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Yes, this airline will upgrade flyers for being nice, kind of…

But don’t expect champagne on arrival or turn-down services

Last week, we published some tips on how to improve your chances of getting an upgrade. One piece of advice we overlooked however, probably because we assumed it went without saying, is to just be nice.


UK-based Monarch says that it will be giving passengers the opportunity to be upgraded simply by being polite to its call centre staff.



But as nice as that sounds, you’ll have to be extremely lucky, or supremely saccharine, to be one of the average three of four customers (out of an average 17,000 travellers, according to The Independent) each day that will be granted an upgrade by call centre staff, who decide who most warrants the rewards.


And of course, you’ll need a reason for calling them, and to remain careful of what you say on social media. But those expecting a lie-flat bed and all the other bells and whistles of a business or first class experience, will be disappointed, as Monarch’s upgrade will mostly equate to a few extra inches of legroom, and perhaps a priority check-in, perks that would normally be available for under AU$50 or so.


Whilst Monarch’s idea is a noble one, a column in The Independent suggests Monarch concentrate more on punctuality, and perhaps compensating those who endure long waits with extra legroom. Another alternative would be to downgrade rude or painful passengers.


According to a recent psychological study, conducted by Professor Jonathan Freeman at Goldsmiths University’s i2 Media Research Lab, Monarch staff were found to be officially nicer than others.


The first ever study into the ‘Power of Nice’ also found nice people were likely to be happier and earn more than others.


Are call centre staff in general nicer than travel agents?


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 20 March 2017

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