Throughout the past couple of months, I’ve spent a lot of time flying between the UK and Barcelona. Most recently, Haydy & I flew from Gatwick to Barcelona El-Prat Airport with Monarch. We actually went to Benicassim Music Festival and found that although Barcelona airport was 3 hours away, it was the easiest route to fly with Monarch from Gatwick and book a shuttle to the festival. If you are not familiar with Monarch, they operate from Manchester, Birmingham, Gatwick, Leeds Bradford and Luton to over 40 destinations. I’ve previously flown with them when I was a lot younger on one of their package holidays to Greece. I can remember they did the best activity kits for children onboard!
This was actually my first flight from London Gatwick and I was pretty excited to explore duty-free and have a pre-flight Nandos. I was expecting there to be long ques throughout the airport including check-in as it’s such a large airport serving many international routes. We walked straight to the front of the Monarch check-in desk with no que what so ever. The check-in crew were so lovely and was asking about our impending festival experience. We had 10kg hand luggage included but we also brought suitcases to place in the hold. Seven Days at a festival equals a lot of stuff!
Our flight departed on-time and we actually had extra leg room which was just like heaven. We could stretch out, relax and enjoy some in-flight snacks and beverages. I tried one of the Tails cocktails in a can and oh my, it’s my new favourite drink! It was a great way to get the holiday started.
Our journey home was a little different. We had travelled through the night back to Barcelona from the festival and spent the day exploring the city. If you’re looking to do something similar, there is actually a left luggage place in the airport and it’s pretty reasonable for €10 per bag and €12 return on the bus into the city.
During the day, I believe there had been an incident on the runway at Gatwick meaning a lot of the flights especially around Europe were thrown into chaos. The boards were still telling us to go to our date despite there been no plane there or no staff to let us know what was happening. We managed to find out more information online than at the gate. In the end, we weren’t too delayed boarding but we did get held on the runway for an hour. In this time the onboard crew were so lovely and explained Monarch rarely cancel flights unlike other airlines and would rather run delayed than leaving passengers stranded.
All in all, we arrived back at Gatwick around 90 minutes late. Luckily we had a hotel at the airport so it didn’t affect us too much with travelling home. Despite the little hiccup, flying with Monarch was really enjoyable. I think they’ve really got their onboard experience on point. The in-flight crew we encountered were so helpful and you could tell they were very passionate about the airline.
Have you ever flown with Monarch before?
*My return flights were provided by Monarch for the purpose of this review.
Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights to Barcelona from Birmingham, London Gatwick, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £42.00 one way (£72.00 return). For further information or to book Monarch flights & Monarch Holidays, please visit www.monarch.co.uk