Monarch Blog Monarch Airlines official blog Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:17:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Italy’s Most Majestic Mountains Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:00:36 +0000 Winter is settling in for a good few months, and many of us will be jetting off to stay in a chalet in one of the many ski resorts across Europe and beyond. So, we thought it’d be a good time to take a look at some of Italy’s stunning mountains – they’re the images that dreams are made of and the sight of them will either make you tranquil and calm, or full of adrenaline ready for adventure!

Year-long white stuff on the Monte Bianco

Mount Blanc

mont blanc collage

Shared with Italy and France, Monte Bianco (or Mont Blanc as it’s more recognisably known) is the highest mountain in Europe, with a tunnel running through it – Il Traforo del Monte Bianco – that connects the Italians to their French neighbours, while the transfer time from Milan is only a couple of hours. It hosted the first ever Winter Olympics and is covered in snow all year round, meaning it’s a great spot for wintersports enthusiasts looking to blow off some steam on the slopes. Resorts such as Courmayeur are a popular retreat for snow sport fans, while the summer months are filled with greenery at lower altitudes, and fauna begging to be explored by an avid hiker.

Ski the Circuit in the Gruppo del Sella

gruppo del sella

gruppo del sella

Several resorts can be found dotted around the Gruppo del Sella, which is part of the Dolomites in north Italy, and the well-known Sella Ronda ski lift carousel connects it all. While mountain biking and hiking are popular pastimes in the area during the summer months, it’s the wintertime when the area really booms with activity. The lifts and pistes that skiers and boarders have their pickings of are some of the best in Italy and, with the laidback nature and family-friendly atmosphere, fun and relaxation will always come up trumps.

Sweet Skiing Opportunities on the Marmolada

Marmolada marmolada collage

The Marmolada is the highest mountain in the Dolomites, and is easily accessible via flights to Venice, at just 100km away. As the winter season opens for business, the main ski runs can be used by skiers and snowboarders alike, while its glacier is the only one in the Dolomites range. Fancy a bit of culture as part of your trip? The Museo della Grande Duerra in Malga Ciapela tells visitors all about when the mountain was used as part of the front line for Austrian and Italian forces during WW1. See? There’s a history lesson as well as a hike or a ski on this mountain – perfect if you need a day off to rest your legs from doing too much snow ploughing!

Pass the Poles in Passo Tonale

Passo Tonale

Passo Tonale

During the week, and when it isn’t the Italian holidays, Passo Tonale is relatively slow-paced and relaxing, which can be a seldom thing during the peak of the winter season in other alpine resorts. This great-value village, at the foot of the slopes, offers lifts to marked runs perfect for beginners and intermediates, as well as lift access to the twinkling white slopes of Ponte di Legno, which has some incredible runs for a more advanced rider.

Summertime on Monte Legnone

monte legnone

Monte legnone collage

Located within the Bergamo region of the Alps, Monte Legnone overlooks Lake Como and can be found on the eastern side of the lake. Lake Como is incredibly popular during the warmer months because of the peace and tranquillity that the lakeside villages exude, but head into the mountains for a hike, trek or horse ride and you’ll feel as though you’re on a completely different planet.

Traditional Charm in Corvara



Found in the heart of the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region, Corvara is considered to be the main centre of Alta-Badia, which is popular with tourists looking for a well-rounded mountain break. Its alpine roots are firmly placed, with plenty of traditional charm to fall in love with.

With easy access to 433km of pistes, including the Sella Ronda circuit, and a sunset that seems to turn the mountains pink, Corvara seemingly has something for everyone. Be sure to stop skiing a moment just to lose yourself in the gorgeous scenery with its pink hues – cameras at the ready!

Around two and a half hours from Venice and Milan, the mountains located in the north of Italy are some of the best mountains in the country. It’s alpine serenity at its best, and we help make sure you can be there, in the thick of the white stuff, within hours!



