Booked & paid for three tickets from Gatwick to tenerife in Aug 13 only to find out the same flight 4 months later was £300 cheaper. SHARP PRACTICE! Pay early get tucked up
We flew with Monarch airlines two weeks ago from Birmingham to Faro (Portugal).
Monarch have been flying since about the 60's so they've been doing it a long time. We discovered that my mum and dad had a monarch plane on their honeymoon in 1973 they have a picture of it on the runway!
They are a British company offering flights to the Med, Egypt, Greece, Europe and some flights to America.
Well this could be viewed positive or negative!! On the way out from Birmingham we were due to fly at 6.20am. we boarded the plane in the dark and sat down. No sooner had we sat down than the Captain came on and said that unfortunately the final checks had just picked up a brake fluid leak in the landing wheel, so this plane won't be going anywhere today! It was a mixture of annoyance and also relief that we hadn't taken off. This is why it can be viewed in two ways, anything could have happened up in the air and at least we were still on the ground and what a good job the ground staff did in picking up the problem. We all got off and had to go back into departures, I did feel sad at this point as we'd only gone for a long weekend for 3 nights! at first there was a lack of information so the board said update at 7am, then at 7am it said update at 8am. My husband went to ask for more information around 8am and was told that something had been sorted and that we'd be boarding another plane at 9.30am. We were given £5 food and drinks voucher per person to use in any of the departure lounge restaurants or on the plane. At 9.20 we were able to go through to boarding, it was in a different bay and was a Titan plane. So we flew outbound with the Titan staff and their team (will review under Titan). The Captain came on and said on behalf of Monarch airways their appologies, that this plane had been on standby and Stansted and been flown up to Birmingham, there was no food on board but being a short flight that wasn't too bad. The staff were lovely and we arrived in Faro 3hrs later in a thunderstorm!
Home bound we flew with Monarch from Faro, the flight was on time and we boarded without any problems. Details below;
Unfortunately I cannot comment on cost as it was a package holiday, I believe they're reasonable - not high quality but not budget.
We found the staff to be extremely helpful and friendly.
The cabin was ok, it was a bit tatty and dated, the seats as on all these types of flights were close together and going to the toilet was a challenge to squeeze past people who decide to stand in the isle!! The toilet wasn't particularly nice.
In flight service
The inflight service was good there was plenty of drinks and food to choose from to eat, small cans of pop were around £1.25 and the crisps/chocolates were around the same, there were plenty of deals too like buy a muffin and drink for £3. Hot drinks were lovely I had a cadbury's hot chocolate, that was £2.50. The alcohol was in small little bottles I'm really sorry I forgot to note the price as we didn't buy any! The staff were helpful and friendly and took away all the empties.
Not having flown all that often, for me it was overall a good experience, mixed because like I say good that they picked up the problem before flying but a shame it hadn't been detected before we boarded.
Monarch advise you to book early to avoid disappointment, Utter Bulls**t!!
I have been robbed by Monarch twice in the last 12 months period, penalised by booking early.
The prices on both my flights to Faro, (booked Nov 12 to fly July 2013), and again recently on a flight booked in early August for a flight in late October 13 were reduced in price.
The October flight is now £137 cheaper, (for 2 seats), than the earlier price I paid.
Surely, booking early should be rewarded, not penalised.
Recent correspondence to their Customer Service has proved to be a waste of time, they couldn't even bother to reply to my last two letters of complaint, CEO is next!
Does it not make sense to reward people who book early? Not penalise them.
Do Monarch really want last minute booking frenzy's for cheap tickets? I thought that those days had long gone!
Just been speaking to my daughter who is still at Gatwick after being bounced off her plane to Faro.
Apparently Monarch's reward for people paying extra to check in online and reserve seats together is to prevent them boarding the flight. People turning up to check in as normal had no problems.
2 things: this means that Monarch have chronically overbooked their flights; also, that their systems are so incompetent that they discriminate against the very people who have paid extra.
Anybody know what compensation my daughter will be due?
The £15 extra for reserving seats online is neither here nor there, but she will also have to pay for a taxi to get to her villa - the rest of the party didnt reserve seats online so were on the original flight.
