It’s been more than a year since we’ve heard much about cheapy European airline Ryanair’s grand plan to charge people to use the toilet. That’s because the carrier has apparently ditched the scheme in favor of simply removing two out of three toilets from each of their planes.
But it’s not just about making flights more uncomfortable for travelers. Those removed toilets would be used to squeeze on another six seats.
“It would fundamentally lower air fares by about five percent for all passengers” Ryanair’s always colorful CEO Michael O’Leary tells The Independent.
Ryanair only flies Boeing 737-800 jets and all of them are currently maxed out to the 189-seat limit. The Independent reports that there’s no law requiring the toilets on the planes, but Ryanair can’t just go adding seats because it wants to.
“We’re trying to push Boeing to re-certify the aircraft for six more seats, particularly for short-haul flights,” explains O’Leary. “We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.”
A rep for Boeing would only say, “We’re always listening to what our customers need but don’t discuss those conversations or any business decisions.”
In response to the news, a spokesman for travel association ABTA said, “We all know how inconvenient it can be if a toilet on a plane is out of order or the annoyance of queuing if someone has air sickness in one of the cubicles. This move could be a step too far in Ryanair’s on-going mission to provide a totally no-frills service.”
We wonder if this move would actually backfire on Ryanair as passengers opt to not pay for in-flight food or drink lest they need to use the facilities.
Thanks to James for the tip!