Written on: 23/11/2011
Athens to Gatwick. 22/11/11. P+O Cruises transfer - 3.5 hours +.
I was prepared to pay extra for additional space but was refused as I was told by the handling agents(Swissport), that all seats pre-allocated on this flight. This was NOT what the reception desk on the P&O ship had told passengers.
Thompson's staff / handling agents had sat elderly / frail looking passengers by the emergency exits. This appeared to me to be highly questionable - i.e. were they physically capable of being able to open a heavy door in an emergency situation and be able to exit the aircraft without hazarding the othe 220+ passengers.
The seat pitch was totally inadequate. I could not move and couldn't even get the tray down. My knees were permanently impacting the seat in front of me, I could not move my legs, turn my body or even have enough room to read a magazine. It was horribly claustrophobic. I am under 50 but am fully aware of the well documented dangers of DVT.
The purser (James) kindly found me an aisle seat when I felt unwell - I was having difficulty in breathing. I really appreciated this - thank you.
There is no way I could have got out from the allocated (window) seat if there was an emergency. In my opinion these practices are dangerous from the health (DVT), welfare (- you wouldn't treat an animal in this way) and safety (evacuation) perspectives.
Livestock get better treatment in transit than I experienced. Does Thompson / TUI really think it is fair, reasonable or safe to transport its customers in this way?
I would definately not use this airline/charter organisation again.
I am reporting the matters I consider dangerous to the CAA.