I do love my daily dose of international internet news… France-Soir and The Telegraph are reporting on Ryanair, the low-cost Irish airline, and its recent service-slashing proposals that would really put the bus into Airbus!
Are you ready to climb aboard, fasten your belt, but without seat backs in the upright position? Why? Because there are no seats!
When we’re strapped for bucks (pounds, or euros), of course we’re encouraged to seek travel via the lowest fare, but must strapped mean strapped – literally – to the wall? Or is it a step stool, or a bar stool? This brings “fly by the seat of your pants” to new heights (or lows), as a spokesperson for Ryanair explains the contraption that would enable a number of passengers to fly “vertically,” thereby allowing the airline to fit even more bodies on board.
While Airbus and Boeing are apparently cogitating the necessary modifications (with Airbus considering a similar Chinese proposal, but reportedly less inclined for Ryanair), Boeing has yet to provide a definitive response.
In the meantime, no stranger to moxy, Ryanair’s sexy calendars are doing well enough. Not the usual “fare,” but it seems like anything goes to this outside-the-box executive thinker.
While O’Leary may be flying high with rising revenues on an increasing customer load, that’s in spite of unpopular positions on extra charges for the obese (the “fat tax”), and that’s not all. He’s also suggested pay-as-you-go toilets while in flight. Although both of these recommendations are (for now) back burnered, here’s to the crass creativity of enterprising transport chief Michael O’Leary.
Let’s face it – we already feel like baggage on board when we take to the skies. If we don’t have exact change for the bathroom? Must our beleaguered flight attendants be trained in cleaning up more than spilled soda or orange juice?
Not to worry, this intrepid idea man is giving us back our cell phones while in flight, which feels like one step forward for mankind, and a giant leap for roaming charges!
I admit that I have pleasant memories of flying, albeit two decades back (complete with a cold sandwich Lilliputian bottle of vodka).
Those were days of leaving for the airport 45 minutes before departure, romantic interludes in the Crown Room, the ability to hop a flight to Manhattan on a whim (and pay a pittance on board); that was approaching the ease of commuter rail or a bus ride.
But the “good old days” didn’t propose no seat – toilet or otherwise.
What’s next for transforming the friendly skies into a flying bus route?
Hard to say, but I’m sure Ryanair has something up their sleeves. But I for one won’t be giving a standing ovation to this latest idea.
It might be different if the “bus ride” approach included charming or intriguing stops along the way – a moody diner, Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray engaged in a steamy scene, and then a cup of Joe and a slice of pie.
But no such luck. Just pass my permissible peanuts, please. And one pound sterling, to use the can. But don’t expect me back right away. I really must sit down.
© D A Wolf