In these difficult economic times, more air travelers are willing to sacrifice frills for low air fares. However, passengers of U.K.-based Ryanair may have to sacrifice too much, reports The Independent. To save passengers money, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is proposing that bathrooms on each of the budget airline’s Boeing 737-800 jets be replaced with seats.
Keep your legs crossed on Ryanair
Initially, Ryanair had considered charging passengers to use the lavatory, reports The Guardian. Instead of forcing passengers to have exact change on hand if they want to use the facilities, now O’Leary wants as many as 200-plus fliers (passengers and crew) to wait in line.
“It would fundamentally lower air fares by about 5 percent for all passengers, cutting $3.15 from a typical $63 ticket,” O’Leary told The Independent.
Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 jets carry the maximum number of passengers allowed by law, a move to maximize corporate profits and flight availability for consumers. O’Leary has reportedly attempted to get Boeing to add even more seats for short flights. The airline is projected to carry more than 75 million passengers in 2011.
No law requiring toilets
There is no law that requires airlines to provide toilets. As Ryanair limits itself to shorter flights – its longest U.K. route clocks in at four hours, 25 minutes – O’Leary sees the elimination of two toilets as good for business. However, as travel association Abta’s aviation consultant John Strickland notes, the move is a step in the wrong direction.
“This move could be a step too far in Ryanair’s ongoing mission to provide a totally no-frills service,” said Strickland.
Ryanair controversy continues
Ryanair is no stranger to controversy. The largest of Europe’s budget airlines has faced charges from the UK Office of Fair Trading over its practice of assessing administrative fees to customers who pay for tickets with debit and credit cards. Ryanair’s “Cash Passport” is the only way to avoid the $9.45 per person surcharge. Additional baggage fees have also drawn the ire of air travelers.
Another cost-cutting move proposed by O’Leary involved eliminating co-pilots on shorter Ryanair flights. Flight attendants would be next in the chain of command if solo pilot became incapacitated.
The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/sep/08/ryanair-axe-unnecessary-co-pilots
The Independent: http://ind.pn/p8b3SL
RyanAir Sucks: http://davefaq.com/Opinions/RyanAir-Sucks/
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