Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is Ryanair the real “overcharging rapists?”

According to The Economist newspaper Ryanair's chief exec Michael O'Leary uses the term "One big monopoly" on some days when he describes BAA the operator of the major airports in Britain in positive terms and on other days "Overcharging rapists" in, well, not so positive terms.

As most of the world is aware currently in the UK, the government has increased the security checks in airports to the frustration of carriers such as Ryanair. Also the allowance for hand luggage has been reduced. I guess to make security checks quicker. It all makes sense.

On Ryanair's website Ryanair makes a passionate direct appeal to the Bristish government to amongst other things "send in extra army or police personnel to help the BAA to carry out these checks." and to "also ban these items (hair gels etc) from being carried on potential targets such as the London Underground and Eurotunnnel" to reduce delays and cancellations.

In case you were not aware as part of a new supposedly fairer(!!) way of charging flight costs Ryanair has recently started charging passengers for checking in baggage. So whereas before you could check in one bag per passenger you now have to pay £5 for the same priviledge.

So where am I going with this?

Well it seems to me that Ryanair actually profits in part because of this new reduced allowance on hand luggage. I don't know about you, but rather than bringing less things on holiday, I plan to put things I would previously have held in my hand luggage in my checked in baggage instead.

Ryanair has not increased the allowance on checked baggage (just came off the phone with their 10p-a-minute customer "service" center) so they stand to win revenue from the extra checked in baggage. Am I wrong?

Surely the variable cost for Ryanair must be the weight of cargo. Only before what I didn't have to pay for it in the cabin, I do now have to pay for it in the hold - at £5.50 per kilo no less.

Perhaps Mr. O'Leary would be willing to share some of his hard earned terror-profits with the Bristish government to pay for more security personel?

I would suggest to Ryanair that they quickly raise the checked baggage allowance to whatever weight has been taken out of the hand luggage allowance. That shouldn't cost a penny extra. (and it might make people resent them less for not blatantly taking advantage of the missery and fear of others).

Oh, and Michael, stop having brightly coloured signs printed complaining about every bit of regulation you don't like.

You may not be out of rocks, but your glass house is out of windows.

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