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I have recently returned from Alicante with Monarch Airlines and I found it necessary to complain to Monarch upon my return. This is a copy of the letter I wrote to Monarch:

Re.. Flight ZB 497 - Alicante Birmingham – 21st  March 2008

We have just returned from Alicante to Birmingham on the above flight. 
The flight is scheduled to leave Alicante at 12.10 and I arrived with my friends at the airport at about 10.OOam. 
We checked the departure board which showed check-in desks 9, 10 and 11 for the flight to Birmingham. 
When we got to the desks there was already a queue at each desk and we joined the line at desk 11. 
At 10.15 am young Lady arrived, opened desk 10 and started to check in the passengers in that queue and about 10 minutes later  a young man opened up desk 9. 
We were still waiting at desk 11 some 20 minutes later and when we enquired with the young Lady on desk 10 if anybody would be opening desk 11 we got a rather impolite and discourteous ‘
I don’t know ‘in reply. 
To cut the story short, desk 11 never opened up and all the passengers in that queue, some having waited for nearly an hour, had to join the end of the queues at desk 9 and 10 to be checked in.
 I have enclosed some pictures of the Departure Board Information and the ‘Closed’ check-in desk no. 11 and I would appreciate you response and your explanation as to why your passengers are treated like cattle when it comes to the check-in procedure. 
It is well possible that they had a staff shortage in Alicante or that there were other reasons as to why misleading information was handed out but common courtesy does not cost anything and the passengers who queued in good faith at the number 11 check-in desk should have been informed that this desk was not going to open despite the fact that it was shown on the Information Board. Somebody obviously was in charge and should have made sure that the people waiting in the desk 11 queue were moved to the other two desks if the desk shown was not going to open. 
I am also aware that the check-in desks in Alicante are not manned by Monarch Staff, but as these people are working on your behalf and are paid by you to check in your passengers it is for you to ensure that the check-in procedure is followed correctly, so please don’t try to shift the blame as ultimately you are responsible for your passengers. 
Due to the total incompetence of the check-in staff we, and a number of other passengers, spent in excess of 60 minutes waiting to be checked in, despite that fact that we actually had arrived before the check-in opened, and I would appreciate it if you could let me have your explanation as to why we should be treated this way and why nobody informed us that the desk remained closed. 

 

MONARCH AIRLINES LTD
PROSPECT HOUSE
PROSPECT WAY
LONDON LUTON AIRPORT
LUTON
LU2 9NU

 

 

TTG AWARDS 2007

WINNER

LEISURE AIRLINE

OF THE YEAR

 

This is what Monarch had to say:

Thank you for your letter dated 23 March 2008. 
I was very sorry to read that you felt concerned about the amount of check-in desks provided for your flight atAlicante. 
After looking into this further on your behalf can confirm that the normal amount of desks provided is only 2desks for this flight. It is regrettable that an error was made and it should have said 9 — 10. I’m sorry that this wasn’t resolved at the check-in desks, and can appreciate that queuing for nearly an hour to then be told to move queues is upsetting. 
We do work hard to ensure an efficient check in is offered. We have now changed our supervisory agents inAlicante who oversee the ground handling, and I will certainly ensure that our overseas team who supervises this service is provided with a copy of your letter. 
I would like to offer our sincere apologies again for what happened and I do thank you for letting us know. We will ensure that more care is taken on future flights. 
Yours  sincerely

Mary Shiels
Customer Relations Advisor 

 

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:

Once again the typical reply you get from these people. They are all the same because they don’t really care. Once you paid the money they can do with you what they want because they know that the Brits don’t really complain.

After all we are known in the world for forming orderly queues and wait, and wait and wait. Every time they treat you like a piece of …….. you should complain and you should tell them what you think and maybe, just maybe, they get fed up writing their silly letters and do something about it.

                                   What was that slogan again Monarch is using, let me just remind you

Monarch - the low fare airline that cares

Whilst we try to ensure that the complaint is truthful and factual we cannot accept responsibility for the complaint. If you are affected by the complaint and if you think that the complaint is inaccurate or misleading then please contact us with supporting details of you objection and we will gladly correct or remove any erroneous part from this page.