The Irish Times is reporting that Dublin-based Ryanair, whose reputation for extreme fees is well-known, will "press ahead with plans to charge passengers to use its aircraft’s toilets." Last year, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary floated the idea, and even asked Boeing about adding credit card readers to the stall doors, all while suggesting the whole thing was a publicity stunt.
But now, stunt or not, Ryanair seems to be moving forward with the idea. "Despite admitting its announcement last year that it might install coin-operated facilities was a publicity stunt," says the Times, "chief executive Michael O’Leary is now revisiting the issue, according to the airline.
"Ryanair would also like to remove the two toilets at the back of each aircraft, leaving only one on board and creating room for six extra seats." The Times threw some cold water on this idea, however, saying the cost of such retrofitting, which would require extensive testing and certification of emergency exits and evacuation times, could fall between €250,000 and €500,000 per plane. That's a lot of trips to the bathroom.
A Ryanair spokesperson said the proposed £1/€1 fee would only apply to flights one hours or less. In its in-flight magazine, the airline claimed the fee could allow the carrier to lower fares by at least 5 percent.
Readers, what do you think? Is Ryanair serious? Is this even that bad of an idea for short-haul flights, especially if fares take a corresponding drop? Or is this simply a line no airline should even consider crossing? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.