Ryanair Supposedly Not Kidding About Installing Pay Toilets

If the NYT is to be believed, the CEO of Ryanair, one Michael O’Leary, was not kidding when he said that the low cost airline would be installing pay toilets on board their aircraft. In fact, it seems that these hypothetical toilets will be accepting credit cards.

From the NYT:

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s outspoken chief executive, told The Guardian that the airline plans to ask Boeing to add a credit-card reader to toilet locks and wants to reconfigure its 737-800 jets, adding space for six additional seats by removing two of the three toilets. “We are flying aircraft on an average flight time of one hour around Europe,” Mr. O’Leary argued, “what the hell do we need three toilets for?”

Meanwhile, other UK media outlets are reporting that Ryanair is going to get rid of airport check-in desks and will start charging passengers to check-in online. There was also some discussion of making passengers handle their own bags.

Of course, it might all be a bunch of bullsh*t. Previously, O’Leary admitted that the pay toilet scheme was just a PR stunt. Perhaps Mr. O’Leary should charge the newspapers a fee to know if he’s kidding or not.

Budget Airline to Charge for Toilet Use [NYT]


Edit Your Comment

  1. RodAox says:

    How about I just learn how to fly and buy my own plane ?

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @RodAox: It’s not a good cost proposition but it’s WAY more fun.

    • magic8ball says:

      @RodAox: Oh, come on – any good Consumerist reader knows it’s more satisfying to build your own.

    • Citizen Kang says:


      It’s going to be a lot tougher to use the toilet when you’re the only one flying the plane. Sure, there’s autopilot, but that won’t avoid meteors and UFO’s. Besides, who are you going to ask for bathroom change when you’re the only one in that bucket of bolts?

  2. geoffhazel says:

    Next thing you know, guys will be hanging onto the coke cans to relive themselves in their seats.

    And don’t laugh, I actually saw this on a transporter bus ride to the airport. One fellow had been drinking beer all day and just HAD to go, right there into his empty Bud can.

    I felt sorry for his girlfriend.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @geoffhazel: Why? Did she have to hold it?

    • P_Smith says:

      @geoffhazel: I’d like to see how a case of this would stand up in court. Hypothetically:

      Defendant: “Your honor, I don’t have a credit card and there was no other way to pay for the toilet – no coins, and they didn’t have the decency to open it when I asked. What was I supposed to do, soil my pants? The last row was empty and the floor seemed the most logical place.”

      Judge: “Ryanair, you are idiots.”

      When people are captive in a situation, they should be accomodated. This is really no different than a workplace or a construction site that doesn’t offer facilities to its employees and then docks them pay for leaving to relieve themselves.

    • bornonbord says:

      @geoffhazel: I’m sorry you had to see that. I figured that the bud can would be best since you can’t see through it.

      However, in retrospect, my girlfriend’s plastic coke bottle would have been better for the mere fact it had a screw-on lid.

      Ah well… It washed out of my shirt after I spilled it.

  3. AldisCabango says:

    If I could fly from NYC to Orlando florida for 10 bucks, which is as cheap as some RyanAir flights are I will pay for a toilet visit

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    You know, after the second or third time I used a RyanAir airsickness bag for a non-approved, bowel-clensing purpose, I’ll bet the next flight, RyanAir would pay me to use their lavatory.

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    Removing 3 toilets? 1 toilet for an ENTIRE 737?!
    It’s nice to see that the same person who planned the customer queuing for Wal-Mart’s Black Friday has found gainful employment with RyanAir.

  6. wcnghj says:

    They will probably have a $2 credit card fee.

    In the UK, it’s not usually against the terms.

  7. wheresmymind says:

    They’re taking a small but real leap of faith in assuming that every one of their customers would rather shell out a couple bucks than relieve themselves publicly. I’m sure it won’t be long before someone is drunk/desperate/pissed off enough to call their bluff.

    • MsAnthropy says:



      I’m just trying to picture any given Thursday morning Stansted-Dublin flight (guaranteed to be about 80% full of stag (i.e. bachelor) party groups headed for a super-long weekend of excess and debauchery) not resulting in at least one case of someone just pissing all over the aisle rather than use the toilet.

