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MissAnnElk
04-06-2009, 21:31
Ryanair's Michael O'Leary defends pay-per-pee fee

Budget airline boss confirms plan to charge for using toilets
Loos will be removed to make way for more seats

Dan Milmo, transport correspondent guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 2 June 2009 14.13 BST

Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary, insisted today that it will cost passengers a pound to spend a penny as he confirmed plans to charge for toilets on his aeroplanes within two years.

The chief executive of Europe's largest budget carrier said the airline would also generate extra revenues by removing two out of the three toilets on its Boeing 737-800 jets and filling the space with up to six seats.

O'Leary first mooted the toilet charges in February, prompting his press officer to warn that the outspoken executive "makes a lot of this stuff up as he goes along". However, O'Leary confirmed that he will ask Boeing to look at putting credit card readers on toilet locks for new aircraft.

"We are serious about it," said O'Leary, who has acquired the nickname Michael O'Really within aviation circles for some of his more outlandish claims. He added: "We are flying aircraft on an average flight time of one hour around Europe. What the hell do we need three toilets for?" He denied that Ryanair was considering the ploy to make a profit from toilet breaks. "It's not because we need to generate money from the jacks. But ... if you get rid of two [toilets] you can get six seats on a 737. They will all be scurrying to the toilet before the departure gate."

Asked if he would be interested in charging 5 a toilet visit in order to eliminate the need for the loo altogether, he said: "If someone wanted to pay 5 to go to the toilet I would carry them myself. I would wipe their bums for a fiver."

O'Leary added that Boeing's research department would now be able to work on the toilet concept because "war in Iraq and Afghanistan is winding down".

Ryanair is one of the pioneers of the add-on fees that are a distinctive feature of the low-cost business model and makes huge profits from imposing service charges that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago, such as bag check-in fees.

A poorly judged investment in Irish rival Aer Lingus pushed Ryanair into its first annual loss in 20 years today, but the airline is profitable once those losses are stripped out, helped by a 23% increase in revenues from add-on charges to 598m (518m). Those so-called ancillary revenues now play an increasingly important role in underpinning Ryanair's profits and a loo fee will only increase their profitability.

Qdos
04-06-2009, 21:33
It's a great shame for the mile high club... :D

Scrat335
04-06-2009, 23:01
"We are flying aircraft on an average flight time of one hour around Europe. What the hell do we need three toilets for?"


It makes perfect sense.

Miracle77777
04-06-2009, 23:23
Sometimes the duration of one minute depends on by what side of toilet cabin you are....
:D

Qdos
05-06-2009, 00:19
It makes perfect sense.

You wouldn't say that if you'd ever had 'bad' Aeroflot fish, I can remember the queues for the toilets forming just 25 minutes after people had eaten the stuff... :nono:

Andy B
05-06-2009, 05:52
Surely forcing people to pay for the toilet will deter people from buying drinks on the plane... I thought one of the big profit areas for the budget airlines was the amount they charge for F&B on the flights.

When you couple in the "bad press" this will cause, in my mind, this idea will backfire on them.

J.D.
05-06-2009, 05:58
When I first got to Moscow I didn't realize that these ladies outside of the toilets in shopping malls were there to charge you for using the toilets. I thought they were selling something. I would just walk past since I couldn't read or understand Russian then. Of course they would start screaming something and I just thought that these 'salesmen' were rather aggressive and very rude.

MissAnnElk
05-06-2009, 09:36
Surely forcing people to pay for the toilet will deter people from buying drinks on the plane... I thought one of the big profit areas for the budget airlines was the amount they charge for F&B on the flights

Oooh! Good point!

I agree that with flights of an hour, it probably isn't as necessary. But as someone who almost always travels with kids, and more than one kid, it would be enough to cause me to choose a different airline. I would not be above propping the door open with my knee so as to get all three of us processed on one payment: modest be damned.

Of course, that may be what they want: sober adults only. :beerbros:

Carbo
05-06-2009, 10:55
I think that this might actually be illegal.

Surely one can't charge for something that a person can't avoid using?

MissAnnElk
05-06-2009, 11:07
I think that this might actually be illegal.

Surely one can't charge for something that a person can't avoid using?


I dunno: they cannot force you to buy this airline's product . . . don't buy a ticket if you don't like the service. That's what they'll argue.

Carbo
05-06-2009, 11:12
I dunno: they cannot force you to buy this airline's product . . . don't buy a ticket if you don't like the service. That's what they'll argue.
Yes, but there are certain minimum standards that they have to abide by. The plane has to be safe to fly, for example. They can't just sell tickets for an Indiana Jones style leaky cargo plane filled with chickens, goats and a stoic old Tibenan woman and then say "well, if you don't like the service, that's up to you."

I'm no expert on this, and given that they've announced the measure already, it's more likely that I'm wrong; but for an aeroplane, which can't stop, and tends to be in the air for hours at a time, I suspect there may be something that they're not abiding to -- in spirit, at least.

jeyla
05-06-2009, 11:16
i agree, this is really taking it too far! and what are you supposed to do if you dont have imediate means of payment? hold it in? pee in the aisle??! wear diapers? and how can someone in their right mind refuse access to the facilities to a person who had just had the misfortune to injest the infamous aeroflot fish ;-)

MissAnnElk
05-06-2009, 11:40
Initially I had visions of the flight attendants carrying those change makers on their belts, since you'd need a pound coin. But the article suggests swiping a credit card at the door . . .

Qdos
05-06-2009, 12:21
I think that this might actually be illegal.

It sure is, under UK law.

If you serve beverages and/or snacks and food on your own premises then you have to provide lavatory facilities to your guests at no extra cost.

I said this on the first occasion there was a thread about Ryan air getting bogged down in this loonacy... ;)

Not only that, but what about people who're nervous about crowded places or flying? They often need to go to the WC to splash a bit of cold water on their faces to make themselves feel more comfortable.

What about baby changing facilities? Are people going to start stripping off dirty nappies in cabins on their laps instead? This actually happened on an Illuyshin 96 Aeroflot SVO - LHR flight I was on once; the stench throughout the business class cabin was dreadful, people were gagging, some started to vomit... :yuk: