Monarch Airlines - an established holiday provider
Long before the budget airline boom, British-based operator Monarch Airlines had been offering fun and affordable breaks for millions of holiday makers. From small beginnings in the late 1960s - the start of Britain's love affair with European beaches and Mediterranean sun - the carrier has grown steadily while retaining its original name and a steady ownership base. Today, it operates to over 30 destinations from a main hub in London Luton Airport, with flights from London Gatwick, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Birmingham too.
An impressive route map still keeps its focus on summer sunshine escapes to traditional destinations like the islands of Madeira, Minorca and Majorca, while routes to Malaga and the Algarve remain popular. However, the destinations on offer also include cultural hotspots - with the addition of Venice, Stockholm and Madrid - as well as the more far-flung holiday choices of Zagreb and Eilat. For winter, there's the choice of ski resorts in France and Switzerland, as well as the traditional summer sun choices like Gran Canaria.
Monarch Airlines made its name as a charter operator and still offers a range of package holidays and short breaks, including villa holidays and city discovery deals. However, recent years have seen a strategic switch to scheduled timetables. There remains a strong emphasis on luxury travel, with the majority of its six million passengers a year heading south for the holidays. The focus has paid off, with a 2017 TripAdvisor award in the regional and low-cost airline category.
Flying with Monarch Airlines
Monarch Airlines was one of the first established operators to respond to changes in travel trends and move to a more cost-conscious service model, with fewer frills or added extras. They continue to offer a single-class service and focus on delivering superior customer care to all their passengers. Allocated seating is available for a small surcharge on most flights, and an innovative pricing structure allows you to bid for an extra legroom seat: submit your sealed bid and find out 24 hours before the flight if you've been successful. A range of refreshments are sold on-board, from healthy snack boxes to the full English breakfast, and there's also an in-flight shop.
If you're looking for a getaway with a group of friends, it's worth noting that Monarch has a dedicated group travel team who can help you plan and book your mini-break.
An online check-in system allows passengers to confirm their flight in advance of arriving at the airport, whether or not they wish to specify their seat. The check-in portal also allows passengers to add in useful extras or to book additional luggage or sports equipment.
All passengers are allowed 10 kg of hand luggage.
Passengers can add luggage to a booking, up to a total of two bags per person. Irrespective of the number of checked items, the allowance for hold baggage is a strict 20 kg for each passenger. However, travellers have the option of purchasing additional allowance with the airline's excess baggage option.