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Old October 12th 09, 09:20 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

Roland Perry gurgled happily, sounding much like they
were saying:

I've never flown Ryanair - nor do I ever intend to, mainly because of
their attitude to quoting a cheap fare then chiselling every penny out
of you in compulsory "extras"


If you add together the number of people swearing this, plus the number
of people who *do* actually fly, I wonder if it exceeds 100% of the
flying population? [Ryanair are Europe's biggest carrier, and will fly
67 million people this year].


That's not 67m _individuals_, is it...?

I was meant to be flying back from Schiphol to Luton, on a late evening
flight. The plane had a technical problem, so wasn't available for
boarding. It happens. What SHOULDN'T happen is all the passengers being
left at the gate with no staff, no information, no access to
refreshments - for SIX HOURS. We finally got to Luton at about 3am,
IIRC.


That happens with full-fare airlines too.


The mechanical problems do, yes. They're unavoidable.
The _communication_ problems? No. Not IME.

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Old October 12th 09, 09:31 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

In message
Roland Perry wrote:

In message , at 08:43:40 on Mon, 12
Oct 2009, Adrian remarked:
I've never flown Ryanair - nor do I ever intend to, mainly because of
their attitude to quoting a cheap fare then chiselling every penny out of
you in compulsory "extras"


If you add together the number of people swearing this, plus the number
of people who *do* actually fly, I wonder if it exceeds 100% of the
flying population? [Ryanair are Europe's biggest carrier, and will fly
67 million people this year].


I would never voluntarily fly Ryanair but the office still books me to fly
with them on occasion.


--
Graeme Wall

This address not read, substitute trains for rail
Transport Miscellany at www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail
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Old October 12th 09, 09:45 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

"MC" wrote in message
ster.com
"rail" wrote in message
...



Using Heathrow is much more hassle than anything a low cost airline
can throw at me.


T5 is actually pleasant to use, which is more than one can say about
Luton.
However I appreciate getting there from Nottingham is not the best
journery in the world.



T1 is also not too bad (a little busy at times) but I have found it
OK. As is T4. Never had the privilege to use T2 but T3 is the pits.
Really, the pits.


You probably won't have an opportunity to use T2, as it will be
demolished shortly. But it had the shortest walks of any LHR terminal,
as it's the smallest (and most claustrophobic). It was shabby and
run-down towards the end, and few will be sad to see it gone.

The new T1 gates can have some very long walks, more than any other LHR
terminal, and it's destined to be a building site for the next few
years. T3 has been greatly improved over the last few years, but still
suffers from long immigration queues at busy times, even in the EU
lines. The T4 extension gates (eg, 25) are a very long walk, almost as
much as anything in T1 or T3.

But if travelling by Tube or Heathrow Express, T5 is by far the best LHR
terminal (last week, it took me just ten minutes from the Piccadilly
Line train, up to departures, through security, to my armchair in the BA
north lounge). It also has shorter walks airside than the older large
terminals.


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Old October 12th 09, 10:26 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

In message , at 09:20:44 on Mon, 12
Oct 2009, Adrian remarked:

I've never flown Ryanair - nor do I ever intend to, mainly because of
their attitude to quoting a cheap fare then chiselling every penny out
of you in compulsory "extras"


If you add together the number of people swearing this, plus the number
of people who *do* actually fly, I wonder if it exceeds 100% of the
flying population? [Ryanair are Europe's biggest carrier, and will fly
67 million people this year].


That's not 67m _individuals_, is it...?


No, but what's the average number of flights people make with them per
year?

I was meant to be flying back from Schiphol to Luton, on a late evening
flight. The plane had a technical problem, so wasn't available for
boarding. It happens. What SHOULDN'T happen is all the passengers being
left at the gate with no staff, no information, no access to
refreshments - for SIX HOURS. We finally got to Luton at about 3am,
IIRC.


That happens with full-fare airlines too.


The mechanical problems do, yes. They're unavoidable.
The _communication_ problems? No. Not IME.


Sadly, the communications problems often exist, whatever the airline.
--
Roland Perry
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Old October 12th 09, 10:38 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

In message
, at
02:04:03 on Mon, 12 Oct 2009, MIG
remarked:
On 12 Oct, 09:50, Roland Perry wrote:
In message , at 09:32:02 on Mon, 12
Oct 2009, Ian F. remarked:

I know millions of people are happy being treated like **** in order to
save a couple of quid - that is their prerogative and I'm glad that
Ryanair is there to provide them with what they require.


And to some extent trains and buses serve a similar purpose. It's not
just Maggie who thinks public transport is for losers


The thing is to resist every move by the railways to follow the
Ryanair model. Don't be fooled by the "get what you pay for"
arguments. Low price for poor service seems fine to me, but the
trickery is not, and nor is the gambling.


The so-called "simplified" fare system, plus opaque routing
restrictions, means that train fares are at least as bad.

Currently the railway operators don't just wash their hands of their
customers and leave them stranded, no matter how little they've
paid.


Actually, they do. You just tune out the reports.

"Sorry, train cancelled. Here's your AP fare back. Now find
somewhere to stay the night and get an Anytime single tomorrow. If
you like you can use it now on a train at exactly the same time as the
one that was cancelled ..."


