Phuket Air Passenger Reviews and Phuket Air Customer Trip Reports
Phuket Air - by Brian Whitelegg
I'm travelling to Thailand in 2006. The travel group agent that I use, bases their
Thailand fares on Phuket Air - but no longer sell those flights, as Phuket Air are barred from Europe.
The agents comment "Even if Phuket Air get their landing rights back in Europe we wouldn't touch
them with a bargepole". I think that qualifies as a negative commen.
Happily I am booked on Thai, with whom I have had a couple of very good flights in
the past. The only downside is that I have to go from Heathrow. What foreign visitors must think of
the UK when they arrive at LHR Terminal 3 is beyond me.
Phuket Air - by Chris Brown
Thank you for this excellent opportunity to add our voices to those who have had the dubious
pleasure of travelling with Phuket Air. Our holiday was booked through Saga and, although our
flight out to Bangkok on 2 April was uneventful, after reading in the Bangkok press about the
catalogue of problems occurring whilst we were on holiday, we refused to travel back to the UK on
13th April with Phuket Air. As it happened, this coincided with the Thai Ministry of Transport
grounding the entire fleet (11 of the 13 had already been suspended pending inspections). Saga
found us seats on Austrian Airlines and Saga now want an extra £285 each for this - but that's
another story! The Daily Telegraph has reported that Phuket Air's flying permit is suspended for
the summer by the Department of Transport following "a number of serious safety breaches". The
airline's landing rights have also been suspended at Amsterdam Schiphol.
Phuket Air - by John Mundy
My family and I were due to travel with Phuket airlines in July this year, Gatwick - Bangkok. In
January I started to get concerned with the number of cancellations and late flights. I then
discovered the Skytrax site and am extremely grateful to all of you who have posted comments. In January I
re booked with Thai Airlines, with whom we have previously travelled, it appears to be an extra
expense well worth making.
Phuket Air - by Philip Watt
We flew with Phuket Air in January but have only just found this site. We must agree with all
comments made about this airline. Our outward flight scheduled for 2.00 pm on 18 January was
delayed until 7.00 am on 19 January. The aircraft was very cold for the whole journey, lots of
people sitting with blankets around them. The cabin crew were trying to keep the toilets clean but
were not very effective. The in flight service was not of a good standard and we were left for many
hours with no food at all. On asking about this we were given a tuna roll. Our return journey
which should have left of 29 January at 11.50 pm was delayed until 12.45 pm on the following day.
Before we left Sharjah after refuelling the engines on the right hand side of the aircraft were
under observation on take off and periodically throughout the rest of the journey. We found this
rather worrying, more so now after the events of the last few weeks. Our travel insurance company
rejected our claim for the return delay because the wording of the airline's letter stated the
reason for the delay was 'aircraft rotation' and this is not covered under our policy. We arrived
back at Gatwick at 8.30 pm on Sunday and were unable to use our return rail ticket and our son had
to make a 400 mile round trip to collect us. We were left considerably out of pocket. We feel that
the comments in the press from the airline representative over the fuel spillage incident last week
patronising and indifferent to the very real fears of the passengers concerned. Phuket Air pulling
out of Great Britain is the best news for travellers to Thailand. The flight problems left us with
bad memories of an otherwise very enjoyable holiday.
Phuket Air - by Jan Skinner
Arrived back from Bangkok Wednesday 13th April. Started out Saturday 9th April. Flight
cancelled no explanation given. Put on a bus for a hotel sat there for over two hours outside the
airport. After several trips to the airport and lots of lies later we were finally told we would be
taken home by Lufthansa. Great. Not so we taken to the airport again at 21.30 to check in. Lufthansa
had no knowledge of us. We were then herded to check in with Phuket Air for a flight at 03.00. After
several more cancellations we finally took off at 5am. The flight was uneventful thankfully. No
representative from Phuket Air gave any information at any time. All the news we had of the airline
being grounded was from the newspapers or family back in the UK. The staff should be given a lesson
in telling the truth, all we got was lies and more lies. Never again will I fly PHUKET AIR. I think
79 hours for Bangkok to Gatwick is a little too long!
