THE FOUNDER OF EASYJET, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is to set up a new airline called Fastjet (it must have taken him ages to think of the name).
He’s even set up a website….With nothing on it except a promise of ‘coming soon!’ on a vivid background not dissimilar from easyJet‘s bright orange branding.
He’s capitalising on the boom of budget airlines. But among the array of contenders, EasyJet is my choice out of the no-frills, nothing-but-a-basic-seat-in-the-sky-and-an-overpriced-under-filled-sandwich airlines. And I’d choose it over Ryan Air any day.
After six years working in the travel industry, may I take this opportunity to have a little rant about Ryan Air?
Well, If you were working in travel during demanding days such as the ash cloud when you needed the airlines to support you, you’ll know what I mean.
If you were one of the unlucky passengers who unknowingly flew out to your holiday destination under their lightly gripped wing, you’ll recall how they dropped you in it and be nodding your heads emphatically.
Whereas easyJet and most other airlines expressed care and concern about their travellers stuck in all corners of the globe, Ryan Air’s attitude was more like, you chose to fly out there, now get yourself back.
Also, Ryan Air aren’t demure about their ruthless desire to get hold of their customers with their money-grabbing hands and squeeze every penny out of them, whether it’s a fine for not checking in online or having baggage that weighs a smidgen over the limit.
Thinking it can’t get any worse?
Well, it sure can. This month, Ryan Air announced it would charge a fee if one of their flights is purchased with any other credit card apart from their own precious prepaid MasterCard.
You almost feel like playing pitiful background music on their infamous harp logo. Maybe that’s why they have it?
So why do we fly with them?
They touch down in places other airlines can’t reach, such as Dusseldorf Weeze airport in Germany and Nimes airport in France. They are able to offer lower fares to these cities as they are not the main airports for reaching these countries.
But the main reason is, they have boisterous bartering skills and power and demand low landing and handling fees, which mean cheap fares to lure in bargain hunters. And they even play airports off one another, threatening to withdraw their services from one airport in favour of another that gives them the prices they want. Yes, they’re hateful to everyone, not just their customers.
Do they have unresolved issues of which we bear the brunt?
It’ll be interesting to see what Fastjet have to offer, although there’s some speculation that the Greek entrepreneur created the airline after disputes with the operators of easyJet.
Let’s hope he doesn’t take out his rage on his customers…