Ah, that's a common one of the "chattering criticisms". But does it
actually happen any more? The closest is probably "You need to catch the
next available flight, which is tomorrow" (or possibly later, but that's
just a timetable thing). A colleague flying Business Class on United got
bumped Saturday (flight cancelled) and had to wait 24hrs for the next
flight.
--
Roland Perry


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Old October 12th 09, 10:41 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

In message , at 09:53:37 on
Mon, 12 Oct 2009, Recliner remarked:
BmiBaby fly that route, but only at weekends, and at entirely the
wrong times of day. So I'll be "forced" to use Luton again, I suppose.


I wonder how long bmibaby will remain in existence?


They are currently adding planes and routes at East Midlands.

I assume Lufthansa will sell it off, give it away or shut it down at
the earliest possible opportunity.


They've owned it (80% rather than just 30%) for a year now, so FSVO
"early". But there are rumours it might be sold to FlyBE.
--
Roland Perry
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Old October 12th 09, 11:24 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

"Roland Perry" wrote in message

In message , at 09:53:37 on
Mon, 12 Oct 2009, Recliner remarked:
BmiBaby fly that route, but only at weekends, and at entirely the
wrong times of day. So I'll be "forced" to use Luton again, I
suppose.


I wonder how long bmibaby will remain in existence?


They are currently adding planes and routes at East Midlands.

I assume Lufthansa will sell it off, give it away or shut it down at
the earliest possible opportunity.


They've owned it (80% rather than just 30%) for a year now, so FSVO
"early". But there are rumours it might be sold to FlyBE.


No, it's not owned it for a year. Lufthansa took full control just days
ago, and only acquired majority control as recently as July, after
settling the court case with Bishop. Consequently, I think it's safe to
say that bmi is still running under its old business plan. For example,
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, the new Lufthansa-appointed bmi CEO will not
assume the role until 1 December.

Clearly, Lufthansa would like to sell most or all of bmi, probably in
multiple pieces, and bmibaby is probably the least valuable part. If
no-one wants to pay anything for the heavily loss-making bmibaby,
Lufthansa may just shut it down. After all, Flybe could open any of
bmibaby's routes that it fancies without paying for the privilege, and
it operates a different fleet to bmibaby. It's not as if bmibaby owns
any valuable slots.


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Old October 12th 09, 04:57 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

In alt.travel.uk.air Neil Williams wrote:
On Sun, 11 Oct 2009 11:24:34 +0100, "
wrote:

Never fly budget airlines. Pay the premium and just go on a normal
airline. In many cases it doesn't work out to be much more.


I fly from Luton because it's local. An 0700 flight is bad enough
without a 2-hour end to end journey to Thiefrow.


And also you have to consider the costs to getting to the airport. For me
to Athens, Heathrow costs about 35 quid/3 hours on the bus, while Luton is
12 quid/1h20. There are times when BA matches EZY on price, but not with
the extra time, bus fare, and increased risk of missing the flight due to
M25 delays.

(A new option is Aegean from Stansted, which is good but a bit on the pricey
side most of the time)

Theo
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Old October 12th 09, 06:14 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

On 12 Oct 2009 08:43:40 GMT, Adrian wrote:

"Ian F." gurgled happily, sounding much like
they were saying:

Did you have a bad experience, or are you just reacting to the
chattering campaign about them?


I've had a couple of bad experiences - herded around like cattle, talked
at by snotty-nosed ground staff like I was a piece of ****, shown no
respect whatsoever...

I'm a reasonably frequent flyer and I'm too old and dyed-in-the-wool to
worry about saving a few pennies to be treated like that. I'd far rather
spend the extra and be shown some degree of care. And this is not just
me - I know dozens of friends and colleagues that feel the same way.

I have always found easyJet to be far superior in every way to Ryanair,
although, understandably, not on a level with the major airlines. I
would travel with them like a shot, but I will never, ever, ever travel
Ryanair.


I've never flown Ryanair - nor do I ever intend to, mainly because of
their attitude to quoting a cheap fare then chiselling every penny out of
you in compulsory "extras" - but I've also sworn off SleazyJet after
direct personal experience about ten years ago.

I was meant to be flying back from Schiphol to Luton, on a late evening
flight. The plane had a technical problem, so wasn't available for
boarding. It happens. What SHOULDN'T happen is all the passengers being
left at the gate with no staff, no information, no access to refreshments
- for SIX HOURS. We finally got to Luton at about 3am, IIRC.



I used to commute weekly from Heathrow to Schiphol in the late 1980s.
I had a similar experience with BA, involving a five hour wait at
Schiphol on a Friday evening, with the aircraft still not having left
Heathrow on the preceding flight. No attempt was made to transfer us
to KLM, which would have saved several hours, and only after many
complaints were refreshments provided.

I decided to reject BA in favour of BMI (called British Midland in
those days). It happened twice more with BMI, once with a four hour
delay and once with a seven hour delay, meaning I arrived home in West
London about 2:00 AM. But the overall service of NMI was so much
better than BA that I stayed with them. Plus, it was only two flights
in around 50, so it wasn't too bad.

My point is that flag carriers such as BA and "full price" airlines
such as BMI have similar problems to the low cost, as do rail
operators. What they all share is that they are all spectacularly bad
at dealing with them, in most cases. However. it was one area where
GNER absolutely shone.

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Old October 12th 09, 06:17 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london,alt.travel.uk.air
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Default Wafted from paradise to Luton Airport

On Mon, 12 Oct 2009 02:04:03 -0700 (PDT), MIG
wrote:

The thing is to resist every move by the railways to follow the
Ryanair model.



In many respects the TOCs are far, far worse.



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