Phuket Air - by Michelle Koretz
I have just come back from Bangkok via Sharjah, taking off April 13th - 5am Thailand time and
landing 2.15pm UK time. We were supposed to take off at midnight on April 11th, got to check in
desk where they were checking people in and then suddenly they stopped and we were informed the
flight was delayed 24 hours till the same time the next day. We were put up in the airport hotel
(no complaints about that, the manager was brilliant) and given vouchers for food but not for drinks
not even for water. There was no Phuket Air rep around at all and rumours were spreading that they
were about to go bankrupt. We had no info the next day and still no rep but were told by the hotel
manager, although it was not his responsibility, he would try to find out what was happening and
post it up on a notice board. We were told we would be updated at 1.30pm. By 5pm there was still no
news, some people had been stranded for 4 days at the hotel. We were told the flight could possibly
go that night or maybe not for days as the airline could go bankrupt. We were eventually told the
flight would be going at 3am and to check out at 8.30pm (71/2 hour check in which meant hours
waiting at the airport unecessarily!). However the flight didnt leave until 5am eventually. During
this time there was no airline rep present at at the airport at all to keep us informed so rumour
was rife. When we landed at Sharjah we were not allowed off the plane while refuelling (is this
normal practice) and delayed yet another hour for more maintenance.
I would never ever fly with them again after this especially hearing about their appalling safety
record and other peoples experience.
Phuket Air - by Maureen Clark
Phuket Air on the 25th March 2005 to a lovely holiday in Thailand. What turned out to be
a nightmare was the return flight from Bangkok to Gatwick on the 9th April 2005. On arrival at
Bangkok airport on the 26th March 2005 we were handed a sheet of paper and told to ring the number
given 72hours before the flight was due to take off to reconfirm the flight and times. We took the
flight tickets to an agent and ask if he would do the necessary for which he did, it cost 200 baht
to get this done, we were told that all was in order and was even given a reference number, which
turned out to be totally ficticous. On arrival at Bangkok airport everything was total chaos as the
flight had been cancelled but there was no one from Phuket Air to give any information out to us, we
were left to roam the airport ourselves to see if we could find anyone that knew anything about the
cancelled flight. After several hours we were told that there was a bus waiting outside to take us
to a hotel but once outside more chaos as we got on the bus with our luggage we were told that we
would have to wait until the bus was full then it could leave. We waited and waited and waited, two
hours we sat on that bus, even the police moved it on as it was there too long. We finally set off
only to go round the ring road back to the airport. Still not a word from anyone at Phuket Air.
Trying to phone Phuket Air but no answer or engaged.
Trying to get home from Bangkok airport flying Phuket air since 9th April 2005 finally got home 14th
April 2005. Anyone thinking of flying Phuket air should think again and go by a decent airline as
Phuket air doesn't seem to care about it passengers just the money it can get from them.
