Review of TUI Airways flight Alicante Birmingham in Economy

Airline TUI Airways
Flight BY7293
Class Economy
Seat 22F
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 02:15
Take-off 27 Aug 19, 12:42
Arrival at 27 Aug 19, 13:57
BY 4 reviews
Kian
By 381
Published on 1st September 2019

Olympus Airways a321 - operated on behalf of tui


photo 2019-09-01-111144

On the 27th of August I was returning home from 10 days in the Costa Blanca. We arrived at Alicante Airport roughly two hours before our flight and the check-in process was very quick with little to no queues at the TUI desks. Security at the airport was fairly quick and we were through to the airside in minutes.


photo 2019-09-01-111856

Alicante Airport airside


Alicante Airport is fairly new and to access the main airside area you must first walk through the World Duty Free store. After walking through the store often known for overcharging tourists on their return journey you are greeted by several other stores and a variety of cafes and restaurants, the most notable being a Burger King. As TUI Airways do not provide complimentary food and drink we thought it best to pop into the WHSmith at Alicante Airport to purchase some sandwiches and a drink. However, upon entering the shop we were greeted by what is possibly the most expensive meal deal I have ever seen at a WHSmith.


photo 2019-09-01-111902

After this we decided to head to the Gate area which in our case was Gate Area C (the exact number of your gate is not shown until about half an hour before departure). We just so happened to be sat by the correct gate and once the plane had landed and the gate was announced, people had began to line up. This is however when problems began to occur as when boarding finally began about 10-20 minutes later than it was supposed to there was only two people checking the passports and boarding passes on what was a fully booked flight.


onboard olympus airways


Upon boarding, I was surprised to see that SX-ACP was fitted with Monarch Airlines new cabin (which was introduced before they went bankrupt). However it was quite clear that this cabin was over twenty years old and even the new seats had started to begin to fall apart with several seats on the aircraft fitted with signs saying "do not sit here, seat inoperable" which is always reassuring. People did sit in these seats however. The seat itself is fairly basic with a standard tray-table, small seat pocket and a tablet holder which Olympus had used to store the various TUI magazines. 


photo 2019-09-01-111157

The seats were very hard and overall not very comfortable at all and I would not recommend them on longer flights over two hours. The legroom was fairly tight though some additional knee room was available due to the design of the seat.


Now due to the earlier mentioned delay with boarding, our plane along with several others at Alicante had been delayed on the ground and was made to wait about an hour for a new slot. Most of the passengers speculate this was do to the luggage handling at the airport as the aircraft next to us had also been delayed. The captain gave a few announcements to inform the cabin of the delay which was appreciated and the crew were pretty helpful. An hour later than our departure time of 11:40 at 12:40 we took off towards Birmingham Airport.



The flight was fairly turbulent though sitting on the wing meant it couldn't be felt much. The seatbelt sign remained on for the majority of the flight. I ended up purchasing a small chocolate bar which ended up costing about £1.30 which compared to other airlines it was fairly reasonable. Overall, it was a fairly uneventful flight.


arrival into birmingham airport


We landed at Birmingham Airport at 13:57 and parked at one of the jetways. However upon deboarding the aircraft it became apparent that the seats onboard had been falling apart and could be simply lifted up (as can be seen in the picture below).


photo 2019-09-01-111219

Overall, I probably wouldn't recommend Olympus Airways mostly due to the safety onboard and lack of punctionally compared to other airlines on the route though you won't get a choice if you fly them or not as they're a charter airline who was drafted in due to the grounding of TUIs 737MAX aircraft.  

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Verdict

TUI Airways

3.8/10
Cabin2.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi0.0
Buy-on-board menu5.0

Alicante - ALC

7.2/10
Efficiency4.5
Access7.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Birmingham - BHX

8.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

If you want a final chance to fly on a Monarch Aircraft then you should consider flying Olympus however otherwise you wouldn't really want to choose them over the other airlines operating on the ALC - BHX route such as Jet2 and Ryanair.

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3 Comments

  • Comment 520049 by
    cndam 10 Comments

    However upon deboarding the aircraft it became apparent that the seats onboard had been falling apart and could be simply lifted up.>

    I think the cushion, from the looks of it, just seems to have been pulled out of the socket - back and front - from the receiving bars on the actual seat frame. a firm push would have clamped it in place.

  • Comment 520107 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5332 Comments

    Hi there, thanks for sharing your first report here with us. Very exotic to be flying on a former Monarch bird, operated by Olympus for TUI. Poor TUI have really suffered from the MAX groundings. Being that there are 220 seats crammed into this A321, I can't imagine it's very comfortable.

    Regarding the seat cushions, they are usually held in place by velcro, which can wear out over time, so it's not a huge deal, but shows the seat cushion needs to be replaces.

    Welcome to the site!

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