Air Berlin will be sold and it will be sold shortly. It seems minor news (and probably it is) but the whole story should lead to some considerations about the two competitors for the purchase, Lufthansa and Ryanair.
Using his usual direct speech, Michael O’Leary said that the Irish company is interested in the purchase and that Air Berlin is not replying at all to their offers. With an unvarnished depiction to Bloomberg, Ryanair’s CEO said that is “worried” of an unfair sale of Air Berlin to Lufthansa in an “all-German agreement”. Listening to Michael O’Leary speaking about unfair behavior can make many people laugh, there are many stories about the agreement between Italian airports and the Irish company. According to Il Corriere della Sera, the main Italian newspaper, second tier Italian airports are paying to Ryanair 100 million euros per year to “encourage” the Irish company to setup flight to those destinations (http://www.corriere.it). So, what is going on in Germany? Why those people are not so “encouraging” like Italians? Yes, Italians are a bit louder but when it comes to love the foreigners, they do love them as much as they can and pay as much as they can too. Lovely people!
So, Ryanair make Europeans get used to something very cool, travel across Europe for few euros and this is a very good thing but, sometimes good things do not come for free and this is the case. The Irish company also make us to get used to renounce the small comfort reclining seat, very useful when you have some issues at your chest and the flight is longer than 2 hours. Am I picky? Okay, maybe.
The company make us to get used to pay money for not printing the check in and for paying as extra luggage a 15 cm × 15 cm bag as a second luggage. Okay, it was few years ago, it is not anymore. The company make us to get used to let us wait in airport out of our plane because that plane has been used to carry passengers of others flight that can have a delay for which they should have a reimbursement… at least some people swear it happened. Okay, but it is still cheap, okay. It is cheap, yes, but what I will never get used to the repetitive scratch cards sell announcement, the very high price of the food on board and often no ice available for drinks, the loud volume of the messages to passengers and so on. Yes, they are doing it for profit but I much more prefer other low-cost companies that offer a much better and decent service then they are. Too much is too much. I am almost surprised that I have never seen a clown with a trumpet in the corridor.
Considering this, I will root for the all-German agreement this time and if this would not be politically correct, let me say that this time I would happily order Brätwurst and Becks instead of Fish and chips and Guinness.