When company opinion become consumer fact
Like swine flu, Newcastle Brown Ale and sand, Ryanair gets everywhere. Ever wondered how the budget airline's propaganda is always plastered over every newspaper and website? It's because lazy hacks seemingly cut and paste the Ryanair press releases without changing the wording. Before you point out that Bitterwallet does it's fair share of cutting and pasting, we're actually talking about the Wall Street Journal:
In an article published online this morning, the Wall Street Journal mentions Ryanair's decision to cut 20 per cent of flights from Dublin during Winter. The brief report details the numbers of planes and flights involved before listing the "Main Facts" of the story, which include:
- The Aviation Regulator continues to rubber stamp unjustified Dublin Airport cost increases while costs at most other U.K. and European airports are falling.
- The Irish Govts EUR10 tourist tax makes Ireland an uncompetitive tourist destination at a time when other European Governments have scrapped their tourist taxes.
- Traffic at Dublin airport is collapsing (down 11% or 1 million fewer pax in the first half of 2009) under the weight of these high airport fees and the tourist tax.
Facts tend to be absolute and indisputable, but given that there's no comment from either Dublin airport or the Irish Government, at best you can consider these statements to be opinions, rather than facts.
For example, who said Dublin Airport's costs are "unjustifed"? That's certainly not a fact, that's a subjective point of view, unless both Ryanair and Dublin Airport agreed it was the case. Aren't plenty of other airports seeing a "collapse" in passenger numbers? Aren't other airports increasing passenger costs? Could other factors, like the recession, make "Ireland an uncompetitive tourist destination"? Perhaps fewer people can afford to pay a fiver for a pint in Temple Bar?
Which other countries have scrapped airport taxes? We've found 4. That's out of 27 EU countries. Those countries are Holland, Greece, Belgium and Spain - and Spain has only cut the tax for airlines that maintain the same level of traffic as in the last half of 2008. So more of a bribe, then. That leaves plenty of Europe, including the UK where there is a "tourist tax", and therefore places Ireland in the majority, rather than the minority.
There's the Wall Street Journal's facts concerning their Ryanair story slashed to ribbons in a few minutes. The point of this post isn't another dig at Ryanair -it's to demonstrate how easily the media can spin company opinion into consumer fact, at least where the World's favourite airline is concerned. Or maybe that should read the World's most popular?