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'Let The Computer Fly It'

Posted September 9, 2010 by BookingBuddy

FO9_Ryanair_pilot Ever watch those action movies where a flight gets hijacked and a plucky flight attendant, with the help of a martial-arts trained paasenger (I’m looking at you, Wesley Snipes), inevitably ends up saving the day? Well, if Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary gets his way, then that could be a lot closer to reality than you may expect.

The controversial O’Leary has recently been quoted as saying that he wants to ‘take out the second pilot,’ as he feels that computers are doing most of the work keeping an aircraft aloft these days. The co-pilot would be then be replaced with a trained flight attendant, who would be required to leap into action and land the plane should an emergency arise.

However, others have criticised his proposal, with some calling the idea ‘unwise’ and ‘unsafe’. A spokesman for the British Airline Pilots’ Association has also suggested that O’Leary’s suggestion is ‘just a bid for publicity’. There’s no word yet on whether Wesley Snipes plans to leap into action to save the day should O’Leary’s plan go through.



Sleep on Your Loved Ones With

Posted December 12, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Pillowcasephoto It used to be the case that people had little photographs of their loved ones in their wallets, to remind them of those waiting at home while they were away on business. Nowadays, most people can view photos on their mobile phones, anyway, so the need for the tattered photo in the wallet has disappeared. But really, what fun is it looking at a photograph that’s at most about three inches wide?

Well, for those who don’t like looking at thumbnail-sized images of their family, how about sleeping on those images instead? The booking site have recently come up with a service that allows you to imprint a photograph onto a pillowcase. All you have to do is email a picture to and they'll work their magic.

Sure, the technology is nothing too bleeding-edge. After all, your standard high street photo store already allows you to plaster photographs all over mouse-pads, T-shirts and mugs. But imagine stepping into a cold, nameless hotel room in a cold, nameless city, only to be greeted by a photograph of your kids on the pillowcase. Surely that makes you feel much closer to them (or gives you horrible nightmares, depending on your kids).

Perhaps airlines that already charge for pillows—such as Ryanair—might be able to use such a service to their advantage? Think of the passengers who would rather pay for a pillow with a photo of their family on it than one with an airline logo

(Photo: Creative Photo Express)

Ryanair to Offer No-Frills Flights Across the Pond?

Posted November 13, 2008 by Zak Patten

The BBC reports that for £8 we could have cheap flights to New York. Where do I sign!? What sane person wouldn’t want to feel like a superstar and go on a whirlwind weekend mini-break to the city that never sleeps? Shopping for labels at Macy’s department store, dining in the hottest restaurants and sipping on a Manhattan in the trendiest clubs in Manhattan? I certainly would. Heck, it's almost cheaper than taking the tube to Oxford Street.

Well this could be reality within a couple of years, as Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’ Leary has stated again that he wants to expand his airline’s network and offer low-cost flights from the U.K. and Ireland to the United States. Flights would be offered from Dublin and London to several cities including New York and Boston. Fares would start from as low as £6 per one-way and would go up as demand rises. However, as you currently do for Ryanair’s European flights, expect to pay extra for things like food, drinks, blankets, pillows, in-flight entertainment, seat assignment and probably worst of all, for checking in luggage. Oh, the horror! What to do with all those newly acquired designer outfits? Hmmm, maybe this no-frills flying isn't meant for jet-setters after all.


Ryanair Employees Hit by Credit Crunch (Not the Chocolate Variety)

Posted October 16, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Creditcrunch In these uncertain economic times, most people probably aren’t expecting much of a bonus this Christmas. And for up to 400 Ryanair employees, they’ll be getting the reverse of a bonus at the end of this year.

While Ryanair’s chief Michael O’Leary may be confident that his company will be one of only five other carriers that will survive the economic crisis, some of his workers may not be feeling so triumphant at the moment. O’Leary’s unfortunate troop of 400 pilots and cabin crew will be made to take a week of unpaid ‘holiday’ this year as Ryanair cuts back on services to and from Stansted. Don’t even mention the word ‘bonus’ to them, as they stand to lose about £1000 during this week off.

Perhaps Ryanair could try to cheer them up by giving them packets of Credit Crunch chocolates from Selfridges. The Valrhona chocolate-coated honeycomb pieces are being marketed by the fancy-pants retailer as an affordable luxury for these tough times. While Ryanair employees may not be able to afford blingy presents for their loved ones this Christmas, at least they can afford to stuff them with expensive chocolates.

Ryanair Aims to Diversify ... by Buying an Airport

Posted August 14, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Airportbusyterminaldef What else is there to do when you’re already the biggest fish in a small, crowded pond? Why, take it over and name it after yourself—thus ensuring lead-fish status for a long, long time—of course!

Low-cost carrier Ryanair, already the biggest tenant in little ol' Stansted Airport (only one terminal!), is rumoured to be interested in purchasing the airport. Stansted is currently owned by BAA, which owns the other airports in the Southeast.

