Europe As Europe scrimps, budget airline Ryanair soars

Europeans may be tightening their belts, but they're still flying Ryanair, whose profits were up in the first half of 2012. And the airline is eying expansion in Eastern Europe, Africa, and even the US.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire/AP

Spartan, garishly colored cabin interiors, seats stripped of pockets, a seemingly constant bombardment of mid-air retail offerings, and a cheesy automated trumpet fanfare that announces “yet another on-time arrival.”