View Full Version : Why does everyone get at ryanair and easyjet

28th Oct 2001, 03:03
why o why does everyone get at ryanair, easyjet etc etc?? is it just me or are they not the only companies doing well at the minute, i mean they are advertising job vacancies!! and wots more, it makes me most angry that ba can get away with holding on to slots at such places as gatwick and heathrow when the likes of easyjet want to take them over, bloody well let them!! if BA is suspending 8 gatwick services in europe, let easyjet take them over, ok so u will have to pay for your dinks on board, but it might just save you some money!! long live easyjet! :cool: :cool: :cool:

Di - Hedral
28th Oct 2001, 03:27
:confused: So who is 'having a go' at easyJet then?

:( They aren't the idiots charging people for the privilege of having their CV read. Now - you don't have to look too far to see why there are a lot of people who are unhappy with RyanAir at the moment. :(

It's nice to see you routing for our ol' pal Stelios :o but he is quite capable of allowing the media to watch and televise the inadequacies of the company and still look like the loveable court jester :o :o

In other words, he doesn't need you or us to do it for him ;)

28th Oct 2001, 21:23
life is just one big flight - grow up little boy and read up on the law regarding distribution etc of slots, The answers lie in the very carefully worded text.

28th Oct 2001, 21:58
Mode 7 a bit harsh mate. I work for BA and regardless of the fine print I believe that the company dumped the Belfast Heathrow srvice more as a gesture than anything else. Clearly some other services have gone because we could not make them pay...under our existing cost base...but that is another story.

I don't blame any of the low cost carriers bidding for the slots....use it or lose it is a good principal to work to in my opinion.
Regards Bigpants

Niaga Dessip
28th Oct 2001, 22:10
Just a fact of life in these isles, I reckon. If you want to be popular, don't be successful........ :rolleyes:
Regards, ND

29th Oct 2001, 02:04
Niaga Dessip - something in that. Speaking as a PAX, I like easyJet. I am aware of it's shortcomings, as much as I am of those of BA or VS.

I have to say that Ryan are one of the few airlines that managed to irritate the heck out of me. Without the whole lot, one of their tricks was to bring the departure time forward without changing the information on their web-site and with no e-mail to those that had booked on line.
I made the flight only because I was particularly early and they blamed me for not knowing that they had changed the time ...

Ryan were off my list even before I read about them in these hallowed pages.

Buffet Onset
29th Oct 2001, 02:19
The more "everybody" gets at them the more publicity they get (bad publicity is better than non at all). :)

29th Oct 2001, 02:23
ok mode 7! then tell me why when ba were at belfast did they not let ryanair into belfast???
as o'leary says why did ba not drop prices like low cost airlines instead of grounding planes? and yet ba are the ones who just campagned to save their slots when they are not even goin to fly them!!!!

29th Oct 2001, 03:22
<<as o'leary says why did ba not drop prices like low cost airlines instead of grounding planes?>>

Because BA's overheads would mean that we would be losing more money than they already were on those routes. Overheads at BA were a big issue before 11th September.

However, before we all get too carried away you cannot convince me that Ryanair, Easyjet etc. can make money selling tickets for some of the ludicrous prices that we have all seen bandied about just recently.

Good luck to them in operating they way they do. They employ many of my friends and I would not wish them to go bust but I would not be betting large amounts of money that either of them will be around in 5 years time.

I hope I am wrong.

Epsom Hold 2
29th Oct 2001, 04:07
I agree that the overwhelming majority of posts about low cost airlines here are negative, certainly the impression I get.

I am a huge fan of easy, Ryan and Go (charging for reading CVs notwithstanding...but I bet they get a lot of crap to sift through and the 50 is more of a filtering process than a genuine revenue-raiser). They give people what they want, and in the short/medium airline business that means a seat at the cheapest price. Agreed the 5 fares don't make money but that's not every seat (4 per a/c more like), so if you call and the cheapest one-way that's available is still only 39 or 59 each way, it's still tonnes better than BA or BD (whose 99 "offers" evaporate as fast as the 5 offers at easy/Go/Ryan: 5 at e/G/R = 99 at BA/BD, 39 at e/G/R = 189 at BA/BD, 99 at e/G/R = 459.80 at BA/BD). All my flights with low cost airlines have arrived within 30 mins of schedule, which is the only other factor (other than ) that matters.

