The Money Shot – packing heat

The man from Del Monte was a ruthlessly efficient packer
"Short of committing murder, negative publicity sells more seats than positive publicity" Michael O'Leary
  • | by Kristian Dando

Say what you like about pugnacious Ryanair head honcho Michael O’Leary – and lots of people do – the man gives good quote.

This week saw the budget flight magnate in typically combative form. In a searing interview with Marketing magazine, he made his views on negative headlines about Ryanair’s occasionally colossal charges clear by channelling the spirit of Icona Pop: he doesn’t care. He loves it.

“Short of committing murder, negative publicity sells more seats than positive publicity,” crowed the unrepentant Irish tycoon. “Charging for toilets continues to be the number one story that resurfaces in the press and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve never done it, but it keeps coming up on social networks every three or four months, the media picks up on it and then someone writes a story on it.”

So while Michael O’Leary can sleep safe in the knowledge that if the bottom falls out of the airline game there’s a lucrative career for him in the pro wrestling business as a heel manager par excellence, the Money Shot thought it would help YOU – the hard-pressed British consumer – dodge some of those wallet-knackeringly expensive extra charges that you often get on budget flights.

After all, one budget airline is charging customers flying to the Canary Islands or Greece anywhere between £35 and £130 a flight for just one checked-in bag weighing up to 15kg. For passengers paying their baggage charges at the airport, that could mean splashing out £260, which would probably be better spent on fishbowl-sized cocktails and novelty tat.

We got in touch with top boffins Rhyd Lewis and Jonathan Thomas of Cardiff University. The pair honed their craft calculating the most efficient way of packing sea containers, so they’re expertly qualified on getting lots of stuff into a limited amount of space.

They’ve found a way of cramming all this:


Into a bag like this:


Here’s how you can do it too… and subsequently look as happy as Rhyd.


All you need to do is follow these simple steps.
1. Be organised
Make a list of everything you might want to take. You don’t need to pack everything on the list, but it’ll be easy to decide the things you really need, and those of less importance.
2. Pack things in the right order
The order in which you pack things will have a big effect on the amount you can get in your suitcase. Lay out everything you plan to take. Start by putting the largest items into your case first, and then use the small items to fill in the spaces between.
3. Be ruthless
Reduce the number of items to pack by removing the things you probably won’t use or you can buy cheaply at the destination.
4. Not too heavy
If you’re travelling with family or friends, try to spread the weight between cases so that none of them exceed the weight limit. Luggage scales for use at home can be bought for less than £5.
5. Fold items as efficiently as possible
Folding clothes and towels makes their shapes regular. This makes them easier to pack together with no spaces in between.
6. Avoid unnecessary spaces.
Put things inside other things. For example, if packing shoes, stuff them full of socks or underwear.
7. Use technology
Store all your reading material on an electronic device before you go. Don’t forget to pack your charger though.
8. Reorganise if necessary
If the suitcase seems full but there are still items to pack, look for spaces and then reorganise the items around that area to increase the size of the space.
9. Carry-on luggage
If your checked-in baggage is still overflowing or overweight, put some items into your hand luggage.

10. Protect your possessions
If you have toothpaste or lotions with a pop-up top, stick them in a polythene bag. You can also protect your valuables by packing them in the centre of the cases, and then put things like flip-flops around them to protect them.

Failing that, you can try wearing all of your stuff on the plane. It works, even if it’s a bit hot…

Short change – money news in brief

Council car parking charges hit the headlines, in a story which was impossible to discuss without sounding like Alan Partridge.

You could put the London Olympics on twice for the amount the PPI mis-selling scandal has cost the banks, reckons Which?

Double-takes abound as the Telegraph reported that British Gas was planning to offer ‘free electricity’ on Saturdays to ease the strain on the grid during the week.

With Lloyds and RBS turning healthy profits, there’s talk afoot that the two largely state-owned banks are going to be sold off.

Mortgage rates were ‘slashed’ again, presumably by a bloke at the Bank of England dressed as the killer from Scream.

On Covered mag this week

Dan Bevis took a look at the world of supercar-SUV crossovers and rounded up six of biggest affronts to taste and decency he could find.

The DVLA released the 10 daftest excuses that folk have offered for not renewing their car tax on time.

Should you pay for the EHIC? Probably not, found Dan Moore.

Budding Rupert Rigsbys would do well to read this piece on taking in lodgers.


Oh, it’s just Brian Blessed rapping. You’re welcome.

Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING installment of THE MONEY SHOT.