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bathroomAdd any beverage to our list of foods to avoid before flying. The Independent reports that Michael O’Leary, CEO of European discount carrier Ryanair, plans to excise two of the three toilets on his company’s planes. The move will allow room for up to six more seats to be installed in lieu of the loos.

O’Leary told The Independent that such a change would reduce fares by about 5 percent per ticket. The gigantic downside, of course, is that there’ll be just a single available restroom on all Ryanair planes (Boeing 737’s that carry up to 189 people, according to SeatGuru.com). It’s a scary thought — especially when one considers the possibility of a toilet malfunction happening in the only lavatory on a full flight.

This isn’t the first time Ryanair’s unsettling initiatives have had passengers squirming. In Spirit vs. Ryanair: Who’s the Ugliest Airline of Them All?, we blogged about the carrier’s egregious fees (from a 20 GBP charge for infant fliers to a 6 GBP booking fee) and poor customer service ratings, among other disappointments. Back in 2009, O’Leary even proposed charging passengers to use the toilet on flights. That plan has since been flushed, but the CEO’s latest anti-bathroom campaign is even worse.

I’d rather pay a few pounds to use the lavatory on a plane than share a single commode with two hundred fliers. What’s your take? Share your thoughts in the comments.

— written by Caroline Costello

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60 Responses to “Can Ryanair Make Do with One Toilet per Plane?”

  1. gill morris says:

    I heard a radio interview with Michael O’Leary the other day and he was asked how passengers can avoid the charges for travelling with infants. His reply was “Don’t bring them with you!”

    The interviewer was left speachless!

  2. Carol says:

    I would never fly this airline they are going to have puke and piss all over it! What if someone is sick? Mothers changing baby’s diapers? Can you imagine the lines? It’s sickening they would even consider doing this to the people just to make them selves richer! How disgusting they should be ashamed of themselves for even considering it, I hope they get sued by angry passengers!

    • nik says:

      reply sued by angry passengers doesn’t help, tHE government has to take in charge this matter!!! But governments to day are no governments anymore s!!!!

      • Don says:

        Why get upset?? If you like the idea, FLY WITH IT.
        If you don’t, FLY some other airline.
        Whichever you decide,


  3. Susan says:

    All you need is one person bringing home Traveler’s Tummy and the whole plane would be infected! My one experience with Ryanair was so horrific I wouldn’t consider flying with them again. There was no cheap flight after the $300 baggage fee, no seats together even after paying the extra for a this and we had to listen to adverts for the whole 3.5 hours. When we arrived at East Midlands airport at midnight (the flight was 2 hours late) we had to line up out side in the rain for 45 mins because of the backlog at customs. It was a terrible experience.

  4. Debra says:

    I wonder if they will be selling “piddle paks” or just “Depends” in the in-flight boutique? Anything to make a profit. Next it will be pay more for clothing to save weight & money on fuel. (Hint: don’t bring your parka on the Norway trip. Pick one up there & leave it when you depart.)

  5. jc says:

    I’m in, I’d definitely pay 5% extra to not have to share a bathroom with almost 200 other people. This is the kind of thing that leads to laws having to be made because someone decided to do something stupid to make a few bucks.

    Though at the same time, having a legally required number of restrooms per number of people wouldn’t be a bad idea.. unfortunately it’ll probably take some kind of horrible disaster to be initiated.

  6. Mary Wendel says:

    Next thing you know they’ll can (no pun intended) the pilots and let the passengers fly the plane, for a fee of course.

  7. John says:

    Save a little extra, spend a little more and enjoy your vacation. DO NOT FLY RYANAIR out of principle. But alas, people will. I won’t

  8. Jim says:

    Spirit and Ryan are birds of a feather. Considering how many corners they cut, I wonder if they haven’t cut similar corners on safety. I won’t fly Ryan or Spirit, but then again I usually stay in hotels that are rated 2 star or above.

    Ryan and Spirit are the “Hostels of the air”. Take care and beware, unfortunately there are more than bed bugs that are a concern at 35,000 feet

  9. Susan Rumsey says:

    If they do it and get away with it, they’ll be sorry. Their “success” with this ploy will be its own punishment.

  10. Scott says:

    I flew on Ryan Air back in 2004 from Hahn Germany to Forli, Italy. They had the last 10 so rows trays down and not letting people in them. But we only paid $52 USD for both tickets includign tax. While it was no-frills,and stuck in Hahn as they replaced a tempature module for outside temp for about 1 hour. The overall experience was ok for the price.

    They did push the cart of overprised gadgets and other gifts though!

