of turbulence on the way back, which of course isn't the fault of the airline, but at least the Captain didn't keep us 'belted-up' for any longer than was necessary, unlike some flights I have been on, where they keep you sitting down purely for their convenience!. I would actually highly recommend First Choice as a long haul carrier, comfortable in economy, good tasty food, happy helpful FAs, just please improve the TV offering.

First Choice review - by A Lawson

9 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Manchester to Banjul in April, and quite possibly the worst flight I have been on. We were delayed at MAN after the aircraft was fully boarded because someone had the bright idea to check whether the toilets had been cleaned. No! A number of time during the flight the call buttons went unanswered; once I actually saw the FA look at the red glowing light, and then turn her back. Eventually we took-off, and the meal was served (better than on previous flights - the redeeming feature); and then almost simultaneously two of the three toilets packed up. Try having one toilet between 230 passengers! I queued up for 15 mins, and did not get close, in the end I decided to cross my legs and waited until we got to BJL. Coming in to land at BJL the crew tried to disperse the queue (some of whom had been there for 20mins+) and get them to return to their seats. What ensued can only be described as verging on air rage as the angry and confused passengers vented their anger on the cabin crew. I realise a number of people have commented on the legroom, and it is usually something I grin and bear, after all 28" has been standard on the charter and low-cost airlines since I can remember. However, on a 6.5 hour flight, it does start to verge on the unacceptable. Coming back, even one of the flight attendants commented that one of their re-fitted 767s (with 33-36"") should be used on the BJL flight.

First Choice review - by G Davis

9 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 5 Star Rating

Gatwick-Orlando Sanford - Star Class Premier. Superb, comfortable, well looked after, friendly staff, plenty of legroom. Food was OK (aside from them making a mistake with our daughters meal) but they appeased that with some free Maltesers. Good choice of movies and entertainment, clean and efficient. Return flight in the premier lounge was a bonus, and complete lack of queuing at both Gatwick and Sanford.

First Choice review - by J Tunstall

1 May 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

Manchester to Cancun. We flew first choice star class seat pitch is good until the person in front of you decides to recline their seat fully then you don't have hardly any room. We complained to the cabin crew she told us that there was nothing she could do about this. Staff service was average, we expected better food considering the extra we paid. A good choice of films unfortunately my husband had difficulty watching these because of the seat being reclined fully in front of him. We do not recomend star class.

First Choice review - by Andy Bevon

24 April 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 1 Star Rating

Manchester to Banjul, The Gambia. As First Choice class this flight as short haul ( just over 6 hours) we had only 28" seat pitch. I am not tall, 5 foot 9 inches, but i found this to be awfull, i can't remember a flight where i have been so uncomfortable! The seat pitch and seat width make for the most uncomfortable of journeys! We flew on a 757, which on the way out was full. The aircraft only had 3 toilets, so for most of the six hour flight, the very narrow aisles were packed with people trying to use these. Entertainment very poor, two films on a central screen, which when the aisle was full of people queing for the toilet you could not see. Food on both legs was good, and both sets of cabin crew were also good. On return leg, i paid for extra leg room, which was worth every penny! Check in and boarding on both legs was a shambles. This was the first time i have used First Choice and Due to poor organisation on the ground and in humane seating on their aircraft, it will without doubt be my last! I wouldn't recommend this airline to anyone. Avoid at all costs!

First Choice review - by Marc Velez

10 April 2007   Customer Trip Rating : n/a

Gatwick to Sharm El Sheikh March 2007 in economy. Only good thing was both flights departed on time. At check in make sure you are given seats together (they don't "recognise the aisle at check in" we were told) and don't leave before checking your boarding card - there were so many couples on our flights who were given seperate seats, of course do so in a polite manner! Attitude of cabin crew was appalling. FCA crew don't seem to be trained to help you have a comfortable journey but to sell to you and care more about the destinations they fly to than the people they are taking there! Don't bother asking for any help, they don't understand anything except "I'd like to buy..." The onboard smiles were more fake than a Cucci watch, they didn't want to - they had to!! The leg room in these seats was not fit for animals, let alone humans but who cares you've already given them your money for the flight so sit down, shut up and just buy something else from them! Return journey of 5 hours in unable to sit next to my wife who was in pain, I was in agony from back pain (I'm 5ft10), the last 30 mins of the flight was so unbearable sat down I had to stand until we made approach to land much to the annoyance of the cabin crew - funnily enough not one of them asked the reason why or if there was anything they could do. Message to FCA - Passengers are more than just customers, they are human beings. Doubtful if we will ever fly with them again after our experience, they have been the worst of all the package holiday airlines we've flown with.

First Choice review - by Iain Ponton

10 April 2007   Customer Trip Rating : n/a

Manchester to Kittila (Finland). Paid the extra 15 for the extra legroom seat. Row 31. Plenty legroom but seat really tight, next time will keep my 15 in my wallet. Food fine. Service excellent. On return journey, we flew on A320. Sat in normal seats (no-one in middle seat) so was able to stretch out a bit. Pitch on these seats is pretty grim. Again food and service was great. Overall First choice got us there and back, and did it pretty well.

