What can you say about flying Low Fare?
George and I recently experienced a Low Fares Airline for an intense session of ricocheting between France, Ireland, England and back again, and… well... it's very good In Parts.
It was certainly friendly and it was certainly jolly cheap… as long as you kept your wits about you and just said NO to everything except the seat.
Their first cunning plot was to refuse George’s tiny case at check-in, because it has an avant-garde lump that prevented it from snuggling all the way down into the gauge. “It’ll have to go in the hold sir – 35euros please”. (About twelve times the price of the flight).
Undaunted, George dashed back to the car, repacked everything into a supermarket carrier bag, and used that for the whole four-day trip. A jaunty green, strong and remarkably practical... In fact, I may use one next time too – who needs stuff neatly folded?
Then it was with a merry grimace that they bustled us through metal detecting, belt&shoe collecting and baggage poking-with-a-big-stick.
Following that embarrassing procedure you can, if your elbows are determinedly pointy enough, nab a chair for the interminable Departure Containment Area wait, before scuttling across the tarmac and up the rickety ladder to the plane to be counted.
If you’re travelling Not Alone, there follows a tense moment finding seats Together that aren’t over the wing, outside the loo, or in front of the children from hell. You then open the overhead locker, find it bursting with everyone else’s hand luggage because you’re not the only ones saving 35euros… So you squish your case under your feet and use your knees as a book rest. Then you relax and take note of the safety demo…
But Quick! – “it’s Time to start thinking about your first refreshing drink!” (They insist gaily). "Purple90 – it refreshes your palate; quenches your thirst and helps you relax – Purple90 – the perfect drink!" I have no idea whether it does all that or what it tastes like – for one thing I was still inwardly chanting Just Say NO, and for another I tend to lose my balance on the turbulent route to the loo, so do my best to avoid it.
I was, however, sorely tempted to take up smoking their “Smokeless Cigarettes… they could change your life! As well as win you prizes and help children’s charities!” Blimey – what the hell’s in them instead of smoke?
Another must-do was Buy the inflight Scratch Cards – “at a very special offer of six for two!” (Two what…)? Who needs an onflight film when there's all this stuff to concentrate on?
As I mentioned, our trip was many-flighted, but on the final one, I was sitting next to a woman who bought packaging for the local viagra factory (how do people find these exciting jobs?). She didn’t like flying and was nervous before takeoff, so I was taking her mind off it with Jolly Chitchat.
Unusually, the plane launched like a moon rocket with added lurching, and I realised my head was going to come Off. “Shit!” I yelled inadvertently, clutching the seat in front and trying not to vomit. The woman’s smile was wan.
She bravely comforted me, though, when we came in to land, accompanied by a splendid fanfare Duddleunh dunh daaaah! Or something quite like this (whoever Ryanair is...) :-
which is so daft, it brings everyone together into a great grinning blob!
And then - I'm not saying precisely where - but they'd counted us all on, and they counted us all off again.
But we'll be back, and they know it!
The Fenland Reed
19 hours ago