      Aaaand, if they introduced pay toilets, they’d all be at it…

  8. H3ion says:

    When you fly a single engine plane between Washington and New York, where’s the toilet? I guess you could hang out the window but the people on the ground might be able to read your wing number. For a one hour flight, it probably doesn’t matter, unless you’re sitting on the runway three hours waiting for your one hour flight.

    • cluberti says:

      @H3ion: And that “never” happens, right? I mean, the airline system in this country is the *model* of efficiency, no? /sarcasm

    • jamesdenver says:


      During a fuel stop, or a wide mouth water bottle. I have my PPL, (not current right now,) but I’ve done that a few times when flying a 172 or 182.

      Ask any pilot or four seater passenger – it’s not a big dealer. In front of 100 strangers? hmm not so much

      I think pilot shops even sell a female version.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @H3ion: See my comment, above abut ignoring queuing theory. A handful of people behave differently than hundreds. And a 737 has different queuing stats than a single-engine puddle-jumper.
      There’s quite a bit of science known in these regards. They’re simply ignoring it, or counting on it.

  9. LordofthePing says:

    Commode Fees:
    Entry fee- $2.00
    (First 2 minutes are free, $0.50 per minute afterward)
    Bathroom tissue fee- $0.25 per sheet
    Waste disposal fee- $1.00 per 250ml or 500ml for $1.75!
    Waterless liquid soap fee- $0.20 per 20ml “squirt”
    Water- In order to protect our oceans, this plane has replaced water fixtures with biodegradable waterless liquid soap dispensers which eliminate 99.99% of known bacteria.

    Please enjoy flushing your money down the toilet!

  10. Meathamper says:

    That’s OK, I’ve already invested in this.

    That, and poopsocking.

  11. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    “Okay, sir, that’s one Ryanair ticket. Would you like pooping, or non-pooping?”

    If I really had to go while I was 30,000 feet over Sheffield, I’d pay the $2. But I wouldn’t be happy about it.

  12. redkamel says:

    I used race crew shels, where there was no where to pee before the race, and you weren;t allowed to pee on the race course, after a 1 hr warmup. 9 guys in the boat. We used, and shared, wide mouth bottles (with a dump out, usually, between people). Now to my point. One person’s mom bought them this cool thing “pilots use” which was a powder in a trough. Pee in the trough, and the powder expands and becomes hard gel. Voila, no mess, no spill. Wrap it in saran wrap and you’re done!

  13. f86sabre says:

    Corrosive pee and aluminum aircraft structure are not a good combo. I know this for a fact.

    • Crim Law Geek says:

      My google-fu is currently weak, but I remember reading a story that Canada had to change the main beams on some of there C-130 aircraft b/c the toilets on board did not have a top. Urine from hundreds of users vented up and partially melted the aluminum beams. Cost a pretty penny too.

      Of course this story could be completely bullshit. I flew on an American C130 and the bathroom up front was just a urinal with a curtain around it (there was a sit-down toilet at the back of the plane), and I never heard of the DoD having to replace structural members because of it.

    • catnapped says:

      @f86sabre: Peed on a couple of planes, have you?

  14. mgy says:

    Do they have a credit card swiping machine on the Wetvac that the stewardesses will be using to mop up after someone pees on the floor? It’s going to happen.

  15. Black-Cat says:

    If that goes through, you can damn well bet people will be leaving those restrooms in horrible shape as a form of protest; and flight attendants don’t clean them.

  16. Mint137 says:

    Well then, I guess I’m supposedly not gonna ever take Ryanair. I think basic bodily necessities OVERRIDE these things. It makes sense on the ground, pay toilets exist in San Francisco and San Jose, when you can find somewhere else to eat and go while you’re there, but when it becomes the only option, I think its retarded.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @Mint137: pay toilets in continental europe are the norm, in my experience. not sure about ireland, never having been

  17. sanjsrik says:

    Do you think that when there’s a water landing, they’ll set up a turnstile at the door before you can side out to the liferaft?

    ooh ooh ooh, I know, CHARGE for oxygen as the plane is crashing. “If you require oxygen, please insert your credit card.”

    ooh ooh ooh, I know, ONCE they’re actually IN the toilet after having paid, they have to:
    1. Pay to get toilet paper dispensed
    2. Pay to wash their hands.

    and the MOST brillant part:

    3. PAY to get out of the toilet or else if they don’t after they wash their hands (that is IF they wash their hands, those cheap bastards who won’t pay up), the toilet opens up under them and they are ejected from the plane for being unwilling to listen to FAA toilet guidelines.

