Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Ryanair mulls charge for toilets

Michael O'Leary: 'People might have to spend a pound to spend a penny'

Irish budget airline Ryanair has said it is considering charging passengers for using the toilet while flying.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary told the BBC that the Dublin-based carrier was looking at maybe installing a "coin slot on the toilet door".

Consumer group Which? said the airline was putting "profit before passengers".

Ryanair's PR chief Steven McNamara later played down the idea, saying: "I don't think it's going to happen in the foreseeable future".

"Will it happen long-term, I'm not really sure," he said.

"It's one of those things that when Michael starts looking at something, you know, it's always up for discussion."

Last week Ryanair confirmed it planned to close all of its airport check-in desks by the end of the year in a bid to reduce the cost of its flights.

'Fast buck'

Ryanair aims to offer low basic ticket prices, and then charge extra for items such as checking in at the airport or for additional luggage.

"One thing we have looked at in the past, and are looking at again, is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door, so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future," he told the BBC.

He added: "I don't think there is anybody in history that has got on board a Ryanair aircraft with less than a pound."

But Rochelle Turner, head of research at Which? Holiday, said: "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.

"Charging people to go to the toilet might result in fewer people buying overpriced drinks on board, though - that would serve Ryanair right."



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