Phuket Air - by Lyn
We were booked on a flight with Phuket Airways to fly out on the 26th March with family, about a
month before we were due to fly we found this web site regarding the disasters that had already
happened, we have visited Thailand several times and are not nervous passengers but upon reading the
reports we tried to change airlines through our booking agent but were unable to because our
original tickets were not transferable so we flew to Bangkok as planned, once we were on the plane
we noticed that the overhead panneling was hanging down, once we had taken off the passenger sitting
underneath this was getting wet due to condensation, they advised the cabin crew of the problem who
got another member of staff who then proceeded to stuff the gap with paper and tried to seal the
panel with some form of masking tape which did not work, my overhead light did not work, there was a
blocked toilet where someone had put a disposable nappy down so eventually this toilet was taped off
and out of use, the passenger behind seat would not go into the upright position but because the
plane was only half full he could sit in the seat next to him, we eventually arrived in Bangkok
without any further incidences but not looking forward to our return flight, we were on holiday for
three weeks but some of the family were to return on the 8th April. We proceeded our holiday and
spent the last week in Hong Kong and were to return to Bangkok on the 13th April for 3 days before
flying back to the U.K. with Phuket Airways, once we had boarded the plane at Hong Kong (Thai
Airways) we picked up a complimentary newspaper (Bangkok Post) only to see the headlines "PHUKET AIR
WOES LEAVE 800 FUMING" after reading that the aircraft had not passed the safety inspections and the
problems with the fuel and hydraulic systems and all but 2 planes were grounded made us very wary
about flying home to the UK with them, we made the decision that once we had landed at Bangkok we
would try to find an alternative airline to fly home with at our own exspense, we eventually
succeeded to find 2 seats with Eva Air 2 days earlier than planned but for peace of mind we were
prepared to pay for the airline tickets. Although we had arranged our flights with another airline
we were interested to see if Phuket Airlines were still going to fly to Gatwick on the date we were
due to fly with them, once we were at Bangkok Airport we located Phuket Offices but they were
closed, our flight was the following day so when we arrived at the airport the next day we
approached Phuket Offices and after waiting several minutes a member of staff appeared and we asked
when was the next flight to Gatwick only to be told they didn't know, switched off the lights and
locked the office. We proceeded with our flight home safely with Eva Air only to speak to our
family that had flown home with Phuket Air on the 8th April to hear that there had been uproar
with a fellow passenger who insisted that they were assured that the aeroplane that were travelling
back on was not the one that had had hydraulic problems previously, he was assured by the captain
that this was not the same plane, but once on board the story changed and it was the same plane, so
all in all what a sham airline and the moral of the story is never to fly or recommend Phuket
Airlines, although we would not be surprised to hear that they had gone bankrupt.
Phuket Air - by Sarah Doughty
I work on a consumer programme for ITV and would be interested in hearing from anyone who was on the
Phuket Air flight which had a reported fuel leak during a routine stop at Sharjah on Sunday 3rd
April 2005. We
would be interested in hearing your story.
Please send your contact details using the Comment
Form at the bottom of this page, and Skytrax will put you in touch
Phuket Air - by Gillian Griffiths
A word of advice - do not under any circumstances fly with Phuket Air! If you are due to fly with
this company to London Gatwick in the next few days, I would strongly advise trying to change airline
companies. We just landed after a hysterical journey from hell - which began in Bangkok on Saturday
night and ended in London (via Sharjah and Amsterdam) on Monday afternoon.
Phuket Air - by Norma Robertson
I agree with other comments from fellow passengers on flight 618 on April 2nd. It was a
complete nightmare and an exhausting experience for all involved. The lack of communication, the
standard of accommodation at Sharjah and the lack of food and water for hundreds of stranded and
delayed passengers left a lot to be desired. Horrified to read their UK sales manager's Gordon
MacFarland's quotes to the press. Come on Phuket Air take responsibility especially in light of
further problems with your aircraft and apologise please.
Phuket Air - by Maria Olsson
I was also on the same nightmare flight and got stranded in Sharjah.
If Phuket air did not think they done anything wrong or that there were no problems with the planes,
they should have been available and around the hotels talking to us.
We are still waiting for an apology.
Phuket Air - by D Wade
I was on the same 72 hour nightmare from hell trip as the others but it is not a one-off. On our
flight out we ended up taking 10 hours to get from Bangkok to Phuket but not before our first plane
had set off only to return 20 minutes into the flight due to "technical problems" with no
explanation ever offered to us except being offered 200 baht to spend in the
restaurant. This experience paled however next to the return flight. Despite the British Embassy
getting involved, the Sharjah branch switched off their phones and fled their offices, the Bangkok
office would not answer their phones, and no member of the crew were prepared to speak to the
passengers in person. I telephoned every other airline and if a flight had been available I would
have booked it whatever the price! If you are offered a flight for nothing with this dreadful outfit please decline it.
