Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Friday, 29 April 2011

Ryanair on a G-string

Some recent research for a post or two on Ryanair led me to their website and their magazine - and something of a surprise. O'Leary's organ (ryanairmag.com if you really must) lists its contents; Home/Magazine/City Guides/Events/Competitions/Girls/Videos/Blog...hold on a minute - Girls? Girls?

This turns out to be a link to 'Girls of Ryanair', a retrospective of Ryanair calendars featuring bikini-clad (presumably) employees. As a demonstration of the objectifiaction of female staff, this surely takes some beating, though it's entirely in keeping with Michael O'Leary's casual assumption that pilots are male and cabin crew female.

"If the pilot has an emergency, he rings the bell, he calls her [the stewardess] in.”

Bad enough that the company proudly produces a calendar of this sort, but to put all the back numbers in a special magazine section marked 'Girls' suggests that Ryanir is operating in some sort of 70s timewarp and puts a whole new slant on the word 'cheap'.

Meanwhile, though Fascinating Aida did it far better, this has been rattling round in my head:



Now Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair are the cheapest, they declare,
They’ll whisk yez off to foreign parts, eight quid will take you there,
It’s only when you’ve made your choice that things start turning sour;
There’s a load of charges you’ve still to pay once they’ve got you in their power.

There’s check-in charges, booking fees and lots of bills between
For Ryanair won’t rest until they’ve truly picked you clean,
Don’t ever think the price they advertise will get you there;
'Tis one hell of an operation, is O’Leary’s Ryanair.

O’Leary had a big idea, he thought it really grand;
Increase cabin capacity and make the punters stand,
And another money-making scheme where the choice you face is stark;
A euro to use the toilet or hold on till you disembark.

O’Leary he said ‘what do you do if the pilot gets the shakes?
There’s no need for a co-pilot up front, for heaven’s sakes;
I’ve studied every Airport film and seen that, to be sure,
The stewardess can fly the plane if she’s told what the joystick’s for’.

There’s check-in charges, booking fees and lots of bills between
For Ryanair won’t rest until they’ve truly picked you clean,
Don’t ever think the price they advertise will get you there;
'Tis one hell of an operation, is O’Leary’s Ryanair.

O’Leary he got in trouble when the ASA had a strop,
His claims of eight quid tickets to the sun would have to stop;
The poster of girl in a bikini didn’t warn
That the sun would be shining in Norway on a February morn.

O’Leary’s made his fortune but three fellas at least are quits;
Each won a car on a scratchcard and, bedad, was thrilled to bits,
But as O’Leary made the call to authorise the cheque
Anyone standing near enough might have heard him mutter, ‘Oh Feck!’

There’s check-in charges, booking fees and lots of bills between
For Ryanair won’t rest until they’ve truly picked you clean,
Don’t ever think the price they advertise will get you there;
'Tis one hell of an operation, is O’Leary’s Ryanair.

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