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TUI Review: Prices, Experience, Baggage Size & Is It Safe?

Nicolle Harwood-Nash
Last Updated: April 22, 2024

This is an honest unbiased review of TUI airline. AirAdvisor is not paid to write this review. AirAdvisor is not affiliated with TUI Airways.

TUI Airways Review

Immerse yourself in our extensive evaluation of TUI, a well-established low-cost airline within the portfolio of the German multinational travel and tourism company, TUI Group.

At AirAdvisor, our team composed of legal professionals and aviation enthusiasts devote themselves to providing you with the crucial information necessary for effortless travel experiences. This review aims to encompass all aspects of TUI's operations, giving you a comprehensive overview of the airline.

Whether you're a TUI veteran or mulling over your first adventure with the airline, this analysis offers critical insights to facilitate your travel planning.

About TUI Airways

TUI Group, with its aviation arm TUI Airways, is a distinguished entity in the international travel and tourism industry. Based in Germany, TUI operates in various countries, offering an extensive network of destinations across the globe.

TUI is known for its robust flight operations, connecting passengers to a wide array of leisure-oriented destinations from major airports in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. This broad geographic reach is a testament to TUI's commitment to providing access to the world's most beloved vacation spots.

Beyond its extensive route network, TUI Airways is particularly renowned for its all-inclusive holiday packages. These packages bundle flights, hotel accommodations, and often local tours or activities, providing travellers with a convenient and stress-free way to plan their vacations.

TUI Rating by Passenger Reviews

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Ticket Purchasing and Check-In

TUI website where you can purchase tickets

Purchasing a ticket with TUI is designed to be user-friendly and efficient, whether you're using their website or mobile app. You can customise your search based on your desired destination, travel dates, and passenger details, with the flexibility to book round trips, one-way tickets, or multi-city itineraries.

Add-on: TUI App Ratings

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TUI Airways

TUI Airways also offers online check-in, which opens 24 hours before departure and closes 3 hours before flight time. Simply log in with your booking reference, select your preferred seat, and either print your boarding pass or download it onto your mobile device. This service considerably simplifies the check-in process and minimises the time spent at the airport.

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Airport Experience

TUI strives to create a seamless airport experience for its passengers. The airline provides efficient check-in desks and baggage drop facilities if you prefer or need in-person services.

TUI Airways itself does not own or operate airport lounges. However, when travelling with the airline, you may have access to airport lounges at certain airports, often through third-party providers. The availability and access to these lounges can depend on various factors, such as the airport, the class of service you're travelling in, or whether you choose to purchase lounge access separately.


a TUI airplane going to the boarding gate

Boarding with TUI is often a streamlined process, with the airline prioritising efficiency and passenger comfort. The boarding times are clearly indicated on the boarding passes and announcements are made to guide passengers.

TUI typically boards their planes by zones or rows, starting with passengers needing assistance and families with small children, before moving on to general boarding. This orderly process helps to avoid crowding and ensures a smooth transition from the gate to the plane.

Airplane Interior

TUI's aircraft interiors are designed with passenger comfort in mind. The cabin layout maximises space, and the seats are upholstered in soft, durable materials for a comfortable journey. Economy Class offers ample legroom compared to many other airlines, and the seats are equipped with adjustable headrests. For an extra fee, you can upgrade to seats with extra legroom or even to Premium Class, which offers wider seats, a generous recline, and a personal entertainment system.

The overall ambience of TUI planes is bright and welcoming, aligning with their commitment to enhancing the passenger's travel experience.

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Seat Space

TUI Airways offers varying levels of comfort depending on the class of travel chosen, which you can explore below:

Economy Class

TUI's Economy Class offers a decent level of comfort, especially considering it's a low-cost airline. The seats in Economy Class are designed to maximise the use of space, providing a seat pitch (the distance between your seat and the one in front of you) of approximately 74-76cm. This allocation of space typically affords sufficient legroom for the average passenger, enabling a comfortable journey for shorter flights.

Economy Plus

If you want a little more room to stretch out, TUI's Economy Plus is an excellent choice. Offering an increased seat pitch compared to the standard Economy Class, you can enjoy approximately 84cm of space. This additional legroom can make a significant difference in comfort, particularly if you're a taller passenger or travelling on longer flights.