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Going to Naples? Don’t miss Pompeii Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:03:42 +0000 The city of Naples may derive its name from the Greek word Neapolis – meaning new city – but the ruins of ancient Pompeii will send you spiralling backwards through the ages to a place that belongs to a bygone era. Get there by train from Piazza Garibaldi in the centre of Naples. The journey to Pompei Scavi takes around 35 minutes on the Napoli-Sorrento route of the Circumvesuviana railway.

Welcome back to the Roman Empire

Pompeii 1

A massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius literally stopped Pompeii in its tracks back in the 1st century, encasing the town and its residents in lava, like photographic fixer fluid capturing a snapshot of a moment that would remain perfectly frozen in time until its discovery in 1748. Because of this, Pompeii is the best-preserved ancient ruin in the world, and its post-apocalyptic streets remain an exact replica of the terrifying moment its inhabitants met their demise.

Visiting the ruins

Pompeii volcano

Your time machine back to the year 79 AD comes in the form of a train from Napoli Piazza Garibaldi, and while instantaneous time travel may still be the stuff of science fiction, the 35-minute journey along the Napoli-Sorrento route of the Circumvesuviana railway isn’t bad going, considering you’ve got almost 2,000 years of history to rewind. Alight at Pompei Scavi, from where the entrance to the site itself is just 100 yards away.

Exploring an ancient city

Pompeii ruins

From the main entrance, the first major landmark you’ll reach is the Forum, which, in keeping with Roman custom, was the beating heart of the city, providing a space for public gatherings and surrounded by several important administrative and religious buildings. All roads emanate from here, and while it’s possible to spend an entire day wandering amongst the bars, bakeries and baths of this ancient city without seeing it all, there are a few landmarks that you really should make sure you visit.

The Stabian Baths

Stabian baths
Acting much like a modern day health centre, the Stabian Baths were one of three traditional Roman bath houses in Pompeii, where people would come to exercise, socialise and of course bathe. Set around the central gymnasium, the complex contains the ruins of an open-air swimming pool as well as the bathing chambers themselves.

The Amphitheatre


Built in the 1st century BC, this is the oldest Roman amphitheatre ever to be discovered, and can be found at the eastern limit of the city – making it the furthest point from the main entrance. It was built here to make it accessible for visitors from outside of Pompeii, who would regularly file through the Nucerian and Sarno gates of the city wall to watch the gladiatorial conflicts which were staged in the amphitheatre.

With a capacity for around 20,000 spectators, it was one of the most atmospheric sporting venues in the ancient world, and predates Rome’s Colosseum by well over a century.

The Large Theatre


To the east of the Forum is Pompeii’s other major performance area, the Large Theatre. Set out like an amphitheatre, this venue could hold around 5,000 people and was used for concerts and dramatic productions, with the natural slopes that enclosed it helping to enhance the acoustics. Just behind the performance ring is the Gladiators’ Barracks, where countless warriors would have listened to the gleeful cheering of audiences before engaging in deadly combat for the amusement of Pompeii’s bloodthirsty citizens.

To see more of the artefacts retrieved from Pompeii, head to the Naples National Archaeological Museum, which is in the city centre.

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Love is in the air with Monarch, no really! Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:05:14 +0000 Sparks flew when Tina and Ian met 14 years ago on a Monarch flight, who knew that just one conversation could turn in to a wonderful travel-filled marriage? Tina tells us that seeing the Monarch logo makes her feel grateful as without choosing to fly with us, she would never have met the love of her life Ian.

Tina shares her story with us: “on the 17th of May 2000 (aged 32) my school friend Loraine and I were travelling from Luton to Cyprus on a Monarch flight, I was going away with one of my friends for a girly break as many people do each year.

Sitting in the seats in front of us were these 2 young men who were also going for a break, a man called Ian and Steve. All 4 of us got talking towards the end of the flight, asking the general questions about where they were from and where they were heading. To my surprise, we were on the same transfer coach and so we carried on our conversation.  My friend and I thought nothing of this chance meet as we were dropped off at our different apartments in Ayia Napa, after all it’s a big resort.  Later that evening whist sitting in a bar enjoying a cocktail, we heard a shout saying “girls from the plane, can we buy you a drink?” Perhaps not the most romantic of shouts but hey, it got my attention. Ian and I then started our holiday romance for the week and I can still remember the drink I ordered!

