- Thomson 757-200 Flight Review London Gatwick – Preveza
Thomson Airways have 14 Boeing 757-200s in their UK fleet and they are all set up in a 3-3 configuration with 221 seats! Yes, 221!
I flew onboard G-OOBP from London Gatwick to Preveza in ths summer to see what Thomson was offering in comparison to other European short-haul carriers I had tried.
I so quite excited for this flight as it was my first time on a 757. My first impression of the aircraft was that it definitely looked its age, from the seats to the overhead bins and even to the A/C system, you could tell it was an old bird. The mood lighting onboard, however, was a nice touch.
The seats used by Thomson on the 757 have 28″ of pitch which is a lot lower than many of the budget economy cabins seen today. If you, however, require more legroom, there are 18 seats with 33-34 inches of pitch that Thomson charge an extra cost to sit in. These seats are located in rows 9,10 and 11.
A notable feature of the 757 are the size of it’s windows. The windows are no way near comparable to those on the 787 and the CS100 but, nonetheless, gave a lovely view throughout the flight.
The aircraft is powered by 2 RB211 engines which deliver a huge amount of thrust for a single-aisle aircraft. This is a lovely feature of the 757. The aircraft is fitted with two galleys (rear and front) and four toilets.
We pushed back on time at London Gatwick and I was really impressed with the crew who were friendly and professional. The senior cabin crew member had no issue with me taking photos of the cabin before takeoff and after landing. Because there is no business class product onboard this aircraft, I booked a seat right at the front of the cabin for the best view, it also meant that fewer people were walking through the cabin during the flight as the front toilet is allocated for rows 1-10.
Takeoff and climbout were smooth and the service started shortly after takeoff. There was the usual buy on board menu of which I ordered the chips and a coke (I had already eaten at Gatwick) They were not of the highest quality as the chips were a little soggy. They arrived within a minute of buying, however. The buy onboard menu was sufficient for the 4hour flight and you could pay in cash, YES CASH! (you hear that BA?) Later on in the flight they offered the lottery tickets, I am always up for those games on aircraft as they get rid of my loose change and all the money goes to charity, I even won a £2 voucher. With around an hour until landing, a second buy on board service was offered.
We started our descent into Preveza 3 and a half hours after we took off and the approach was beautiful. The landing was hard but safe as Preveza has a relitvely short runway due to it being an old military base so we needed enough time to slow down. As we pulled onto stand I was allowed another visit to the flightdeck where I spent half an hour with the pilot talking about the aircraft and the future. It is always nice to see friendly pilots that are willing to chat to wannabe pilots! It was interesting to note that they carried their fuel for the return leg on the outbound flight as prices in Greece are very expensive.
Overall my experience was positive and I was impressed with the service offered by Thomson. The crew were friendly and let me take shots of the aircraft almost whenever I wanted. TUI UK offer good prices when bought through package holidays which are often hard to beat when purchasing your own tickets. One downside of flying TUI is that you cant see what aircraft you are flying on until the day of travel.
Flying TUI is definitely one of the cheapest ways to fly during the summer season and is a nice example of a no-frills product done with sufficient ease for the passengers. Good job TUI.