Friday, November 26, 2010
Intra-European Travel for Pennies
I was able to enjoy a Danish Thanksgiving with friends yesterday for roughly 45 pounds, courtesy of Easyjet.
I can't figure out how european discount airlines Easyjet and Ryanair do it, but I certainly appreciate them making intra-European air travel so inexpensive and the huge plus they provide to living in London.
Some say the airlines are subsidized by local governments who wish to increase tourism, but all I can find to support that claim are low jet-fuel taxes and current controversies over governmental subsidies for airlines purchasing new Aerobus and Boeing planes.
They may make up differences through up-sales for "hold" (checked) baggage, pre-boarding, snacks onboard, and in-flight Duty-free shopping. Wikipedia also tells me that these airlines have followed Southwest cost-saving measures such as low-turnaround, fleet standardization, and, for Ryanair, flying into secondary airports.
There is a downside to the low bill. Traveling on Ryanair makes me feel a bit like cattle, with all the extras they peddle and the herding of the unsuspecting to far corners of airports and then on to planes without jetways. And flights are not, of course, the only cost of travel - we'll see if Easyjet, in addition to expanding to an airport connector service, Easybus, also expands into hotelry. I wonder really whether orange is any hotel's colour...