Premium Class

For the ultimate in comfort and space, TUI's Premium Class certainly delivers. With a generous seat pitch of around 96-101 cm, you're afforded plenty of room to relax. The increased space contributes to a more luxurious experience, allowing you to unwind, stretch out, or even catch some sleep during your flight. This option is especially beneficial for long-haul flights or if you’re a passenger who prioritises comfort and personal space.

TUI Review – Service

A screenshot from the TUI website mentioning on board service

TUI Airways is recognised for its dedication to superior customer service. It's known for its friendly and professional crew who go the extra mile to ensure a pleasant flying experience for all passengers. From efficient check-in procedures to attentive in-flight service, TUI's commitment to customer satisfaction is a prominent feature of its brand. Passengers often commend the airline's staff for their responsiveness and willingness to assist, contributing to a positive overall experience.

Of course, experiences can vary, and it's always best to approach each flight with an open mind.

Food & Drink 

One of the highlights of flying with TUI Airways is the enjoyable food and drink service on board. In Economy Class, you're offered a variety of snacks and beverages for purchase. The menu features a wide selection of options, from sandwiches and salads to sweet and savoury snacks, along with a variety of hot and cold drinks.

In the Premium Class, you're treated to a more comprehensive dining experience. The meals, which are included in the ticket price, range from breakfast options to full-course dinners, depending on the flight duration. The airline collaborates with reputable caterers to offer a menu that combines quality, taste, and variety. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are also available, making the flight a culinary journey in itself.

TUI Review - Business Class

TUI doesn't offer Business Class on its flights. However, their Premium Class can be considered as an equivalent in terms of added comfort and services. In Premium Class, you enjoy priority services, additional legroom, enhanced meal options, and a more personalised service overall.

From the spacious seating to the attentive cabin crew, flying in TUI's Premium class offers a taste of luxury that significantly enhances the travel experience. However, always verify the most current offerings with TUI Airways, as services and amenities can change.

Flight Disruptions

Like any other carrier, TUI can occasionally encounter disruptions that lead to delays or cancellations. Such disturbances can arise from various scenarios, such as unfavourable weather conditions, technical glitches, or air traffic control issues.

When a TUI flight delay exceeds 3 hours, or in cases of cancellation, you may be entitled to specific forms of compensation under EU261 regulations. These can include compensation in case of a delayed flight and in case of a flight that was cancelled. Depending on the length of delay or the notice period of cancellation and the flight distance, compensation can reach up to €600 per passenger.

For detailed information about policies for TUI delayed or cancelled flight compensation, you can consult the airline's official website. Remember that compensation may not apply if the disruption results from 'extraordinary circumstances,' which are scenarios beyond the airline's control, even after taking all reasonable measures.

In certain situations, such as when flights are delayed over 5 hours or cancelled, you may have the choice to opt for a full flight refund instead of rerouting, as stipulated by your passenger rights under EU261.

How to make a complaint

If your TUI Airways flight has been disrupted and you need to lodge a complaint, the procedure can be initiated directly through TUI's official website. The typical TUI complaints procedure involves filling out an online form where you can elaborate on your experience, provide flight specifics, and attach any relevant supporting documents. Keeping copies of all correspondence and ensuring you have complete flight details is crucial as these will be required when registering your complaint.

Be aware that the complaint process can be complex and time-consuming, demanding an understanding of passenger rights under EU261. This is where AirAdvisor comes in, helping to streamline the process, particularly when seeking compensation. Our seasoned legal team possesses a comprehensive understanding of passenger rights and can promptly determine your eligibility for compensation.

Just provide us with your flight details, and we'll handle everything from lodging the complaint to pursuing the claim with the airline. Plus, we only charge a fee if we're successful in claiming your compensation - and we take it out of the compensation, meaning no out-of-pocket costs for you.

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TUI Review - Conclusion

From the purchase of tickets to the check-in process, the airline strives to create a smooth and efficient experience for passengers. While disruptions are an unavoidable aspect of any air travel, TUI's clear policies and complaint procedure reflect their commitment to customer service. 

Comfort levels vary with the class of service chosen, with seat spaces ranging from adequate to generous. The airline's in-flight food and beverage service offers a range of choices to suit different tastes and preferences, enhancing the overall flight experience.

While the airline does not offer Business Class, its Premium Class delivers a level of luxury that exceeds typical expectations of a low-cost airline. Overall, TUI Airways successfully combines affordability and quality, making it an attractive choice for both leisure and business travellers.