I used to think the advantage of paying 300 to Europe on a mainline carrier was industry clout, ie accepting odd-size cargo (guitars in my case), accomodation due to canx etc but I had a problem with my Portugese visa (I'm an Oz) and Go put me through to the Portugese embassy from their ticket desk and were very knowledgable about a fairly complex situation, which was probably more help than I would have expected if I was flying Business Class on, say, Luftansa. And in fact easy and JEA/BEA have both gone above and beyond to accomodate musical instruments (and an antique gramophone, once).

In my experience low cost airlines do exactly the same as mainline airlines except the meal (and you can still buy one onboard if you are feeling snacktacular), at a much lower price and should be supported by the industry the way they already are by any passenger who is (a) paying for their own ticket or (b) has their fare paid by a company that allows employees to fly with a certain airline regardless of the cost, so said employee can rack up points to take the family to Florida. If easy had a FF scheme which built points for Virgin flights to the likes of MCO and SFO, BA's European network would close in a week - I'm convinced it's supported only by the staggeringly high 600 to Vienna / 900 to Athens Club Europe fares, paid by FF card-yielding business travellers whose employers don't have a strict travel policy).

Give em the slots and let em make money.

29th Oct 2001, 04:23
Nobody would have a problem with Ryanair were it not for their motor mouth boss, and the fact that his arrogance seems to have rubbed off on some (not all, but some) of his staff.

Lately though I can see a change happening, as FR's management have begun eating their own young. Realisation is dawning on many. Sadly the monster is now out of control.

As for GO and easy...I have absolutely no probs with them, and I hope GO wipes the smug grin of O'Learys face on the DUB-EDI route.

So that proves I don't have a grudge against 'low cost carriers' per se.

29th Oct 2001, 10:51
M Mouse - the more relevant question is will BA be around in 5 years time, and if it is will it resemble anything like we see now.

My guess is 'yes' to the first bit but 'no' to the second, as I think the remnants will be a long haul operation with a hugely trimmed down short haul presence.

For the record, eJ aren't losing money on BFS.

[ 29 October 2001: Message edited by: Gypsy ]

29th Oct 2001, 13:53

Can't argue with that. Your guess is similar to mine. I was about to return to LH from SH so as a fairly junior Captain on a SH fleet I can assure you I personally am not exactly feeling secure!

One other point let us never forget that whatever the company or the reasons for its demise, it causes untold misery for those that lose their job.

[ 29 October 2001: Message edited by: M.Mouse ]

29th Oct 2001, 17:35
in my opinion i feel that easyjet etc have already won the battle! the comment about ba being different in 5 years is very true. i can c them having a very basic domestic market, easyjet will be the overall winner above ryanair, i just feel it is advertised in a better way. why would ppl pay over the odds for a flight to london from belfast with bmi or brit euro when easyjet gives just as good a service, lets be honest who eats the meals anyway.

i guess the only light at the end of the tunnel for ba etc is that they offer ease of connectig flights, eg flying from bfs to jfk bags would only have to be checked in once, and if flights are delayed tickets are transfareable, but hey... if its point to point you want! go orange :D ;) :D ;)

Desk Driver
29th Oct 2001, 17:52
If ryan & Easy did'nt spend so much time and money atacking everyone else in the same industry to get pax, I for one would be more pro low cost. I quite often have seats cheaper than both. But, I don't market them in a "Are Easyjet Charging you too much!" kind of way :mad:

The Guvnor
29th Oct 2001, 18:08
DeskDriver - perhaps you should ... think of all the free publicity you'd get; it would save a fortune! :D :D :D

dallas dude
29th Oct 2001, 18:25
You can't compare EZ or Ryan to BA because you're not looking at apples to apples. BA is a full service carrier and therefore their overhead is much higher (as is the expectation of SOME of their passengers).
EZ and Ryan are copying the Southwest phenomenon. No one would argue that originally, Southwest's passengers chose to fly instead of riding a Greyhound bus (for about the same price). Over the years, SWA has "educated" these passengers to expect very little for a cheap ticket (nothing wrong with that!). Meanwhile the full service carriers are somewhat trapped because, as the low fare folks grow, they take away discretionary pax. This, in effect, makes their overhead even higher. Almost Catch 22.

Let's face it flying's not the "luxury" it used to be (is anything?).

It's crazy to assume upstart/copycat/whatever carriers are going away because the EU market has plenty of additional growth and will continue to draw even more pax off busses and trains. The real problem will be when these CEO's drop the SWA business model and try to imitate/replace BA or the like.

There's enough room for both styles to exist.
Be proud of whoever you fly for!


irish laddie
29th Oct 2001, 18:54
1.People are getting at ryanair because of there ridiculous so called "processing costs" e.g.making a quick buck.

2.His comments about the aer lingus employees.

No one is having a go at easyjet unless you are! :rolleyes: :D :o

29th Oct 2001, 19:15
In all of this let us not forget to pay respects to Sir Freddie Laker who started long haul low cost and gave the cue for FR to start, who allowed EZY to start who allowed GO to start and then Buzz ...

Desk Driver:
If ryan & Easy did'nt spend so much time and money atacking everyone else in the same industry to get pax, I for one would be more pro low cost.

If BA had not spent so much time and money attacking VS to get their pax, I for one would be more pro BA.

FL330 and climbing
29th Oct 2001, 23:08
Why do people get at Ryanair?
1)50 to view a CV!
2)150 a sim ride
3)15000 for a 737 rating
4)6500 basic a year
5)Half sector pay year 1 and 3/4 year two (Full sector pay approx 20,000 Irish a year)
6)Placing people where they dont want to be and cutting their salary since its cheaper to live there.

Any more stupid questions!!!! :mad:

30th Oct 2001, 14:16
Having left easyJet 3 years ago to work for a major UK airline with good job security (or so i thought!) the airline which i now see as the good long term bet is ... orange!
I hear they now have hundreds of cv's from pilots in BA and the major charter airlines. Amazing how things change!!! :D

Magnus Picus
30th Oct 2001, 14:23
All my flights with low cost airlines have arrived within 30 mins of schedule, which is the only other factor (other than ) that matters.

Safety matters!

30th Oct 2001, 15:22
FWIW, I have travelled on all three of our low cost carriers. My money for the long term is on GO for the simple reason that it offers a superior product at a competitive price.

Travel on Easy or Ryanair is for the penny-pinching morons whose sources of income will soon be drying up.

The discerning budget traveller will remain, but will require far better treatment than Easy or Ryan seem able or willing to give them.

Go GO!!!

30th Oct 2001, 17:41
It's quite obvious that not evryone does get at Easy or ryan. Both managements are than willing to put their heads above the parapet and if you do that yopu will get shot at. However, I do have my doubts about Ryans latest ploys. Add to this the advantage of the Irish FTLs and the famous (or infamous) "levl playing field" goes out the window. What is important is that this is a reaaly new amrket. What needs to be asked is how many of the passengers flying from Glasgow to Belfast with Easy and Go have actually been on an aircraft before? This will expand into other routes ifthey play it right. Long live flying. It's the second best thrill in the world!

Desk Driver
30th Oct 2001, 17:54
If BA had not spent so much time and money attacking VS to get their pax, I for one would be more pro BA.

I whole heartedly agree Pax Boy. Please don't think I'm pro BA, as they've made it quite clear they don't want the Travel Trade and as soon as possible they will ditch us.

30th Oct 2001, 18:11
The "majors" have had the market carved up for a very long time,Ryan and Easy are a thorn in their side.

They offer the pax cheap travel,their overheads are much lower than the majors,the result is dramatic growth,great opportunities for those involved including OLeary and The Big Easy,neither who are short of a bob or two.

However,eventually,the state carriers will hurt,and this perceived predatory business tactic is resented by the fat cats who have enjoyed the cream and their employees.

I say good luck to them all,but business is business and only the really well managed operators will survive,BA,AF and LH.Those airlines have high costs,but will be around longer than those less well managed.

Until then,if slots are available,let them be up for grabs for all takers,and see how they fare,competition is best for all,I believe.The strong will survive,regardless.

30th Oct 2001, 19:20
DD: Thanks, I was really sad that BA did the dirty tricks - as they had no need to. They had (and have) an excellent product.

Travel on Easy or Ryanair is for the penny-pinching morons whose sources of income will soon be drying up.

The discerning budget traveller will remain, but will require far better treatment than Easy or Ryan seem able or willing to give them.

I am not so sure, eventhough I agree that GO is good product. Certainly, in my experience, both EZY and GO are better than FR. However, FR is based in a country where he has had the home market to himself, that always make life easier!

EZY and GO sensibly keep to separate home fields. I might use GO more but they are 1hr 10min drive away at STN but LTN is only 15mins away! Catchment area means a LOT. All the talk of EZY leaving LTN was always a nonsense, he has his own patch and no point in going head-to head tiwth GO (and Buzz).

When speaking with other pax on EZY (both biz and leisure) I have found a very high level of satisfaction. If things go wrong, they say, "It's a cheap ticket, you must expect that."