What really grates is that she booked her flights late in the day, so was charged £500. At this stage it would have been obvious to Monarch that the flight was overbooked. I regard this as fraud.
Anybody had this problem? And was resolution did you get?
If all she gets is a cheque for £15 back for her extra cost they can stick it where the sun don't shine.
what can i say about this particular budget airline that has not already been said by numerous people already. probably very little but i will speak of my experience when travelling with my partner and her children on holiday to tenerife this april.
i could complain about the usual things like card fees being excessive poor and expensive food slow checkin and planes being cramped and rather tired looking but this goes with budget airline territory and i sort of accept that. what i find impossible to accept is that when i book four flights at the same time for the four persons in my party is that we will all be allowed to sit on the same plane. flight number zb285 on 12th april 2013 from tenerife to lgw was booked months in advance and we turned up at the airport nearly 3 hours before departure only to be told there was not room on the flight for more than two of us and the other two would have to catch a later plane. thats it no option or argument or reason given. an absolute disgrace that this shower of an airline should overbook and ruin peoples holiday travel experience. can they get away with it ? seemingly so. they will not see mine or my families business or a good few friends for that matter again. dont risk flying with this company no matter how cheap !!!
Monarch advise passengers to "book early to avoid disappointment"... so I booked in January 2013 for flights in May 2013. They have now, more than a month after my booking (and paying in full), altered the flight time to an earlier time - too early for the transport I need to get to the airport. The only explanation they care to give for this is "for Operational reasons". They also advise that "Your booking was made subject to the terms & conditions of Monarch Airlines" which I read as "they don't give a damn that I am not entitled to compensation, refund or re-routing". The only option it seems I have is to forfeit the money I paid for the tickets and make more flight bookings with a different airline or lose a day of the holiday and pay out for an overnight hotel nearer to the airport in order to make the earlier flight time. So now we know how Monarch really like to treat their customers. Their motto should read: EXPECT LESS. PAY MORE
I booked a holiday to Tenerife and flew with Monarch. During the booking, Monarch was charging me for using my Debit card (around £13), although the description said this surcharge applies to credit cards, not debit cards. I was a little annoyed at first. And day before my flight during online check in Monarch again is charging for my seat ( I really think charging a seat is ridiculous! I really was worried the fact that since they charge such ridiculous thing so will I even get charged to use the oxygen onboard?) I remember clearly standard seat is £5.99 (one way) and £24.99 (one way) for a bigger leg room. None of these seating costs were mentioned anywhere right up until the online booking stage. I was lucky that I do not have many luggage, otherwise I would have to pay around £20 (one way) for a checked in luggage. I WILL NEVER USE MONARCH AGAIN! I strongly suggest to use BA or virgin atlantic, as these 2 companies have the best entertainment, staff etc.
Just returned (12/06/12) from holiday in Tenerife. Flying out we paid for extra leg room so an extra £50. What mugs we are, yes I could stretch my legs out but that was because there was no seat in front. It appeared they had tacked a seat onto a two seat row so I was constantly knocked by passengers on their way to the loo. I am a standard size 12-14 but my bottom was jammed into the seat which seemed much narrower than usual. We also did not have air vents and the plane looked very old and tired. Can't complain about the staff though, they were lovely. Coming back, nightmare! 5 hours plus delay, no info or passengers given different info from staff at Tenerife. Advised to go to information desk but no-one manning it until 4 hours after we checked in when we were told we could get vouchers. Since we had already bought food by then we were not impressed and you get 6 euros. Given that a bottle of water at the airport is 3 euros it's not much. Eventally started boarding at 16.40 then sat on plane another 2 hours plus as apparently many customers had been given the wrong time for boarding and had left the airport, so we had to wait until they came back. We too were given the 'plane from Manchester developed technical faults and since we value your safety we had to get a new plane and a new crew' story. This plane, however, was very comfortable and again could not fault the staff. Maybe the staff should all leave and go work for a proper airline company like Emirates! Sadly I think we will not be flying with Monarch again.