015 - love

“It was the typical romance, me dragging my friends bar to bar to try and find him and then acting very cool with him by not sharing my phone number until we were back in Luton.

We have been wonderfully happy together ever since and got married in New York (yes, we like to travel) on the 17th of May, the same date that we first met in 2006! Even now whenever we are at an airport and see a Monarch Plane, we both smile at each other and say “Thank You Monarch” as without you, we wouldn’t have each other. As cheesy as it sounds, love was in the air! ”


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Islands and spirals: the top hidden gems of Venice Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Venice is very much a city that needs to be explored by foot. Obviously, buses and cars won’t be found here, and while the vaporettos are an efficient method to get from point A to B, its true charm comes alive when you lose yourself in its extensive network of canals, narrow streets and cobblestone alleyways. And you never know, you may just turn a corner and discover something truly special.

Here are four fantastic hidden attractions we found that may not be at the forefront of guidebooks and tour recommendations. Can you find all of them?

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo


This place simply must be seen to be believed. Starting off from the Rialto vaporetto stop, head in a south-easterly direction and try and find Campo Manin. This square harbours a lovely statue of Venetian patriot and statesman Daniele Manin, and it is a good centrepoint for finding this elusive attraction. If facing the statue, you will want to take one of the right-hand side streets, and then walk through a labyrinth of narrow hidden passageways, and even enter what is seemingly a small tunnel, to eventually find the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.

You’ll know it when you see it. This small palace is most famous for its external spiral staircase which can take tourists up to enjoy great panoramic views. The palace was built to be the home of the Contarini family, and it is believed that the staircase was constructed in 1499, and looking at it, it seems like something you would see in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Church Gesuiti


Located right next to the Fondamenta Nuove vaporetto stop, this is a perfect place to stop off at if you are looking to get the number 12 vaporetto to Murano and/or Burano. This church was built in the mid-12th century, and is one of the most beautiful in Venice. Be dazzled by its ornate golden ceiling and have your breath taken away by the imposing spiral columns, reminiscent of those seen in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. When walking on the Salizz. dei Specchieri, pop you head in here, it might just be the prettiest thing you encounter in the whole city.

Casino di Venezia


Located by the S. Marcuola stop, but surprisingly difficult to find, this attraction is not only a favourite among those looking to test their luck, but it is actually one of the oldest, if not the oldest, casinos in the world.

Walking in, the ground floor is home to a dazzling collection of slot machines, while the games room is located upstairs, offering blackjack and roulette tables, but note that you must wear trousers to go up. Regardless of whether you stay down or go up, the entry alone will cost you €10. It’s best to visit the casino during the day rather than after dark.

San Giorgio Maggiore


Ok, so this is not so well hidden, as it can obviously be seen from the San Marco area, but you’d be surprised at how many tourists choose to bypass this island. Get the vaporetto two from San Zaccaria (ensure it’s in the San Giorgio direction!) and a few minutes later, you will find yourself on this idyllic island.

Your first port of call should be the church, a shining example of where simplicity often works best, and then head outdoors to see the exhibition space that changes seasonally. On the side of this, dangle your feet over the edge into the waters, and enjoy a fantastic view of the Campanile and Doge’s Palace. With the faint humming of cruising vessels in the afternoon sun, this is idyllic paradise at its best.

Other highlights here include a Japanese tea garden, a hedge maze and a free gallery that hosts seasonal exhibitions of local artists. Be sure to walk behind the church, next to the tea garden, and take in your surroundings – San Giorgio island is the perfect place to just pause for a second and bask in the fact that you are in one of the most gorgeous cities in the world.


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Too hot, too cold or just right? How air conditioning works onboard Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:00:31 +0000 We all like different temperatures, some of us like it toasty and others cooler. Have you ever wondered why there might be a difference in temperature in different areas of the cabin? Getting the temperature right is a complex process so wev’e teamed up with Monarch’s Paul Stone, Boeing Technical Instructor for B737 / B787  so he can share his insight about onboard temperature and why customer comfort is always the priority!

