BRITISHAirways smartly turned the tables on rival Ryanair last week to leave the Irish carrier looking like dummies.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary and sales and marketing director Tim Jeans were standing outside a BA Travel Shop crowing about how low their fares are compared to BA's.
Suddenly, the shop door opened and, to the amazement of assembled hacks and Ryanair personnel, BA staff came out carrying drinks for everyone.
A short stand-off ensued before everyone got on like long-lost buddies.
A slightly embarrassed Jeans coolly accepted the orange juice and calmly passed the time of day with the BA crew, while O'Leary chatted curtly with a member of BA's press team.
O'Leary was, however, gracious enough to inspect one of BA's latest adverts for free flights for frequent flyers. He didn't take up the offer.
The confrontation with BA certainly topped a miserable morning for O'Leary.
He flew in specially from Dublin to Stansted to meet journalists in the City, so he could promote new £15.99 fares.
However, he did not reckon on the dubious nature of the UK railway system in getting him to the press conference on time. Having got to Stansted in an hour from Dublin, O'Leary spent the next 2hrs 30mins staring ruefully at the Essex countryside as his so-called Stansted Express was constantly delayed on its way toLondon.
To cap it all, just as a breathless O'Leary arrived in Cheapside for the cameras, the rain started coming down.
"You pay just *******£16 for an hour's flight to Stansted and then a ******* £22 fare for the train to London and then have to wait for two and a half ******* hours on the train," spluttered a red-faced O'Leary.
Maybe he should go into the train business as well. He could call it Ryan's Express!
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