Let’s wind down and settle into our weekend, shall we? Even on a rainy Friday morning, we’ve found inspiration this morning flipping through some other sites. For example:
The web has been busier than the Dublin airspace with stories about Ryanair. Our favorite budget travel rebel at “Less than a Shoestring” last week continued to explain ”Why I Love/Hate RyanAir.” (Let’s say that it has to do with taxes, fees, and working the system. “Dealing with low-cost carriers such as RyanAir is like playing a game. In order to play well, you need to know the rules.”
Meanwhile, over on the other shoe, Spendthrift Shoestring is back from Carriacou and already monitoring the overall health of the low-cost carrier business. Alex points out that Air Berlin and Centralwings have experienced some turbulence, while RyanAir is reporting growth in March. At least some airlines are showing growth. BudgetTravel, reporting on the ATA airline bankruptcy yesterday, suggests that ticketholders check with their credit card company about a getting a refund.
But, back to RyanAir. How does the airline make you feeeel? Europe A La Carte muses about whether travel brands are important, pointing out that “Ryanair has a pretty negative brand image but loads of people (including me) book with them because of the choice of direct flights and low prices. So do brands matter at all?” We think they do, but price might still be the deciding factor.
On the ground, James from About.com’s Europe Travel challenges visitors in Florence to stop and reflect on the number of American tourists crowding the city. “If you close your eyes and listen closely, you could be in Cleveland. Well, except maybe for the quality of the gelato.” He’s pushing for trips out of town, to the hills surrounding Florence.
And for amusing insider-y kvetching, you should treat yourself to Rick Steves’ blog, where the author recounts his adventures updating his Lisbon and Portugal guidebook. Anyone who has been “on the ground” updating a city guide will laugh (and cringe). Our favorite note: “Hotel Lisboa Tejo: Our room was extremely spacious and clean–but street on the west side of the building was full of young and very busy prostitutes.” Ah yes, how to deal with the “prostitute factor” when deciding whether or not to include a great budget hotel. We’ve been there!
Looking out at a rainy morning, we’ll happily swap for any prostitute-lined street in Lisbon. We’ll take Florence, even with the tourists. Heck, we’ll even take Cleveland, if it’s sunny…
Have a nice weekend.