So let’s start with a simple question, is there a default temperature for Monarch flights?

 Most aircraft have a temperature selection which can generally be controlled from a ‘master’ control in the cockpit between 18˚C and 30˚C. The ‘default’ temperature level is generally 21˚C and most customers find this comfortable. Some aircraft also have a variance of cabin temperature from a flight attendants station of +\- maybe 3˚C above and below what’s set.

Air conditioning controls

Can you give us an overview of cabin air conditioning?

The most common passenger cabin systems combine pressurisation, and air conditioning into one system called an “an Air Conditioning PACK” within which sits an Air Cycle Machine. Generally most airplanes have a two Pack system. Typically, the airplane takes hot compressed air, or “bleed air” from the engine’s compressor section, and through an air cycle machine turbine, cools it very dramatically to produce cool dry and clean air, oddly enough some bleed air is used to reheat the air to maintain a selected temperature, and flows it into the cabin under slight pressure. An “outflow valve” at the back of the cabin regulates the rate at which this air leaves the cabin, cabin pressure

Typically, the airplane takes hot compressed air, or “bleed air” from the engine’s compressor section, and through an air cycle machine turbine, cools it very dramatically to produce cool dry and clean air. Oddly enough some bleed air is used to reheat the air to maintain a selected temperature, and flows it into the cabin under slight pressure. An “outflow valve” at the back of the cabin regulates the rate at which this air leaves the cabin. Cabin pressure is therefore normally maintained at between 6,000 and 8,000 feet to maintain a comfortable atmosphere.

Generally how does Monarch turn up and down the temperature onboard?

We always aim for our customers to be at a comfortable temperature onboard.

Like all enclosed spaces an aircraft air conditioning system works in exactly the same way. If you imagine it’s a cold autumn’s day and you hop into your car, you turn on the air conditioning to reduce any condensation on the screen. What will happen? The first thing you may notice is that the blowers come on full blast and are really powerful. The temperature you are at (let’s say 12˚C) is very cold compared to the temperature you are requesting (roughly 21˚C) the car to become.

Your car is working really hard and is trying to get your requested temperature as quickly as possible. Therefore, the air conditioning goes to a “high flow mode” and is trying to get to 21˚C so the unit starts to push out air at a much hotter temperature to compensate. The temperature of air being blown reduces as it approaches the requested temperature and the flow rate slows down.

air con

How easy is it to cool down the aircraft if it is warm?

Well, with a higher cabin temperature the system may give out a considerably lower temperature than is requested (on most aircraft in the region of 4˚C is needed) to cool down the aircraft. This is why perhaps you feel a short burst of high-powered air, but it will not be for long. When the desirable temperature is reached the air flow will reduce considerably.

On the whole, I’d say we have very high specification equipment to ensure passenger temperatures are comfortable but simply turning the temperature up or down in a cabin is quite difficult. The ‘system’ needs to have a clear indication of the temperature in the surrounding area inside the cabin. Temperature sensors generally have a flow of air across them which give them a temperature reading. However, because of passengers being onboard dust is generated and can clog these outlets which can skew the reading. Monarch as a company is very good at cleaning though and often the nozzles are thoroughly checked so this should be a rare occasion.


Paul Stone

Is there more than one type of air conditioning?

To run air conditioning you need either the plane engines running or an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), as they produce the pressurised air for the air con packs below the floor to work. Monarch typically does not run the engines due to the environmental impact, but we always ensure the APU is turned on. This means that even if you’re lucky enough to be in a hot country the air conditioning onboard should make the temperature comfortable for all passengers and crew.

Alternatively, you can have ‘Ground Conditioned Air ‘ from an external source, which in simple terms is an air conditioning unit like you would have in an office environment. However, you have no real control over the external temperature or output of that unit as it simply pulls in surrounding air and conditions it. So if the air surrounding the unit is warm then often it blows out warm air. May I say someone from the Mediterranean region may find the outside air temperature to be quite normal whereas passenger from Northern Europe may be quite warm!

