Whilst we were on holiday last week, I came across this great big tree trunk ‘sitting’ on a deckchair type structure. Out came the camera phone for a quick ‘Saturday is Caption Day’ snap. Can you caption my sitting tree?
As a budget airline Monarch will charge you for everything they possibly can: seat allocation, food, drink, baggage, etc. We weighed up all the options and studied their website before we went and decided which ‘extras’ we would go for. The times of our flights were such that we would need to allow for a meal on the journey. We decided that rather than rushing to find something to eat in the airport or loading ourselves down with packed lunches, we would opt for the airline meals. The meals weren’t cheap at £7.99 each, but we decided to go ahead to save on hassle.
On the way back our flight 9.25pm Greek time and was due to land 1.45am (or 11.45pm BST). After the plane had taken off and climbed to the right altitude the aircrew started out with the drinks and food trolleys. We were in row 10 and it took an age to get to us because nearly everyone was desperate for something after lengthy transfers, airport check in queues and basically no time to get anything in the airport before boarding. The staff got to us and I said that we’d ordered food. They said we had to wait till after they’d finished serving the whole plane.
The cabin crew knew we had a young child who was waiting for his meal. But, they carried on serving everyone their food and drinks, then they decided it would be a good idea to collect all the rubbish before serving our food. Would it be cynical to suggest that Monarch Airlines already had our money, so the service they gave us didn’t matter?
I kid you not, we waited 2 hours to get our meals: it was 11.30pm Greek time when we were served. By the time H had finished his food and could settle down to sleep it was midnight. His normal bedtime is 7.15pm. Now it was always going to be later than usual, but I hadn’t anticipated it being that late.
I contacted Monarch Airlines about the problem when we got back.
Is it normal @monarch to keep people waiting 2 hrs for prepaid inflight meals & to serve them after everyone else has bought food & drinks?
— Erica Price (@ericahughes) May 11, 2013
They kept me waiting till today for a proper reply because they had to check with their catering department. I was told:
@ericahughes Hi Erica, the drinks service is always offered first along with buy on board food, followed by the pre ordered meals….
— Monarch Airlines (@Monarch) May 17, 2013
So it seems it’s Monarch’s policy to keep those who’ve preordered and prepaid for food waiting until everyone else has eaten. They seem to think this is acceptable customer service. As a general rule if you prebook and prepay for something you either get it first or at least are not disadvantaged by prebooking/prepaying. It’s pretty basic customer service, isn’t it? Monarch don’t seem to agree.
Monarch say this on the order of their service:
@ericahughes It has been tested many other ways but this works best. Buy on board meals are limited so you are still better to prebook. ^NG
— Monarch Airlines (@Monarch) May 17, 2013
Later in an email Monarch Airlines Sales Support Manager says:
After speaking with the In-flight service manager, I can confirm the order of service was correct and provided in a safe, well practiced and in the most efficient way we have researched possible.
On neither Twitter or email have they given any specifics for this research that suggests it’s the most efficient way.
I can’t find anything on their website that suggests that they advise passengers, in advance, that they will have to wait for their prebooked and prepaid meals, until everyone else on board has eaten.
So are Monarch going to change their policy of keeping you waiting if they already have your money? No, they say not. In fact, they don’t seem to care about that. What compensation have they offered for keeping us hungry and messing up our son’s routine in a big way? A refund of our meals. Well, Monarch Airlines, it simply isn’t good enough.
The key idea behind Walkers Baked Hoops and Crosses is that they contain 56% whole grains. Apparently, quite a lot of children in the UK don’t get enough in their diets and 27% get no whole grains at all (according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition). It can be difficult. Like many children H isn’t keen on wholemeal bread, so I’m willing to try out other ways of increasing his whole grain intake.
Walkers have tried to make these snacks as healthy as possible without compromising on taste. So here are the facts and figures:
Hoops and Crosses seem ideal for lunch boxes, but I took them along to school as an after school snack because I wanted to canvas a few opinions plus it gave me a chance to see and hear H’s reaction to them. H is always starving at 3.30 and I always pop something for him to eat in my pocket.
We offered the roast beef crisps to the adults and children that walk home with us. The reaction was mixed, but generally more adventurous eaters liked them (some were very keen) and more conservative tasters were less enthusiastic. H enjoyed them to start with, but found the flavour a little too strong as he got to the bottom of the pack. I think we might try out the other flavours to see if he prefers the salt and vinegar or the prawn cocktail to the roast beef flavour. I’d like to see them offering a ready salted variety too.
I was sent the crisps for review and paid for writing the post.