    But to the point above – I wouldn’t want to wait in line with 189 other people.
    I was in a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas for 5 hours and there was a line for all the bathrooms.

  11. Dan Bowman says:

    The easiest way to communcate this is unacceptable is to stop using the airline. No sales revenue, and they will get the message very quickly.

  12. jcak says:

    Fly another airline!!

  13. Cynthia says:

    I hope O’Leary is paying attention. There’s no way I’ll ever fly Ryanair if he decides to proceed with this. And I could see the whole thing backfiring on him. A 5 per cent fare reduction may draw a few more passengers, but the first time they fly Ryanair will also likely be their last time flying Ryanair. Also, think of what the line-ups will be like in the aisles, as people line up for a chance at that one bathroom. Do you think they’re going to sit back down if there’s turbulence? Will they risk losing their places in line? No way! This sounds downright dangerous.

  14. El says:

    If They go forward with this rediculous idea, I hope they go bankrupt before they are sued for millions.

  15. Cadilllac says:

    I applaud Michael O’Leary’s unconventional thinking out of the box cost cutting wisdom. However his idea needs a few tweaks to become practical and he should take full advantage of this new opportunity. He could require all passengers to use the loo prior to boarding. Of course to make this policy effective, he should use flight attendants to witness the urination to verify compliance. For those weak-bladder passengers that cannot wait even after pre-flight urination, impose a 20 pound peeing in the aisle fee. Selling scented handkerchiefs to mask the stench would be a sure additional money maker. LOL!

  16. RichardNika says:

    Hopefully the European Union will quash this in the interests of public health and safety, just as they did Ryanair’s proposal to have “standing room” on flights and to charge for toilet use. And yet, I almost hope that they go ahead and do it and the single toilet then breaks down near the beginning of a long flight. The result of that happening – and I won’t try to describe what they would be like – would result in enough large devastating lawsuits to shut down Ryanair and force O’Leary out of the airline business.

    I would hitchhike (yes, at my age!) before I would fly Ryanair. O’Leary has more contempt for his clientele than any other business people I’ve ever heard of. He makes the Wall Street bankers and Spirit Airline’s Ben Baldanza look like Mother Teresa.

    My daughter was in Europe a few months ago and she flew EasyJet, and aside from their strict one-carryon-item-only-for-free policy, which applies even to purses, she had no complaints. I would urge those looking for cheap flights within Europe to stick with Easyjet and other lowcost carriers.

  17. Barb says:

    Sounds like the perfect flight for Gerard Depardieu!
    Such a stupid move.

  18. light traveler 33 says:

    There is a simple solution to get the message across. Boycott Ryanair. Money talks.

  19. Hellen says:

    As long as airlines get away with these acts, they will continue to propose all kinds of fees and restrictions. If people started boycotting them, they would pay attention. People still fly Ryanair in spite of its charges and people still fly Spirit after paying for seat assignments, carry on bags, etc., etc just because they perceive it as “cheap” Meanwhile, there are plenty of alterntives….if EVERYONE boycotted for just a day, the pinch would hurt…but, imagine what happens if you fight back and refuse to participate in the blackmail….

  20. Lenell says:

    Boycott them, only way they are going to stop is if no one flies on them

  21. Larry Leichtman says:

    I think O’Leary just likes to make the news. He did not put in the pay toilet idea either.

  22. Stu says:

    I think this is another of O’Leary’s periodic attempts at free advertising via the news media, just as the threat of a pay toilet was. He will retract this ridiculous idea in a few weeks, citing “customer opinion” or something similar (although he really doesn’t care much about his customers). O’Leary is of the opinion that ANY publicity, good or bad, is beneficial. Until people wake up and realize how they are being manipulated, it will continue ad nauseum.

  23. Jackie says:

    I will be voting with my feet – which will carry me to a different airline check-in.

  24. Jacques says:

    Well, young people have never known what real service is , so they accept lack of it as being normal. O’leary’s right to reply “leave the babies at home”, he knows that the younger generation accepts boorish service as being the norm, right up to being bawled out by so-called service representatives. We’ve become sheep, or as the great Winston Churchill said : “Sheep in sheep’s clothing”. Too bad.

  25. Ron Smith says:

    For the life of me, I cannot imagine the circumstances that would prompt me to fly with Ryanair. I wonder if O’Leary has ever read A Christmas Carol. In years gone by I’m sure he would have been well employed as an overseer in a poor house.

  26. mary says:

    FLASH THE CEO!!!!!

