TUI Airways is the British airline arm of the German travel group TUI and headquartered in Luton. Founded in 2005 as Thomsonfly the airline offered scheduled and charter flights to holiday destinations. After merging with First Choice Airlines and holiday group Thomsonfly rebranded into Thomson Airways and dissolving the First Choice branding. Finally, announced in 2015 the airline was to undergo a further rebrand, bringing it in line with the rest of TUI, their brand and airlines and so became TUI Airways. They are also a constituent member of TUI Group's TUI Airlines "alliance."
Like the rest of the airlines within the TUI group, TUI Airways operates as a dual charter and schedule airline. Their route portfolio drastically increases during busy holiday periods to cater to holidaymakers travelling to destinations in Europe and internationally, so use our flight search tool to see where you can fly with them! Being a leisure airline, to better cater to their nationwide clientele the airline doesn't have 1 single hub base of operations as seen with other UK airlines such as British Airways but has numerous across the UK offering a diverse route network. The airline operates a young and fuel-efficient fleet of aircraft, utilising both the Boeing 737 Max aircraft as well as the Boeing 787 fleet for long-haul routes.
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TUI Airways has a different baggage policy for carry-on and checked baggage.
TUI Airways allow you to bring up to 10kg (22.04lbs) of cabin baggage free of charge, however, this does not include infants. The item of baggage must not be over the dimensions of 55x40x20cm or it may be denied boarding and forced to pay charges to check the item in. You must also be able to put the luggage into the overhead storage bins unaided.
Checked baggage depends on your class of travel, length of the flight and whether the itinerary is flight only or part of a package holiday. If you are only booking a flight with TUI then you do not receive any included baggage and must pay for this. You can add baggage to your booking with Alternative Airlines. But if travelling in their premium club class then you are allowed 23kg (50.7lbs) of checked baggage.
There is on one seating class available: Standard (Economy). There are up to 30 seats on the aircraft. All seats have padded headrests, with ample storage in the overhead bins above the seats. The flights are only short, as the airline only operates regional flights, so facilities and services are limited onboard the flight.
The airline offers an economy class cabin across all of their aircraft, offering different service products depending on the flight.
On short-haul routes, economy passengers can purchase food and drink from the onboard restaurant. There isn't any entertainment included so make sure you bring something to keep you occupied!
If travelling on longer flights then you receive a bit more luxury. You will receive a pillow and blanket on night flights, a 3-course meal with free beverages including alcohol and a personal seat-back tv screen with a whole host of entertainment. Seat pitch on short-haul flights will be 28" (71.12cm) but when travelling on the airline's Dreamliner you can relax in a generous 32" (81.28cm) pitch. Short haul cabins are laid out in 3x3 but on the Dreamliner, you can expect this to be 3x3x3 across.
Premier club is the airlines take on premium economy, offering a whole host of additional benefits. Starting from before departure you will be able to make use of a dedicated check-in area to skip the economy queues, you can then be fast-tracked through UK security where you can relax and wait for your flight in included luxurious airport lounge. Once it's time to board, you will be the first passengers to board the aircraft and be treated to a pre-departure welcome drink whilst embarkation is underway. The premium service doesn't stop there, enjoy a complimentary 4-course meal served with glassware, metal cutlery and china plates, adding, even more, touches of luxury! All food and beverages including alcohol are included for premier club passengers. Sit and sip your drink whilst watching complimentary in-flight entertainment on a personal seatback tv screen with premium noise-reducing headphones.
Travelling on a night flight? You'll be given a plump pillow and duvet to help get a good night sleep, wake up and refresh yourself with a complimentary amenity kit provided by Rituals. Upon arriving you will also be the first passengers to disembark the aircraft, adding that final touch of luxury! Seats aboard the Dreamliner are laid out in 2x3x2 with a pitch of 38" (96.52cm) making it easy for you to spread out, get comfortable and enjoy the flight.
The airline recommends that you check-in online and drop your bags of (if applicable) when arriving at the airport to speed up processing times. However, you don't have to check-in online and can still do so at the airport on the day. TUI Airways notes that they reserve the right to charge a fee for this service if necessary, so do bear that in mind when choosing how you check-in.
TUI Airways currently doesn't offer wi-fi onboard its aircraft, both long-haul and short-haul.
TUI Airways operates to numerous European and International destinations. Some of their current route portfolio is seasonal, meaning that they only operate to this destination at certain times of the year and not year-round. The airline's most popular routes include Alicante, Malaga, Tenerife and many more. As recently as October 2021 the airline operated to the following locations:
There are numerous other airlines that you could also choose to fly with, operating to similar destinations. Air Transat, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are great alternatives on long haul routes. Whereas Jet2, Wizz Air, Easyjet or Ryanair could be suitable substitutes on short-haul and European routes.
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As TUI Airways operates out of numerous UK airports to a wide range of destinations they don't operate out of one hub airport as seen with other airlines such as British Airways. However, the airline does have a large base of operations with a diverse route network from London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports.
TUI Airways operates 3 aircraft types within its fleet, all Boeing aircraft. On their short-haul routes, the airline utilises their B737-800 and B737max 8 aircraft, they also have the max 10 variant on order for the near future. When travelling slightly further afield to places such as Cape Verde the airline operates a B767-300ER, which is anticipated to slowly be phased out of operations for the younger and more fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner. The airline currently uses both the B787-8 as well as the -9 model with one left to be delivered to the airline.
The airline doesn't have a frequent flyer program for you to subscribe to or join.