A recent psychological study, conducted by Professor Jonathan Freeman at Goldsmiths University’s i2 Media Research Lab, has discovered that Monarch employees are officially nicer than the rest of us.
The low cost airline and holiday company put staff members to the test in a bid to scientifically prove its reputation for being an all-round nicer way to fly as highlighted in its recent TV advertising campaign.
The results found that Monarch employees scored higher than the general sample of members of the public on psychological constructs associated with being nice, such as emotional intelligence, often described as the ability to read other people’s emotions and react in an appropriate way.
It revealed Monarch employees, who were randomly selected by an independent third party, scored significantly higher on levels of agreeableness and empathy, as well as on measures of altruism, compassion, and consideration.
As part of the study, the employees also participated in a timed endurance test where they were exposed to different stressors, such as a very loud, aversive noise through headphones, and asked to press a ‘stop’ button when they could no longer tolerate it.
60% of the Monarch employees who took part in the lab test were able to endure the aversive sound for the full time limit set for the demo, suggesting they have above average levels of patience and are less likely to lose their nice in tricky situations. They are also more likely to have good strategies for managing the frustration and annoyance that often comes with a job in the service industry.
Cabin crew ‘star’ Geri Dargan, who featured in Monarch’s advertising campaign and also participated in the study, said: “We’ve always been known for our traditional values and the warmth of our customer service but it was really interesting to see it actually put to the test. I think everyone would benefit from the test and become a bit more self aware – niceness really should be higher up everyone’s list of priorities.”
Following the results, Monarch has decided make 2017 the ‘Year of Nice’, promoting traditional values of chivalry, courtesy and respect. As part of this, the airline and holiday is offering customers free upgrades simply for being nice.
Selected nice customers will be rewarded for polite behaviour with extra leg room seats – offering up to 15% more space and with a value of over £100 (for two people) – as well as priority check in.
Nils Christy, Chief Operating Officer at Monarch, added: “We are often described as the nicer airline and holiday company and we pride ourselves on this. Our customer services staff are already nice – now they can reward those who are positively nice to them too.”
Subject to availability, Monarch customer services staff are allowed to give away a certain amount of the free upgrades to extra leg room seats and priority check in every week.
Nils continued: “Everyone benefits from niceness. Planes depart more punctually, staff and customers are happier and it improves the travelling experience for everyone.”
Take a look at the video of our experiment:
Read the full report and results here
For nicer flights and holidays visit www.monarch.co.uk
How the Monarch Nice Initiative works
- Our customer services staff have up to a total of ten upgrades or priority check ins per week to give to customers who are especially nice over the phone
- The upgrades or check ins refer to a whole booking (eg to two people who are travelling together)
- Seat upgrades are strictly subject to availability and are at the absolute discretion of the customer services team
- The customer must be aged 18 years or over
- The upgrade or priority check in is non-transferrable and is to be used by the chosen customer only
- No cash alternative is available
- The upgrade may not be re-presented as a prize for any other prize draw or similar
- General flight terms and conditions apply and can be found at http://www.monarch.co.uk/terms/flights.