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Latest Ryanair idea: One toilet per plane

Experts say Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s latest cost-cutting proposal won’t fly with passengers.
Ryanair ceo 2011 10 16Enlarge
Irish budget airline Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary speaks during a press conference in Marignane, France, on July 26, 2011. (BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has said he wants to remove most of the toilets in the planes of his low-cost airline, The Independent reports.

Taking out two of the three lavatories on each plane and replacing them with six seats would “fundamentally lower air fares by about five percent for all passengers,” he told The Independent. “We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway,” he said.

High fuel prices are making it difficult for Ryanair, which mostly flies short routes, to keep its fares low, The Independent reports.

Ryanair uses Boeing 737-800 planes, which have a maximum of 189 seats, so Boeing would have to recertify the aircraft to add more seats before Ryanair could make the change, O’Leary told The Independent.

In 2009, O’Leary floated a plan to charge passengers 1 British pound to use toilets on Ryanair flights, a move he claimed would generate 15 million pounds a year, The Associated Press reports.

"Most people would go to the loo (toilet) before they get on the plane, or they hold it until they land,” he told the AP at the time. “You would only have to deal with the people who absolutely have to go.”

The company ultimately canned that change, and O’Leary’s current idea should be flushed, too, a spokesman for Abta, the travel association, told The Independent.

“We all know how inconvenient it can be if a toilet on a plane is out of order or the annoyance of queuing if someone has air sickness in one of the cubicles,” he said. “This move could be a step too far in Ryanair’s on-going mission to provide a totally no-frills service.”

More from GlobalPost: “Pee bags” to the rescue

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/ryanair-toilet-michael-oleary-boeing