Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Monarch Explorer goes offcourse

As Gibraltar celebrated the National Day weekend, Monarch Airlines were busy telling their entire customer base that Gibraltar was part of Spain! Don't worry if you missed it, they will be telling all their customers who fly with them in the near future too!

They chose this weekend to send out their a promotional email, which contained a link to access the electronic version of the latest issue of their inflight magazine "Explorer".

Within the magazine there is a section on all the James Bond film locations - that can be reached on the Monarch route network. [Starts page 58.]

They are numbered, and after initially drawing the ultracool '007' place in the list, things then take a turn for the worst as Gibraltar is listed as "Gibraltar, Spain" - see the picture below:

Highly offensive on page 65!

So we have a British airline, flying between two British countries (Gibraltar and the UK) in an article about a fictional British secret agent, who visits British Gibraltar, and the airline has only been flying to Gibraltar for well over a decade, but the airline seems to think Gibraltar should be listed under 'Spain' - how ignorant, legally wrong and offensive can you get! [It should just be 'Gibraltar' or 'Gibraltar, Gibraltar' if your template insists upon having a country name and location.]

The article does make several other misleading statements, but none as bad as this.

It concludes by talking about St Micheal's cave. Personally I find it surprising they did mention St Michael's here, but didn't think to include it in another feature within the edition of the magazine called "Going Underground"

Pages 24-25 are entitled Going Underground.
Despite being a perfect opportunity to list either St Micheals, lower St Michaels, or perhaps the WW2 tunnels which have opened in recent years, there is no Gibraltar included. Instead we have a final place taken by Wookie Hole in the UK.

Monarch 'Explorer' seems to be a publication that doesn't know it's arse from it's elbow. And certainly doesn't know how to avoid offending loyal customers.

The magazine seems to be published on Monarchs behalf by Identity Incorporated Ltd [if you want your identity damaged, they seem to be the people to call!] Their contact details are:
Telephone: +44 1273 715 915
The editor is listed as: Gavin Newsham.

The main Monarch switchboard can be accessed:
0871 2250250 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras) 
Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 (UK time)
They also have a webform here:
- I'd suggest the press office.


So we know what monarch have published. And that this has been emailed to their entire customer base, and will also be sitting in every seatback pocket.

What should they do to put it right? Ideally they would pulp the magazines and reprint.

At the very least Monarch should do all of the following:
- Immediately correct the online versions.
- Include a noticeable apology and correction message in the main body of their next email to the entire customer base.
- Print a prominent apology and correction message in the next printed issue of their magazine, and also the same issue as this next year.

That might start to put things right... but they also need to consider the fitness for office of Gavin Newsham as Editor, and whether Identity Incorporate can really be trusted with an aspect of their corporate image. It is inexcusable for an airline this familiar with Gibraltar to make such an elementary mistake.

No comments: