WHEN you read about Ryanair, it makes you really proud of British public transport systems, doesn’t it?
EasyJet is celebrating 20 years as arguably everyone’s favourite no-frills airline. But it’s Ryanair in its kinder, gentler new incarnation, without CEO Michael O’Leary fronting it, that’s the more surprising.
In the past I’ve avoided it, and only used it when there was no alternative. However, having recently returned to Spain courtesy of Ryanair (no alternative), I was amazed at the change.
Those of you familiar with Ryanair will recall the bad old days, the no-frills flights but with all the usual trimmings. The constant hard sell from the moment you board, snacks, scratch cards, duty-free goods, babies from Eastern European orphanages. I made the last bit up but you get the drift.
Overall, it’s hugely improved. And it’s always been punctual, efficient and does what it says on the tin. Heck, when you read about Ryanair, it makes you really proud of British public transport systems, doesn’t it?
Travel around the UK by train, for instance, and you can buy a ticket at any of the many ticket offices from friendly staff. You never have to queue. There are so many helpful staff. The toilets are always open and clean. And you’re guaranteed a seat.
Trains never run late, there are no cancellations or delays and the system’s never down for engineering work. And prices are SO reasonable!
Buzz Aldrin revealed that his expenses claim for going to the moon was $33.31. I mean, it’d be daft if it’d be cheaper to go to the moon than to Birmingham by train, wouldn’t it?
Seriously, though, it’s interesting how Ryanair serves another purpose, it distracts us from the fact that we put up with far worse conditions on the UK’s public transport systems.
We pay more to stand on the Tube for 30 minutes just to go a few miles, always late, forced to listen to irritating PA systems informing us that despite the breakdown of half the lines, the rest of the service is ‘good’. And, unlike with Ryanair, we have no choice of carrier!
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Cudeca charity.