Here we go again, more low cost carriers have today announced that they will be operating out of Belfast's two airports. Irish carriers Ryanair will operate from the George Best Belfast City Airport and Aer Lingus will fly from Belfast International Airport.
Ryanair promise to sell the first 10,000 tickets for £10 including taxes and charges to encourage the punters onto their routes.
A huge array of low cost "no frills" carriers operate from Belfast airports now, making it impossible to book a normal airline, they just don't exist anymore.
So for average prices of around £60 return you can queue up like a bunch of kids at the school bus stop, get herded onto an uncomfortable and packed airliner without any complimentary drinks, meals or service, oh and don't forget the screaming kid in seat 24D. The staff mostly treat you like animals because lets face it, your ticket is cheaper than the cattle lorry. But the plus side, you find your self in a European destination you'd never dreamt of visiting.
These types of carrier operations are now taking travellers across the Atlantic with many transcontinental airlines now charging for drinks and meals. What happened to service, what happened to a bit of luxury, what happened to sparkling wine in little plastic wine glasses and smoked salmon.
Soon even first and business class seats will be eroded to make way for the great unwashed. Okay that's a controversial statement but lets face facts, people who would traditionally have taken a short break up the coast or down to Newcastle or Dublin are now travelling to all sorts of exotic destinations. They don't need to travel and who have had just the same experience closer to home, keeping their money inside the local economy and helping local business.
No one is addressing the fact that low cost airlines are probably the biggest growing provider of harmful Carbon gases. Something needs to be done to stop this, and FAST. Following 11th Sept when all aircraft were grounded for just one day the planet was 1c warmer in the day and 1c colder at night.
We will always need air travel but lets save it for that REALLY special occasion. We need more thrill rides like the return of a Concorde type aircraft, more ways to throw caution to the wind instead of pennies to Prague!