If you’re still angry over airline Ryanair’s announcement last week that they’ll begin charging to use the bathroom on flights, as well as reducing the number of lavatories, you’re not alone — and the law might be on your side. One critic of the policy says he thinks the airline could be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by limiting access to restrooms.
In an interview with AOLNews’ Tony Deconinck, Dr. Steven Soifer, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and the co-founder of the American Restroom Association and Shy Bladder center says the airline’s move to get rid of two out of three bathrooms and install coin-operated locks on planes is shocking.
Whether it’s shy bladder or incontinence, it’s a medical condition that affects tens of millions of people in the U.S. Consequently, given that difficulty, any proposal like this is ludicrous and may be illegal. One of our members is going through ADA amendments passed in 2009. Those state that [one] cannot discriminate against people who have conditions like bladder issues.”
Even though the ADA only applies in America, Soifer believes Ryanair could be in trouble with international human rights laws, adding that “it is a human right to freely eliminate yourself.”
Ryanair has said they hope the move will encourage people to use the restroom before and after their flight. The reduction in bathrooms will make room for as many as six additional seats.
Department of Transportation Secretary Roy La Hood criticized the potty policy recently, saying, “I think when you charge somebody to use the bathroom, you don’t care about your customers. I mean, it’s pretty clear.”
Even though Ryanair doesn’t fly to the U.S., this view should make other airlines like Spirit Air, which recently began charging for carry-on items, think twice before trying to institute a similar plan.
What’s next — deplaning fees? Oxygen tax?