LAST week your correspondent was put in a quandary. Having been booked to speak at an event in Ireland, the organiser sent through the travel itinerary. Ryanair. Not just Ryanair, but no-frills Ryanair: no priority boarding, no checked baggage and no option to choose seating. The cheapest of the cheap. I was mortified. Having recently been pleasantly surprised by a (pointless) business-class seat for a similar engagement, I now found myself at the opposite end of the value chain.

My first instinct was to throw a hissy fit and demand that the organisers double check the flight, like a z-list celebrity shouting “don’t you know who I am?” at a maître d' when he can't get a table. Thankfully, the moment quickly passed and common sense took hold. This was the very definition of a first-world problem. If I had been booking a flight at my own company's expense I would have grudgingly used Ryanair too. Travel budgets tend to be fixed in absolute cost, which is to say that cheaper trips means more trips.

Others don’t always see it that way. At one event (in...Continue reading