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.