When I booked my holiday through Thomson, I expected to be flying with Thomson as I have on previous occasions. However, on this occasion the flight was sub contracted out to Monarch. Monarch spoiled and cheapened my holiday experience at both ends. They have tired old aircraft, the seat backs stop below the neck so provide no support for comfort or safety; you would get your neck snapped in a collision - i.e. they are dangerous! The cabin was extremely cramped and uncomfortable with no room for any movement (unless you are a hobbit) extremely awkward when other passengers need to move. There was not even enough room to lower the meal tray properly it ended up resting on the arm rests and my knee and got even worse when the passenger in front reclined their seat. The air was dry and got progressively staler throughout the flight, and there was not even the basic provision of air nozzles to control airflow. Both myself and my partner suffered from respiratory and throat irritation for a few days after each flight. The air hostesses were only interested in selling more product there were far too few rubbish collections and nowhere to store rubbish because there was no room. It was generally an experience of slow torture and time seemed to slow down. Until now for me personally, Ryan Air held the crown for worst customer experience, but they make Monarch look like rank amateurs in comparison. Had I known what the travelling conditions would be like, I would never have booked the holiday in a million years.
Well we have finally learnt our lesson! Monarch Airlines are an absolute nightmare! We gave them the benefit of the doubt on 3 occasions following lengthy delays in one direction or the other! (I know we never learn)! We are now absolutely certain we will never fly with this airline again (even if their prices were half everyone elses)!
Recently returned from Ibiza after a 4 and half hour delay where we were told the original aircraft had 'technical faults' and had to be replaced by a different aircraft and crew. My parents travelled to Manchester airport today to be informed, surprise suprise, their Monarch aircraft has a 'technical fault' and a new aircraft/crew have to be drafted in which resulted in a......... 7HOUR delay!! Well that's up to now, they've yet to board!
My parents travel abroad at least 4-5 times a year and our family at least twice. Between us, and all the friends and family we've informed, we will NEVER fly with this airline again.
I only live about 5 minutes drive from Liverpool Airport, so wherever possible I always try and fly from Liverpool. Sadly the package holiday my family had fallen in love with this Summer, was with Monarch holidays (their sister company) and as Monarch did not fly from Liverpool, I had no choice but to travel to Manchester before flying off on our dream break.
The company itself trades under its Parent company Monarch Group and operates a 'fleet of 30 aircraft on scheduled and charter flights from a number of UK airports, including Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester. Flying to more than 50 destinations worldwide, it carries in excess of 6.5 million sector passengers every year'.
It can be recognised by its trademark M, with a crown on it. It was established back in the 1960's.
Although you will find many companies selling the flights and packages from Monarch, much of its business is carried out from Travel Agents and it's update and easy to navigate website. On the site you can order meals, which no longer are part of the flight package. You can alsocheck in online, as well as change passenger names and add seats etc The company has certainly moved with the times.
Upon arriving at the Airport I found the checkin very easy. The checkout desk was easily accessible and the check in staff were efficient and friendly. There was only a small queue, which was to be expected in the height of the Summer, when I chose to fly.
After a short wait in the lounge, after passing security, we were again greeted by friendly staff, who showed us towards the cabin. The cabin was very clean, and we were directed to our seats. Sadly I was directed to seats towards the middle of the plane, by the emergency exits. I found the seats had very limited space. In fact so much, I had to move to another row of seats.
After the flight started, the hostesses quickly dispatched food to those, who had paid in advance. I couldn't really see the point in doing this so early on. I mean if somebody was that hungry, they may as well gone to Burger King in the airport.
The flight took off on time and actually made some time up, on the way home. The captain kept us informed in relation to the directions and location we were at. His accent was English and he spoke very well. Something I've began to expect from Pilots.
I enjoyed my flight, in all, and would travel with Monarch again. Maybe just not in the middle seats. It was a smooth flight, and we were all offered drinks and sweets, which could be paid in Euros or Sterling.
copyright stebiz Also on ciao.co.uk
In my opinion Monarch is the best no frills airline available in the UK. Always friendly onboard and very helpful especially for nervous flyers. Safety is a top priority and this shows. Flights are rarely delayed for sufficient time so there are no problems there. The A321's are decent planes but the leg room is slightly limited and can be a struggle on longer flights. The pilots always communicate with passengers and all Ive come across have been English so are easy to understand. We had a flight from TFS to BHX which because of alot of traffic at TFS that day took off 20 minutes late but the pilot managed to get the flight time down to 3hr 50 so we actually landed ahead of schedule. Would always look to travel with Monarch but the planes are starting to look old now so it needs updating or they could fall down in my estimations
I had barely heard of the airline when I booked tickets to go from London Luton to Larnaca (Cyprus). I booked only a month before flying and only paid £40 more than my friends who had book 8 months in advance which I thought was fairly reasonable. I ended up paying about £210, which included £20 each way for 20kg worth of luggage. Paying for flights was reasonably simple, however, there was a charge for paying by visa or mastercard of £7.50. I avoided this by paying by paypal which wasn't really a problem.