Three things contribute to the rise in temperature in a cabin which you may not have thought of:

  1. You! Passengers are warm and give off their own body heat, they also breathe out warm and moist air so the more passengers onboard the hotter the cabin or zone within the cabin will be. This means that the air conditioning has to work that little bit harder. Heavy passenger loads, let’s say 400 passengers onboard have a very high requirement for cooling even if it’s a little chilly outside since each human body heats up the cabin air with roughly the equivalent heat of a 100 watt light bulb.
  1. Electrical Equipment gives off some heat so depending on how much equipment you are surrounded by you may feel slightly different temperatures. I would say that those customers at the front of a plane are surrounded by electronics so may feel warmer than those sitting in the back.
  1. When it’s sunny outside it’s usually hot. Closing all the blinds after the passengers have departed will reduce the effect of sunshine warming up the onboard temperature. Also, it’s interesting to know that even having lighting in the cabin dimmed down will ensure the cabin does not get too warm as lights are a form of radiant energy.

I recommend wearing layers when you’re travelling, it’s easy to take a layer off if you’re a little warm and put another on if you’re chilly.
Thanks so much for your time Paul, that’s really interesting.

We’re on the hunt for topics that you would like to read about – so if this interview inspired you why not let us know a topic or a question and we’ll ask the experts! Simply comment below.



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Buon Natale: It’s (almost) Christmas time in Italy! Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Can you believe we’re getting close to Christmas already?! The weather is getting cooler, the decorations are on the way, and there’s even the smell of roast chestnuts in the air. However, nobody does Christmas celebrations quite like the Italians, what with their week-long feasts and months-long religious holidays! Now’s the time to charge up that Christmas spirit with a look at a few festive Italian traditions and events.

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

Santa Maria Maggiore, RomeSanta Maria Maggiore, RomeImage courtesy of Trevor Huxham

Rome is steeped in Christmas history – in fact, it’s believed to be the city where Christmas celebrations first began. Today, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is home to the world’s oldest presepe, a marble nativity scene carved by Arnolfo di Cambio in the 13th century. In the crypt below the chapel is also a replica of the cave in Bethlehem, and the altar holds five pieces of wood from the Holy Manger of Christ.

Via San Gregorio Armeno, Naples

Christmas figurines

Via San Gregorio Armeno, Naples

Images courtesy of Carlo RainoneUmberto Rotundo and егік етi ѕмiт
Renata Sedmakova / Renata Sedmakova /

In Italy, the main decoration is not the Christmas tree or Santa Claus, but the nativity scene – known as ‘presepe’ in Italian. Every church and most homes will have an elaborate manger scene, where baby Jesus will be placed on Christmas Eve. Naples is particularly known for its intricate nativity carvings, a craft dating back to the 13th century. To see the makers in action, take a stroll down Via San Gregorio Armeno, a quaint street filled with shops selling handmade decorations and figurines. You can even buy all the materials to make one yourself!


Native Village Flover Christmas Market, Verona

Nativity scene, Verona

verona christmas market

Images courtesy of Darren Milligan and Brad Ireland

Christmas comes early every year in Verona! The Flover Garden Centre in Bussolengo, Verona, puts on the country’s biggest annual Christmas market. Starting on November 3, this huge 7,000-square metre greenhouse will be transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with an ice-rink, theatre shows, a traditional nativity scene, and of course, plenty of stalls selling Christmas food, drinks and presents.

Christmas Lights, Manarola

Along the picturesque Cinque Terre coastline, the village of Manarola definitely turns it on when it comes to the festive season. From the beginning of December, the town flicks the switch on a dazzling nativity scene with over 15,000 lights powered only by solar energy! Seeing the craggy cliffs literally ablaze with bulbs during a clear night is a magical sight.

Natale di Vetro, Venice

Rialto bridge, VeniceMurano glass christmas decorations Images courtesy of Heather Cowper and Juliette Gibert

It doesn’t get much more romantic than Christmas in Venice. The canals come alive with lights, markets and carollers, but the real show is in Murano, the island famous for its glass blowing. Each December, the Murano glass artisans create the Tunnel of Lights – incredible glass sculptures and chandeliers that mark the start of the Christmas season.

