Search Holidays

The Ultimate Guide to Flying with TUI

The Ultimate Guide to Flying with TUI

TUI is the world’s largest charter airline, whisking you off to over 80 sunny holiday destinations across the globe, from 21 UK airports. There are many reasons to fly with TUI, not least because they’ve been named the World’s Best Leisure Airline for five years running, and Most Environmentally & Socially Responsible across four years at the British Travel Awards.

You’ll get plenty of perks with TUI, both before you fly and once onboard. Read on for a comprehensive guide to flying with TUI, covering short to long haul flights, travelling with kids and upgrading to get even more extras.

Find out about short haul and long haul flights below.

Short haul flights

Destinations and planes

TUI classes all flights of seven hours or less as short haul, right up to those to the Cape Verde Islands, west of the African coast. Covering destinations across Europe and northern Africa, you can take a short hop to a range of destinations including Marrakech, Majorca, Malta or Greece.

There are over 40 short haul destinations to choose from over summer, departing from 21 UK airports, reducing only slightly in winter to 17 airport choices. The most commonly used aircraft on TUI short haul flights are the Boeing 737 and 757 models.

What you get

On all TUI flights you have the ability to check-in online in advance of your flight. Online check-in opens seven days before your outward flight, unless you’ve selected extras, in which case you can check-in online up to 14 days prior.

Your baggage allowance will be 15kg of hold luggage and one piece of 5kg hand luggage, although some package deals allow 20kg of hold luggage and 7kg of hand luggage. You can purchase hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, and snacks from the onboard cafe, which is available on every flight.

Extras

The optional extras that are available include selecting your seat, purchasing extra legroom or extra space seats and choosing Premium Club seats. Premium Club also has the advantage of fast track security, speedy boarding and use of a comfortable airport lounge with complimentary drinks and snacks.

Long haul flights

Destinations and planes

TUI long haul flights of over seven hours take in such exotic destinations as the Caribbean, Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica, Goa, Mauritius and Florida. You can fly long haul from seven UK airports, which is more than any other UK airline.

You’ll most likely travel on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane, which emits 20% less CO2 than other planes and is quieter in the air for a more peaceful flight. It also has the benefit of larger windows and mood lighting that mimics dawn and dusk, to keep your body clock in sync.

What you get

Because you’re travelling for longer, every effort is made to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible on a TUI long haul flight.

Leather seats and up to 32 inches of legroom come as standard, even in economy class. You’ll be offered a complimentary three-course meal, complete with soft drinks, hot drinks and wine, plus afternoon tea or a breakfast snack depending on the time of your flight.

To keep you entertained, all seats have personal seat-back screens complete with a library of movies, up to nine TV channels, and 10 music channels, as well as music albums and games. And on night flights when you want to bed down, blankets and pillows are provided.

Baggage allowance is the same as on short haul flights, so you can take 15kg of hold luggage and one piece of 5kg hand luggage. Look out for TUI package deals that allow 20kg of hold luggage and 7kg of hand luggage. Online check-in is also the same, opening seven days before your outward flight, or 14 days prior if you’ve booked extras.

Extras

As well as being able to select your seat and upgrade to one with more legroom for an extra fee, if you choose to be part of the Premium Club, your seat pitch goes up to 38 inches. Other Premium Club benefits on a long haul TUI flight are that your meal will have four courses, your baggage allowance goes up to 23kg and you’ll even be given a luxury amenities kit from Rituals.

You’ll benefit from the Premium Club extras of priority security queues, check-in and boarding, as well as use of peaceful airport lounges in the UK’s main airports with free drinks and snacks while you wait for your flight.

Flying with children

No matter how far you’re travelling, taking your kids on a TUI flight is made easy. You get priority boarding at the airport to get the kids settled in first, and once on board all planes have baby changing facilities.

On short haul flights you can purchase food including themed kids’ snack boxes, which they’re sure to love. And when going long haul, children will get a different meal to adults, which caters to their taste – usually something along the lines of sausages and mash or pasta bake.

Meals for under-twos aren’t provided so you can either bring their favourites or buy something onboard. Although there are no facilities to heat up baby food, air stewards will be happy to warm up baby milk bottles for you. Under-twos get a 10kg luggage allowance, and you can take a pushchair or car seat up to the gate and leave it with the baggage handlers to be stowed in the hold.

And there’s no need to worry about kids being bored on long-haul flights as the seat-back entertainment systems have specific children’s channels.

Have you flown with TUI and have some details to add to our guide? Leave us a comment below to let us know what you liked about your flight.