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Ryanair May Charge Passengers to Use On-Board Toilet

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  • Ryanair May Charge Passengers to Use On-Board Toilet

    Ryanair May Charge Passengers to Use On-Board Toilet (Update2)

    By Steve Rothwell

    Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount airline, may charge passengers to use toilets on its planes, adding to fees already imposed for beverages, stowed baggage, airport check-in and preferential boarding.
    Ryanair generates about 20 percent of revenue from ancillary income, the money it makes aside from ticket sales. The Dublin-based company introduced technology this month allowing passengers to use mobile phones on aircraft.
    “One thing we’ve looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting in a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future,” Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary said in a televised interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.
    Ryanair raised its net income forecast on Dec. 2 for the year ending March 31 to 50 million euros ($63 million), saying the falling price of oil has more than compensated for the lower fares it’s offering to stave off a drop in traffic. Passenger numbers rose 11 percent in January from a year earlier.
    Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for the company, said there is no certainty that toilet charges will be imposed.
    ‘No Immediate Plans’
    “Michael makes a lot of this stuff up as he goes along, and while this has been discussed internally there are no immediate plans to introduce it,” McNamara said. “Ancillary revenues, all of which are avoidable, help to reduce the cost of flying Ryanair. Passengers using train and bus stations are already accustomed to paying to use the toilet, so why not on airplanes? Not everyone uses the toilet on board one of our flights but those that do could help to reduce airfares for all.”
    Ryanair fell 3.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to 2.97 euros in Dublin trading. The stock has fallen 0.2 percent this year, giving a market value of 4.37 billion euros.
    Ireland’s Commission for Aviation Regulation doesn’t govern an airline’s ticket prices or ancillary revenue charges, according to a spokeswoman. Airlines regulated by the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority have no legal obligation to provide a toilet, so are free to charge for them, a spokesman said.
    “What next from Ryanair?” said Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC Partners in London. “Who on earth knows, but if it’s possible to charge as an extra, you can bet your last dollar that Ryanair will have already thought about it.’
    O’Leary said Feb. 24 that by the end of this year all Ryanair passengers will be required to check in on line as the carrier seeks to reduce handling fees by 50 percent. The company is also eliminating 200 jobs and plans cut pay and trim the number of planes and flights at its Dublin base.

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