This leaves the main carriers in a double bind. 1) Their customers are leaving for low-cost carriers 2) When they do pay for BA and their like, the pax REALLY expect something for their money!!

Epsom Hold 2
31st Oct 2001, 06:47
DD said: "Travel on Easy or Ryanair is for the penny-pinching morons whose sources of income will soon be drying up." If the only thing that will save BA is a recession and their own deep pockets, the low cost airlines have already won.

Magnus Picus said, "Safety matters." That was after I said all that mattered to most pax was price and punctuality. Well, for me and most people, safety is assumed as an invariable across all airlines. And on the whole I think that is fair. Does anyone here really think easy, Go and Ryan are in any way LESS SAFE than BA or BD? Thought not.

31st Oct 2001, 13:55
Epsom Hold 2

You are probably quite right in making the observation that: [F]or me and most people, safety is assumed as an invariable across all airlines.That you and most people make this assumption is merely a measure of your, and most people's, gross ignorance of aviation matters.

It might be better that you concentrate upon your stated alternative interests of music and writing than to comment so naively upon things about which you clearly know so very little.

The answer to your rudely self-answered question is a resounding YES. :eek:

[ 31 October 2001: Message edited by: tilii ]

Magnus Picus
31st Oct 2001, 14:00
Well, for me and most people, safety is assumed as an invariable across all airlines.
How do you judge this invariable yet invisible asset? One can look at their history of incidents/accidents which is defined as the 'autopsy approach', or alternatively, the airline can take more pro-active steps to ensuring a safe(r) environment for its' passengers.

Most large airlines employ great resources to monitoring trends in the way their aircraft are operated via use of equipment that 'flags' transgressions in the normal operating procedure, as well as software that makes the deferral of defects by the hard-pressed engineers, harder to grant.
Consequently these aspects make (IMHO) an airline safer.
These 'tools' are avoided in the Ryanairs of this world as they COST MONEY.

I am not, in any way, questioning the professionalism or integrity of employees of the airlines we are debating, but it is the constant pressure of Cost containment that was the greatest contributor to the demise of ValueJet.

Human error caused by...
Time pressure
Outdated safety systems
..ARE variables to safety, ask Railtrack.

Epsom Hold 2
31st Oct 2001, 15:15
easy/Go/Ryan must adhere to the same regulations and inspections as BA/EI/BD, right? Obviously BA have a huge maintenance base with decades of experience and black boxes on the aircraft that monitor equipment and pilot performance (rate of rotation etc) which easy et al may lack but nonetheless I still don't accept that easy/Go/Ryan are less safe (they may lack the operational history and experience of BA but surely their third party maintenance subcontractors makes up for that?). The ValuJet example is slightly spurious, there is mention of the "tombstone / autopsy approach" but an airline don't have to actually write aircraft off to show a trend - a VJ DC9 burned out on the runway at ATL and there were other serious incidents before the big one in Florida. I don't recall anything of that severity from any of our own low cost airlines. Just on the subject of fleet age, there is no comparison. Fleets of youngish or early-middle aged 737-300s and spanking NGs (other than Ryanair's remaining -200s) are hardly the same as VJ's clapped out 30 year old DC9-30s.

Perhaps if I'm so sure about the safety of European low cost airlines I didn't need to post here but I was curious about others' reactions. Anyone else? Tilii, I don't think my "rudely self answered question" was as rude as your dismissive reply.

31st Oct 2001, 15:19
Four points:

1. The difference in prices between , say easy and BA is not just due to a meal. This is a myth perpetuated by the marketing departments of some budget airlines. In the US (correct me if I'm wrong) southwest provide free coffee and snacks.

2. As for budget airlines taking slots at heathrow, this is simply a nice piece of spin. Belfast to LHR with a budget carrier would be expensive. For many many reasons, which most in this industry already know, LHR is expensive to operate from whether you are a budget carrier or not. Easy 'fans' somehow think that easyjet can make the same level of fares profitable from LHR as they do from luton. It really isn't so.

3. If you are a 'fan' of budget airlines always do check the fares on other airlines, as you will frequently find cheaper fares. If you only ever book a flight via one budget airlines website (because they say they are cheaper) without checking other flight prices then you are a fool. Their is no point in quoting fares here, because people from the respective marketing and sales departments will just quote cheaper fares on other routes. I recently got a quote from a so called'traditional'(BA) carrier which was almost 100 cheaper than Ryanair. If you really want a cheap flight check out the prices available from all the airlines (including budgets) serving the route, otherwise you will be ripped off. No one airline is always cheaper (despite what you may hear), always check out all prices (pretty easy on the net).

