xl flights advice

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xl flights advice

Postby Tony Ennis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:03 pm

Has anyone who travelled recently using xl flights any comments. are they now operating a newer aircraft (airbus a340) , some of the older posts are not very complementary. Also how was the legroom?
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Postby Jo B » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:31 pm

Tony

We flew with Excel at the end of September, but we did pay the extra for Excel One. We also flew with them last year. The plane was the same as before, no upgrade that I could tell. I can't comment on legroom in Economy or Premium, but I can say that the stewards were all friendly and helpful. Our outward journey, via St Kitts, was on time. We were delayed overnight on the return leg, but that was due to the pilot being indisposed, and the incoming pilot needing to rest before flying again, nothing to do with the aircraft. But we were all efficiently despatched to either Coco Reef or the Hilton for the night, and the flight the next morning went at the expected time.

I would definitely use them again, but unless looking for the absolute cheapest option, I would say paying a bit extra for the upgraded services is worth it. Excel One is considerably cheaper than Premium Economy in Virgin, with service closer to Business Class. The food was excellent. One negative point is that the entertainment packages on Excel are very limited, so if that is important to you, or if you have children to entertain, you might need to think about that.

Hope that helps a little.

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Postby Tony Ennis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:18 pm

Thanks for that Jo. Unfortunately we have two teenagers in tow so 4 x the upgrade is a bit extravagent for us, but if the legroom is really bad it may be worth it !!
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Postby David Watkins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:42 pm

Hi Tony,get on to http://www.virginatlantic.co.uk and wander round you may be surprised at the prices.
I have nothing to do with this company,only finding them the best operators,and the best staff of any airline that I have flown with.
If that is a commercial Steve I am sorry--it's an opinion.
Be there in two weeks Carib,Carib, Carib! Got the hint Brian?
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Postby Richard L » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:30 pm

Hi Tony,

I've flown with Excel 5 times (Tobago and St Kitts) and can agree with Jo B's fair-minded comments about Excel - the Business Class is a worthwhile upgrade and good value compared to Virgin and BA's premium seats. Most times I've flown economy and would say legroom is now better (only slightly) than Virgin and BA but you don't get seat-back TVs. In relation to punctuality, it sounds like Jo B experienced a bad delay but none of my flights was ever more than 30 minutes late departing. Maybe I'm just lucky.
You'll find personal horror stories about every airline if you look for them but the fact is they all have problems from time to time (don't get me started about my last Virgin flight to Florida.)
But I've noticed before that you can also get a "fixation" with one airline or another e.g. I'm sure David Watkins won't mind me pointing out the number of plugs he gives to Virgin - is it something about men with beards? :)
Speaking for myself, apart from the colour of the upholstery I can't really tell the difference between any of them - so perhaps the convenience of a particular departure day is important (e.g. if you want to fly on a Saturday, then you can only choose BA or Excel) or maybe price will be the deciding factor for you. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Postby David Watkins » Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:07 pm

Men with beards???????????????????????????????????????????????/
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Postby Steve Wooler » Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:11 pm

Its OK, Davida, we all appreciate that a girl wouldn't want an avatar showing next to her posts when she's got a beard. :P
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Postby David Watkins » Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:15 pm

Oh Stephanie,you bxxxh I so so hate you
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Postby Brian Taylor » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:29 pm

and I was just about to tell you that I am resposible to chill the beers for you, think you're still getting them.....? :evil:

steve, can YOU upload an atavar if I send you a picture of david? will get one while he's in castara... :twisted:

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Postby Steve Wooler » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:47 am

Hi Steph

I will happily turn the vice on David’s Kahunas and try to persuade him to enlighten our readership (not to mention the many friends hoping to hook up with him during his next sojourn in Tobago), but sadly adding, or tampering with an avatar in a member’s profile would be crossing the line – so, no chance, unless David OK’s it.