  18. sanjsrik says:

    I say we all bring our own bottles of snapple and leave them behind filled with pee.

  19. humphrmi says:

    Does Ryan Air sell food on board their aircraft? Including chilled beverages? If so, they can’t come to America with their pay toilets.

  20. Alex Chasick says:

    I just took a stroll through the RyanAir tag, and it was rewarding.

  21. Employees Must Wash Hands says:

    The article also mentions RyanAir supposedly plans to eliminate their check-in counters, and also intends to fire baggage handlers in favor of having passengers load their own bags onto the aircraft.

    If this doesn’t bury the needle on your BS meter, I don’t know what would!

  22. nocturnaljames says:

    I would be happy to pay for toilet use if it lowers the cost of my flight. Honestly I don’t even think I’ve used the toilet in an aircraft before.

  23. verbatim613 says:

    Hmmm, I guess the s*** is really going to hit the fan now….

  24. vladthepaler says:

    Why don’t they just add a surcharge for being seated on the toilet, like some airlines do for being seated in emergency exit rows? They don’t need to remove those two extra toilets, they just need to relabel them “first class”.

  25. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I wonder if they have factored in the time and money it costs to unbolt a row of seats, remove it from the plane and bolt in a “dry” row?

    I recall being on a flight when I was a kid where a gentleman,unfamiliar with flying, didn’t know there were toilets on the plane. As I recall the delay during the stopover was lengthy…

    Not to mention the cost of cleaning the soiled seat… Of course I am making an assumption that the soiled seat is removed and cleaned… I assume Ryan Air is not going to ask the next passenger to clean it themselves… or worse.

  26. Con Sumer Zealot says:

    Somebody needs to organize a “Piss In” protest on one of the planes shortly after this goes into effect, and yes that means going in your seat and not in the bathroom. That or go to headquarters and start pissing in their lobby.

    There are just SOME things it should be illegal to charge money for.

  27. consumerfan says:

    So, if their ONE toilet breaks down or is rendered unusable, no-one can go for the entire flight?

    That’s why you have 3 toilets on a plane.

  28. Squeezer99 says:

    I remember when I was a little kid, like 4 or 5, my parents loaded me into their van and we went on a trip to Pikes Peak in Colorado. At the top of the mountain was a visitor center and I had to go to the bathroom. So I walked into the stall, closed the door, and peedin the toilet like normal. Well to get out of the stall, you had to insert some change into a box on the stall door to unlock the stall door. I remember being like WTF. Well you know how bathroom stall walls are like a foot off of the ground so you can see someone’s feet to see if the stall is occupied. Well I just crawled under the door in that 1 foot gap and left. heh.

  29. axiomatic says:

    Message received: Never fly Ryanair. Got it.

  30. Jubes says:

    My boyfriend and I were planning on flying Ryanair from Paris to Dublin. It was 10 Euros total, no extra fees, for both of us. I’m sure in the hour long flight if i had to pee really bad I’d pay 2 Euros. Most of Ryanairs flights aren’t much longer than an hour anyway, so if you don’t want to pay, go before you board.

  31. bigmac12 says:

    After finding many piss-stained seats I’m sure that El Cheapo Ryan will change his mind.
    He probably has pay toilets at his office.

  32. andybarlow01 says:

    A couple of observations…

    1. If your credit card falls in their toilet while you’re trying to pay to use it, who’s on the hook for it?

    2. “Ryaniar” sounds like an airline put together by some old frat brothers. Couldn’t they come up with a better (or at least more professional) sounding name?

  33. Skater009 says:

    Fuck them – hope they go out of bis , drive its safer.

  34. anduin says:

    guess Ill just start pissing in the isles