Category Archives: Transport

Why you should never fly Ryan Air

This is a quite superb summary of all that is wrong/disgraceful with the odious Ryan Air, the low-cost and even lower-quality airline.  Courtesy of The Times.

1. 1p flights are never 1p

Even if you strike it lucky and find a 1p flight you actually want to take, Ryanair charge you for the pleasure of paying for it. To the tune of £4.75. For each passenger. Each way.

And that doesn’t even include…

2. The check-in charge

If you want to book a bag into the aircraft hold you must check in at the airport, which will cost you £4.75 per passenger, per way, if you book online and a whopping £10 per passenger, per way if you pay at the airport or over the phone. And it doesn’t matter if only one person in your party takes a bag, everyone else still has to pay to check in at the airport too.

This week Ryanair announced that it’s all change from May when airport check in will rocket to £20 per person, per way. That is a grand total of £160 for a return flight as a family of four.

All without factoring in…

3. The baggage charge

Which is an extortionate £9.50 per bag, per flight. Or £19 if you book at the airport or over the phone.

4. The sneaky weight limit

Ryanair set its weight limit for hold luggage at 15kg catching the majority of passengers off guard.

You’re not allowed to pool bags either so, even if you have a party of four sharing luggage, if the bag weighs 16kg you will be charged £14 per additional kilo. Nevermind that it makes not a jot of difference to the weight of the aeroplane.

5. Queues glorious queues

If you’re still talking to your partner following the inevitable blazing row about why you shouldn’t just pay the bloody charges listed above, you won’t be after being told to join the back of the enormous queue at the ‘payments’ desk.

6. The additional baggage charge

Probably best to wear all of your clothes at once on the flight if you are travelling somewhere for more than a couple of days (until Ryanair start charging passengers for excess body weight that is). Check more than one bag in and it will cost you another £19 per extra piece of luggage, per way.

7. The website is rubbish. On purpose.

You have no choice but to book a Ryanair flight through its website so the airline may as well make it as stressful an experience as possible. The website is ugly for starters, and it crashes. All the time.

Because you can’t easily browse for dates when cheap flights are available you have to dedicate at least five precious hours of your life to sitting in front of the screen and laboriously trying different combinations to find a good deal.

And if you don’t understand what the hell you’ve just pressed there is no one to e-mail. Because Ryanair want you to spend more money and phone its…

8. Premium rate internet helpline

Calls cost £1 a minute to speak to someone in a call centre. Be amazed if you can explain what your problem is for under a fiver.

9. You can only fly cheap mid week

To get the bargains that make the pain of Ryanair worth the gain you have to be prepared to fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, which can rule out the bargain European weekend break. Kind of why you wanted to book with Ryanair in the first place.

10. You have to travel at obscene hours.

Not only are you travelling on a Tuesday you also have to be prepared to wake up at 2am to get to the airport two hours ahead of your 6.55am flight. Or, if you choose a more civilised evening departure time, arrive in your destination at midnight with no where to stay because…

11. The destination airports are in the middle of nowhere.

Don’t expect to fly to Frankfurt if you book a flight to Frankfurt, to name one of many examples. Frankfurt Hahn airport where Ryanair land is 120 km from the city centre.

12. A bottle of water on board costs £3

I know the moral of this story is to buy a drink from WH Smith before you board, but it’s still annoying.

13. Sweaty, plasticky seats

Whatever you do, don’t wear shorts or you might be stuck to your seat forever and forced to listen to…

14. The in-flight musak

Pray that your flight is not delayed before it takes off or you’ll have to put up with the bleepy, computer-game inspired musak that is played on loop as your board, over, and over.

15. The fanfare

Do we really need the shrill fanfare that sounds when/if the flight lands on time? Or does it just ruin the first three minutes of each passenger’s holiday?

16. You can’t book a seat

As if the British holiday ritual of crowding round the baggage carousel isn’t enough to warrant the use of blood-thinning medication, Ryanair invite you to partake in the extreme sport that is racing across the tarmac to get a seat next to your companion. Flip flops are a distinct disadvantage.