Reactions to the rumour have been mixed, with many viewing it as a joke. However, with Ryanair already generating most of their revenue from various affiliated businesses such as car rental, holiday insurance, hotel bookings and even online gambling, who’s to say that Michael O’Leary, the airline's chief exec, isn’t being well and truly serious?

Airports are, after all, a business, and it seems highly plausible that an aggressive company like Ryanair could be considering getting their fingers into the airport pie. (Mmm, airport pie.) Airports are expensive things to maintain though, so let’s just hope that Ryanair keep passing their low-cost prices on to us should the deal go through.

(Photo: PhotoDisc)

Fly With European Airlines and Pay Peanuts for Peanuts

Posted July 25, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Peanuts_2 With the summer holiday season now in full swing, it’s likely we’ll be seeing fewer American tourists around these parts for the next few months. The reason for this—sky-high fuel prices and a weakening dollar.

While European airlines like Ryanair can afford to sell tickets for £1 and British Airways have just launched the business-class-only Open Skies, U.S. airlines are facing the dreaded credit crunch (which I have only just discovered is not a chocolate bar).

Speaking of tasty snacks, some U.S. carriers have implemented belt-tightening measures which include having passengers pay for all the food and drink they receive onboard. As if to rub salt in their wounds, their cheap European competitors often provide at least a complimentary packet of peanuts.

Faced with the choice of paying through your nose and having to starve through a three-hour flight, or paying peanuts and getting a free packet of peanuts, what airlines do you think most people will go with? I guess I’ll be spending all of my summer holidays on this side of the Pond this year.

(Photo: The Nut Factory) 

Flying Now More Like Watching Ad-only TV

Posted July 22, 2008 by BookingBuddy

It used to be that (as long as you didn’t open the in-flight magazine) being in an airplane was probably the one place you could escape from the advertising onslaught.

Now, however, as if following the evil plan thought up by Beelzebub himself, you not only get to be:

  1. manhandled by airport security
  2. knocked over by crazed Speedy Boarders
  3. forced to fight for the last remaining seat, inevitably right beside an overweight, sweaty man

And when you finally settle into the tiny space granted you by gingerly lifting away your seat mate’s stomach, you fold out the tray table in preparation for a much needed drink, only to see an ad for a credit card staring back at you, as if it was silently mocking you. You get so angry you reach for an airsickness bag to throw up in, but what’s that on the bag? An advertisement for Coca-Cola. It’s enough to make anyone hijack a plane with a pair of knitting needles (which, not surprisingly, have been banned on planes).

European passengers might think this is a phenomenon confined solely to Stateside air carriers, however, Ryanair, one of the biggest low-cost carriers on our side of the Pond, has ads on its tray tables and sick bags, and has even made their bulkheads available for adverts.


Look on the bright side though, potential knitting-needle hijackers, and just remember—companies are known to give out free stuff as an advertising gimmick. So the next time you board your Ryanair flight to Mallorca, keep your hands out, not to strangle the screaming toddler two rows behind, but to receive your free sunglasses, drink, or maybe even credit card?


Ryanair Allows In-Flight Mobile Use, No Telephone Boxes Planned

Posted June 17, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Ryanair2 What’s more annoying than always dropping your toast butter-side-down, then have it collecting hair and fluff off the ground, thus rendering it inedible? Well, how about that person on the bus (you know there’s always one) who has their mobile surgically grafted on the side of their head, constantly yammering on in a grating voice about extremely inconsequential matters? (Really, who cares if Auntie Helen’s geraniums are flowering two weeks later this year?)

Well, at least that yammering idiot has been confined to ground-based modes of transport. Until now, that is. Ryanair has just announced it will be trialling the use of mobile phones on about 20 of its planes this summer. And while this may strike some as bad news, if you try and look at it in a positive way, it’ll be like watching a soap opera on the in-flight entertainment system. Except without the images. And without any hair-pulling or face-slapping. And it’ll be the same voice grating on for several seemingly interminable hours.

Alright, so, maybe not much like a soap opera at all. If Ryanair started trialling the use of BB guns on planes, then we’d be talking.


Is Ryanair the World's Most Generous Airline?

Posted May 27, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Ryanair2 With one hand, they giveth, and with the other, they grabbeth from under your nose.

Is Ryanair perhaps the most generous airline around? All right, unlike Flybe, they don’t actually pay us to fly, but customers might be able to fly with Ryanair for "free" in future. Provided they pay for other services provided, such as Ryanair's various sidelines—online gambling, car rental, insurance and hotel bookings.

The company’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, recently announced the launch of a website for holiday lettings, allowing owners to advertise their properties and keep up to date with bookings. 

What this means for us customers is that as long as we keep paying this airline for all the extras, we will eventually get to fly with them for free. So, thank you, Ryanair ... I guess?

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