Boo Hoo – Can’t Afford the Loo!

I’ve heard of Pay-Per-View.
I’ve heard of Pay-to-Play.
I’ve heard of Pay-to-Click.
I’ve heard of Pay-to-Post.

However, it appears as though we’re about to open up a whole new category. Prepare to add any or all of the following to your vocabulary:

Wee Fee
Flush Fee

And there could be even more. This is not a joke. In fact, there’s nothing funny about it at all.

RyanAir is an Irish low-cost airline headquartered in Dublin, and it constantly strives to bring new meaning to the term “cost saving.” This Irish airline is renowned for its cheap flights and has made no secret of its quest to boost revenue by any means possible. It has almost become an industry joke.

RyanAir operates 181 aircraft and has orders placed for an additional 141 planes. It is the third largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers and the world’s largest airliner in terms of international passengers. Some say it has copied its low-cost model after Southwest Airlines while others claim it has far surpassed that particular model.

RyanAir’s “no frills” approach includes:

  • no business class.
  • operating a single model of aircraft.
  • charges for food, soft drinks and even water.
  • charges for each bag checked into the hold.
  • plans to remove all its check-in counters to encourage travelers to take just one piece of hand luggage.
  • flying into only regional airports where they charge lower fees.
  • charging a fee for bringing aboard any airport purchases.
  • hawking bingo cards and duty-free goods during its flights.
  • seats that do not recline, seats without back pockets and no window shades.

One might be tempted to think that RyanAir is prepared to plumb any depth to make a fast buck and is constantly putting profit before the comfort of its  customers. Just when you think they’ve reached rock bottom, they come up with another idea which leaves you asking yourself: “What Were They Thinking?”

Now RyanAir has decided to start charging passengers to go to the bathroom. Again, this is no joke. It originally requested the engineers at Boeing to design a mechanism for the toilet door to accept coins. That was quickly dismissed as the airline operates heavily in areas which use both the euro and British pound. Now RyanAir has designed a door which will open only if you swipe a credit card through the locking mechanism. To add insult to injury, you not only have to “pay-to-pee,” but you’ll have to do it on credit.

Don’t think for a moment that U.S. airlines aren’t watching this newest revelation to note passenger responses. If it works at RyanAir, we’ll soon be seeing it in the states.

The airline estimates if 20% of passengers pay £1 to use the restroom, this would generate £15 million annually (21 million American dollars)! It might want to consider the fact that charging to use the restrooms might impact the income it has been enjoying by charging passengers for over-priced drinks on board.

Of course, I guess RyanAir could make up for that loss by selling corks and pooper-scoopers!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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