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 9 November 2012

Quote of the day - Sleazy O'Leary strikes again

You can say this for Michael O'Leary, he's consistent.

Almost a year to the day since his last outrageous proposal to reform air travel (a distinctly dubious approach to in-flight entertainment), he's back with another headline-grabbing idea.
Michael O’Leary claims legislation forcing passengers to wear seatbelts is useless, unnecessary and insisted upon only by authorities he deems “plonkers”.
Unlike his previous schemes - scrapping the co-pilot and coin-operated toilets, for example - getting rid of seat-belts appears to have no immediate financial benefit.

O'Leary, however, is nothing if not a canny operator; this attention-seeking device is merely a Trojan horse to advance an idea we've seen before - standing passengers on aircraft.

Since his initial ideal of vertical backrests seems to have met with engineering difficulties, his plan this time appears to be removing ten rows of rear seats completely to sell £1 standing-only tickets to European flight destinations:
“We don't have heavy landings anymore. "If you say to someone, 'Look, hang onto the handle there, you're coming in to land', they'll be fine."
It is, of course, about as likely as removing the windows and asking passengers to stick their arms out and flap, but O'Leary's got exactly what he wanted: I wonder whether he has a regular entry in his desk diary: "November 7th; wind up the media again."

Must save a fortune on advertising.

Somehow O'Leary and the Stranglers seem to fit uncannily well together; perhaps it's their blend of blatant misogyny and cynicism ...

O'Leary's seeking business,
He goes on reducing prices
And he's got a great idea:
Fly to Brussels* for a pound
By just hanging around.
By just hanging around.

 At the airport early
 And the staff are grim and surly
 And the milling hordes are swelling
 So a seat cannot be found
 They're just hanging around.
 They're just hanging around.

 So tired, by halfway through the
 Flight you wonder why you bothered -
 If you change your mind about it
 Tough, you're high above the ground
 You're just hanging around.
 You're just hanging around.

 *South Charleroi Airport, 29 miles from the centre of Brussels


  1. Standing room in aircraft? Busking next.

  2. Busking? You'd be lucky!

    Ryanair do practically everything but hold passengers upside-down and shake them to extract every bit of loose change.

  3. I am surprised he hasn't yet thought to bring back DC3's with no seating at all. Together with avoiding all that business of landing and unloading and turning round, he just give the passengers a parachute and shove them out.

  4. I used Ryan Air Bristol to Beziers a few times during my last year in France. If you are prepared to play the game - and get a prepaid mastercard - you can indeed get a flight for a fiver. I took great delight in not giving them a penny more.

  5. Oddly enough, Demetrius, I had the same mental picture when I read the article.

    LR, There is a certain grim satisfaction in knowing O'Leary has only managed to screw the bare minimum out of you.

    My Pa-in-law contrived an elaborate scheme this summer when they flew with Ryanair to France for a family holiday; we picked up their luggage a few weeks earlier and took it in our car on a cross-channel ferry to meet them there.

    It required vast amounts of organisation but the principle of the thing provided immense satisfaction all round.


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