It’s almost as if Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is determined to do anything and everything in his power to remain unchallenged as the Rasputin of the airline industry. It’s a role he clearly savors.
So, when his villain mantle was momentarily challenged this week by Spirit Airlines' announcement that it would start charging passengers $30 for carry-on baggage, O’Leary apparently couldn’t resist playing a trump card.
According to this report in London’s Daily Mail, Ryanair will forge ahead with a once-abandoned plan to charge passengers to use onboard bathrooms.
The airline is reportedly working with Boeing to redesign the cabin and develop coin-operated toilets on 168 of its planes. Passengers would have to pay one euro or one British pound to use the restroom.
At the current exchange rate, that would make it about 15% more expensive for a Brit to relieve an urgent need than it would be for other members of the E.U. Do the Irish have a sense of humor or what?
Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara offered the Daily Mail this rationalization: "By charging for the toilets, we are hoping to change passenger behavior so that they use the bathroom before or after the flight. That will enable us to remove two out of three of the toilets and make way for at least six extra seats onboard."
Ryanair did not tell the Daily Mail when the pay toilets would be in place, but the wise flyer would start extreme bladder-control training before purchasing his or her next seat on Ryanair.
— Rob Fixmer