  27. H.Carol Schmidt says:

    I am a Canadian and therefore don’t have much to do with Ryan AIr.
    However I ask aren’t there some kind of Health Safety Rules governing airlines?
    Maybe some of you Brits can alert your MPs re this awful greedy money grab. Other best advice is also to avoid ever booking with Ryan Air. Plus alert the folk who would normally use this airline.Isn’t You Tube a good place to begin. Hit Ryan air in the pocket book.
    GREED is greed is greed!

  28. Dorothy says:

    We all have a choice when we fly. I flew this airline two times – but just one flight -the first and last. If passengers really don’t like whats happening the best way to make it known is in the money. DON’T FLY RYAN AIR!!! That will send a message when his 6 extra seats turn into 30 empty seats.

  29. Sandi K says:

    There should be requirements of how many bathrooms per # of passengers just as businesses on the ground must comply with providing a certain number of handicap parking spaces in their parking lots.

    I would NEVER fly with this airline, or any other, that would make such a stupid move. What ever happened to “customer service”? You sure don’t find it in the air anymore.

  30. Jim says:

    This is nothing short of inhuman. I will scratch Ryan Air right off my list of possible carriers. When people get sick and tired of being treated like a bunch of Morons, then this kind of sick plotting will stop. Boycott Ryan Air people. Without you, they have no business to run.

  31. Cari says:

    Remind me to never fly on that airline…that is just crazy…that is the craziest scheme I have ever heard of.

  32. jk says:

    Have you priced parkas in Norway! No way!

  33. jk says:

    Not sure, but this seems illegal in most places in the US. Maybe “over” the US is another story?

  34. Stan says:

    I am sure that O’Leary had much research( toilet use, number of new seats possible if toilets removed) before pronouncing his decision. As a former executive who made such decisions for a large organization, I know that the CEO’s position is to judge all of the decision ramifications, and then decide. If most potential passengers agree with the comments of others, Ryanair will lose passengers and money, and the shareholders will replace O’Leary, but if profits increase, O’Leary will stay and probably get a bonus. If the whole thing was a publicity stunt, bad publicity is worse than no publicity.

  35. Dean says:

    Most airlines gouge passengers in some way or another, but I absolutely will not fly the “super gougers” like Ryanair and Spirit!

  36. Jeff says:

    If you Google “unruly passenger” and “Ryanair”, you get 12,000 hits. Many of their passengers are soccer hooligans on their way to or from a game. It’s bad enough when they have to share three toilets, but those planes with only one will be airborne sewers awash with puke, pee, and poo. Those Ryanair passengers who are normal, decent people are going to suffer terribly. O’Leary will no doubt charge a fee for respirators and hazmat suits.

    By the way, as well as the other things the article says he has tried to charge for, he also looked into the idea of having additional passengers stand in the aisle like on a city bus. I’m not kidding. And check out this newspaper clipping: http://picpaste.com/Ryanair.jpg

    What’s really strange is that I know three people named Michael O’Leary and they’re all wretched, vile wastes of protoplasm.

  37. Michael says:

    If you are that desparate to save a few bucks, then I don’t want you on my airline.

    Stop traveling Ryan Air and you see how fast service improves. It’s got to be nitwit numbers crunchers who stay up late at night or the nitwit owner of the airline that comes up with such stupidity.

    If they won’t give you more than one toliet, then use a plastic container given to patients at hospitals. Urinate in it while the persons sitting next to you turns the other way, wipe your hands on a disposable paper toilet and then pour your urine on your seat when you depart.

    IMMEDIATELY tell the airline what you did and report Ryan Air to the local health
    authorities. There are more than one way to get added bathrooms.

  38. Judy Miller says:

    My husband and I flew this airline once. It was like herding cattle into a truck. No leg room, no service to speak of, and after 8 hours each way we swore we would NEVER fly Ryan airlines again. So I am not surprised they are finding another way to make their customers miserable all for the sake of making more money.

  39. Phyllis says:

    This is the most absurd idea ever. 189 passengers plus maybe six more and one toilet is a recipe for disaster. I don’t even think this will be feasible and the time the clean-up crew will have to invest will make their flights even later.

    I will never fly this airline. It’s policies are draconian.

  40. Peter H says:

    I always thought the Irish were a mad race. Now I know at least one of them is!

  41. Chava says:

    This is so amazing, taking the level of greed and absurdity to an entirely new level. I can assure you that THIS person will not fly this airline, and should others follow I will simply not fly anymore!

  42. Edgar says:

    The only time I fly is if there is no other way to get there.