Phuket Air - by E Wrynn
BKK-LGW with Phuket Air on 04-05-05 - total chaos!! Passengers on plane before us
would not get back on plane, after re-fueling at Sharjah - because of the "minor problem" of
fuel leaking out of the engine! We flew in 2 days later, to find them still waiting at Sharjah
for our plane to pick them up. Bit of a problem though, our plane was also leaking fluid from the
engine (different plane). Waited in Sharjah for 16 hrs for the muppets to fix the plane (well
kind of fix it). Don't fly with them - Dangerous !!
Phuket Air - by Adam Benjamin
I have just arrived back in the UK after the journey from hell, the April 02 flight, 72 hours from
Bangkok to Gatwick. After being stranded in Sharjah, UAE for 60 hours and an almost total lack of
communication from Phuket Air, I can do nothing other than urge anyone who is planning on taking a
flight to cancel their tickets immediately and find someone/anyone other than these clowns, to
Phuket Air - by Patrick Brangan
I have just heard by e-mail from Phuket Airways Head Office in Thailand today that they will
not fly to London after 22nd April 2005.
Phuket Air - by Gary Jackson
Gatwick to BKK. Flight to BKK was excellent no problems. The plane was old but
everything worked and the staff were excellent. Plenty of food and drinks were available on request. I
flew back on 16 march and apart from the hour to refuel in Sharjah which is a little inconvenient the flight was excellent.
Phuket Air - by Dave Brierley
by Fern Tuppen's comments below. We were on the same LGW-BKK plane on
the 24 February, and condition wise, the cabin was dirty and scruffy.
Torn and stained seat covers, and staff service was offhand to say the
least. Are the staff the Thai Airways rejects because they really do not
come close to the Thai standards. I agree about the flights not being
full, and have heard rumours that Phuket Air will have to cut these long
haul flights because it is crippling the airline to keep losing money. I
would not repeat the experience, even though I admit it was cheap! I do
have real concerns for the maintenance and safety standards for this
outfit, and fear the worst has yet to come for them.
Phuket Air - by Fern Tuppen
LGW to Bangkok out 24/2/05, back 10/3/05. I had been dreading
it. Maybe we were just lucky. The planes are a bit old and tatty but no worse than others I've flown - in our case the ex-KLM
both ways. We were in Economy and legroom and seat width was OK, both flights were around half
full so we had a row of 3 between the 2 of us - makes a world of difference! Service was excellent,
food better than average, drinks available- although on request because the cabin crew
don't hassle you much. Managed to get some kip on the way home which for me is unusual.
Both flights were on time and devoid of trauma. Yes, the plane stopped at Sharjah for about an hour
and the toilets were cleaned and checked which took about 20 minutes.
Phuket Air - by Claire Everett
Myself and my partner flew Phuket Air to BKK in Oct 04. The flight over was ok,
the plane was an old KLM jumbo which was tatty but comfortable. I agree with the comments about the
cabin crew not being able to handle drunken louts. On the flight out there were a group of middle
age men who were served alcoholic drinks from the time of serving to just prior to landing.
Although they didn't cause any trouble I was very surprised that the cabin crew continued to serve
them over a period of 11 hours.
Our return flight was a bit of a nightmare. Having spent 6 hours waiting in Bangkok airport we
boarded the plane at midnight. Our take off time came and went, 40 minutes passed and we were told
nothing. Then the captain said we would be taking off in 10 minutes (no apology). This came and
went then another announcement there was a problem loading the luggage and we would be taking off in
10 minutes. Again this came and went. One and a half hours passed before we finally started to
move. This KLM jumbo was really in bad shape and was much worse than the plane on the flight over,
it was dirty, my table was broken and we generally didn’t feel that happy flying in it.
As the plane turned the corner and revved the engine to join the runway there was the most
horrendous smell of burning. We were sitting at the front end of the plane near to the kitchen in
the nose cone. As the plane started to go down the runway the smell got much worse. All the cabin
crew were up running about looking in all of the ovens trying to find the source of this smell.
They all looked terrified which is pretty off putting to the passengers in the first place! The
plane continued down the runway with the smell getting worse all the time. Even as the plane was
taking off the crew continued to look for the problem. My partner and I were terrified, as too
seemed those people sitting around us. One lady even got us and asked the crew what was going on.
