Travellator – yes, I agree it’s still pay pay pay. However, they have been making changes that differentiate it from “no frills” airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet. There is a FFP Gold Circle check-in in most airports, high-quality lounge access, a world-standard Terminal in Dublin (mainly reserved for EI) and priority boarding for Gold Circle members.
I remain hopeful they may introduce further benefits for frequent fliers.
It’s almost a miracle the airline has survived given the constant battle it has had since the 80s. In my opinion, as a business class traveller, the cabin crew are far superior to most any other airline – certainly it’s a far better experience than on BA/AA/UA/Continental/AF on average – as superior as some of those airline’s hard products may be.
The pitch in economy might not be great – but the seats are much newer than, say, BAs, and therefore feel as spacious if not more so. Certainly the new Recaro seats on the A330s are a much more pleasant experience than a BA 747 in World Traveller. And I’m not trying to open up any BA v EI discussion here, as it is a senseless argument.