Do you ever feel when you fly with Ryanair that check-in is really trying to prove your bag breaches some rule? Well, that might be because they’re being paid to do that. From Ryanair’s annual report (pdf), page 67:
As part of its non-flight scheduled and Internet-related services, Ryanair incentivizes ground service providers at many of the airports it serves to levy correct excess baggage charges for any baggage that exceeds Ryanair‘s published baggage allowances and to collect these charges in accordance with Ryanair‘s standard terms and conditions. Excess baggage charges are recorded as non-flight scheduled revenue.
So if you thought that because it’s airport staff doing it it must be the law or safety or something, it’s not. It’s a revenue stream.
It has been an eventful week, but finally I’m registered for college! I know I announced it yesterday, but there was in fact a small hitch. I applied through the Postgraduate Applications Centre, which creates a student ID for you. However, I’m a graduate of the college I’m applying to – albeit more than twenty years ago – and so have an ID from then. Somehow it seems the two met head-on, creating a database SNAFU. I was two people at once, so therefore I was neither.
An ironic introduction, you may agree, to a course in Information Systems Management.
This wasn’t the only database buggery that happened to me either. As you may recall, I crashed a car this week too. On the day it happened I called my insurance’s breakdown recovery service. They explained to me that a collision with a tree is no longer a breakdown, even if it was caused by one, but they could send a recovery truck anyway and take it to a place of safety where damage could be assessed. As I was at my mother’s house at this point, and the wreck was off the public road, I had the truck pick me up so I could show him where to go.
The next day though when I phoned the insurance they said the vehicle had been removed by someone else. Apparently I’d cancelled it. I assured them that was wrong and they said they’d look into it.
I wouldn’t have worried at all about that, except for a strange coincidence. When the breakdown truck had pulled in to pick me up, there had been another one right behind it.
So there are rogue breakdown trucks listening in on the radio frequencies, patrolling the roads for accidents and stealing wrecked cars? It’s a nightmare vision. Nothing to do with reality of course, but a nightmare vision. Turned out it was just a cock-up of course. Maybe my car has two IDs as well.
Dammit, I can’t sleep. The hot sun won’t stop streaming in through the window. What sort of lake-strewn, tree-befuzzed hell have I arrived in?
But wait, let’s start at the beginning. Or at least, where I finished. Yesterday, in Café Wa, in Galway…
The best part of a journey is not to travel hopefully or to arrive, but the moment that comes just a little after you set out. I mean the one when it hits you that it’s too late now to worry if you have all the right underwear and cables, there’s no point in once again checking your ticket and passport. That ship has, perhaps literally, sailed. Finally you sigh and stretch and let the vehicle carry you.
The worst part conversely is the one before departure, when searching through pockets to confirm the presence of items you know are there is still a live option. And that’s the stage I’ve reached. Essentially I’m writing this to keep my hands busy.
I would have been on a bus to Dublin now but for a last-minute change of plan. My flight leaves at the unthinkable hour of 7:40 a.m., meaning they expect me to check in at 5:40 – about the time I’m usually going to bed. If that sounds convenient to you, consider that I’m the sort of person who can’t sleep until they’re too tired to stay awake. This means that I have to do the hardest part – actually making sure I get on the plane – when I’m at my least conscious.
My idea was to go to Dublin this evening, stay awake till about 5, get up an hour before that and head to the airport. There was a flaw to this plan. At the bus station though I found that they run all night. New plan then: instead of trying and probably failing to sleep in Dublin – our much worse, falling to wake up – I would leave here at about 2 a.m. on a bus straight to the airport, arriving refreshed and in good time!
Only one possible drawback to this brilliant scheme – It leaves me with hours before my bus, and absolutely nothing left to do.