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas! Kick off the season today with a festive Italian holiday!

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Monarch supports the Homeless World Cup – a football really can change the world! Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:38:52 +0000 Have you heard of the Homeless World Cup? Aiming to unite teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe, the Homeless World Cup positively impacts and genuinely changes lives each year. The 12th annual Homeless World Cup tournament will be held in Santiago, Chile from 19th to 26th October 2014.  This year, Sally and Josh from Monarch’s PR team are flying out to support the tournament and roll up their sleeves in press office and team relations roles to help ensure that everything goes to plan for the tournament!

Some 57 teams in total will be taking part in the tournament with over 350 matches over the week-long tournament in Santiago.  64 nations and over 500 players will travel to South America to show the world how a ball has helped change their lives. The 8 day tournament is being held in Plaza de Armas in central Santiago and over 100,000 spectators will watch the action unfold.

The Homeless World Cup was founded by Mel Young from Scotland and Harald Schmied from Austria, who came up with the idea at a conference on homelessness, in Cape Town in 2001. They both believed that it was possible to “change the lives of homeless people through football” and two years later in 2003, the first Homeless World Cup tournament took place in Graz in Austria. There’s been a large number of supporters which encourage people to buy a £30 lifetime membership.  These supporters will be given a seat within the Virtual Stadium. Access to the new home of the Homeless World Cup Supporters Club can be found by clicking here. Seats are available now and we strongly recommend you take a peek at the fantastic work and support already given. Already signed up are club ambassadors including France World Cup Winner Emmanuel Petit, Scotland and Celtic Captain Scott Brown and acclaimed author Irvine Welsh plus many more.

Players can only take part once in the tournament so once they’ve been knocked out, that’s it. Over 70 nations worldwide run street soccer programmes which positively impact and genuinely change the lives of more than 100,000 people each year. Why is this? The tournament offers actual alternatives lifestyles from gang culture, addictions and isolation associated with homelessness.


Josh on the sidelines

The Homeless World Cup uses the power of football to energise homeless people so they can change their own lives. It supports grass-roots football programmes and social enterprise development via a network of 70 national partners and celebrates its work by organising an annual football tournament that unites teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe. Football is the tool that is used to build trust and structure back into often chaotic lives. Once this has been overcome then other work can begin around housing, addiction, employment and education. But it is the football that keeps the “players” coming back.

The tournament in Santiago celebrated the year-round work of the organisation and created an opportunity for players to represent their country and meet and build relationships with homeless people from other countries. As well as transforming lives of players involved, the tournament has always been about changing perceptions of homeless people.

We believe that a ball really can change the world.

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Making kids happy – it’s all part of the service Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:00:14 +0000 It’s not every day parents are able to combine a holiday with an exciting educational experience, but one Monarch flight provided a once-in-a-lifetime event for a Leeds-based family.

Travelling from Leeds Bradford to Tenerife in September, Elizabeth and her children Eve (8) and Vinnie (4) set off for what would be a particularly memorable flight. They were particularly impressed by a lovely surprise provided by crew on arrival, just before deboarding.

Elizabeth contacted us via Facebook to tell their story. “This particular journey was really special as the Monarch captain and co-pilot were lovely and very professional. They let us have a look in the flight deck and even let my daughter sit in the captain’s chair. The co-pilot even gave my son his packet of biscuits, how cute is that?”

Elizabeth says her children were studying commercial aircraft as part of their home education curriculum, so the Monarch flight was particularly interesting for them.

“We are studying the A320 at the moment so our Monarch flight was perfect. We even know all the history about the two Monarch A320s at Leeds, my children love flying. We flew on aircraft registration ZBAA and found the journey really enjoyable,” she said.

Elizabeth bears

“My children were grinning like Cheshire cats and proceeded to tell everyone and anyone that would listen that they had been in the flight deck and met the captain and co-pilot. This is something we will cherish forever.”

