herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Diary of a travel writer: Striking a deal and high-end hotels at rock bottom pricees

Thursday

Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller is gratuitously magnanimous at the Dublin Chambers evening, apologising to customers who have had their lives disrupted by the Impact dispute, and saying he understands how people's lifestyle concerns have to be addressed. Rumours of a deal with Impact are filling the city.

Friday

White smoke over Aer

Lingus. The deal struck looks suspiciously like the deal that was on offer 16 weeks ago when the workto- rule started. It could have been decided within 20 minutes of talks resuming, but that is not how industrial relations works.

We fall for the theatrics every time, without fail. We have fallen for it again.

Impact saved face and Aer Lingus got a two-year “peace in our time” clause. Who won? Ryanair, of course. The sight of Ryanair planes in Heathrow and T2 were a shock, but may even be a portent of things to come. The new Government needs money and sells Aer Lingus. Up pops Michael O'Leary to buy the airline. The no-union man says that he will allow Impact and Siptu to represent the workers and the airline will carry on just as before.

Saturday

Rainy night in Ardclough. The Village at Lyons has 14 new suites to show off, for guests at weddings at the estate's converted mill, now a restaurant amid gushing fountains, a roaring water wheel and cooking chestnuts.

The rain is so heavy one of the taxis back to Dublin gets stranded in the flood.

The food is late, to the chagrin of the invited tour operators, but the dancing is good — Boogie Nights are giving it socks until 2am.

Sunday

Ryanair threw 100 students off a plane in Spain. Yet another reason to travel with them.

Monday

The guys at T2 really don't want you to pick up at the terminal, do they? DAA says people should park the car, walk into the building, pick up their passengers and then pay to get out. At T1 there is a place where people can be picked up. They have built a railing the length of the drop-off zone in T2 to prevent arriving passengers being picked up.

Tuesday

Another epic journey to the Aviva, a long walk over Herbert Bridge and back along the narrow Dodder path. Antarctic explorers have perished on less arduous trips. The Ireland and Wales kickaround is more cheerful than the streaker who forgot to take his clothes off.

Wednesday

Northern Ireland Tourist Board hosts us in Chapter One. Two of the best hotel offers of the past 12 months were in the North — £60 (€71) per person sharing for three nights and two dinners. That’s half the price of the best offers you can get down in the 26 counties.

I’m not sure 2011 will bring offers like that, but the high-end hotels are still pitching in at three-star prices.

A wee bit of advice: take the slow road to Enniskillen rather than the fast road to Belfast.

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