They didn’t really tell her. The plane climbed very slowly with this smell still present. Whilst
we were still climbing the captain came out and sniffed about with all the cabin crew flapping
around him, then the co-pilot came out and done the same. I think everyone on the flight feared the
worst. We honestly thought we were going to be blown out of the sky. About an hour later the smell
went away but we couldn’t settle after the adrenaline rush of panic. We also stopped in
which was awful as the air conditioning was switched off and we were delayed here too. We weren’t
given any drinks, were told not to use the toilet and weren’t allowed off the plane. Our journey
home took us over 36 hours which marred the end of our holiday. I was most upset by the lack of
information provided by the crew. We were not told about the burning problem or the cause of it or
reassured about it, there were no apologies at all. I would never fly Phuket air again nor
recommend it. I am surprised that the BAA allows them to provide a long haul service from the UK.
Phuket Air - by Niall Morton
I'm with Helen Brade. Was also on the 15th January flight with the 18 hrs delay. If I had known the
real reason for the delay, engine fire on outbound flight flight, I wouldn't have flown with them at
all. The planes are old, noisy, the reading lights don't work, the TV screens are fuzzy and they
should stay on the ground for good before a real disaster occurs. The crew are lovely but I didn't
feel at all confident that they would be able to handle an emergency situation or one such as the
drunk passenger described in Helen's posting. I was on the plane for a total of 17 hrs on the return
flight on 12th Feb and this was a day early than scheduled as Phuket said 13th Feb flight cancelled
when I called to reconfirm flight, no explanation so I lost a day at the start of my holiday and a
day at the end, I won't be flying with them again. I flew to Bangkok from Laos a few days before my
return flight and there were 5 Phuket Jumbos on the tarmac at Bangkok, 3 with the engine covers
open, maybe routine but with all the information on this forum , it does make you wonder. I hope
that they can sort out their problems, but short of a new fleet I can't see it happening!
Phuket Air - by J Forbes
LGW-BKK 05/02/05 and BKK-LGW 16/02/05 in Business Class. The flights were on
time - Business Class cabin located upstairs and spacious, quiet, clean. Seats
comfortable with good recline, legroom and personal video display. Food
was excellent and the service very friendly.
Phuket Air - by Trevor Morgan
Bangkok to London for myself and two children - 5/02/05
flight delayed 2 hours from Bangkok- no explanation given On boarding found no one at the entrance
to plane so just wandered on and found our seats. Two of the three were broken and could not
recline. A passenger behind us could not find her seat as shown on boarding pass. Eventually cabin
crew discovered that the seat on aircraft did not exist and had to cross out a seat number using
felt tip pen and write correct number up above. Overall impression of interior was very
and dim - hardly any light at all due to the very old aircraft used and no updating of interior. After
taking off no hello from captain or any communication - it would have been courteous to know what
the delay was . We never heard his voice throughout the flight. After arriving in Dubai the hour
hour turned into 2hours 15 minutes- no cabin crew would tell me what the delay was for, although I
did see a Phuket Airlines engineer inspecting engines.
Took off for final leg - at least this change of captain did mean that we heard his voice and he at
least apologised for the 2 hour plus delay. I should mention that during the stop-over the engines
were off and no aircon inside cabin which left most passengers very uncomfortable. Food was of low
quality and beer i asked for was warm and not refrigerated. Crew were ok especially after seeing
what they have to put up with.
On arrival at Gatwick had to wait exactly 60 minutes for bags and with the extra delay of flight
meant we missed our coach we had previously booked. Total flight time 18 hours (21 including arrival
time at Bangkok - as we were told to arrive 3 hours before boarding?)
After travelling for 20 years I can
honestly say that this has been my worst experience ever and has put me off flying, especially with
children. I have to return to Thailand and would not fly Phuket Airlines if I was given free
tickets - the whole experience from check in to arrival was most unpleasant.
