Tuesday 16 January 2018

Low-cost airline promises free upgrades to 'nice' customers

Be nice!

A Monarch flight approaches Faro. Photo: Deposit
A Monarch flight approaches Faro. Photo: Deposit

Hugh Morris

Low-cost airline Monarch has promised to give free seat upgrades to "nice" people.

The UK airline says extra legroom and priority check-in worth more than £50/€58 will be the reward for passengers who are friendly when they book flights over the phone.

Each of the carrier’s customer service staff will have 10 upgrades a week to hand out to those who remember their manners, with the perks valid for each traveller booked in the transaction. Monarch said it was at the “absolute discretion” of the member of staff, and that customers would likely be told of their success “towards the end” of a call.

“Our customer services staff are already nice - now they can reward those who are positively nice to them, too,” said Nils Christy, chief operating officer.

Monarch says the initiative is part of a year-long campaign “to promote traditional values of chivalry, courtesy and respect”. The airline says it was inspired by a study conducted by Goldsmith University into the links between being nice and happiness, health and success.

“Everyone benefits from niceness,” added Christy. “Planes depart more punctually, staff and customers are happier and it improves the travelling experience for everyone.”

The move mirrors a similar initiative by café chain Pret a Manger, whose staff were encouraged in 2015 to give free coffees to any one they thought sad, friendly or attractive.

The new policy comes months after Monarch was staring down the barrel of bankruptcy. It was rescued last autumn by securing last-minute refinancing.


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