After paying $210 in bag fees on WOW Air for my trip from Boston to Copenhagen on a $363 round trip ticket, I have to give RyanAir a big thumbs up for intra-Europe travel for transporting me from Copenhagen to London Luton Airport LTN on a $63 round trip ticket with two carry-on bags at no additional bag fees.
The same two bags that I paid $210 in checked bag and carry-on bag fees to WOW Air as part of my ticket from Boston to Copenhagen round trip were transported by low cost carrier RyanAir for free on my $63 round trip flight from Copenhagen to London.
Side note on RyanAir and Copenhagen
Google News goes to the home country portal for your location. A couple days ago when I was in Copenhagen and reading Google News, a local side story popped up about RyanAir and Copenhagen.
My first day in Copenhagen, I read about the city and Denmark to get my wikipedia quick facts education on my surroundings.
Quick Fact #1: Denmark is the historical economic and political powerhouse of Scandinavia. From 1397 to 1523, Denmark, under its monarch, ruled the Baltic Sea with control over what is now Norway, Sweden and Finland, including the North Atlantic islands of Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark’s influence and power came about through the struggle to temper German control of Scandinavia via the Hanseatic League, which had dominated northern European trade. Bergen, Norway, a city I traveled to last year is famous for its historic Bryggen Hanseatic League port.
Bryggen UNESCO Heritage Site in Bergen, Norway is the medieval Hanseatic League trading center of the port.
Quick Fact #2: Denmark has the world’s highest minimum wage and is among the lowest in the world for income inequality. Fast-food workers apparently earn around $20 USD per hour. Denmark has the strongest union rights of any country.
RyanAir and Denmark Workers’ Rights
The RyanAir story is about a lawsuit citing that RyanAir violated workers’ rights by their employment terms for employees at Copenhagen Airport based on Irish laws rather than Danish laws. Danish unions demanded that RyanAir sign a collective bargaining agreement with pilots and airport employees based on Danish laws. Denmark’s court ruled last week that Danish workers like baggage handlers and fuel suppliers have the right to demand collective bargaining agreements from RyanAir and have the right to refuse service to RyanAir flights and launch a workers’ strike, if RyanAir will not negotiate with Danish unions.
RyanAir’s response is to move its single Copenhagen-based aircraft to Kanaus, Lithuania from July 14. RyanAir plans to operate its 14 Copenhagen routes on aircraft based outside of Copenhagen.
Kind of reminds me of conversations I had with people in Asheville, North Carolina. Several people I met, who had grown up in the Asheville area, complained about low wages and how everyone worked multiple jobs to make ends meet.
My thinking is the attraction of North Carolina for the many businesses that moved there from California during my working life is that business environment is a double-edged sword. Sure, you have employment opportunities now with businesses who chose to relocate to North Carolina for lower costs and lower wage employees, but as higher employment results in higher costs of living, those low wage jobs mean you have to work more to keep pace with rising inflation around you.
Denmark often ranks as one of the happiest countries. I don’t know if its labor unions, blondes in tight black clothing, Christiania, church or weak beer that contributes to Danish happiness.
I’m simply happy that I got from Copenhagen to London for $63 with my bags and without bag fees, despite the weak union contract for Copenhagen Airport’s soon-to-be unemployed RyanAir workers.