|Quoting Scutfarcus (Reply 2):|
I agree that these guys are out of control cheapskates... I paid a rather high fare ($70) to fly STN-MPL last month because I booked late, only to arrive in a driving rainstorm in MPL - RyanAir are so cheap they refuse to pay the jet-bridge fee, so although the jet-bridge was sitting there 20 feet from the aircraft, they made everyone go down the stairs and run through a serious downpour. First time on Ryan Air, and I'll certainly never fly them again unless i get one of their truely cheap fares! I would gladly have paid 2.50 Euro not to get soaked!!!
For christ sakes stop moaning, $70 is still very cheap. What was the next lowest fare that you could have got on another airline?
O Leary is right to complain. The DAA is a joke and there is no logical reason to give them the job of developing a secong terminal. The following article is from last sundays Sunday Independant newspaper (written before the DAA charge increase was refused):
''No plan B for airport chaos ''
ARE there no bounds to the reach of the bearded brethren?
They wax lyrical on the topic of gay, lesbian and bisexual workers; their hearts bleed for the third world; they lecture business people on low taxes; they pontificate on health and education; they even offer advice on SSIAs! You name it, they are the experts.
Ireland's trade union bosses insist that it is their job to offer solutions in any debate on the shape of Irish society.
Ireland is their oyster. Not my words, but theirs.
Last week the bearded wonders sent all members of the Senate and the Dail a few "briefing papers". The accompanying letter claimed that it was their duty to present "a reasoned analysis of the problems facing Irish society and to posit likely solutions". It even asserted their "mandate and responsibility to articulate the hopes and fears of the 770,000 people we represent".
A sort of government-in-waiting. A silent coup d'etat.
The letter was perfectly timed. Just when I needed it, a bit of guidance on an immediate problem facing Irish society. And a topic over which the bearded ones had direct influence.
So I rang ICTU about the problem of the week; what was the view of the bearded ones on the sudden 50 per cent hike in landing charges facing the 18m travellers passing through Dublin airport every year? Did they approve? Would they lead the charge for their 770,000 members against Aer Rianta's (now the Dublin Airport Authority's) savage increase?
I paused and waited for the predictable outrage.
I was wrong. It never came.
First, there was silence. Then a feeble: "It is not a matter for us. You should ask the Dublin Airport Authority." ICTU took flight.
It must be the only topic on God's earth which is suddenly "not a matter" for ICTU.
There is a simple reason for their cowardice. The unions themselves are largely responsible for the increase.
I had forgotten: Aer Rianta/DAA is their puppet.
As everyone now knows, the shock hike in passenger charges is being imposed to pay for Aer Rianta's second terminal. The bearded wonders are snookered, because it was they who delivered the contract to build the second terminal to the rotten semi-state, now known as the DAA. They murdered the private sector competition through political clout.
Aer Rianta /DAA already runs the first airport slum. The bearded ones were determined to extend the union-dominated semi-state's empire to the second terminal. So Siptu's bearded Jack O'Connor called up Bertie. The Taoiseach backed Jack. The DAA won cabinet approval. The second terminal was annexed for the brethren.
That is how business is done in Ireland.
But the canny Taoiseach always has his ducks in a row - when he finally moves.
Long before the decision on the second terminal was made, he had appointed agreeable guys to the Aer Rianta board.
No better man than Gary McGann, formerly head of semi-state Aer Lingus, was chosen to fit the bill as chairman of Bertie's favourite semi-state. Gary may be a brand new face on the poster but the newly-named DAA is the same rotten, politically controlled semi-state.
Totally coincidentally, Gary doubles as the head of the employers' group IBEC. The limp IBEC has fallen into line with the unions and the government. As always. So the head of IBEC is now the voice of the most rotten of our state monopolies. Both IBEC and ICTU just love monopolies. So does Bertie. All his DAA ducks are in a row.
We always knew where Bertie and the unions stood. But what about the employers? How did the lapdogs feel about the 50 per cent increase in passenger landing charges, the penalty for passing through Gary's slum?
On Thursday, I rang them too, seeking an answer.
Guess what? They went to ground. The spokesman vanished. I caught him three times, but he vaporised. IBEC ran for cover even faster than ICTU.
And why did they funk it? Well, as long as Gary of the DAA doubles as IBEC's boss the lapdogs are in a jam. Presumably they endorse Gary's 50 per cent price penalty on his passengers, even though it will cost their members millions.
Indeed, on Friday I heard that an IBEC council meeting had actually approved the price increases imposed on passengers by its loyal member, the DAA. Even more interesting was the news that President Gary failed to vacate the IBEC chair when it was discussed. Ho Hum.
Sitting on the sidelines - pitted against the higher charges, IBEC and the unions - were two fallen heroes of the airport battle: Michael O'Leary and Ulick McEvaddy. Michael's sin is that he has proved the value of reducing, not raising, charges. Ulick's offence is that he competed against Aer Rianta for the second terminal.
Ulick and Michael must have winced when they heard Gary McGann's surrender to the monopolistic semi-state mindset at a press conference last week. He revealed his impotence when he made a staggering statement.
"There is no plan B," he admitted in answer to a question about the consequences of the aviation regulator refusing his request for a 50 per cent price rise to fund the second terminal. "It is inconceivable that the increase will not be given."
I have news for poor Gary. The regulator is not in the loop.
IBEC, ICTU, the DAA and the Government are all taking aviation regulator Bill Prasifka for granted. They are presuming that he is as anti-consumer as they are.
Which he is not. They could be in for a surprise when Bill presents his verdict.
And then, there will be no plan B.
What a way to run a business. Well, no one ever accused Aer Rianta of being a business. Except poor Gary.
At the same conference Gary had the gall to claim that Aer Rianta's board was "seriously commercial".
"Commercial"? A board seeking to force passengers at the first terminal to subsidise the building of a second terminal by the same rotten semi-state?
"Commercial"? A board that continues to allow the non-commercial Great Southern Hotels to bleed taxpayers? But the Government and unions want them open; so they will continue to totter on.
Gary's board is not "commercial". It is a politically appointed cabal running a monopoly at the whim of politicians, imprisoned by the unions and supported by IBEC. Gary himself is a political nominee.
It has alienated two of the noblest beacons of Irish enterprise, Ulick McEvaddy and Michael O'Leary.
This week Gary McGann celebrates a year in office as chairman of Aer Rianta/DAA.
One year on the car parks are still a semi-state scam; the foreign exchange outlets remain a rip-off; the queues are worse; security breaches have made him a laughing stock; the Great Southern Hotels (untouchable political taboos due to union power) remain in State hands. Gary is going backwards.
A cruel rumour is circulating in business circles. There are two vacancies on the board of National Toll Roads. Gary is favourite for both. No one in Ireland has more success at creating queues out of thin air and then milking the victims.
The second terminal is safe in the bosom of the bearded brethren. The consequence: Dublin Airport will be a shambles for another five years; passenger landing charges will increase; the completion of terminal two will be late.