FAQ / Common Questions: TUI Airways

Below, you can explore some common questions and their respective answers about TUI as an airline:

Is TUI a reliable airline?

As part of the globally recognised TUI Group, TUI is considered a dependable airline, effectively serving a wide range of destinations across the globe. The airline's commitment to punctuality, customer service, and a comprehensive flight schedule contribute significantly to its reliability. Passengers have often praised TUI for its seamless operations, from the booking process to the in-flight experience.

Additionally, TUI's transparent handling of disruptions and clear compensation policies further underline their reliability. As such, if you’re opting for TUI Airways, you can generally expect a consistent and well-managed air travel experience.

Are TUI flights really cheap?

While TUI is a low-cost airline, it's essential to note that the cost of flights can fluctuate based on various factors. These can include travel season, route, time of booking, and class of service. As a rule of thumb, booking well in advance or during off-peak seasons may result in lower fares.

Despite these variations, TUI is committed to providing cost-effective travel solutions, often packaging flights with accommodations and activities in all-inclusive deals. These packages offer substantial value, especially for holidaymakers. So while 'cheap' may be subjective, TUI Airways indeed offers competitively priced flights with a solid value proposition.

How uncomfortable is TUI?

Comfort can vary significantly depending on the class of service selected on TUI Airways. In Economy class provides reasonable comfort for average-sized passengers on short to medium-haul flights. If you're keen on comfort, Economy Plus offers more space to stretch out. Premium Class delivers the most comfortable experience, allowing you to relax or even sleep comfortably during the flight.

It's also worth noting that many passengers commend TUI's cabin crew for their attentive service, which enhances the overall comfort during the flight.

Does TUI Airways give free water?

TUI doesn’t typically offer complimentary water in Economy Class, where food and beverages are available for purchase. However, in Premium Class, you're provided with complimentary meals and beverages, which include water. It's always recommended to check the latest policies with TUI Airways or verify them during the booking process, as airline policies can change over time.

Can I take a 10kg bag on TUI for free?

TUI's baggage policy can vary depending on several factors, such as your chosen route and fare type. The airline usually permits you to carry one piece of hand luggage with a maximum weight of 10kg for free. The allowable dimensions are typically 55x40x20 cm, which includes handles and wheels. This allows you to bring essentials for the journey and personal items without incurring extra costs.

However, for checked luggage, additional fees usually apply. It's always advisable to confirm baggage allowances directly with TUI Airways at the time of booking or ahead of your flight. This way, you can be sure to avoid any surprise charges at the airport.

Why do people not like TUI Airways?

Like any airline, TUI receives mixed reviews from passengers. Some of the negative feedback may centre around issues such as flight delays or cancellations, which, while often beyond the airline's control, can cause significant inconvenience. Other passengers may express dissatisfaction with additional charges for services like checked luggage or in-flight meals. Some passengers might also find the legroom in Economy Class insufficient, particularly on long-haul flights.

It's important to remember that individual experiences can vary widely, and what might be a minor issue to one passenger can be a significant concern to another.

Has TUI ever crashed?

TUI Airways maintains a strong safety record, and there have been no reported crashes involving its aircraft. It's essential to note that TUI operates under rigorous safety standards that include thorough maintenance schedules and safety checks for all its aircraft. Furthermore, it provides robust training for all its flight crew to ensure they can respond effectively to a wide range of in-flight scenarios.

Does TUI Airways fly Boeing or Airbus?

TUI operates a modern fleet comprising both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The specific aircraft type for a particular flight can depend on the route, passenger load, and other logistical factors. TUI's fleet includes a range of models from both manufacturers, ensuring they have the flexibility to provide optimal service across their wide network of destinations. Each aircraft in TUI's fleet complies with strict safety standards and undergoes regular maintenance checks.

Does TUI cancel flights often?

Flight cancellations can occur with any airline, and TUI Airways is no exception. Various factors can lead to cancellations, including adverse weather conditions, technical issues, and unexpected air traffic control restrictions. While TUI endeavours to operate according to schedule, these unpredictable circumstances can sometimes lead to changes.

It's worth noting, however, that TUI has established clear policies for handling such disruptions, including offering refunds or alternative travel arrangements, and providing compensation where applicable.

