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Why does everyone get at ryanair and easyjet

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Why does everyone get at ryanair and easyjet

Old 1st Nov 2001, 18:12
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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!!
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Old 1st Nov 2001, 18:47
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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.
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 00:39
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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!
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Old 3rd Nov 2001, 20:16
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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 [list][*]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.
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Old 3rd Nov 2001, 22:22
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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.
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 04:12
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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?!
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 18:06
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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?
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 19:59
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Flanker,

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

Yes, I am a hypocrite.
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Old 6th Nov 2001, 01:31
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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".
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Old 6th Nov 2001, 10:30
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J Class

Just so there can be no misunderstanding please can you tell us if you are suggesting that BA is safer than EZY.
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Old 6th Nov 2001, 11:08
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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
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Old 6th Nov 2001, 13:42
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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).
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 00:52
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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.
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 11:38
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Gypsy

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

[ 07 November 2001: Message edited by: Flanker ]
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 12:26
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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 ]
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