Tuesday 9 August 2005

Avoid Excel Airways

Avoid flying with Excel Airways! This is the airline we flew to get to Bodrum and back.

As I've written before this trip, we had the problem with K*'s broken leg and their unreasonable insistence that we split his cast.

Check-in at Gatwick was quick. However the agent told us that there was no onboard meal. We bought overpriced airport sandwiches to take onboard but it turned out later that there was an onboard meal after all. We were also misdirected to the ServiceAir desk where we were supposed to get assisted tranport for K* to the gate. At least we did eventually get that service after asking a few people.

On the outbound flight to Bodrum, the leg room was abysmal. The most uncomfortable seats ever! For the onboard movie, they tried to sell us headphones but they turned out to be the wrong type so they just played the movie over the regular cabin speakers.

Flying back to Gatwick was terrible. We got to the airport by 19:15 for a 21:30 flight. The checkin desk was stupendously slow but we made it through the line happy to be heading home. We then learned the flight was cancelled! The ground staff did a very poor job of keeping us informed and directing us to where we should be. We waited for ages. We eventually got our bags back and by midnight we were bussed to a five star hotel back in Bodrum.

We were shattered. Hotel was excellent and we were given a meal after waiting all evening. However, we had no idea when we were going to fly home.

Got a call at 4:45am telling us we had 20 minutes to get to the front of the hotel to catch a bus to the the airport. Goaded the kids out of their sleep and scrambled out the door only to wait around for a second bus. Check-in at Bodrum and the flight went smooth after that. Legroom was cramped again but the plane wasn't full so we could spread out. We didn't get the assisted transport for K* so he hobbled all the way to the car park bus.

So I'm not impressed with the service from Excel Airways. Never did find out what caused the delay.

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