Phuket Air - by Mark Handel
LGW-BKK return. Both flights on schedule no delays. Very happy with the
service. The 747's on this fleet are very old, but for 300 quid I didn't expect a champagne
reception! The only annoyance was that I wasn't awoken when the visa forms came round. Caused me a
slight delay getting through passport control! Going from most of the readers here I struck lucky! I
will flying again with them soon, will post results of that journey on my return.
Phuket Air - by Ian Edwards
I was also booked for this flight. When we arrived at Bangkok airport for the return trip we were
met with the same problems. Our group of four spoke to a supervisor and we were very lucky to get on
the Qantas flight an hour later. I second everything the previous writer has
said. Phuket Airlines
are a shambles. Never again.
Phuket Air - by Jake Joseph
Pleased with our experience on Phuket Air - flight out was a little
dissapointing, as they were old seats with little recline. But we
were the only two in Business Class, so were treated like royalty - the best staff I have encountered.
Return was different - much improved seating with cradle style, resulting in a good
nights sleep - but the food wasn't quite as good.
I would fly Phuket Air Business Class again - such a good deal.
Phuket Air - by Helen Brade
I traveled with Phuket Airlines on 15th January 2005, our flight was supposed to leave Gatwick at
2pm that day. We arrived at the check in desk at 11am to be greeted with a rumor that the flight was
11 hours delayed! Eventually the check in desk opened and passengers were informed that there was an
18 hour delay on the flight, no real explanation was given but after looking at this web page I now
know why. Apparently the flight which left Bangkok on 14th January had to make an emergency landing
due to an engine fire. I can honestly say that after my experience with Phuket Airlines this does
not surprise me in the least. I have never come across such an inefficient, incompetent,
and unprofessional organization. The flight eventually left London Gatwick at 8.30am the following
morning. The service left a lot to be desired, passengers were fed a poor quality meal just after
take off were not given another hot meal until 8 hours later. The aircraft used was severely
weathered and that is putting it mildly (ex KLM fleet). On our return flight several televisions
were broken and the audio equipment on many seats did not work. Our return journey turned into a
complete nightmare, in anticipation of a further delay we contacted Phuket Air in Bangkok on 28th
January informing them that we were due to fly out on 29th only to be informed that the flight would
be delayed 12 hours and would not be leaving until 30th January but we still had to be at the check
in for 9pm on 29th. We were also informed that we would be put on a standby list with Thai Airways
for a flight out that night and the earlier we arrived the more chance we had of getting on that
flight. The main problem with Phuket Air is that they do not have the fleet or the organizational
capacity to operate on an international basis. Check-in eventually opened at 9.30pm and we were
informed that there was no standby list and no prospect of getting on another flight! We had to
return the next morning at 7.30am to check in. Again further annoyance as passengers began to queue
up at 7am only to be told that check in would not open until 8.30am. The flight was scheduled to
leave at 10.30am and eventually took of at 12.30pm due to further ‘technical difficulties’! The
flight home was horrendous, the airline does not seem to have any regard for passenger safety, as
they allowed a seriously drunken passenger to board the flight in Bangkok. He was that drunk he
could barely stand up. He then proceeded to seriously harass the passengers on board, walking around
the plane for several hours, causing grave concern. The cabin crew had no control whatsoever over
the situation. After four hours we were shocked to be informed that despite numerous requests from
passengers the Captain had not been informed about this disruptive passenger. The flight made a
scheduled stop in Sharjah to re-fuel, this in itself defies all logic as it manages to make the
outward journey with out stopping and only serves to turn an 11 hour flight into 15 hours. We were
subsequently informed that the only reason why they do this is because it’s cheaper to re-fuel.
Eventually after half an hour of being on the ground the drunken lout was removed from the plane and
his baggage off loaded. After a 14 hour delay and a 15 hour long flight you do not need the
With the price of tickets being so cheap, regrettably Phuket Air has opened up the market for the
typical English larger lout. If you have already booked tickets with Phuket Air, I pity your
misfortune, if not escape now and use a reputable airline that will not destroy your holiday and
most of all not compromise your safety!
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