You could check in online (only if you paid for a seat reservation) upto 14 days before flying out. I didn't do this, so I printed off my flight details emailed to me and took them to the airport. When checking-in, the person wasn't actually bothered by my details and just wanted my passport. This only took 2 minutes to hand in my baggage and receive my boarding pass which I was impressed by. I was given a seat number next to my group of friends who got seats together because they were all under one booking.
Boarding the plane was easy and painless. There didn't seem to be any time wasting and the flight eventually took off on time. The plane was reasonably new, and was very clean and tidy and the cabin crew were friendly and approachable. The flight arrived on time and was smooth throughout.
On the way back, I experienced pretty much the same experience and was again impressed. The whole process was very quick and professional. For the price I paid I was expecting a very low budget experience, so I would definetely recommend and use again.
You may say I'm a tad obsessed over airline quality. But hey, it's home for four hours, so what can you expect? Monarch is another airline whom I never usually fly with. This is simply for the reason that they have (I think) no routes flying from Glasgow and maybe one or two charter flights from Edinburgh. I never really had known who Monach were, but I had seen the aircraft in my other local airport: Dalaman, Turkey. I booked a flight with them from Dalaman to London Luton - where I would then take an Easyjet flight to Glasgow. They operate a lot of routes from Luton and upon arrival you will see many of their aircraft lined up.
Booking the flight/at the airport:
Monarch very often have a lot of "deals" on their website. However, most of the deals are a percentage of the price reduced on return flights but never for single flights. This is very frustrating in my opinion as Monarch's flight always (for some strange reason) have one cheap flight going out but an extortionate price for the return flight. This is probably a way for them to attract people by making them think they're getting a good deal for their return flight when really, they actually aren't as the flight coming back is thrice the price. They are a very sneaky airline in the way that when you are booking your flight, they say "here's the price... but wait, you still gotta pay your taxes and charges!". Lucky, unlike Jet2 who add another 40 quid on, the taxes and charges only seem to be about £15 with Monarch, so even though it's a bit of a pain, it doesn't cause too much of a pain in your heart when you see the price.
My flight was roughly £70 from Luton to Dalaman. Which, in all honesty, isn't that bad considering it is a good £150 from Glasgow. I am very cheap when it comes to my flights, so I don't take any luggage with me. However, I was very unimpressed with the fact they only gave me 5kg of hand luggage in October. I was very lucky that they didn't weigh my case, but very annoyed at the fact I had layered on piles of clothes under my maxi dress in 25 degrees heat for nothing! I am quite surprised to see two weeks ago that they gave me 10kg luggage. Again, I wasn't weighed in Luton. Thankfully, thy allow you to take a fairly big piece of hand luggage on.
They give you the option of selecting your own seat. And, if you're a sad bum like me, you can see the setting of the aircraft and which aircraft you will be flying on for the flight. Woohoo! However, it is £9 to select your seat and it's really not worth it. When coming on a homewards flight, I was sitting in row 5. This is great at the first 9 or so rows are ALL extra leg room. It's unlikely they are going to sell 27 extra leg room seats, so if you check in early enough, you might just find you get an extra leg room seat for free.
They also have on-line check in. However, you must actually pay for this and pick your seat for it. So really it's old-school line-up-at-the airport method. Flying to Dalaman, the woman gave me the option of an isle seat or a window seat as I was on my on. I chose an isle seat as I like to rush off the plane as fast as possible and get through passport control before everyone else. Another good thing is that they give you the boarding card so if you're a saddo like me you can keep the part, unlike all the modern "print out your own" cards.