17. No refunds, ever

Unless you have a spare few days to waste do not even bother trying.

18. Poor compensation

A report by the UK’s Air Transport Users Council has found that the world’s airlines lost more than one million bags in 2007 and more than 42 million pieces of luggage were mishandled worldwide.

Guess who it named as the worst airline for compensation if your bag goes missing or is damaged?

19. You are always being flogged stuff

No we don’t want your ridiculously overpriced travel insurance, car hire or Ryanair tea-towels. Go away.

20. Michael O’Leary himself

Don’t tell me you can bear to make him any more smug?

By Laura Whateley



Filed under Rip-off Britain, Transport

Bob Crow … a vile throwback

London Underground are a far better organisation that in the days of old, although the obnoxious Marxist head of the RMT’s Bob Crow is determined to drag commuters back into the dark days of strikes and disruption.

Crow has few redeeming features. His self-publicising antics leave his members subject to abuse and held in growing contempt. He moans about working conditions, but where else could someone doing a similar job as his members earn close to £40,000pa. He actively seeks confrontation at every turn.

He was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and then the Communist Party of Britain after the CPGB’s dissolution, between 1983 and 1995, when he left to join Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party. He remains an admirer of Scargill, and in the 2005 general election, he endorsed Robert Griffiths, the Communist Party of Britain’s candidate in Pontypridd, calling him “a champion of workers’ rights”. Crow now advocates a new working-class political party.

Crow does have a role. His presence reminds us how far we have come since the 1970s and how much we have to lose by taking people like him seriously again. Crow’s support for Millwall, whose fans have a justified reputation for racial abuse and violence, sums the man up.

The latest industrial action will cause massive inconvenience and cost businesses, big and small, millions. Crow demands a pay rise above inflation, a reduction in hours and a guarantee of no job losses. That doesn’t apply to anyone else in the land in this difficult time. But Crow doesn’t care less.

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The hopeless Highways Agency

Driving back from a hockey match yesterday I found myself diverted all round the houses because a major motorway had been shut, causing widespread chaos. It turned out that the incident was serious but not enough to bring an entire road network to a halt for hours.
It set me thinking. Why is it that accidents these days require roads to be shut for hours whereas in the past, and on the continent, the authorities clean up and get things going as quickly as possible, only shutting roads as a last resort.
A cursory skim through the web shows that it’s down to the Highways Agency and their slavish obsession with Health & Safety, the bane of our society. Many people may not have noticed the police no longer sort such things; that’s because the HA wombles get lookalike cars, florescent jackets and inbuilt arrogance.

The best summary of these idiots came from Jeremy Clarkson in The Times.

It’s easy to see what’s happening. The traffic officers will have been told time and again that their safety is the number one priority. And that if they are dealing with the aftermath of a bump, they should do everything in their power to ensure they are not knocked down. In some cases, this means they won’t jump into a lake to save a drowning boy. On the motorway, it means they won’t get out of their cars unless the road is shut.

Just listen to the traffic reports. Every day a major motorway is closed while some fat bloke with facial hair and a Napoleon complex picks up a lightly grazed door mirror from the central reservation.

In the past, a motorway was only ever shut because it was blocked by a truly massive pile-up. Now, though, I can’t remember the last journey I made in which I wasn’t wiggling through villages and suburbia to avoid closures. Closures that are only necessary for the safety of the traffic officers.

Here’s an idea, then. Tell the motorway Wombles to stay in bed. This way they will remain safe and we can go back to the old days of having a bump and dealing with it ourselves without bringing the nation to its knees.

And so say all of us …


Filed under Health & Safety, Nanny, Transport

Channel 4: Network Rail ‘over a barrel’

Congratulations are in order to the person at Channel 4 who decided to shame Robin Gisby, operations director at Network Rail, for the company’s disastrous and unforgivable delays today. Shortly before his name popped up, “over a barrel” appeared for a few seconds…so I took a shot for posterity. About time the mainstream media stood up for what the people are actually thinking: that Network Rail are a bunch of incompetent, embezzling cretins – none more so than Gisby, with his smarmy and veneered excuses.


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