  43. Southwest fan says:

    I can hardly wait for Ryanair to file bankruptcy. Their idiotic schemes to reduce costs while sticking it to the public should be condemned.

  44. Bonny says:

    Thanks for the warning. I won’t fly them anyway, but this is good fodder for The Onion. Except someone thinks it’s not funny. Three bedroom houses will have more bathrooms than these planes! Somethings off.

  45. Johnny says:

    Oh What ya crying about ? The solution is a simple one .. Just take out all the bathrooms on the planes and make every seat a toilet .. That way if you have to go you just drop your pants , pull a blanket over yourself and go .. It’s not like you’ve never seen it before .. and the nice thing is you never have to get up ..

  46. Jackie MacDougall says:

    We flew Ryan Air once – never again. It was a nightmare from Beauvais Airport all the way to 50 80 KM OUTSIDE OF Barcelona where we were going. It’s the worse airline we have ever been on.

  47. veetex says:

    After a few “accidents” in the seats, they might reconsider. That sounds like one nasty man running that airline.

  48. QUEENIE BIRDD says:

    Maybe he’ll latch on to that Dutch idea of using plastic bags ~ containing some sort of gel to absorb waste ~ on their commuter trains, now built without restrooms. You must ask the conductor for one of these gems. No idea where you then use it ~ at your seat? in the aisle? ~ or what you do with it after you use it. A REAL Dutch treat!

  49. Angie says:

    I don’t know why everyone is fussing. All that is required is for air-travelers to book and travel on any airline other than Ryanair.

  50. mike says:

    I agree that O’Leary cares more about publicity than what the content is. Clearly his mantra is any publicity is good publicity. Although, I must say, his two most notable cost saving initiatives both involve toilets and the possibility of depriving those in need of those toilets. Is there a psychologist in the house?

  51. jan areias says:

    Its crazy- with all the government requirements for normal businesses on the ground’s bathrooms for customers that an airline can even suggest such a limit on the number of bathrooms. How much can one toilet hold before overflow? Just ask anyone who has been stuck in a plane on the tarmac for a number of hours! those of you up there who say DONT fly Ryan air? RIght ON!

  52. Liz says:

    Is this airline for the owners or the passengers?. Have they not thought through that Tourism is a service industry? Do the owners have a different slant on the word ‘service’? As a colonial I now would not consider flying with a carrier that has so little regard for the passengers. I have already heard horrific accounts from fellow ‘down under pax” who have had some bad experiences. This new idea from management makes me more determined never to travel on such a uncaring airline who obviously reside on a totally different planet.

  53. Drumlough says:

    The financial driver behind this is so that 6 extra seats can be fitted and sold. However you can only sell 6 extra seats when flights are full and I haven’t been on a Ryanair flight recently which was full. But the loss comes when the trolley comes around. Drinks are already over priced but people do buy them and they aren’t much more expensive than in the airport. Never mind alcohol but lets say typically a third of a flight buy a tea or coffee at £2.50 each and half of them now don’t. So on a full flight of around 180 that would be lost sales of £75. And that will be a pro-rata loss on every flight.

  54. DaveS says:

    Obviously there are a lot of people that fly this airline. They do it voluuntarily and they aren’t among the commentators in all these hostile remarks. Nobody is forced to fly a particular airline, and most of Ryanair’s flights are relatively short. Their market is the extremely price conscious who would probably otherwise not be traveling at all.

  55. Herb Brennen says:

    Better yet, why doesn’t Mr. O’Leary remove the bathrooms from his head office building and have the staff use the public toilets… Imagine how many more bodys he could put in those spaces and save on his overhead expenses.

  56. Louis Phillippe says:

    That’s what I call NERVE!! The airline industry have been fleecing us for the last
    10 years after 9/11 in the tune of billions a year daring to charge for luggage and even on board meals not worth the plastic they are wrapped in.
    Wasn’t deregulation supposed to create more competition and better prices for the public??
    We are held hostages by and industry that consistently increases prices and surcharges for even blankets,water,snacks and mere necessities to no avail.
    WE ARE FED UP!!!!
    I will no longer fly anywhere,if I cant go by cruise ships,trains or cars count me out!!!
    Enough is enough!!!
    Boycott the SOB’s..!!!

  57. Manon Anne says:

    As both a registered nurse and a flight attendant, I have one thing to say. This should be illegal. It not only presents and inconvenience. It has health and sanitation implications. I have never flown Ryan Air. I never will. How dehumanizing!

  58. light traveler 33 says:

    This news confirms, I will NEVER fly with this airline. This is over the line.

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