Showing posts with label airlines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label airlines. Show all posts

Monday 30 June 2014

Flying to avoid Monday morning traffic?

Screen-pull, Flight radar app 0700, Monday 30th June 2014

Hit the 'airlines' tag below for other reasons to fly...

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Taking pleasure at Aldi & Lidl's Irish business model

A new Mickey MacConnell song going the pub-rounds explains the compulsive appeal of the German discounters...

For non-native speakers, the lyrics are given below, courtesy of Noreen @ Mudcat.  Following which the Youtube version below should present only opportunities...  (Thanks Martin)

(Mickey MacConnell)

Well the wife she broke her ankle when she tumbled off the bike
Leaving me to do the housework, a job I never liked
And doing the weekly shopping seemed a dreadful chore to me
'Til I discovered LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi LidldiAldi Lidldidee.
Now I just can't wait for Thursdays when the specials go on view
I'm the first man to the trolleys; I'm the first man in the queue
For now I know what women mean about retail therapy
It's LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi LidldiAldi Lidldidee.

Its angle grinders and black puddings and a pot of German jam
A lump of heavy bacon and a wet suit from Japan
And a pack of streaky rashers, a crate of Russian stout
And a portable generator just in case the lights go out
Alloy wheels and windscreen wipers and a bag of Rooster spuds
An inflatable rubber dinghy to help survive the floods
Spanners, sockets and fish fingers, they're so cheap they're damn near free
At LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi, Lidldidee.

Now there's welding rods and prime organic beef to make a hearty stew
A hiking staff and spiky boots for climbing Kathmandu
Big heads of curly cabbage to make you eat your fill
Sledgehammers and bananas and a lovely cordless drill
And there's hatchets and hamburgers and there's tins of beans and peas
And a petrol driven chainsaw for cutting bits off trees
Strimmers, sabres, saws and sausages, computers and TVs
At LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi LidldiAldi Lidldidee.

Now the wife has gone ballistic, marriage heading for the rocks
With her crutches and her shopping bag now she's hobbling round the shops
And she's cut up all me credit cards, I'm sad as sad can be
No more Aldi LidldiAldi, no more Lidldidee for me.
For the shed is full of plastic shit I didn't really want
And the gardens full of furniture and the house is full of plants
And I'm living in the doghouse; Rover, Fido, Shep and me
Because of Aldi LidldiAldi LidldiAldi Lidldidee.

So no more angle grinders nor black puddings, no more pots of German jam
No lumps of heavy bacon, no more wet suits from Japan
No packs of streaky rashers, and I'll have to do without
Another portable generator just in case the lights go out
No alloy wheels, no windscreen wipers, no bags of Rooster spuds
No inflatable rubber dinghies to help survive the floods
For I am living in the doghouse I'm as sad as sad can be,
No more Aldi LidldiAldi, no more Lidldidee for me!

Saturday 19 October 2013

A little self-amuse in a long-haul loo...

On your next trip overseas, why not repair to the aircraft rest-room and release your inner artist....?

While on a long-haul flight, when most people would sleep, read a book or chew on complimentary snacks, Nina Katchadourian spends her time locked in the airplane’s lavatory taking 'selfies' in the style of 15th century Flemish paintings...

Details plus ten additional examples here
Thanks to Emma Carlin and Anne Johnstone for link and application

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Safety contradictions at Heathrow?

                                                                                                            pic: Brian Moore
As my plane lands and taxis to the end of the runway, it always strikes me as bizarre that aircraft fuel is stored in massive tanks on, rather than underneath the side of the runway, a mere wing-tip away from a plane that might happen to land clumsily and a little off-centre…(especially if the pilot is awake but absentmindedly following the safety instructions ("..head in lap, uncrossed legs..." )

In fact almost as silly as forcing one through the government's £500m "e-borders" leaky programme* of security checks before encouraging the purchase of 2x1 litre glass bottles of inflammable liquid for carriage/abuse onboard…

* More on e-borders here 

Friday 21 June 2013

The ‘farce’ of airline pricing

Given the Irish government’s decision not to sell their 25% share of Aer Lingus, and the probable EU demand that Ryanair reduce its 29% shareholding in the national airline, it is possible that Ryanair will intensify its pricing competition in an attempt to get the stakeholders back to the negotiating table. This means that airfare pricing could become even more of an unfunny ‘farce’ for even savvy consumers.

Moreover, with even business class flyers resorting to budget airlines in these austere times, it is perhaps useful that NAMs familiarise themselves with the airline pricing process in order to optimise limited travel budgets.

How the pricing model works in practice
To start, new BBC research suggests we may need to reassess some of the things we think we know about air fares. For instance, many of us assume that prices only go up as the date of departure nears.

Prices on routes from London to major European cities including Rome, Barcelona and Berlin were monitored by the BBC every day for six weeks. The aim was to track how fares moved, rather than to compare prices.

The findings show that fares can actually fall and then rise a number of times during the period leading up to a flight. For instance, the price of a Ryanair flight from London to Rome in the middle of April fell on six separate occasions in the six weeks before departure.
Full details of the Ryanair and Easyjet business models and the history of the peanut airlines are available here and here.