First Choice review by Michael Leslie

4 April 2007

MAN - Male. First Choice Star Class Premier cabin is excellent. It's a shame though that outbound our cabin crew were not fantastic, complete contrast on the way back, all worked hard and quite happy to chat. Although the service takes a long time it is quite personal and the seats are very comfortable, choice of movies and games all good and the noise cancelling headphones a real bonus, along with nice amenity kits. Let's just hope Thomson keep the First Choice brand.

First Choice review by Mark Leyland

31 March 2007

Manchester to Fuertaventura return. What a disapointing flight! I've flown with First Choice long haul a couple of times in the last few years and the star class cabins are brilliant - on short haul they are totally different. I'm just over 6'0" & could not even get my knees behind the seat. I had to lift the seat arm to the aisle & sit with my legs in the isle to get any comfort. The aircraft was a Boeing 757 but totally unsatisfactory for a 4:15 flight. Come on first choice get you're act together please!

First Choice review by Davina Keohane

29 March 2007

Gatwick to Sanford in Star Premier Class - very impressed. Fast check in, flight left on time. All staff very pleasant and helpful There were four of us and we were in front two seats and two seats behind Food was very good for an airline - china plates and glasses - reasonable choice - glass of sparkling wine before departure. Had a nice magazine and little bag with goodies in. No grumbles at all and very cheap - much better value than Virgin Premier Economy. Only downside was there seemed to be only one lavatory for the cabin and if you were sitting on the right side of the plane you needed to cut through the galley to reach it - felt you were in the way of the cabin staff but they didn't seem put out! Captain made several comments about where we were etc. and the route we were taking - lots of children on board - we had a three year old with us - but they were all happy with their films on board etc. The Palm Lounge at Sanford for the return journey was excellent. Help yourself to tea, coffee, soft drinks, biscuits and snacks and there is a bar too and you are allowed two alcoholic drinks if you want them. Plenty of comfy seats, tv screens and a nice little playroom for the children. Had read some bad reports about First Choice flights before we went but thought outbound and return flight were excellent value - sometimes think people expect too much - you would need to pay out for Club on BA or Upper class on Virgin to get better.

First Choice review by E Belcher

20 March 2007

Gatwick to Malta return. This was the first time that we had flown with First Choice Airlines. Both flights left on time with the minimum of fuss when boarding - we requested a window and middle seat, which we were granted both times. Our only disappointment was that the seats were very cramped and although we are both under 5'10'' our knees touched the seats in front. Food was hot and quite tasty, although we weren't told that we had to buy drinks The film on both trips were good, but again we hadn't been told that we had to buy the headphones. On both flights the cabin crew welcomed us with smiling faces and were efficient, friendly and helpful during both flights. If they gave more legroom we would use them again without hesitation.

First Choice review by Mike Houlden

20 March 2007

I have walking difficulties which have largely been ignored by other organisations but First Choice have exceeded all expectations for my recent holiday in Tunisia. I was 'wheelchaired to the Departure Lounge at Gatwick, then taken on an electric buggy to the Boarding Point. The excellent staff helped me on to the 757 and gave me a seat with extra legroom, which was an absolute boon to me, and arranged an Ambulift lto take me off at Monastir Airport. From the Arrivals lounge they provided me with a wheelchair and whisked me through the formalities to my coach. First Choice rep and the driver helped me on and off the coach very well. On return, the pattern was the same. Friendly staff who couldn't do enough to help, including the people at Gatwick. They picked me up on the electric buggy again and took me through Passport Control and Customs right out to my waiting taxi. I cannot express how grateful I am for my treatment and will travel again with First Choice whenever I can. Thank you so much for such excellent service from both ground and cabin crew and thank you First Choice for making my holiday so special.

First Choice review by Angela Leigh

28 February 2007

LGW to Sanford - Premier Star Class, thought it was wonderful but we had excellent flight crew. Very helpful and friendly. Loved the inflight entertainment. Watched movies as and when we wanted, played games against other passengers - flight went very quickly. Baggage out first at Sanford. Sadly different story coming back. Flight crew did their job but nothing more, seven of us in our party, five of us put together, two in a different row. Baggage not labelled coming back so had to wait a long time.

First Choice review by M Godbeer

26 February 2007

We flew Star Class Premier at an extra cost of 1,000 for our family of four. The extra legroom was good but the Star Class was fairly good anyway and I do not think that this was worth the extra money because the service from FAs was unprofessional and seemed almost as if they resented being there solely for that cabin. In fact they did not stop the stream of people from the standard Star Class using the Premier toilets. On the way home we could not grab an FA for love nor money - they were congregating behind the kitchen area, chatting. I think the new planes are good but the upgrade is certainly not of the standard of Economy Plus on regular airlines.