They also do give you the option of an in-flight meal. But really, at £15 a meal, you may as well buy a Meal Deal from boots.. And it will probably taste a lot nicer.
The flight wasn't delayed as such, but with Luton being Luton, they only give you your gate number when you're flight is just about to leave the runway. There was none of this "only this row and that row please", we lines up and the woman at the gate told us if we should embark the aircraft on the rear stairs or the back stairs. I had no idea what she said because her accent was way too Cockney for me, so I just assumed with me being 35, I was at the back. After running down the wild funfair that is the stairs in Luton airport, we were finally ready for action.
On board the flight:
As I humped up the stairs with my bag, the girl looked me up and down with confusion whilst taking my boarding card. Of course I wasn't offended, being a white Muslim it does cause a bit of confusion, but I thought it was slightly unprofessional of her. As I walked into my seat I found that the legroom was very generous. Also, as I mentioned before the first few rows on my inbound flight were all extra leg room. On this flight, there were three rows behind me that were empty. I asked the cabin crew if I could possibly switch rows, and she seemed friendly enough and said that was ok.
The safety demonstration was shown on video, which I always think gives the airline a more professional touch to them. I particularly enjoy this as I can easily turn my head away as I don't like watching it, as opposed to being whacked in the face by an oxygen mask that the airhostess is swinging around.
The flight disembarked on time despite our gate number being called late, hats off the crew! The seats overall were very comfortable and weren't made of that awful rubber that some cheap airlines try and throw at you.
Take off I found pretty uncomfortable. I felt the aircraft moving diagonally across the runway and bumping up and down. On top of this, I have to say it was the longest time I've ever spent running across a runway. I just kept thinking to myself : "Isn't he going to go up now? How much runway is left? We've been on this runway for about 5 minutes, surely he has to get up and get moving now?"
The cabin crew very quickly began their in-flight service, which I don't take much notice off as I need to check ingredients before I buy products for pork and alcoholic flavourings and what not. Also, I take my own juice on board so it doesn't bother me too much. They sold their headphones for the in-flight movie, which if I can be honest looked absolutely crap. However, at the end there was still some time left, they so they on some "My Family", then I was raging I didn't buy any headphones. Entertainment I'd give an 8/10. First of all, they actually had an in-flight movie. Second of all, the TV's were above your head and not in the Isle like some airlines have them so that you have to stick your head out to see it and you get whacked by trolleys and little Johnny running to the loo every 10 seconds.
I found the cabin crew were very friendly on every flight I have been on. They seem very professional, and they didn't look like 15 year olds who were dragged out of their job at McDonalds. Their uniforms were very smart, and it always makes the cabin seem a lot nicer to see friendly faces. The chief air hostess on the way back almost seemed too friendly, she had a permanent smile and hardly moved her lips to speak. She always spoke with this low rumbling voice through her teeth, almost threatening! A simple "can I ask you to roll your window blind up for landing" sounded more like a "open your window before I kick you in the eyeballs you smelly little brat!". But hey, I can't fault them, they really know their job well and I most certainly couldn't be as happy and bouncy as them knowing I had to clean toilets and sick and be on my feet all day and deal with drunks.
They were constantly in and around the cabin to collect rubbish, which is great as I hate empty coke bottles laying all around the cabin floor.
The worst part of the flight had to be landing. When we touched down on the runway, the airplane breaks hit really hard and everyone thrust forward. Someone's money in the row behind me rolled down the runway with the impact. However, I'm sure this isn't a reflection on Monarch and we got off safely in the end.
I fairly enjoy flying with Monarch and I would happily fly with them again.
Booked a scheduled flight in September 2010, due to fly January 2011. Flight cancelled, they said for "operational reasons" but their staff admitted it was simply because they hadn't sold enough seats (read we dont want to lose money but dont care if you do.) They refused to compensate me for my airport hotel and I lost out.Gave them the benefit of the doubt, booked a flight for September 2011. "For operational reasons" (read cheaper slot at the airport) they have altered both my outbound and inbound times. No compensation for my car hire surcharge. If I alter or cancel a flight they charge me big style. Four flights cancelled or changed by them and they wont pay me a penny even though I can prove my loss. Monarch used to be a good airline, they have gone downhill rapidly. Customer Service has gone out of the window.