Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with one of our lovely destination hosts, Russell, who is based in stunning Costa del Sol. What’s it like to work abroad, and what does he get up to on a daily basis? Read on to find out!
Hi Russell! Let’s start with a quick introduction – tell me a little bit about you!
I was born in Peterborough, but I never lived there. I grew up in Newcastle-under-Lyme (the ‘fake’ one), then I moved to Lytham St. Anne’s for three years where I finished school. I then moved over to Spain and eventually joined the RAF, working on the Eurofighter Typhoons for the Northern defence of the UK.
If your friends described you in three words, they would say…
I’m hoping they would describe me as ‘fun, kind and giving’ but maybe just ‘Who is that?’
What sparked your passion for working abroad?
When I lived in Turkey I worked as an activities assistant for an international school, helping children with excursions and sports, which was something I really enjoyed. I even got beat in an arm wrestle by a 15-year-old, but I don’t talk about that.
Why did you choose to work in tour operations?
Holidays are something people rely on to get through the year, and I wanted to be a part of a team that ensures their success!
What made you want to work for Monarch?
I used to fly with Monarch as a child and visit Costa del Sol. I used to look forward to the flight, playing Monarch’s ‘dot to dot’ and colouring in the lion – which proves first impressions do count!
How long have you been working for Monarch?
I started in June 2014 and still going strong as I’m physically able.
What does your day-to-day job consist of?
Delivering the best customer experience in many forms, including greeting customers on arrival at the airport, visiting hotels and maintaining great relationships with our hoteliers and suppliers. During the summer months, I am also the food-pack postman for our villa arrivals, which is a great option for our customers!
What are some of the challenges of the job?
The main challenges of the job normally occur during the summer months as the arrivals are noticeably higher, and this can mean a very busy schedule. There can be difficult and challenging situations, but this builds both my confidence and experience in handling any issues in a quick and professional manner. Also, during the summer it can be challenging to park and stay patient with the…lovely traffic.
What gives you the most satisfaction in the job?
Any customer-related issues that I can solve and leaving the customer happy with Monarch’s service makes the job enjoyable, leaving you with a sense of achievement.
What keeps you motivated to enjoy your job?
Working abroad is a privilege, and to be able to proudly work for a company keeps any person going.
What do you love the most about it?
The weather is the obvious answer, but to be able to make a difference in someone’s holiday leaves you with a great feeling. What’s more, since moving to Costa del Sol, I’ve found myself frequently at the driving range!
What are some of your proudest achievements?
It has to be travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh to help our customers get on our flights back to the UK safely last year, and winning the team mini-golf competition…easily.
What’s your best memory as a destination host?
Apart from traveling to Egypt, I would say working with the youth scene in Magaluf. It was a great chance to see how the other half holiday!
What do you enjoy the most about living abroad?
I love to drive abroad, and I also love that I’m the only one here who seems know how to use a roundabout correctly..!
Do you miss anything about England or home?
I would normally say food or TV, however there is an Iceland here and I watch Amazon Prime. So I would have to say I miss living next to the scenery of the Forest of Dean, along with the obvious answer of missing my family.
Thank you for your time Russell! Lastly…on Monarch’s scheduled network, which is your favourite destination and why?
Lanzarote! Easy island to navigate and nice change of scenery from the typical white sandy beaches.