Passengers' experiences with cancellations can differ, and some might perceive that cancellations occur frequently. Nonetheless, it's always best to check the most recent flight status and stay updated on any potential changes to your itinerary.

Will TUI automatically refund Cancelled flights?

If TUI Airways cancels your flight, you're usually informed promptly and provided with several options. This can include rerouting to your final destination at the earliest opportunity, rerouting at a later date convenient to you, or a full refund.

However, refunds aren’t automatically processed. You need to make an active choice to request a refund, usually through TUI's online platform. The refund process and timeline can depend on various factors, including the payment method used for booking.

Always ensure to check TUI's current cancellation policy at the time of booking or when notified of cancellation for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Is TUI Airways food free?

TUI's in-flight meal service varies based on the class of travel and the length of the flight. The airline doesn't typically offer complimentary meals if you're on a short-haul flight in Economy Class; food and beverages are available for purchase instead. However, on long-haul flights, TUI Airways often include a complimentary meal as part of the flight service.

In the Premium Class, you usually enjoy complimentary meals and a range of beverages. These services may change, so it's recommended to check the current offerings at the time of booking.

How can I avoid TUI baggage fees?

To avoid additional baggage fees on TUI Airways, it's crucial to adhere to the airline's baggage allowance rules. The airline usually permits one piece of hand luggage with a maximum weight of 10kg for free, with specific size restrictions.

If you're planning to check in luggage, pre-book online as fees at the airport may be higher. Also, consider packing light or sharing a checked bag with your travel companion to save costs.

Where is the best place to sit on a TUI plane?

The best place to sit on a TUI Airways plane largely depends on your personal preference. If legroom is your priority, you might want to consider seats at the front of the cabin, in the exit rows, or at the bulkhead. However, these seats might be near toilets or galleys and could be noisier.

Window seats offer views and a wall to lean against for sleep, while aisle seats provide easier access to the cabin. TUI also offers the option to pre-book your preferred seat for a fee, ensuring you have the most comfortable position for your journey.

How old are TUI Airways planes?

TUI Airways operates a modern and efficient fleet of aircraft. The fleet's average age hovers around the 9-year mark, reflecting the company's ongoing commitment to fleet modernisation and efficiency. TUI Airways continues to invest heavily in regular updates and thorough maintenance for its fleet. These practices not only enhance passenger safety but also contribute to the efficient running of the airline's operations.

Some planes in the fleet are relatively new, whilst others have served for several years. These variances reflect common industry practices, where airlines manage a balanced fleet portfolio to optimise efficiency, passenger comfort, and safety.

Does TUI run on time?

Punctuality is a critical metric in the aviation industry, as it directly impacts passenger satisfaction and overall airline reputation. TUI, as one of the world's leading airlines, aims to consistently achieve high on-time performance. The airline generally demonstrates a strong record of punctuality, but like all airlines, there can be occasional delays because of factors beyond its control.

These external factors may include adverse weather, air traffic congestion, technical issues with the aircraft, and operational disruptions at the departing or arriving airports. Despite these potential challenges, TUI Airways strives to ensure minimal disruption of its flight schedules, using advanced planning, logistics strategies, and effective contingency plans to counter unforeseen issues.

The airline's commitment to punctuality extends to proactive communication with passengers. If a delay occurs, TUI typically informs you promptly and takes steps to minimise the inconvenience caused, which can include paying flight delay compensation in various instances.

How to get a good seat on TUI Airways without paying?

Choosing the perfect seat on a flight can significantly impact the overall comfort and enjoyment of your travel experience. With TUI, while there's an option to pay a fee to pre-book specific seats, there are also strategies to secure a decent seat without additional payment.

Firstly, checking in online as early as possible gives you an advantage. Online check-in usually opens 24 hours before the flight's departure time. The earlier you check in, the more seats you'll have to choose from, allowing you to potentially secure a desirable seat.

Understanding the aircraft layout can also be beneficial. Using online seat maps, identify where the high-demand seats are located, such as window seats, aisle seats, or those with extra legroom. While some of these seats may be reserved for passengers who pay extra, there's a chance they'll be released for general selection during the check-in process if they remain unselected.

Lastly, politely asking the TUI Airways staff at the check-in desk or at the gate for any available preferred seats can sometimes work. They have the final control over seat assignments and may accommodate your request if there's availability. Remember, every flight and scenario can be different, so these strategies may not guarantee your desired seat but can potentially improve your chances.

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