TEXT OF STORY
Stacey Vanek-Smith: Bathrooms and carry-on bags seem to be the latest targets of airlines’ cost-cutting schemes. Last week, Ryanair announced plans to rip out two of the three toilets on some planes to add seats. This week, CEO Michael O’Leary says that might not fly. Brett Neely has more.
Brett Neely: Right now, Ryanair planes carry a maximum of 189 passengers. That’s all the Federal Aviation Administration allows. Adding more seats could slow down evacuating passengers in an emergency, so it might not be allowed.
But O’Leary suggested Boeing, which supplies Ryanair’s entire fleet, isn’t being helpful enough. Last year, Ryanair backed out of buying more 737s because Boeing wouldn’t cut its prices.
Richard Aboulafia: Now I think Boeing is probably understandably reluctant to going along so that Ryanair can have additional seats to sell.
That’s Richard Aboulafia, aviation analyst at the Teal Group. He says O’Leary is desperate to show that the company is all about nickel and diming to lower ticket prices. But he says O’Leary is also brilliant at making outrageous proposals, like pay toilets and standing room only seats.
Aboulafia: I think Ryanair has found a fantastic way of generating publicity.
Boeing wouldn’t comment on the record. And I couldn’t leave a message at Ryanair’s Dublin headquarters, because there was no voicemail. Maybe they’re skimping on that, too.
I’m Brett Neely for Marketplace.
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