Elizabeth says her happy-go-lucky children won’t be separated from their teddy bears when they fly, so they are included as part of the family when they go on holiday. They even cheekily sent us a photo of another airline’s bear onboard!

“By letting the bears fly on other airlines we know that they prefer Monarch… all my family needs now is two Monarch bears to join them so we’re going on a bear hunt as they say!” Elizabeth said.

The good news is Elizabeth and family will have plenty of new places to take their bears on holiday. Monarch recently launched the summer 2015 flying programme from Leeds Bradford, with flights to 10 sun and city destinations across Europe.

Do you have a story to share? We’d love to hear it – pop your story in the comments below. 


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Where will you be jetting off to from Leeds Bradford Airport next summer? Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:17:37 +0000 Our summer 15 routes departing from Leeds Bradford Airport are now on sale, with the introduction of two brand new destinations – Naples and Alicante! So, let’s take a look in more detail at these two fantastic destinations and other places you could be jetting off too next summer from Leeds Bradford Airport…

Naples – embrace the history


If you’re thinking about Rome as the culture capital of Italy, don’t be fooled! There’s an immense amount of history packed into Naples, with a vast selection of museums and sights to visit. Culture vultures can spend days immersing themselves, getting lost and discovering sights in and around the historic centre. But it’s not just the perfect destination for history lovers, it’s perfect for food fanatics too. Being the birthplace of the pizza you can imagine the Neapolitans don’t cut corners when it comes to making pizza here and it definitely is a must try when you’re in the city! Once you’ve sampled this, taste the delicious creamy, flavoursome gelato. Don’t forget to finish off with an authentic coffee – a true Italian culinary experience that certainly is not to be missed!


When visiting the city, Naples doesn’t have to be your final destination. Once you’ve spent a few days exploring, you can head further out just a short drive away to Pompeii to see the ruins of the ancient Roman city.  Just another short journey further on you’ll discover the picturesque Amalfi Coast, filled with incredibly beautiful towns which you can spend days admiring. Tiny hillside towns like Positano and Amalfi are great locations to spend a few days relaxing on a secluded beach.

Alicante – soak up the sun on the golden beaches

Alicante (2)

Images on right courtesy of Iakov Filimonov /

The popular Spanish coastal resort of Alicante offers a little bit of everything. Alicante town is great place to explore with buildings such as the church of Santa Maria and the Casa de la Asegurada Museum among the highlights. The town boasts beautiful beaches and a long promenade lined by bars restaurants and cafés that come alive in the evening. For sun bathers, the beach El Postiguet, is perfect and is within easy reach of Explanada de Espana promenade.


Not far away to the north of the city is the famous town of Benidorm, which is particularly well known for the quality of its beaches. With 5 km of white sand bays, coves and other sandy stretches, it’s perfect for a family holiday. The best beach is Levante which is located conveniently close to the town centre and all its amenities.

Faro – perfect for families, friends and golfers


The gateway to the Portuguese Algarve, Faro is one of one of Portugal’s best-loved areas. With close proximity to an array of magnificent beaches it’s ideal for a chilled family holiday. The popular resort of Albufeira is close by, and here you can choose the type of holiday you want whether it be chilled or lively. The town has vibrant nightlife down one street, but you can choose to avoid it if you’re in search for a quiet evening. Picture yourself strolling round the market stalls in the cobbled streets of the old town and dine al fresco style. The Algarve is the perfect destination for avid golfers too, with Championship-quality golf courses dotted around.

Tenerife – the island that has everything to offer


The largest and most popular island in the Canaries, Tenerife is an ideal all-round destination. If you’re looking for luxury then stay in the resort of Costa Adeje or if you’re looking for nightlife then Playa del las Americas is perfect. Puerto del la Cruz is a great choice for those looking for something a little quieter and even though the resort has been developed for tourism, it has still retained it’s lovely Canarian charm. The island has a great choice of activities for families – Siam Park, the waterpark kingdom is great fun for the kids and Loro Parque, a zooloigcal park is perfect for a family fun-filled day out. For the more daring of holiday-makers, take a trip to the top of Mount Tiede, Spain’s highest mountain to experience some breath taking views of the island.