4. The reason why people have 'had a go' at certain budget airlines recently is because of the way in which they have treated staff, and the crass way in which they have used redundancy of many airlines ataff to gloat about 'success' (shareholder hype). Last night on TV, the staff on a cruise line were shown to be paid 1 per day, and relied on tips and very long hours to make a decent wage- there is at least one budget airline I could think of who would do this if given half the chance.

Wee Weasley Welshman
31st Oct 2001, 15:34
Just a point. Go aircraft have Flydras installed which monitors hundreds of parameters for the purpose of flight safety. We also fly BA procedures and BA SOP's.

Its a complete red herring to think safety is a cost saving in low cost aviation. The very first low cost carrier to have a major accident will be bust by the end of the week. Whereas BA or any major world player can suffer a hull loss without 100% of their customers choosing to fly with someone else next time.

This fact would make a ridulous basis for arguing that BA is unsafe to fly with.

Which is why its ridiculous to speculate that Ryan, easy or Go are less safe.



31st Oct 2001, 19:57
WWW: For myself, i don't think that easy and GO are less safe but the problem with ANY new company is that it does not yet have 'corporate memory'.

An organisation - commercial - or a govt dept - is vulnerable to mistakes, whilst it builds up experience. It does not matter if the majority of employees in the new company are all experienced in the field (airline/govt) because, until they have worked together and made mistakes together, they will not build up a corporate memory. Each organisation functions in its own way and experience can be transferred but will have to be fitted into the new company.

This means someone saying, "Hang on - last time we did this it all stopped working the next day. What he have to do is ..."

That does not mean that low cost airlines are more likely to major failures and hull loss but, I suggest, start-up companies are more likely to have that kind of problem. I stress again - in any field.

Wee Weasley Welshman
31st Oct 2001, 20:06
A counter argument would be that old established airlines suffer from a culture of complacency.

Which would be equally spurious.



The Guvnor
31st Oct 2001, 20:22
Don't forget there's a world of difference between what airlines can get away with in the States (which has a remarkably poor standard of maintenance, as anyone that's ever inspected any aircraft coming in from a US carrier will be well aware of) and here in the UK where the CAA has a fearsome reputation.

irish laddie
31st Oct 2001, 22:23
Remember ValuJet.
They were a low cost airline,cut costs too much and look what happened.
It must be going on on this side of the pond too! ;) ;) ;) :D :confused: :confused:

1st Nov 2001, 01:28
Irish Laddie - Bravo; very well thought out comment.

Let me think: has any large national carrier ever had an accident? Oh yes; well thats it then - must have been because they were too big and therefore lets not fly national carriers anymore. If it could happen to one, it could happen again.

As for the suggestion that eJ and others are less safe than other airlines; I can speak for eJ my current (and 4th) employer and that is rubbish. eJ trains to high standards and does not cut corners in the training department. In addition, pilots have been recruited from the whole spectrum of sources including very inexperienced F/O's from the ATP Academy through to DE Capts from major international scheduled operators.

I think someone mentioned eJ and other low cost carriers gloating at the poor fortune of others. I don't think they have gloated but they have put forward their case against subsidies etc which they are entitled to do.

Finally, even if there had been any gloating it would have only been a drop in the ocean compared to the 'sneering' they have received from Big Airways etc over the past years.

1st Nov 2001, 03:59
From what I see, Stelios et al. are geniuses, as they have made a mint flying cheaply to somewhere near to where they wanna go. Good on them, I fly them, and will do in future. It doen't mean I won't fly BA etc, depends where I'm going.

On a side line, I love Easy/Ryanair/GO from an ATC aspect anyway, they certainly know aircraft performance when you need it!!!!!!!!

1st Nov 2001, 15:05
Just did a bit of research....

15NOV NCL LHR BA1325 0950 1100
18NOV LHR NCL BA1338 1930 2035

Total price if booked today - 106.30 (including 5 discount if you take an eticket).

The 'low cost' alternative.

15NOV NCL STN GO614 0800 0900
18NOV STN NCL GO611 1850 1945

Total price if booked today - 77.40

So BA mainline is a grand total of 29 more expensive.

I can see for many people this would be worth paying. For a start, you get into LHR with its myriad of connections - and the HeX may be overpriced but it's the best airport rail link of them all.

Of them all, the train is the most surprising - over 160 if you want to take an early morning (arrive in KX by 1100) train.

