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Ryanair charging for in-flight toilet

The "flush" button on an airplane toilet.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: The European low-fare airline Ryanair is taking the idea of a no-frills flight to new heights. The Irish company has announced it will charge passengers to use the rest room. From London, Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Ryan Air first floated this plan a year ago but then under a hail of criticism withdrew it. Now they've decided to revive the idea. Passengers on short flights of less than one hour will have to use a coin-operated toilet. The cost of admission: one pound. The equivalent of about $1.50.

The airline's head of communications is Stephen McNamara. He says the pay toilets won't raise much revenue themselves, but they will deter inconvenient behavior.

STEPHEN MCNAMARA: The majority of passengers don't actually get up and move around the cabin during a one hour flight but there are a minority who do and we want to try and change the behavior of that minority so that they go to the toilet maybe before they get on the aircraft, and they don't interrupt other passengers during the flight.

But he concedes the main point of reducing restroom use is the bottom line. The airline is planning to cut the number of on-board toilets to one. That should allow them to put in another row of seats.

In London, this is Steven Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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