So far we have met Priya and Vasco, who are part of the Monarch cabin crew featuring on our TV advert. Now, time to get to know Martin better…
Hi Martin! Tell me a little bit about you.
I’m 25, and I am from Liverpool. I went to Litherland High School, where I studied for my GCSEs, then went to KGV Sixth Form College in Southport for my A Levels. I took Spanish, French, Law and Maths. I really enjoy languages – at KGV, I also did a basic course in German and BSL Level 1, as well as having a GCSE Italian alongside Spanish and French. After my A Levels I worked for a while in a supermarket, before heading off to Spain for 14 months where I completed my commercial pilot training. I moved back home, and went back to the supermarket before joining Monarch in 2013. I’ve mainly been based at Manchester, but did spend my first winter season operating from Gatwick. I now live in Manchester with another crew member, five minutes from work, and I’m gearing up for what looks is going to be a busy summer!
If your friends described you in three words, they would say…
Intelligent; dependable; ambitious.
What made you want to work for Monarch?
I wanted to work at Monarch because I like the ‘family feel’ the company has. All of our people, in all of our locations, are so friendly and approachable. We take a genuine interest in each other, and care as much as you would for a family member.
How long have you been working for Monarch?
Summer 2016 is my fourth summer season. I started in May 2013, moved to London Gatwick for winter 14/15, then I’ve been back up in Manchester ever since.
What gives you the most satisfaction in the job?
I think the biggest buzz that I get from doing my job is knowing that you’ve had a positive impact on someone’s day. Our customers come from all sorts of backgrounds, travelling for many different reasons. Some are frequent fliers, for others, it’s their first time on board. So, by sharing a smile and doing what we do best, I know that we’ve made everyone’s experience as enjoyable as possible.
What keeps you motivated to enjoy your job?
It’s my colleagues, for sure. Some days, I don’t even feel like I’ve been to work, it’s just been a good laugh on a day out with some friends. And if we didn’t know each other before we started the day, 10 hours later, we’re all chatting like we’ve known everyone for years.
What do you love the most about it?
I’m passionate about aviation, I’m a trained commercial pilot, looking for that all important first job to step into the flight deck. So I love being able to work in this dynamic airline environment, experiencing all aspects of our very busy commercial operation, and also to have the opportunity to share my enjoyment of flight, maybe inspiring some of our younger guests on board to get bitten by the aviation bug!
What made you want to audition for the TV ad?
To be honest, I wasn’t going to! I had toyed with the idea, but thought I wouldn’t stand a chance of being chosen – I’m not that lucky! Then my housemate mentioned he was sending in an audition video so I thought, “Why not?”. I sent the audition video in on the deadline day, and was lucky enough to be chosen for the casting session.
How did you feel when you were told you had been picked to feature in Monarch’s TV advert?
I had just landed from an afternoon in Majorca at about 11pm, I got to the car park and checked my emails before driving home. I got very excited; my first thought was “AARGH!! I’m going to be on TV!!!!” and then I wanted to start telling people straight away to share my excitement. But with it being so late, there was nobody I could tell, I knew my mum and dad would be asleep, and my housemate would be asleep too, so I drove home with a grin on my face and had to wait until the day after to speak to anyone about it!
How did you find the filming process?
The filming process was a very surreal experience. I have the utmost respect for anyone involved in TV and film production, I had never considered how complex the whole thing is. It was a great laugh, and everyone was very supportive. In the beginning it was quite daunting, almost embarrassing to a point – it’s quite strange being the centre of attention. The director was looking for the shot that completely encapsulated her vision, so we reset over and over again until there were so many takes we’d lost count! I was quite self-conscious in front of the camera to begin, but after a few takes, it felt more natural.
So, did the acting not come completely natural?
It wasn’t so much what we were doing that was a bit unnatural, it was the fact that we were in front of the camera. As soon as we forgot that it was there, it felt like a normal day at the office. The people sat in the seats were just customers that we would interact with on a day to day basis, so no acting was required. The scenes you see in the advert are a great representation of the way our people are, we do things without thinking, and we’re just inherently nice!
Any advice for those thinking or pursuing a career similar to yours?
When I joined Monarch as cabin crew, I wasn’t sure whether or not the job would be suited to me. I obviously had the qualifications and the qualities that Monarch look for in their cabin crew, but I was a little apprehensive. And look at me now! I’m involved in so much with the company, I have a great laugh with great people, my work is varied and enjoyable. I really do have a fantastic job. So, my biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to join the Monarch cabin crew community – or indeed Monarch as a business, is to give it a go. We like real people who like working with people, so what have you got to lose?
Thank you so much for your time, Martin! And lastly… on Monarch’s scheduled network, which is your favourite destination and why?
My favourite destination is Málaga. I lived in Andalucia, southern Spain, and I love the way of life down there. I often hire a car and travel along the south coast of the country, heading as far as Cádiz and Jerez de la Frontera – where I used to live – to the west, or to a place called Tarifa, the southernmost tip of Spain. Sometimes I head into the mountains via a place called Ronda to walk along the Sierra de Grazalema, due west of Málaga, or I’ll go to Granada and the Sierra Nevada. Or sometimes, I’ll just stay on the Costa del Sol for a bit of a beach holiday!