So, I’ll let you have next turn of the vice and hope we can persuade him.
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Postby David Watkins » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:03 am

Hi Steph,first of all the Stephanie I was refering to was Mr Wooler,you see he used the feminine of my name so I did the same to him.....so carry on sorting the beers out. :wink:
As to my avatar,I declined to publish a photograph of myself for fear of my appearance causing envy and jealousy amongst other male contributors or crazed lust amongst the females :roll:
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Postby Steve Wooler » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:07 am

Steph - put some water in that beer. David has clearly lost it and no doubt will soon be joining me in the asylum.
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Postby Tony Ennis » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:03 pm

Thanks Richard for the info

We are booked with xl and for the price - just over £1K for four people -
I was prepared for a little discomfort, although reading through some older posts wondered if I had made a mistake. BA and Virgin were more than double the price for the dates we are flying, 7th Dec, so if the legroom is the same or better it would appear we have a bargain. Im not bothered about in flight meals or entertainment so much.

We are staying at the Villas on the Green and Castara Retreats and the money saved will pay for our meals and trips out. Love the kids but they are a real killer finacially on holiday especially as they have entered the Harry Enfield teenager stage and definately do nothing for the stress levels !!!
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Airline Comparisons

Postby Bob White » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:48 pm

Tony, to put your mind at rest, we have flown with all the different airlines into Tobago from the UK with our children over a number of years.

Each one has particular merits but certainly Excel stacks up well on many aspects. The leg room is fine. So enjoy the savings you have made on this good deal!

For those travelling next summer during the school hols. with families, BA are currently offering approximately £430 return flights. From my experience that is a very good deal for a school holiday flight to the Caribbean.

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Postby Tony Ennis » Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:02 pm

Thanks Bob
Thats very reassuring.
We looked at the school holiday flights for this summer and the cheapest was about £650 xl included ! so £450 would be a bargain especially if you two or three kids to pay for. I guess its supply and demand but it seems like profiteering to me, how these airlines can justify tripling their prices is beyond me, especially if they are not losing money with their lower fares.
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Flights

Postby Bob White » Sat Nov 18, 2006 6:14 pm

Tony,

We looked at flying with Virgin (direct) as we did this summer and the price was just over 1K per adult.

I was so surprised then to find the BA flights (via Antigua) next summer at £430 per adult with the usual reductions on children. XL was as you say more expensive. So we have snapped up the BA deal on offer. This offer for the school summer holidays still remains via their web site.

Interesting to note though that a week after booking the BA flights, Virgin then dropped their prices to £600 per adult!
:roll:

You can see what a lottery flight prices to the Caribbean can be. As a family we are flying with XL next February and April so confirms how happy we are with their service. If you have children with you just be aware of the lack of entertainment options. Otherwise I'm sure all will be fine and you will have a great time on the island.

Best wishes,

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I'm flying out with Excel on 11th Jan.

Postby Chrystianne » Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:59 pm

I was interested in this post because I'd like to know if the Excel seating plans are any different to the Virgin ones in Economy. Are the seats the same width and legroom? Do you have to pay for alcohol/soft drinks/meals ?

Hi to Steve Wooler BTW, he was very helpful when I went back in February and its because of my great holiday then I'm going back. But Self-catering !! Hotels/all inclusives are too expensive IMHO and I made very good contacts whilst over there last time and it's paid off. I'll post a report on my return.
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Postby Steve Wooler » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:27 pm

Hi Chryystianne

Good to hear from you again. :lol:

The seat pitch in Excel Economy is an average of 32 inchdes - an inch more than BA or Virgin standard Economy. I don't know about the seat width though - I haven't seen any figures published for that for any of the airlines.

You do not have to pay for meals, but you do have to pay for alcohol and, if memory serves me correctly, soft drinks - but I could be wrong on the soft drinks and hopefully somebody will confirm that here.
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Postby Jill M » Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:28 pm

Hi Chryystianne,

The seat width in the 'extra legroom' seats is narrower as the tray table slots into the arms, making it narrower.

Hope this helps.

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Hi!

Postby Ase Hansson » Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:19 pm

We travelled with XL and you have to pay for soft drinks and the alcohol. We found the staff very helpful.
But we got a lousy start. We sat on the airplane December 9th and just before leving we have to go back to the gate. The plane were dammaged. We have to spend one night extra in London. XL fixed the hotel and food for all of us, they paid for everything. And we got voucher so we could eat on the airport. They solved it very good.
But the next day we got to Tobago, one day too late.

We had a very nice time at Tobago. We´re going there again, thats for sure.
:P
Bye
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