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On Stenaline home from Edinburgh. Had an incredibly good time, but… - The tissue of the Tears of Zorro [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Sep. 28th, 2009|02:09 pm]
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On Stenaline home from Edinburgh. Had an incredibly good time, but more on that later.

So, as I said, I'm on the ferry, and wifi seems to be free for all. Strangely, I only discovered that my B&B had wifi on my last day, which was unfortunate, as it would have eliminated the ultimately futile task of finding a decent net cafe (although, seeing as I don't use my netsoc account so much, it's not so bad, these days I just want keyboards that aren't sticky and have their keys the right way around rather than also looking for ssh access). I could have camped in Nom De Plume (which seems to be attached to the local LGBT centre, and would be what I'd love to see outhouse's cafe become, but I know it's not going to happen), and constantly ordered drinks and nibbles while I fed my internet addiction, but the thought of camping with my netbook seemed skeezy, and also not what the holiday was about... which was switching off for a while.

It seems Virgin Trains have hooked up with T-mobile to do wifi there, and both my trains from Edinburgh to Hollyhead were Virgin 'Super' trains (which also have power points for mobiles and laptops in standard class) Catch is, it's not free unless you're first class. The thing is, I didn't feel cheated. I mean, I was on a decent train that offered very nice clean services, and got me from A to B, they even had a place for me to charge my phone or netbook. That's sweet at the best of times, and is bundled into the standard fare. Of course, the standard fare is a bit higher (or rather, you wouldn't get a supersaver ticket that ran through that company - it's been so long since I paid attention to rail fare structures in the UK that I'm very fuzzy on details). For some reason, I started thinking of what it would be like of Michael O'Leary (of Ryanair shame fame) ran the same service. Even the amenities offered by the standard class would be something you'd be paying a lot for. Want to charge your phone? £5 an hour please. Oh, you have a seat? I'm afraid you haven't paid for it. It's third-class with bolt-ons. With ryanair, I feel afraid to breathe without being charged for it. With Virgin, it's a very good standard class, with bolt-ons.

I guess what I'm trying to say is:
Imagine you want a birthday cake. Standard class with bolt-ons is a decent chocolate cake, with no frills except that it's 2-layer and has a bit of that creamy icing between the layers. If you want a nice hand-piped birthday message, sprinkles, sparklers and ribbons. You pay extra. So, if you go all out, you have a nicely decorated cake.

Now, take the O'Leary model. Like Virgin, you pay for the birthday message, sprinkles and other paraphernalia, but the underlying piece of 'cake' is a dog turd. Yes, you can buy an optional bolt-on of "chocolate cake flavour", but even a bit of cocoa (and, no ,I do not speak from personal experience) will change the underlying experience of ingesting canine defecation.

Ah, um, slightly off topic. I think what I meant to say was "wooo, wifi on a boat", not even Samuel J himself could be sick of this motherfuggin internet on this motherfuggin boat!

[User Picture]From: ebel
2009-09-28 03:03 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm going to have to jump in an defend Ryanair a bit.

Over the last year I've taken about 2 dozen ryanair flights to England to see my boyfriend Tom. Most flights are about €30 return. Yes that includes all taxes and charges. If I'm going for a weekend I don't bring a check in bag, nor do I need to pay to get a text message. I also know how to operate a printer, so I don't need to pay them €€€€ to print off my boarding pass. Thanks to Entropay and entering a UK postcode, I have a visa electron card and don't have to pay the credit card fee (that's the one fee I think is unjustified). Recently I booked weekend flights for €10 return.

My auntie moved to London in the mid 1980s after finishing college, like a lot of irish people. My mum (her sister) only went over to visit her once in 5 years. A flight from Dublin to London in 1987 was £300 and my mum's monthly mortgage was £280. If it wasn't for ryanair how much would it be to fly out of Ireland? €600 each way to London?

I think a lot of people compare Ryanair to the way flights used to be. With champagn glasses, attractive air hosts and everyone wearing tuxedos. And so expensive that most people couldn't fly.

I compare Ryanair to other forms of public transport, like busses or trains. Yes the UK trains are great, but compare ryanair to irish busses or trains. They don't leave on time. They don't come around and give you free food. I got a Bus Éireann bus to Galway. It was the same price as a flight to Birmingham. Similar distance. It took 4 hours, since it didn't go direct (you can drive it in 3 hrs). They didn't come around with free food. In fact they didn't even have food on board. They didn't even have a toilet on board. When you compare it to Irish busses and trains, ryanair are better value.

(end rant :P)
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[User Picture]From: niall_o_bhrion
2009-09-30 03:19 pm (UTC)
Ryanair give free food???
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