#935958 by vlo_25
14 Jun 2017, 02:00
This was my first trip in premium economy on Thomas Cook, but I booked it because it was so much cheaper than Virgin Atlantic and I figured it would be good to try it out. I wasn’t disappointed! Check in was very quick and efficient at Gatwick airport, with my bag tagged as priority. I was also able to use premium security at Gatwick, which was empty compared to the regular queue and I was through in about 5 minutes. The gate was announced about an hour before the flight and unlike other airlines we were actually allowed to board first with those requiring special assistance.

Boarding was quick and efficient, though I notice there is less space in the overhead bins compared to other airlines. Not a problem for me but I saw a few people struggling to find space. The seat was just as wide as on Virgin, with about the same amount of legroom though they were cloth seats rather than leather. The seat was probably the only disappointment with Thomas Cook because it just didn’t seem as comfortable as on Virgin, especially considering it seemed to be a much newer plane.

The entertainment system was fantastic though, with lots of choice and a very big screen. Pre-flight sparkling wine or orange juice was offered, along with a free newspaper and a goody bag with a reusable water bottle, headphones, earplugs, flight socks, an eye mask, toothpaste and a toothbrush. Once we were in the air there was a pre-dinner drinks run, with a menu provided for all the drinks available. I was surprised to see such a wide variety offered for free in the premium cabin, including Bottega gold prosecco which was provided in individual bottles rather than just a glass. The order was also taken by cabin crew using a notepad rather than bringing round a trolley, which was a nice touch.

Dinner was served shortly afterwards, with a choice of James Martin premium meals. I chose the vegetarian option which was a vegetable curry with rice and chili jam (delicious!), accompanied by cheddar, wensleydale and cream crackers. Dessert was a salted caramel cheesecake which was also tasty. While there was no starter, I found the amount of food was very large and I was definitely full by the end of the meal. More drinks were offered with the meal, along with a warm bread roll (not a freezing cold one in a plastic wrapper!). A small tub of salted caramel ice cream was brought round about an hour after the dinner service, which was a welcome surprise given that Virgin doesn’t even offer this anymore.

There were at least 2 more drinks services during the flight, where the full range of drinks was offered. The cabin crew on this flight were so friendly and helpful, I was very impressed. Afternoon tea was served before landing and again it was a lot of food- a cheese and tomato panini (properly heated) with a scone, clotted cream and jam. A choice of tea or coffee was also provided. We landed on time at Orlando airport and disembarkation was delayed by about 5 minutes due to a queue at immigration. Those in premium economy were first off the plane though and I found the queue wasn’t too bad when I got to immigration.

Overall I was really impressed with the premium economy service on Thomas Cook and it really is a strong competitor to Virgin, especially given that the price is so much cheaper. My only issue was that the seat was not as comfortable, but if you want the premium service that Virgin used to offer then I would definitely recommend Thomas Cook.

Thanks for reading! :-D
Last edited by vlo_25 on 14 Jun 2017, 18:33, edited 1 time in total.
#935978 by buns
15 Jun 2017, 06:14
Thanks for the Trip Report.

Your experience shows just how competitve the Premium Economy product has become and with cost being a factor, it is clear we can have a choice.

Thanks once again for showing us all a viable alternative

buns
#935984 by Amo
15 Jun 2017, 09:56
Thanks for an excellent TR. It's really useful to hear how you found the product compared to VS PE, and also interesting that you found many things were done better - warm bread rolls for instance!!

Definitely an option to consider for the future.

Thanks again.
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