Still can’t decide? Don’t forget to check out our other routes for summer 15, there’s many other sun and city destinations across Europe to choose from!

To celebrate the launch of new routes from Leeds Bradford Airport, simply choose where you would like to fly to between Naples and Alicante and you could win return flights for 2! To enter the competition click the following link: Good luck!

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Want to feel like a VIP? Enter our Tenerife competition Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:53:25 +0000 When you go on holiday it’s amazing the difference a few small little treats can make. We’ve teamed up with some great partners to create the perfect Tenerife indulgence break for 2 with all the extras. Enter the competition by clicking here: 

Have you visited Tenerife before? Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and boasts diverse landscapes that make it a real delight to discover, a great place for a little indulgence. It’s sometimes called ‘the island of eternal spring’, which gives you an indication as to its climate – you can expect warm, dry weather for most of the year.  The isle is a well-known holiday hotspot in the Canary Islands, a stunning archipelago that’s part of Spain, despite being located off the north coast of Africa.


If you were to win the prize you’d arrive at the airport and be whisked away to a VIP waiting area. Lounge Pass has offered 2 tickets which let you start your holiday in style and enjoy the experience of VIP travel. With over 250 airport VIP lounges worldwide at over 160 airports, including 25 in the UK why not add an extra touch of luxury to your next trip and make the travel experience a whole lot better.



You’ll then board your Monarch flight to Tenerife and head to your extra legroom seats to make your flight that little bit more luxurious and you will have a bottle of champagne waiting for you, already chilled and perfect to enjoy! You can find out about adding extras to your booking by clicking here.  

champagne onboard

When you land you’ll be picked up by your own private transfer! Included in the prize are award-winning airport transfers for 2 from HolidayTaxis They arrange a wide range of holiday transfers to get you from the airport to your accommodation. You’ll be picked up from Tenerife South and taken to your accommodation just a short drive away. The HolidayTaxis service is available in over 9000 cities and resorts, in over 100 countries across the world. Offering everything from value shuttle transfers, minibuses and private taxis, to luxury limousines and helicopters, HolidayTaxis are proud of their reputation for both quality and affordability, as well as for our outstanding customer service.


You’ll be staying in the 4* Sandos San Blas Nature Resort & Golf. Immersed in the volcanic San Blas Reserve, the resort seamlessly combines sustainable amenities, eco tours and a variety of cultural activities. The hotel has 8 swimming pools and a fitness centre. Rooms at the San Blas are spacious and feature contemporary design. Each room has a balcony and hydro massage bath.

Included in your prize, you can choose to dine at the Cueva Atxona or La Proa buffet restaurants. The hotel has 4 bars, including a pool bar. The San Blas has attractive gardens and guests can enjoy easy access to a 800,000 m² nature reserve. There are also tennis and volleyball courts. A free shuttle service to Playa de las Americas runs twice a day from the hotel. Locally produced alcoholic drinks including beer and wine and non-alcoholic drinks available from selected bars and restaurants 10am-11pm.  Locally produced alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks including water, tea and coffee available from the pool bar 11am-6pm. Selected locally produced wine, beer and soft drinks served during meal times.

Activities: Tennis, paddle tennis, beach volleyball and Nordic walking. Children: Entertainment: Regular day and evening entertainments including animation shows and live music. For more information click here .

Sandos Hotel

We’ve thought it all through, on one of the days during your stay we’ve organised 2 entry tickets to Siam Park– heralding a record breaking new era in water park history! If you fancy booking Monarch excursions click here. 

siamSet amongst nearly 18 hectares of lush tropical greenery in the south of Tenerife, Siam Park is themed on the ancient kingdom of Thailand. It includes the largest Thai village outside of Thailand, a surf school, incredible water rides, bars, restaurants and many family friendly heated-water attractions including a traditional Thai style floating market.

Feeling inspired to book a trip to the Canary Islands? Visit to book your next trip and why not enter the competition by clicking here: 


WinMonarchVIP competition


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