A way forward?
Whilst current budget pricing no doubt make sense to the discount airlines, it patently confuses their consumers. In fact a cursory glance at our ‘what if airlines sold paint' example might clarify the issue from a consumer point-of-view.

However, the airfare business models are simply classic examples of demand-based pricing.

If the shopping experience counts for anything, and with price being ‘just part of the total offer package’ we should not be too surprised at the same product being priced differently in convenience/corner-shops and supercentres. The confusion arises from the fact that if selection and ease of shopping are the drivers in an enhanced shopping experience then why are comprehensive selection supercentre prices lower than limited-choice corner-shops?

Moreover, if the price differential becomes too great, an opportunity for arbitrage arises, in that it becomes more advantageous for a Mom ‘n Pop owner to buy from a nearby supermarket than from a wholesaler…, in the same way that a third party van owner can capitalise on even a 2% cross-border price difference.

These unprecedented times will eventually cause us to clarify our approach to pricing from the point-of-view of all stakeholders, or suffer the loss of our business to competitors that have the courage to be fully price-transparent…

Incidentally, the new leather seats on Ryanair are a nice addition in terms of comfort, and not yet reflected in their pricing…  Michael?

Thursday 6 September 2012

If Airlines Sold Paint…

Given Ryanair’s imminent bid for Aer Lingus, coupled with many homeowner’s desire to avoid some painting chores by flying away for the weekend, we felt it might be interesting to link airlines and paint with a lesson in pricing for those NAMs that never like to forget the ‘day-job’

Customer: Hi. How much is your paint?

Clerk: Well sir, that depends on a lot of things.

Customer: Can’t you give me an approximate price?

Clerk: Our lowest price is our introductory special at $12 a gallon. After that we have dozens of different prices up to $199.

Customer: What’s the difference in the quality of the paint?

Clerk: Oh, there’s no difference. It’s all exactly the same stuff.

Customer: Well, in that case I’ll take your $12 paint.

Clerk: Well actually the $12 variety is only available on our website. If you want to buy it here at the store you’ll be charged an additional $20 Customer Convenience Fee

Customer: So if I go home and get it off the website, its only $12?

Clerk: That’s correct sir – plus a Credit Card Usage Fee of $6 and then there’s standard Shipping and Handling of $15.

Customer: What? So in other words buying online would cost me almost exactly the same as what I’d have to pay here in the store?

Clerk: I suppose so, but if you buy it here you get to use it immediately. Online purchases take ten business days to get to you – unless you pay the optional $25 Express My Paint Fee.

Customer: You’ve got to be kidding me!

Clerk: Well no sir, but it’s academic anyway as right now the $12 paint is completely sold out in both places.

Customer: That’s BS. I’m looking at shelves full of the stuff!

Clerk: Ah, but that doesn’t mean it’s available for sale. We sell only a certain number of introductory priced cans on any given day. Oops, look at that! It just became available again – at $17.50.

Customer: C’mon! You mean to say it went up while I’m standing here?!

Clerk: ‘Fraid so. Inventory control changes our prices all the time.

I strongly recommend you purchase your paint as soon as possible as it could go up again. How many gallons do you want?

Customer: Well, maybe three gallons. No, make that four, I don’t want to run out. I assume I can return anything I don’t open?

Clerk: Certainly sir. The $12 paint is non-refundable, but if you return it within 48 hours you will be entitled to a $5 credit towards the future purchase of another gallon of the same color at the same or higher price.

Customer: That’s crazy. In that case I’ll just give any unopened cans to my brother as he’s planning to repaint his home soon.

Clerk: Sorry sir, no-can-do! Our terms and CANditions – that’s a little in-house joke – prohibit paint transfer. It is strictly for the use of the original purchaser.

Customer: But wait a minute, I hadn’t spotted those “Paint Sale – $9.99* a Can” signs over there? That sounds like a much better deal.

Clerk: Ah yes, that’s from our low cost paint division. The asterisk denotes that the cans are actually half-gallons and the price is based on a minimum purchase of two. There is also an additional Environmental Fee of $5 per can, a non-refundable Can Deposit of $3.50, a Paint Facility Charge of $5 and if you want more than one color, the second has a $25 surcharge and the third is $50 extra.

Customer: This is utterly ridiculous. To hell with this! I’ll buy what I need somewhere else!

Clerk: Well sir, you may be able to buy paint for some rooms from another store, but you won’t be able to find paint for your connecting hall and stairway anywhere but here. And I should also point out that if you want Uni-Directional paint it is priced at $249 a gallon.

Customer: I thought your most expensive paint was $199!

Clerk: That’s only if you paint non-stop all the way around the room and back to the point at which you started. Stairways and hallways are considered one-way exceptions to the rule.

Customer: So, if I buy the $199 paint and use it in my hallway what are you going to do about it – send some goons in to paint over it?

Clerk: Wow, I believe you’re getting it now sir. But no, please, that would be plain silly. We’ll simply charge you a Direction Adjustment Fee plus the difference to $249 on your next purchase.

Customer: Next purchase? No way! I’m out ‘a here

Clerk: At Skyhigh Paints we never forget you have a choice, so thanks for shopping with us. Have a nice day!

Have a price-sensitive weekend, from the NamNews Team!

Credits: latest version found here
Appears to have originated in Travel Weekly, October 1998, by Alan H. Hess