We're considering booking a flight from JFK to Paris on XL Airways this summer -- it's the cheapest nonstop option. Does anybody have a recent experience with that airline and/or that specific route?
I may be wrong, but I thought XL Airways went into liquidation in 2009? Or is this a different airline?
XL Airlines of the UK went into liquidation in 2009, the OP would be flying on XL Airlines France. Owned by the same parent company but not the same airline. XL France are still very much in operation.
Yes, it's definitely XL France, and very much in operation. I just wonder how reliable they are. I realize they're a charter company so "reliable" is a variable concept, but still, I wonder if anybody out there has a recent experience.
Not used them Teppaz. But as a Charter airline, there won't be the same level of comfort as a scheduled carrier across the Atlantic.
Not much information on Airlinequality either I'm afraid.
Yeah, I realize the comfort level will be basic -- I'm fine with that. More concerned about potential delays and safety. For some reason I'm reminded of Tower Air, a notorious low-cost that flew a transatlantic route in the 90s and then went out of business. I had an 8-hour delay in Paris once, and boarding was usually a mess, but you did fly cheap.
XL Airways should be avoided. The money you save will get spent waiting at the airports for hours and days. They have a very limited fleet. When an airplane is grounded you are stuck. They have no actual representation at airports, everyone is a contractor. They have no mechanics, they contract other airlines. They have no computer systems, they rent systems from other airlines. When anything goes wrong, you will be left stranded at the airport. The 800 number only has auto response. No actual people work for this airline, it's just a set of contractors so no one cares or can help.
I was stranded in Paris CDG airport for nearly 2 days. The little information provided was often inaccurate. An eventual protest (no kidding) at the airport by other stranded passengers forced the airport management to find us a flight. XL had abandoned 300 people. The situation was reported on French TV news.
Stay away from XL. Pay the extra for an real airline.
I can see what the previous poster is saying. When an airline has a limited fleet they have very little slack in the event of delays or technical problems occurring. More often or not they will have just one aircraft which flies in and out of a base airport to and from various destinations, so if a problem occurs then they have no back-up or replacement aircraft so then long delays or cancellations happen as a result.
I suppose it is a matter of balance insofar as cost vs potential issue as above. Ok if there is no problem but awful if there is. It's your choice but I would tend to be a bit wary.
"They have a very limited fleet. When an airplane is grounded you are stuck"
Their fleet is in proportion with their route, just like most other airlines out there. to have extra aircraft waiting around in case of tech issues is bad airline management and would ultimately result in higher fares.
I thought this site was for consumers, not apologists for corporations with limited vision on how to run a functional company. Good job sunmagic keep apologizing for bad service. Bottom line XL Airline abandons passengers when things are not perfect. A good company anticipates and plans for problems. Maybe you can go work for XL Airlines and send mothers and children back to their blankets on the floor of the airport with no hope of getting home.
Did you ever end up using them? I'm thinking of using them to go from NYC to CDG for June 2012... the price can't be beat and I'm ok with being uncomfortable on the plane as long as they can get me there and back without issues.. am I expecting too much?