Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

No Frills!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

No Frills!

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Woodman, Travel Correspondent, Pa News

Those who mourned the passing of the golden age of travel, when just the wealthy upper-classes deigned to set foot on foreign shores, are in for more grief.

If current trends are anything to go by, travel is set to become even more basic in the future.

And what passes as travel from now on could make the humble all-inclusive holiday look like some erstwhile glamour package.

Just as the first packages of the 1960s and 1970s heralded the end of the "jet-set" days of the 1950s, the arrival of the no-frills carriers has led to a fresh travel revolution.

And now, one of the leaders of that new approach, low-fare airline Ryanair, is planning to cut even more frills from its service.

Out will go reclining seats, window blinds, headrests and seat pockets. Also, passengers will be asked to carry their own luggage on board.

Ryanair, which has to fix about 40 broken reclining seats on each plane each year, reckons these changes will increase the turnaround of its aircraft and save the airline around pounds 1.5m a year.

The carrier's ebullient chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "Think about it. People are happy to carry a bag on to buses, so why not on to airlines? It could be revolutionary."

He reckons that with so much airport space devoted to baggage handling, the Ryanair approach to luggage could mean smaller airports, simpler facilities and lower charges.

But it is not just the no-frills carriers, with their pay-for-it meals, who are offering less for the traveller.

Major holiday airlines are now happy to let customers pay for certain things that were hitherto free.

Many have introduced pay-for-it meals on long flights, while others are now charging for airport transfers.

Other scheduled airlines have cut down on the amount of in-flight food served, especially on short-haul routes. …

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