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Monday, July 6, 2009

never fly Ryan Air

Yesterday, I travelled by train from Saint Andrews, Scotland to Glasgow-Prestwyck Airport in order to catch a flight to Stockholm on Ryan Air. By the end of the day, I was back in London fuming. What happened?

When I arrived at the airport, Ryan Air's check-in staff informed me that I would have to pay £225 to bring my luggage with me. That's about $380. I would then, of course, have to pay the same amount to bring my luggage back from Stockholm for a total of $760. How much luggage did I have with me? It was less than I carried from New York to London in June on American Airlines with no extra fees for weight.

I tried to be imaginative about other options, but there were none. I either had to pay $380 twice or allow Ryan Air to destroy my belongings. They put a figurative gun to my head and said: give us your money or your belongings if you want to get out of here.

At the moment, their website advertises fares of £4 from London-Stansted to as far away as Bratislava, Krakow, and, yes, Stockholm, not including 'optional fees/Charges'. I don't see how protecting oneself from criminals, i.e. Ryan Air, could be 'optional', but that's what they call it. According to Wikipedia, Ryan Air's business model depends on what is called 'ancillary revenue', which means revenue from sources other than the ostensible main service provided, e.g. baggage fees rather than air travel tickets. In Strabonapedia, their business model is called 'extortion'. If you fly with them, you are directly supporting organized crime.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is so crappy. Did you read the Crooked Timber piece on Ryan Air's plan (ostensibly a publicity stunt on the part of their CEO) to install credit card machines on bathroom doors so that they could charge for use? Here's the link to the Crooked Timber piece: http://crookedtimber.org/category/archives/political-economy/


9:42 AM, July 06, 2009

Anonymous 42 said...

I hope the rest of your trip is going well.

12:14 PM, July 06, 2009

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

Since my misfortune yesterday, I have learned quite a bit more about Ryan Air and the antics of its CEO, Michael O'Leary.

The Times of London on April 28, 2009 quoted him as saying that only slumdwellers will die of H1N1 influenza: '"It is a tragedy only for people living ... in slums in Asia or Mexico. But will the honeymoon couple from Edinburgh die? No. A couple of Strepsils will do the job."'

Here he is in the Times of London on August 2, 2008 denying global warming: '"This global warming nonsense is no different to some of the more lunatic movements you’ve had throughout history. They were excommunicating Galileo 500 years ago for suggesting the Earth might go round the Sun. Now the nutbag ecologists say we’re boiling the planet to extinction. This is just the crazy idea for the first decade of the 21st century."'

There is no keeping one's hands and one's purse entirely clean in the modern world, but some corporations' conduct is utterly intolerable. It would be better to pay more money than to do with business with outfits like Ryan Air and its cretinous CEO.

8:27 PM, July 06, 2009


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