1st Nov 2001, 18:12
This thread was started on the topic of people having a go at the lo-costs. In the best tradition of PPRune it has moved around a lot. However, `flypast` returned to the subject in point 4 of his contribution.
It has been implied that Easy and FR `cashed in` on the tragedy of 11th Sept. and this has prompted some rather harsh comment.
However, it is worth noting that `Big Airline` were already talking about cutting back the LGW op prior to that date. This is the LGW op that they set up with such vigour when they eviscerated Dan Air and displayed a total lack of regard for seniority and other so called precedents. How short memories are, we talk of the unfair behaviour of FR but BALPA and the rest of the profession were quiet when it came to BA laying off the top pilots in Dan whilst keeping the newest F/O to be hired!!
They are now arguing that they should be able to hold on to the slots so as to be able to use them when loads pick uo after recovering from the effects of Sept11. In fact everyone knows they didnt want to use them anyway. This is purely to prevent the likes of Easy picking them up and `horror of horrors` making a succes of them. By blocking those slots and not using them they are putting at risk the jobs of many people at LGW, not just those directly employed by them but hundreds of others in ancillary areas.
So now let us look again at who is callously `cashing in` on the tragedy in NY!!!

ps hands up those who were looking down their noses at EZY 3 months ago who have quietly sent in a CV!!

1st Nov 2001, 18:47
How short memories are, we talk of the unfair behaviour of FR but BALPA and the rest of the profession were quiet when it came to BA laying off the top pilots in Dan whilst keeping the newest F/O to be hired!!

I remember being vaguely aware of this issue at the time...when was it? 1990? News didn't spread around the business so quickly then and things could be 'swept under the carpet' quite quickly if the union allowed it.

However, now we have the internet! And, thanks to Danny, we have PPRuNe!
No more is it possible to sweep things under the carpet quite so easily. That might seem unfair to some at FR if they feel picked on, but it's a fact of life. And Mr.O'Leary loves it when we're talking about him anyhow.

2nd Nov 2001, 00:39
I'd like to hear more from anyone who can list real differences in safety standards between EZ and BA - including avionics, black boxes etc. etc. Most passengers are blissfully unaware that the same model aircraft in service with two different carriers can have completely different cockpit equipment options. For that matter, most passengers would scarcely notice if they were in a 737-100 or a 737-500, so long as the interior looked fresh (which, I suppose, is why no one grumbled about the prehistoric 747-100s BA was using on the North Atlantic until recently. So, are there any real differences in servicing, safety equipment, etc. etc. between majors and low cost carriers?

Secondly, I'm generally a big BA fan but yesterday ended up flying EZ to and from Zurich because I balked at the cost differential: 479 on BA vs. 85 on EZ. Yes, LTN was relatively inconvenient but even given the increased ground transfer I've still got about 350 to spend on Christmas presents. Both flights were on time and one of the things which impressed me was the number of fellow BA Gold card holders on the EZ plane. I'm actually happy to pay a premium to fly BA - it's a better experience in every possible way - but in this case I think the BA price would have needed to be no more than 140 for them to retain my business on this flight. It's true, though, that in many cases BA is close enough to the low cost carriers that they get my business most of the time.

However, I'm afraid BA are going to lose more and more of my long haul business too, where I travel business class. Here the differentials between flying direct with BA and flying via AMS, FRA or CDG with KL, LH or AF respectively are also getting out of hand - we're talking about price savings of circa 50% (or, say, 1,500 per ticket). I know BA give massive discounts to large corporate clients, but that doesn't help me and lots of other loyal customers!

I don't think I'm "a cheapskate" and I am willing to pay a premium for service - but like most people here I have not entirely forgotten the value of money!

