Friday, February 27, 2009

Ryanair to Charge for Toilet Usage?

Perhaps my bestest buddy Abu Thaar aka Craig can confirm in the comments section that I called this one about 6 years ago after a trip from Frankfurt Hahn to London Stansted on Ryanair.

Here is the link for the following article.

Irish budget airline Ryanair has said it is considering charging passengers for using the toilet while flying.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary told the BBC that the Dublin-based carrier was looking at maybe installing a "coin slot on the toilet door".

Consumer group Which? said the airline was putting "profit before passengers".

Last week Ryanair confirmed it planned to close all of its airport check-in desks by the end of the year in a bid to reduce the cost of its flights.

'Fast buck'

Ryanair aims to offer low basic ticket prices, and then charge extra for items such as checking in at the airport or for additional luggage.

"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 to spend a penny in future," he told the BBC.

He added: "I don't think there is anybody in history that has got on board a Ryanair aircraft with less than a pound."

But Rochelle Turner, head of research at Which? Holiday, said: "It seems Ryanair is prepared to plumb any depth to make a fast buck and, once again, is putting profit before the comfort of its customers.

"Charging people to go to the toilet might result in fewer people buying overpriced drinks on board, though - that would serve Ryanair right."

I agree with the last paragraph in the article. I think overall this will hurt Ryanair's profits as it charges £3 or about $4.50 for a very average cup of coffee that I think a many a people will fore go so that they do not have to risk another £1 fee to use the toilet. And I believe that they charge an even higher price for alcohol.

BUT, and yes it is a big but, the CEO of Ryanair, a gentleman by the name of Michael O'Leary is renowned for crazy PR 'stunts' and press conferences. Check this Times of London article with the 40 best Ryanair headlines over the past decade.

I have never personally had a bad experience with Ryanair in the 15 or so times I have flown with them in the past 6 years. In fact I have had 2 very good experiences, one with a check-in person when my luggage was overweight and the other after I was late to the airport for my flight to Jerez, Spain and was rebooked on a flight to nearby Seville, Spain for a minimal cost.

But I have seen on a flight where a man was having some sort of problems breathing and the flight crew told him he could use a bottle of oxygen but that they would have to charge him £10.

Yes, you heard that right. Ryaiair charge to use oxygen... And you expect toilets to remain gratis???

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