Alex Massie

In praise of... Ryanair

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Everyone is supposed to hate Ryanair, right? It's the compay that takes the frills out of no-frills and that, increasingly, seems to relish treating its customers with a degree of contempt. Despite this, I think it a splendid airline. That's not just because it can fly one to interesting places for tiny prices (though obviously that's a large part of its appeal) but because Ryanair strips the nature of the deal back to its essence: who really needs assigned seating or terrible in-flight food? No, Ryanair is basically a taxi: nothing more, nothing less.

And, frankly, there's also something amusing about its shameless hucksterism and Michael O'Leary's insatiable desire to cut costs. Hence today's entertaining news that Ryanair may charge customers for the privilege of going to the lavatory. That's not bad, but frankly I think our Irish friends can d better than that. I mean, why are they so generous as to give every passenger a life-jacket for no extra cost? Surely some punters could be persuaded to pay for the comfort* a life-jacket may bring them? For that matter, why not charge passengers for parachutes they will never be able to use?

In other words, remarkable as it may seem, Ryanair has not exhausted all means of raising additional in-flight revenue and, thus, keeping ticket prices down. Readers will, I'm sure, have their own ideas for further cost-saving and revenue-raising measures...

*Almost always - the Hudson river notwithstanding - misplaced and false.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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