Friday, 6 July 2012

Ryan Air stealth

My hatred of Ryan Air continues. We booked flights to Italy today for a holiday at the end of August and were appalled to discover some of the stealthy ways in which they top up their money. Booking a flight with them is a mine-field; every page involves small print. If you don’t want to pay any extras, like £75 for a 20kg bag, you have to look very hard to discover the way to say no. They offer travel insurance but tell you if you “want to take the risk” of not having it, you have to click in the drop down box. The drop down box, however, only occurs with the next question, which is about nationality, and half way down the list of countries is a little box which says “don’t need insurance” – it’s not even under D, or I. It's sandwiched between two really random countries. The absolute clincher, however, was discovering that Ryan Air have their own currency converter which takes the prices they charge from Euros into pounds. We’re told we can pay in Euros (and allow our banks to make the conversion) but that Ryan Air has a “fixed rate”, which won’t go up and down like normal currency conversion rates. “If you opt to pay in euros” they warn, sagely, “you could well end up with a worse deal.” The difference in price is staggering. We saved about £30 by not opting for Ryan Air’s “set rate” which will, of course, always be higher than the actual exchange rate, and will rise if the actual exchange rate rises. They are charlatans, but they don’t need to be. Why not just be honest? Why not just charge a little more for flights and know you’re not ripping people off who aren’t bright enough to read between the lines?

I had a massage today and I feel really light-headed as a result. I don’t have pains in my shoulders for the first time in weeks, however, which is really exciting. This has been my first day off in ages. I spent the morning catching up on admin. I had pages of emails, and all sorts of forms to send off to the Musicians’ Union. I also paid the choir for their work on the recording and watched my bank account going from very healthy, to slightly worrying! I hate online banking. I’m slightly numero dyslexic, so regularly managed to input numbers incorrectly, which caused the screen to go bright red. The internet kept going down as well in our flat, so it was a fairly grim, but necessary experience.  I did it whilst listening to myself doing York’s version of Desert Island Discs. Remind me to crack more jokes the next time someone asks me about my career. I thought I sounded horribly boring.

I talk about getting electrocuted, having a form of tourettes and finding people falling over incredibly funny. I also use the phrase; “she sounds like a China-woman” which horrified Nathan beyond words. Obviously I meant a woman from China... but I was referring to Kate Bush singing Wuthering Heights (one of my choices), and feel I must have been drawn into the parlance of the day.

Pepys had a lovely lie-in with his wife on this date 350 years ago. It was a Sunday and he spent much of the morning doing his household accounts, feeling the need to make a note of the fact that “my kitchen, besides wine, fire, candle, sope, and many other things, comes to about 30s. A week, or a little over.” What he doesn’t mention is whether he considers this to be a big amount or not.

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