Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006. No paid posts.



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12.07.2011

The dystopian future has arrived, and it’s called Ryanair

Ryanair plane

This was too priceless to share only with my Tumblr readers. It’s an excerpt from a review of Ryanair, sent to my friend Nadine Isler, who has since published (with permission) on her site:

Entering the cabin, I was greeted by a blindingly bright yellow ceiling that would be more at home on the back of a poisonous tree frog or gay banana. Below stretched a farm of sterile blue plastic seats that looked like they were taken straight out of a Smurf porno. As if plastering the overhead lockers in tacky advertising wasn’t enough—we’re talking ‘buy buy buy, free free free, super extra premium gin rum vodka’—they had actually glued the safety information cards to the back of the seats, completing a scene that had all the ambience of a South Auckland brothel.

The whole piece is here, though I am at a loss on what a ‘gay banana’ is.
   Everything I have heard of the airline turns me off, though I have never flown it. I can tolerate some budget concessions, such as having to pay for your meals, but most (negative) stories are along the same lines as the review on Nadine’s site (though not as humorous). The taxes and inconvenience are sufficient turn-offs. As I was raised to believe that good manners should be free, the review indicates that Ryanair skimps on those, too. But you begin thinking what else they have skimped on. Aircraft servicing? Passenger safety? Pilots with sanity?
   I can’t criticize them for outright deception. It’s not as though the marketing tells you that the airline is comfortable when it isn’t. Everything screams budget, so it’s a case of caveat emptor. Naice airlines do not publish calendars with their air hostesses in swimsuits or nothing at all. If they’re willing to objectify their own staff, you’re not in much hope of getting a red carpet. (Meanwhile, this union has some concerns about the airline.)
   The plus side, which I’m sure Ryanair and other low-cost fliers would state, is that people can now get to where they want without too much cost. It wasn’t that long ago that jetting about would necessitate taking out a mortgage. I remember looking at an ad in 1980, where it was considered a “special” for a family to fly return to Hong Kong for NZ$3,000. That’s 1980 dollars, too.
   The Ryanair stories, nevertheless, remind me that the flip side can go too far. How much more toward the dystopian 21st century of last century’s films do we need to go? Is the rich–poor divide now so pronounced that Ryanair can even fioat the idea of standing on your flights, locked in à la Hannibal Lecter? The battery-hen analogy in the review suddenly seems more apt. Let’s make it as undignified as we can for those who didn’t pay for it. Let’s serve Soylent Green on the flight in a few years’ time (with an extra charge, of course).
   I know, I can easily get political from this point, and segue into water ownership or a similar issue. One rule for the rich and one for the poor. It jars with not only my social conscience, but all the ideas I developed practising and (many years ago) teaching design: that no one should go without good stuff.
   So my impressions of Ryanair are all second-hand. Still, they’re enough to keep me hoping that I don’t have to experience them first-hand.

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Filed under: business, culture, humour, marketing—Jack Yan @ 09.00

3 Responses to ‘The dystopian future has arrived, and it’s called Ryanair’

  1. Bobby says:

    Man, that must have been one hell of a flight to get her to tap into her creative writing prowess.

  2. Himiona says:

    It’s all true. I flew from Venice, well from an airport that was a two hour bus ride away from Venice to London. I booked months in advance and it was 40 bucks. No complaint there. I even paid $10 for priority seating which meant we got to hop on the shuttle bus that took us 100 metres across the tarmac to the plane before everyone else. Once the cheapskates got on too we were squashed like sardines in the same shuttle in 40 degree heat.
    And because we were on the shuttle first we were off last. There’s no priority seating. You scramble for which ever one you can beat the elderly too. I needed my shades to see it was so yellow. And blue.
    I’m sure they don’t mean a happy banana btw. Is it some kind of cryptic metaphor? He does mention porn in the review. Smurf porn and I was a bit pissed about the priority seating bs.

  3. Jack Yan says:

    Bobby, I should have made it clearer, but it was a male friend of Nadine. Himiona, with your extra review, I’m definitely avoiding Ryanair!

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