Magnus Picus
3rd Nov 2001, 20:16
J-Class - I can't comment on the standard of training on the no-frills carriers, and would be very surprised if the standard was not high but I do know that
Ryanair aircraft are mostly(if not all) CAT 1 which means that they are unable to land in fog when the visibility is less than 550m, which between you and me is 5-10 days a year when you can't land.
When a large stable High Pressure sits gloomily over Western Europe, does the Captain blast off with the knowledge that visibility improves as the morning wears on, hoping that the MET OFFICE have got their predictions correct? Or does he/she wait arms crossed in the crew room of the airline with the worst employee relations in Europe?
Will Mike O'Leary sack him/her for insubordination?
Most other carriers can land in visibility down to 75m.
5milesbaby said that these no frills carriers "know aircraft performance when you need it". This implies that the Standard Operating Procedure of having aircraft at a stable speed in a landing configuration at a specified distance from touch down appears to be a lot closer for the no-frills airlines than with the full-frills airlines. Why do you think the established carriers are a little unhelpful to 5milesbaby? Because we are made painfully aware that if we break the procedures by flying the aircraft too fast and too close to the ground we are 'discovered' by our SESMA flight data monitoring equipment and we lose our jobs.
Why do BA/BMI etc install this equipment? Because the flight will be conducted in a safer manner if we stick to the modus operandi that many decades of 'corporate memory' (That PaxBoy describes) have taught us - Keep it simple and you won't have incidents.
The last time I flew with a No-Frills airline I spoke to both the pilots who for some reason took great glee in telling me that they did a proper job because they worked to the maximum hours allowed (900 flying hours per year). As a BA pilot I work 750 hours in Europe and that is hard enough. Do you want a couple of pilots who are persistently tired to be flying you around on a foggy day? No matter how professional we are as pilots, if we're knackered, we make mistakes. FACT.

Stan Woolley
3rd Nov 2001, 22:22
Dear Magnus

* easy aircraft are all Cat3a 50ft/200m and in nearly four years I have never had to divert for fog!The fleet is very new and getting newer.

*We fly 250kts<10000ft and have done for some time now.We have the same or very similar criteria for stabilised approaches as do other UK carriers.If we can safely be flexible for ATC then good for us.

*In my time as a Captain with Easy I have never flown over eight hundred hours.The BA 767 crew I spoke to last year were less than impressed with their workload!

We were asked to keep the speed up into Malaga the other day as we were being followed by a 'BA'737,or was it GB,its so hard to know?I was surprised how close he was as we cleared the runway but I guess they slow down a lot better with a light load!!

I struggled with it too,but suck it up, things are changing for all of us. ;)

5th Nov 2001, 04:12
Whoops - I wasn't intending to start a slanging match between EZ and BA drivers...!

By the way, I didn't mention Ryanair in my comparison because my experience, especially on punctuality, is so crappy - they're not a credible alternative to BA at any price, in my view! EZ, however, is strongly pitching for business pax, and based on my recent experience, succeeding.

The CAT 1 vs. CAT 3 thing is important. I remember arriving a foggy day late for a meeting in Istanbul a few years back thanks to the cheapo spec of the THY plane I was booked on!

I also think that the BA SESMA system is a great safety addition - it really should be standard airline kit IMHO. But most pax, of course, have no clue that this system doesn't exist among the low cost carriers!

The problem is that, as has been pointed out in this forum before, passengers are bad at pricing safety except in extreme cases (e.g. avoiding dodgy former Soviet and African airlines). BA vs BM vs EZ vs GO? Who cares. In most passengers' minds, their safety is underwritten by the CAA, and that's good enough for them. If the CAA says it's safe enough to fly, then pax just go ahead and worry about price differences.

The other problem is that unlike in say, the automotive sector, it's very hard for airlines to market themselves on safety. If a hubristic BA tried to market itself against EZ by taking a Volvo versus Daewoo approach - e.g. "Fly BA - consistently among the world's safest airlines!" - imagine the embarrassment when the first serious incident took place.

So, as you can't really market safety, it's not clear that being safer than the rest of the pack pays in aviation... which I suppose is one reason why improvements airline safety are usually the results of major disasters, rather than "continuous improvement" to borrow from management-speak. That sounds depressing, and it is - am I beginning to sound like an airline manager yet?!

5th Nov 2001, 18:06
This thread is proving to be more interesting than expected, and as some of the other postings have mentioned safety, perhaps someone would indulge me by addressing a non technical safety issue, that fits in the general thrust of this thread.

Some airlines have an empty row at overwing exits whereas some charter carriers and for example Go and easy both have seats in the wing exit row (albeit minus one). Now, I know that their are standardised tests for evacuations, but surely, in a real world scenario, having open spaces at intervals (bulkheads, wing exits, toilets etc..) would enable more effective evacuation. Get on a full GO 737, and look from the front down, and their are no gaps at all, and a barely discernible change in seat pitch at the o/wing exits.

I believe this is relevant here as most budget carriers have more seats and less space, whereas BA for instance or BMI have room at the wing exits. My memory is vague on this but is it not the case that after the British Airtours manchester runway fire, that it was recommended to always have an empty row at o/wing exits. (correct me if I'm wrong on this one)

I am not asking this to provoke the pro ezy/budget brigade et.al, but as a real point relating to safety and survivability. As someone has already pointed out, Joe punter assumes all safety is equal, as it is 'approved', but their is a real difference in relation to this point. Isn't there? Is adhering to absolute minimum standards acceptable or just shoddy?

