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Good airline news! PDF
Thursday, 02 June 2011 06:45

Good news from an airline – for a change! Monarch Airlines has scrapped booking fees for debit cards and greatly reduced the credit card booking fee.

This move by Monarch will put the airline in direct competition with budget airlines like Ryanair and easyJet, which typically charge a fortune in booking fees, despite the practice being illegal - see 'Sneaky' card charges to face OFT probe.

The change, which came into force yesterday, 1 June 2011, is part of a new strategy by the British carrier. Monarch has announced it is moving away from package tours to scheduled flights in direct competition with the low-cost airlines.

Monarch is to end nearly four decades as a charter airline and shift its focus towards scheduled flights, as more tourists shy away from traditional package holidays and look for cheaper flight-only internet deals instead.

The revamp, with its new slogan 'Fly your way. Every day', will see the British carrier compete directly with budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair, as well as British Airways in the scheduled market.

By next summer, Monarch expects 80 per cent of its business to be scheduled, compared with just 20 per cent five years ago. Although the company will continue to offer package holidays, this will only form a small part of its business.

Booking fees scrapped

The most exciting news for travellers, however, is that, in a bid to differentiate itself from other budget airlines, Monarch has scrapped all debit card booking fees from yesterday, while payments by credit card will incur a flat fee of £10 per booking.

Monarch said it was in negotiations with credit card companies to reduce fees further, and pledged to pass any savings on.

Conrad Clifford, chief executive of Monarch Group, said: “Obviously, we would prefer not have to charge customers for using any payment cards at all. But by abolishing debit card fees and introducing a flat fee for using credit cards, we are doing everything we can to be transparent and fair to our customers.”

By way of comparison Ryanair currently charges £6 per person per flight for paying with a debit or credit card, while easyJet charges £8 per booking, plus extra fees for credit card payments.

Monarch travellers can also take advantage of services such as six inches of extra legroom for £9.99, and the option of booking in-flight meals in advance.

Mr Clifford added: “The refreshed brand is the visual manifestation of a strategic shift in the business that will give consumers the widest possible choice of services both on the ground and in-flight.”

Monarch suffered heavy losses of £30.3m in 2009. It only just managed to turn this around in 2010, posting pre-tax profits of £1.4m, in the year to October 31. The airline hopes that the new strategy will boost profits even further in 2011 and beyond.

© Paul Whitelock

Source: The Telegraph/Yahoo Finance


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Tags:  Monarch Airlines, Monarch, Ryanair, easyjet, debit card, credit card, booking fee, budget airline, Sneaky card charges, OFT, package tour, scheduled flight, package holiday, low-cost airline, British Airways, charter airline, Conrad Clifford, paul whitelock,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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