Monarch Airlines, a British low cost airline (think Spirit or Frontier) has announced this week that it will give free upgrades to travelers who are polite and kind when purchasing tickets, and to those who arrive at the gate in a good mood. Staffers are allowed to give away perks like seats with extra leg room and priority check-in to the best customers every day.
Company COO Nils Christy told the Daily Mirror, “Everyone benefits from niceness. Planes depart more punctually, staff and customers are happier, and it improves the traveling experience for everyone.”
Wouldn’t it be great if U.S. airlines adopted this policy? Air travel has become one of the most uncomfortable, tedious ways to get anywhere.
Though this does remind me of the time my then-three-year-old daughter and I flew to Florida for a family reunion. My husband dropped us off at the airport a little behind schedule and then I couldn’t get our boarding passes to print. Then I realized that our gate was the furthest one away! We ran through the McNamara Terminal pulling our suitcases; my little girl hanging in like a trooper. When we got to the gate they were still boarding (thankfully!) and I told the agent at the counter that I couldn’t get our boarding passes to print and he said he would get to me in a few minutes.
My daughter started worrying; I had been so stressed about not having boarding passes and being late, but I told her “It’s ok, honey. We’re here now and the plane won’t take off without us.” Meanwhile, a woman was yelling at the agent, “I don’t understand why I don’t have a seat! This is ridiculous!” I knew I had to keep calm for my daughter (after making her run nearly a mile at 7 am) and opened up the giant tub of cookies we’d made to take the reunion and gave her one (and offered one to the agent, who declined).
We were the last ones to board the plane. The agent gave me kind of a funny look when he handed me our boarding passes and I wish I’d paused to look at them because when we got on the plane I discovered he had upgraded us to first class! I couldn’t thank him! I still feel bad about that. We thoroughly enjoyed that flight and I imagine that cranky, yelling woman was sitting way in the back.
Source: Premier Prep, Daily Mirror