Ryanair’s new cost-cutting proposal to remove plane toilets would leave more than 200 people having to share one bathroom.
This would “lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers” declared O’Leary to The Independent. Removing two of the three lavatories would add six extra seats in Boeing 737 type planes.
Initially, the measure would be applied to planes with shorter routes such as Stansted to Dublin or Edinburgh to Bremen.
Surprisingly enough, there is no legal stipulation for an airline to provide toilets on its aircraft.
O’Leary believes that passengers are ready to experience discomfort and indignity to get from A to B.
This philosophy motivates his alleged controversial proposals, such as leaving planes with only one pilot, paying £1 to spend a penny and “standing cabins” leaving passengers to hold onto rails during turbulence.
Although none of these have been implemented, they undeniably provided free publicity to the company.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport did not want to comment because of the numerous number of proposals of the kind which never materialised.
However for passengers facing current economic pressure, compromises such as these are surprisingly well received. A Daily Telegraph travel survey showed that over half of readers answered that they expected airplanes to start making revenue through charging for the toilet.
O’Leary’s measures have inspired other budget airlines in the past, by being the first to charge passengers for luggage.
With 8 million passengers in August 2011, Ryanair is now established as the largest European airline company. O’Leary has ambitious plans: "At the moment the ice is free, but if we could find a way of targeting a price on it, we would."