Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

Aircraft reclining seats can send you into orbit

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

WGC Bridgestone Champion Shane Lowry with Joe Quinn and TG4's Aine Lally last week, during the golfer’s personal appearance at McGettigan’s Galway for an exclusive Q&A session for invited guests. The Offaly native is a brand ambassador for McGettigan’s.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are many reasons to love Michael O’Leary – the main one is that, without him, we’d still be paying a small mortgage to Aer Lingus to fly us to London and back.

But equally laudable is his apparent disdain for reclining seats on his aircraft.

Now his motivation might be to make more money by having more seats – but either way, the end result that a flight where the person in front of you doesn’t come dangerously close to sitting on your lap is always a more enjoyable experience.

Quite frankly all airline seats should be as inflexible as a Troika delegation looking at Ireland’s bank debt – there should be more movement in fox after taxidermy and more give in the DUP on the question of a United Ireland.

Ryanair’s reasoning for banning the recliners was that the airline estimated that it had to replace around 40 reclining seats on each of its planes each year due to breakage.

In other words, some jack ass who thinks he should be able to turn his seat into a bed irrespective of the intrusion into the space of the poor unfortunate behind him.

I had full interaction with one of these jokers, returning from our summer holiday. Clearly he’d abandoned all sleep during his week away because no sooner had he arrived in his seat than he opted for horizontal approach to flying, donning eye shades and ear plugs for good measure.

That necessitated a gentle shove from the air hostess to get him into the upright position, at least until the plane was off the ground and she had gone through the complex rigmarole of showing us how to fasten a seat belt.

But five minutes later he was flat out again and I was soon experiencing the joys of not having to lift my hand to drink my coffee – because it was effectively locked into positive within inches of my face.

Even the not-so-gentle digging of knees into his back failed to bother our sleeping friend, so in the end it was easier to give up and trying and sit at a slant which might otherwise have suggested I’d been the victim of a serious accident.

And the truth is that despite the fact I never put my own seat back in deference to whoever is sitting behind me, the person in front pushes back on every single flight.

Worse still is the odd occasion when you arrive to a half-empty plane – now brimming with confidence that you’ll have you own space – when someone jumps into the empty seats in front of you…..and puts all three seat backs in full reclining position!

The fact that there’s actually no benefit in this seems lost on them; it’s just like another expansion of your kingdom in the clouds, like taking free sweets just because you can.

The downside is that the other person can no longer open a laptop, read a newspaper, balance their food tray or avoid deep vein thrombosis by stretching their legs.

For  more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Exam points are not the only measure of education success

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

By now, the next batch of around 60,000 students set for third-level education are over a week into the Leaving Cert – the exam that will determine what course they attain a place in for the new academic year.

Their success – added to the performances of their class-mates – will determine their alma mater’s position in what are commonly known as the school league tables.

This is a calculation of how successful a secondary school is, based entirely on the number of its Leaving Certs it gets into third-level education.

In turn – based on this – parents will choose where to send their little bundles of joy when the time comes for them to make the transition from primary to second-level.

And it’s such an arbitrary method of determining the relative success or failure of a centre of education, because it leaves so much out of the equation.

Firstly, it means performance is entirely based on the numbers who go on to third-level, ignoring those who gain apprenticeships or go straight into the workplace.

Admittedly, that’s not a large cohort these days because Careers Guidance seems to begin and end with helping you to choose the right course, not the right career.

But more fundamentally, getting a good student to pass his or her exams and gain a place in college isn’t the ultimate test of a teacher; getting a student who is struggling with reading or writing to a level where they comfortably do both is a far better achievement for any teacher.

Bringing a student who is in danger of failing mathematics, for example, to a position where they pass their exams – but more importantly understand how it works – should be recognised in any measure of performance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

How will we acclimatise as we ease out of Covid?

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Back in the world before Covid, a mention of Corona either brought to mind a beer or a rock band – but, as we ease our way out of dire straits (another rock band, as luck would have it), we might require a different kind of acclimatisation.

Because what will the evening be like when no more deaths are flashed up as a statistic on the Six-One News?

Who will the world turn to if we have no more Fergal or George or Zara giving out the daily update in a funereal tone?

What will happen to all the people who used to go to the Department of Health press conference at tea-time in the same way the rest of us once headed for the pub?

Like Pavlov’s Dog, we’ve come to expect an evening illness update, taking consolation in it being two less than yesterday or taking fright if it’s two more.

Nobody told us who these poor people were, unless the local paper carried a tribute a week later – for the number crunchers and bean counters and prophets of doom, they were today’s statistics, to be flashed up for a few seconds every night.

And we took these figures as we got them, never questioning if a person died from Covid or with Covid; if they were described as having ‘underlying conditions’, we seemed to accept that as a very broad church.

We listened intently as Fergal or George or Zara told us what the mean age was, breathing a small sigh of relief if it remained a good distance into the future from our own age now.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Home ownership should be a prerogative – not a pipedream

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Half of our 18 to 34-year-olds fear they won’t be able to buy a home in next ten years, according to a new survey. That’s not the shock – it’s the fact that half of them think they actually will.

Because the truth is that owning your own home hasn’t been as much of a pipedream since the days of feudal landlords; indeed many of them will find it a job and a half to even come up with the rent.

And that’s a sign of just how critical our housing crisis has become in the space of a single generation.

We thought that things were bad in the eighties when unemployment levels were way ahead of our pre-Covid figures; when the boat and the plane were the best 0or maybe only – chance for many to secure a job far from home.

But for those who were working, owning a home wasn’t a farfetched concept at all, because there were plenty of starter homes being built and the cost of them still bore some relation to your income.

There was a time before that, when the bank had a simple equation to decide the size of the mortgage they’d give you. It was two and a half times the combined salary for those buying the house – in other words, yours alone if you were a sole purchaser, or double that if it was yourself and your partner.

On top of that, there was no point turning up in the first place unless you had a ten per cent deposit – so it was a straight-forward calculation to find out what you could afford. And house prices, for the most part, kept within that equation.

Of course there were always homes you coveted and couldn’t afford, but you could still buy a roof over your head for a price that only took 20 years to pay back.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending