Ryanair: Pay toilets coming to a plane near you

by Charlie Leocha on February 27, 2009

This morning, chief executive Michael O’Leary of Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline said his airline might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying. Was this a tongue-in-cheek comment?

“One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound ($1.43) to spend a penny in future,” he told BBC television.

O’Leary seemed serious enough, “We are always looking at ways of constantly lowering the cost of air travel and making it affordable and easier for all passengers to fly with us. I don’t think there is anybody in history that has got on board a Ryanair craft with less than a pound. What do you do at Liverpool Street station at the moment [when] you need to spend a penny? I think you have to spend 20p to go to the toilets.”

Is this a ploy to keep the Ryanair name in the news? Or, is O’Leary really thinking of this new income initiative?

He and his airline are on the front pages in the UK and he is laughing all the way to the bank.

O’Leary is definitely of P.T. Barnum’s camp, believing, “I don’t care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right!”

With all of the complaints about add-on fees on Ryanair that are repeated ad nauseum in the European press, travelers still flock to the low-cost carrier and the airline continues to make money and lower airfares.

Will we see pay toilets? I doubt it, but then again, O’Leary has surprised me in the past. If he manages to put a coin slot on aircraft toilet doors successfully, pay toilets will be coming to a plane near you.

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  • Frank

    Back when Washington, DC had the 30 minute rule, where no one could get up and move about the cabin or use lavatories. I talked to a flight attendant back then who said, while preparing the cabin for landing, a passenger handed the flight attendant a cup……………..full…………………….of…………………………urine.

    ew.

  • ct

    I’m pretty sure this policy will backfire when passengers just pee on the empty seat next to them instead.

  • Hapgood

    It would probably be a more effective protest for passengers (at least the male ones) to pee on the coin slot.

    If an airline does install pay toilets, I’d bet that United would be the first. The proceeds would be added to Glenn Tilton’s compensation package, since that’s a way of showing his commitment to shareholder value.

  • http://www.bonjourparis.com Karen Fawcett

    Is this the same executive who, according to Wikipedia ….

    “In a press conference discussing Ryanair’s planned intercontinental service RyanAtlantic, O’Leary jokingly described the airline’s first-class travel experience as featuring “free beds and blowjobs.”[26] ”

    Yuppp – spell my name right (we hope).

  • Jamie

    Isn’t it illegal to charge to use the toilet in the U.S? I thought I had heard that it was. If that is the case, once you hit US air space, will the toilets then become free?

  • Heather Collins

    In the US, if you operate a business where food is sold for immediate consumption, albeit a restaurant or someone who sells food for immediate consumption and other
    goods (BJ’s, Walmarts) and has a certain amount of seats, they MUST provide
    FREE toliets. So I’m predicting that this will not happen in on US carriers.

    And even if it did, all it would take is one passenger doing the cup thing and it would be over. In addition to the public outcry of sitting next to someone with that…there would be health violations all over the place.

  • Bunny

    If this happens, we could see an upsurge in the adult diaper industry.

  • Carrie Charney

    The floor could do as well, or the barf bags, if there is not a charge instituted for them. I’m sure cleaning the plane would cost a lot more than not charging for the lavs. But then Ryanair could save money by not cleaning the plane… Surely this rule will not materialize.

  • Philip Diamond

    Ryanair’s new slogan for pay toilets could be “Pay a pound to leave a pound.”

  • http://www.twclimited.com Carter Stewart

    Not since the British all-business class airline Silverjet installed “women only loos,” was there anything to really discuss about taking a “poweder” on board. Then today, Ryanair’s boss suggested that the potential for “spending a pound [sterling]” to go take care of your business might be a better way to go.”

    The man is a PR Hound, and frankly between the annoucements about closng check-in desks, and the now famous exchange between Ryanair IT Support and a customer showing just how low they can go- this man is just crying wolf!

    See why we think O’Leary’s verbal incontinence should come to an end at:
    http://www.twclimited.com//blog/

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  • Bill

    They should charge $500 for people who want to be able to recline their seat. Three quarters of it can be given to the poor passenger behind.

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