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By Gerri L. Elder on Mar 2, 2009 with no responses

In-Flight Toilet Charge? Pay Per Pee-Pee on Ryanair

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So what happens to a pound-less individual who can't control their bladder during a flight?

Using the toilet on an airplane is no fun under the best of circumstances. Ryanair has just proposed making it even worse. To cut costs and reduce basic ticket prices, the airline is considering charging passengers for the privilege of using bathrooms during flights.

Imagine feeling ill or that your bladder may burst while in transit. On most airlines, you would make a dash for the restroom and hope there is no line. On Ryanair, you would have to stop and fish around in your pocket or purse for a coin to put in the slot on the door before getting any relief.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary told the BBC that the airline was considering installing the pay per pee-pee doors so that “people might actually have to spend a pound ($1.42) to spend a penny.” He added, “I don’t think there’s anybody in history gone on board a Ryanair flight with less than a pound.”

Things could get messy.

The Dublin-based budget airline already has plans to close its airport check-in desks and charge extra for checking additional luggage to keep costs low.

“We are always at Ryanair looking at ways of constantly lowering the cost of air travel to make it affordable and easier for all passengers to fly with us,” said O’Leary.

The toilet charge is just another idea Ryanair execs are batting around, but some already admit it is one that should be flushed. Ryanair’s PR chief Steven McNamara says that charging passengers for in-flight toilet service probably will not happen any time soon.

McNamara told The Telegraph, “Michael makes a lot of this stuff up as he goes along and, while this has been discussed internally, there are no immediate plans to introduce it.”

Michael’s idea struck a chord with Rochelle Turner, head of research at Which? Holiday. Turner told The Telegraph, “It seems Ryanair is prepared to plumb any depth to make a fast buck and, once again, is putting profit before the comfort of its customers,” she said. “Charging people to go to the toilet might result in fewer people buying overpriced drinks on board, though – that would serve Ryanair right.”

If Ryanair were to start charging for in-flight toilet service, it could lead to many changes. Passengers might certainly avoid drinking on flights and be sure to empty their bladders before boarding – or they could decide to fly with an airline that includes toilet privileges with the ticket price.

So what happens if a passenger doesn’t have money to pay for bowel relief? Imagine having to contemplate whether to ask your seatmate to spare a pound, or even worse, the consequences of not doing so.