Magnus Picus
5th Nov 2001, 19:59

You've underlined my beliefs. I have no axe to grind with EZ or GO. They take safety seriously. My problem is with Ryanair. I have to take the comments, made on a regular basis by MOL, personally. He manages in every interview to make some unsubstantiated swipes at our companies, with no recourse from those who interview him. For instance, today on BBC Breakfast Time, he made no reference to his own company, but instead just sat there slagging off every airline with a flag on its' tail. The British media don't ( and never will) like market leaders for perverse cultural reasons, but the tirade that Ryanair have against BA is becoming tiresome.

Mike O'Leary has a severely shaky basis upon which to attack us 'lumbering Behemoths', such as Aer Lingus, BA etc...Our press office will not break the gentlemans agreement of unearthing the fallibility of operations such as Ryanair, yet I'm not a gentlemen so take it from me, their Aircraft are dodgy, their pilots are in fear to 'whistleblow', and their CEO is a conniving yet highly successful manipulator of the media.

Grrrrr :mad:

Yes, I am a hypocrite.

6th Nov 2001, 01:31
As regards SESMA, regular PAX have never heard of it and have no idea of such equipment, other than 'the black box'. If you told them about SESMA, they would presume that you were using a technical term for the BB and I would take a bet on that. So, in my view, they NEVER consider saftey when buying a ticket from a Euro carrier.

As I have said before, Ryan were on my black list long before I joined this fabulous crew at PPRUNE. I only needed one round trip to convince me that they were very poor. The least of it was, the worst cabin service attitude EVER in 35 years and that includes Continental in the late 80s, before they got revamped!

The point about not blowing your own trumpet on safety is certainly true but I am sure the day will come when someone breaks that taboo. Interestingly, QANTAS do very nicely about their saftey record without advertising it. It was started by the comment in the movie "Rain Man".

6th Nov 2001, 10:30
J Class

Just so there can be no misunderstanding please can you tell us if you are suggesting that BA is safer than EZY.

LTN man
6th Nov 2001, 11:08
I’m sure Ryanair 737-200’s have landed with RVR’s below 550m at LTN. I would put good money on the fact that they have landed with RVR’s of 350/400m. Because of this I thought their 200’s were CAT 2 rated

6th Nov 2001, 13:42
Gypsy, I asked for contributors to list substantive differences in safety equipment and standards between the majors and the low-cost sector (including EZ). So far the only substantive difference between EZ and BA specifically that has come back is the BA SESMA system. Does this make BA a 'safer' airline than EZ? Perhaps, but not by a significant enough margin by itself to make a difference to your passengers (including myself).

My point, which I will repeat and expand upon for good measure(!), is that safety is unlike any other customer choice factor in the airline industry. Passengers can sense differentials in customer service, legroom, quality/existence of IFE and food very easily and can make purchase choices based in part on their desire for these items.

Safety, on the other hand, is taken for granted by the customer. This means there is little incentive for airlines to invest in incremental safety standards beyond what is specified by the CAA. Yes, investing in additional safety may reduce yet further the risk of hull loss (which I think we all agree would be more damaging to a young, low-cost carrier than to a major). But the incremental rewards for such investment are low, especially since customers perceive safety as good across all UK carriers and essentially commoditised in the UK industry as it is 'guaranteed' by the CAA's rules and monitoring.

That's why you see 'continuous improvement' in the obvious customer-facing areas which affect customer purchase decisions - e.g. the relentless quest for a better business class seat over the years - whereas safety improvements take place typically in step changes which take place as a result of airline disasters (e.g. cockpit entry procedures post Nairobi and now the WTC tragedy).

7th Nov 2001, 00:52
Thanks for that - at eJ safety has always been at the top of the agenda and training is regarded by most recruits from all sources including BA as being comprehensive and of a high standard and more extensive than is required by the rules and regs. 12 eJ aircraft have HUD's fitted which are designed to improve flying accuracy and safety.

Stan Woolley
7th Nov 2001, 11:38

Yes the HUD's would be great if they were being used!
Lets defend ourselves honestly please. :rolleyes:

[ 07 November 2001: Message edited by: Flanker ]

7th Nov 2001, 12:26
I know they've been a long time coming but I was told last week by a very reliable source that the day is drawing very close. The story is that the CAA have been to have a look and given approaval hence I mentioned them

[ 07 November 2001: Message edited by: Gypsy ]