Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Long haul"? Is this a joke?

I heard the Minister for Finance on the radio last night explaining aspects of the budget. However, when I heard him explain that long haul flights will incur a tax of €10 and short haul flights will have an extra €2 added on I thought to myself, "Well, it could be worse".

It was only later I found out that "long haul" is any flight of 300km (200 miles) or more. Well that leaves a lot options open to people looking for the short haul flight. From Dublin you can go to Liverpool, Manchester, ... Wait surely there must be others? Let's check again. ... Eh, No. That's it. Although maybe they'll throw Glasgow into the mix seeing as that's listed as exactly 300km from Dublin. And, from Shannon? Well, there's always the t.v.

Wikipedia defines 'long haul' as any flight over 500 miles (800km), which would be a lot better for Irish travelers AND those who might want to visit us.

I later heard the Minister explain that he used a Netherlands law as a model. Well, excuse me Minister, but maybe had you checked a map you might have seen that the Netherlands is NOT an island off the northwest coast of Europe. They don't have to include 60+ miles of open water in their distance charts. And, they have other travel options - road, rail, etc. - that we don't have. (And, forget about the ferry. When you have to spend at least 2 hours to travel the first 60 miles that's not an option.)