Monday, October 23, 2006

Why I don't want Ryanair to take over Aer Lingus

This is one woman's campaign against Michael O'Leary taking over Aer Lingus.

Dear Michael,

I know that you are a very successful business man, and I suspect that you aspire to take over the world, albeit gradually. But I would like to ask you not to buy my favourite airline, Aer Lingus.

I think it's in your interest, and mine, if you take over more sympathetic businesses, such as maybe McDonalds, or Tesco, or the M50 Toll-bridge, to fulfil your life's dream, and leave Aer Lingus alone.

All of these businesses would, in their tiresome, tedious lack of consideration for the consumer, better suit your aims.

Take my experience on Aer Lingus this week, flying to and from Paris. It was pleasant, calm, informative, enjoyable and I paid more, as I want to have a pleasant journey. To me, the journey is a key part of any holiday.

Imagine the lengths you will have to go to just to fit Aer Lingus into the Ryanair school of flight. And imagine the efforts I will have to go to just to avoid flying by Ryanair.

I support consumer choice, and anyone who wishes to travel distances at a reasonable price, whilst to a great degree sacrificing their comfort, is as far as I'm concerned, fully welcome and able to do so, due in no small terms, to your adoption of the South West Airlines model of business. Following Porters' strategy of cost, you have succeeded in making a very good product. Well done.

Unfortunately it is a product that I as a consumer, don't enjoy. I travelled once by Ryanair, and perhaps some time in the future due to unforseen circumstances, may again. However, to be honest, I won't travel by that mode unless there is no alternative, as I thought it was rubbish scrambling for a seat, scary that the staff looked so unhappy and frustrated, and smelly (literally, we sat near the toilets, which didn't seem to have been cleaned).

So what will happen to consumers like me?

What is in it for you to erode away a brand that I'm fond of, and trust. Wouldn't it be more to your advantage to buy another airline whose customers rever and respect you - say easyjet, or bmi?

I don't think many people even want you to, your own customers included. They won't be able to feel contented that they're getting a bargain if you own the competition. I mean, where will your selling point go if you buy the dearer brand? They may be suspicious - and if your price goes up at all, they might think, 'is it because he spent so much on that dear airline he used to say was a rip-off?'

And if you go on to buy all the airlines in the world, well then all airlines will be budget, and then the customer will feel jipped either way. Plus I'll be forced to start travelling by Zepplin, and other more imaginative customers who don't like your service, will probably start inventing time travel or holiday at home, Bord Fáilte will be delighted.

Anyway, my arguments won't convince you, and you'll probably do it anyway.

So, I'll dust off my flippers and snorkel, and the Irish sea won't know what's hit it.

Insincerely,


Aoife.

ps. Also, I think you'll be bored, I mean, who will you have to slag off - especially if Bertie doesn't get back in this time?

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