✅ Trip Verified
| Manchester to Ft Lauderdale via New York JFK. This booking was made via the Thomas Cook call centre, with a 2 hour connection in JFK from the Thomas Cook Airlines flight which landed in T4 to a JetBlue domestic flight to Fort Lauderdale which departed from T5. As you would expect in the USA, we knew we would have to collect our bags at JFK, clear customs and them drop on another belt for connecting flights. Not at JFK apparently! The first sector of our flight from Manchester to JFK was operated by Air Tanker, which I had low expectations of, but actually a fairly decent newish aircraft. However, the cabin crew operating the flight clearly were not happy to be there. From the moment we stepped on board we had to listen to 3 of them stood by the exit door where we sat, constantly moaning about their terms and conditions and how they should not be asked to operate as Senior Crew on the Air Tanker plane as they were not experienced on it (correct me if I'm wrong, but its the same type as they operate in their own fleet?). It was terribly unprofessional. One of the passengers must have been Cabin Crew staff going on holiday and must also have been the Union Shop Steward or something as she stood with them telling them all how she's written to head office to complain etc. It was just awful and off putting to listen to! By the time we were due to take off, there was then a hive of activity in the hold and they began loading baggage and cargo... at the time we were supposed to take off! This took them over an hour to complete, so we took off 1hr 20mins late! Clearly this flight actually going was a surprise to the baggage handlers as they hadn't prepared for it! Knowing we had a short connection at JFK we asked the cabin crew for advice on what to do. They had no idea on how connections worked at JFK as I forgot - they're basically a charter airline trying to play scheduled service. We landed at JFK over an hour late. We were met by a member of ground staff who handed us a "speedy transfer card" which was supposed to expedite our journey through the usual miles of queues at US airports. However, it was about as useful as waving a piece of loo roll at someone! There is no facility to drop you bags through for a connecting flight, so by the time we ran back, we missed our connecting flight! There is no Thomas Cook representative at JFK T4 until 3hrs before the flight leaves, which is really not helpful when you're going to miss your last hope of a connection! Eventually we got hold of someone in the UK at Thomas Cook and got rebooked, but not without a lot of stress and worrying we may not even make our cruise leaving the next day out of Fort Lauderdale! We found the Thomas Cook aircraft on the way back was very tired, uncomfortable, dated and worn. The service outbound and return was minimal, with just one drinks round offered on a 7hr flight to me just says lazy! We were encourged to buy everything we wanted on the one round, then what do you do with it all! The food has gone really down hill. Bland, tasteless and minimal effort. It was never this bad a couple of years ago! I will not travel with this airline again as they clearly have no concept of offering connecting flights and minimum connections times. My whole holiday could very well have been ruined by them if I hadn't intervened.