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Before Boarding Ryanair, Skip to the Loo My Darling

April 8, 2010

In addition to turbulence, terrorism and too-tiny bags of peanuts, add tinkling to the list of things to worry about while aboard an airplane.

Ryanair, the Dublin-based airline synonymous with ridiculously inexpensive flights, is moving ahead with plans to install coin-operated toilets on 168 of their airplanes. In addition to charging up to €1 for each visit to the restroom on flights 1 hour or less, Ryanair is working with Boeing on aircraft re-designs that will reduce the number of toilets on board from 3 to only 1.

In doing so, Ryanair is hoping to incentivise passengers to use the airport’s resources pre- and post-flight rather than their own. The reduction will also allow for at least 6 more passengers on board and will reduce ticket prices by at least 5 percent.

When Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s penny-pinching chief, hinted at the the changes last year, analysts were uncertain if he was serious or simply poking fun at his airline’s reputation for arbitrary charges which already include fees for credit card payments, online and airport check-in, and traveling with an infant. Turns out O’Leary wasn’t just yanking our toilet chains – you can expect to see these changes over the next two years.

While some may argue that these charges help keep flight costs low, others question if the move is an infringement on passenger rights and see the forthcoming potty policy as an accident waiting to happen.

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