Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ryanair Tutorial: How To Pack Your Bag

Ryanair has had a little trouble lately (what's new?), this time they had to deal with a mutiny of Belgian students.  They revolted over baggage charges (nothing new there) and a group of them were put off their flight.  No doubt many of you, like myself, have travelled with the world's cheapest airline (plus tax and charges), and no doubt like myself have worried and fretted over the weight of the checked bags and size of hand baggage.   Once in Gatwick airport, going home to Ireland after a trip to Poland I almost had to take out a mortgage to pay the extra baggage charges (the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa was too heavy!). 

But we have since discovered ways of getting around the charges, like one lady who wore all her clothes on a trip back from Sicily to make space in her bags for the souvenirs (she was swimming when she got to Ireland).  Or the blissful smile as you attempt to hide the fact that your slim hand baggage actually weighs a tonne and not the 10 kg laid down by decree.  All the fun.  Ryanair, God bless them, have introduced whole new dimensions to air travel, like the Boarding Time Olympic Sprint and the Flight Cabin Musical Chairs (who needs Strictly Come Dancing now?), not to mention the G-force Dash as the pilot tries to get the plane to its destination early even though they left half an hour late so they can broadcast the little triumphant trumpet as they bang down on the runway...two minutes early. 

And as for Michael O'Leary, the boss, you have to smile he's so unconventional.  He is a good man, I believe, and he has run that company well, even if we do throw our hands up in despair at extra charges and might not agree with some of the company's policies.  But it is thanks to him and Ryanair that other airlines have had to pull back on prices and become more efficient and that's not a bad thing.  And while we complain we have to bear one thing in mind: his company more than any other has to keep a strict eye on safety issues.   I remember hearing him in a radio interview once and he said that if Ryanair ever had an accident, that would be the end of the company.  While other airlines have survived such disasters, Air France for example, in Ryanair's case the accident would be blamed on all the savings they are making and that would finished them off. Quite possibly true.  So far they have a good safety record, but in other areas there is room for improvement...

Anyway, for today's post, Ryanair's response to the Belgian students' complaints about baggage charges: a tutorial on how to pack your bag.....

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