First Choice review by David Eatock

19 February 2007

These people are all lucky that they can fly First Choice. We have to fly from Glasgow to Crete and whilst booking Sovereign we get shunted on to Thomas Cook Airlines. This is virtually an annual trip and we have been moved gradually down the seating rows and the last time we flew in October 2006 we ended up in row 17, which meant that by the staff had run out of food when they got to us. We eventually were served but were hassled to take our hot drink before we had even started to eat the food. As I said people should be thankful for small mercies, in our opinion First Choice Airlines are superior to Thomas cook Airlines

First Choice review by Bob Miller

19 February 2007

Have recently returned from Mombasa with First Choice. The flight was the most comfortable long haul flight we have done. We were only in Star Class but with very comfortable 33" seat pitch, we would not bother with extra leg room if we flew with them again. The meal was fine, cabin service and entertainment good and punctuality excellent. We would choose First Choice over BA - Virgin and most other scheduled airlines, even if the prices were similar.

First Choice review by J Tallis

13 February 2007

Star Class premier to the Maldives. It seems they have let things go. Going out my footrest didn't work - told the steward before we left, he came back to me half way through the flight, and said he forgot!! No drinks when we boarded - seats very uncomfortable on the way back. The flight crew seemed to be bored.

First Choice review by Steve Vesty

13 February 2007

LGW-MBA-LGW Star Premier Class. Flights could not be faulted for comfort, punctuality and friendliness. B767 equipment clean. Legroom more than adequate for a 6'2" traveller - comfortable seating. Good choice of inflight entertainment. Definitely Premier is worth the extra investment over standard Star Class. I'd recommend using First Choice as a 'flight-only', over scheduled service.

First Choice review by Simon Howell

7 February 2007

Star Class Premier say you get extra pitch and legroom, but beware the black box beneath seat 2F - which means if you get seat 3F both ways (as we did) the legroom is obstructed and to stretch your legs you have to swivel to the right to avoid it. Large male feet do not fit on the leg rest because of the box. "All seats are the same" said a grumpy FA "and I will see if anyone will change with you" - some chance there was of that! I will remonstrate with FC - to be fair to them I found the rest of Star Class Premier very good and without that problem would recommend the extra to anyone else who like us have over the years hoped for but never had an upgrade from cattle class.

First Choice review by Paul Gardiner

1 February 2007

They call their in-flight service 'Star Class' - I don't think so. Used to enjoy short haul flights when it was called Air2000, but they have really cut back on the services that they used to offer. Its just the same as any budget/charter airline now - everything extra you have to pay for.

First Choice review by Sarah Winter

26 January 2007

We made the mistake of travelling with First Choice recently on a trip to the Maldives. Boarded the plane, had a list of new release films to watch - fantastic - however, 30 minutes later we were told that they had forgotten to put the headphones onboard. As an apology they would ensure headphones would be available on our return flight, and we would have access to all films (usually an additional 5). And no, the headphones were not boarded on the way back either - managed to read about 10 books in total!

First Choice review by Justin Edmonds

9 January 2007

Flew Gatwick - Banjul & return just before Christmas. On checking in at Gatwick we were just handed our boarding cards with no choice of seats. 'It's three & three configuration' the check in agent said, still it would have been nice to be asked if we wanted window/middle or aisle/middle. Bussed out from the terminal to a B757 & we were at the front of the plane. I thought this is good on scheduled airlines that means better seats - how wrong I was! Horrible green vinyl B737 seats packed as much as the company could fit in so very little legroom. Very disappointing as First Choice seem to bleet on about 'more legroom than BA', but this applies to longhaul only. First Choice do not offer their Premier upgrade on this service whereas they do on some flights to the much closer Med resorts! I think this is appaling as it is a six hour flight. We sat there waiting for ages with the doors open, take off time came & went. Then they finally announced that we were waiting for six people held up in security. My advice to them is get up out of bed earlier, me I would have gone without them! We finally took off 1 hour late adding even more pain to our backs in those awful seats. The cabin crew spent most of the flight running up and down constantly trying to sell you something. The meal wasn't too bad I have had worse namely on the return flight! Can anybody tell me why is it that in a cramped plane I always get the 'recliners' in the seat in front of me, I refrained from doing this, out of politeness, so as not to upset the people behind me. Seven hours total stuck in this plane so chronic back ache thank you First Choice, just what I needed at the start of my holiday. The return flight a week later was delayed two hours due to the late incoming plane (freezing fog over southern England) Some passengers were anxious about this & rang First Choice who said it was running on time. I looked it up on BAA's website & found out it was delayed taking off, even the rep made up a story about how it would catch up time! why can't they just tell the truth. When the plane eventually arrived the crew & staff at Banjul did an excellent job of turning it around quickly. As is my luck I end up with the half drunk & smelling like an ashtray person sitting right next to me. Even the blower overhead couldn't cope with keeping the air fresh. Thank goodness the plane was only about half full & after take off my wife & I were able to move to other seats. Fortunately most of the goods were sold on the incoming flight, they don't restock at Banjul, so not much constant up & down by the cabin crew. The meal was awful though very processed roast turkey, the worst airline meal I have ever had! Unless First Choice do something about the legroom or adding premier/star class on this route then they will become the Last Choice for me.

First Choice review by James Sidaway

4 January 2007

MAN-TFS. It was a good flight, but staff seemed a little fed up and the seat pitch was awful - food was okay, had worse. We flew back BA Connect which was an awful flight - a little extra leg room but no onboard entertainment, and it was just sell, sell, sell.

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