Ryanair unveils its latest plan to save money: remove toilets from the plane - News & Advice - Travel - The Independent

Ryanair unveils its latest plan to save money: remove toilets from the plane

 

Passengers on Europe’s biggest airline may soon need to cross their legs – or queue to use one toilet between more than 200 people. Ryanair has dropped its plan to charge passengers for using on-board toilets, but is pressing ahead with proposals to remove two of the three lavatories on each plane and replace them with seats.

The airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, told The Independent “It would fundamentally lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers” – cutting £2 from a typical £40 ticket.

The airline, which will carry 75 million passengers this year, has only one aircraft type: the Boeing 737-800. Ryanair has installed 189 seats on each plane, the maximum allowed under current rules.

“We’re trying to push Boeing to re-certify the aircraft for six more seats, particularly for short-haul flights”, said Mr O’Leary. “We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.”

The aircraft manufacturer gave a guarded response. A spokesman at Boeing HQ in Seattle said “We're always listening to what our customers need but don't discuss those conversations or any business decisions.”

There is no legal stipulation for an airline to provide toilets on its aircraft. Ryanair’s longest UK route is from Rhodes to Liverpool, taking 4 hours 25 minutes. Initially, though, higher-capacity aircraft would be deployed on shorter routes, such as Stansted to Dublin or Edinburgh to Bremen.

The prospect of only one toilet being shared by 195 passengers and six crew caused alarmed in the travel industry. A spokesman for Abta, the travel association, said “We all know how inconvenient it can be if a toilet on a plane is out of order or the annoyance of queuing if someone has air sickness in one of the cubicles. This move could be a step too far in Ryanair’s on-going mission to provide a totally no-frills service.”

But the aviation consultant John Strickland said the soaring cost of oil could accelerate the process: “High fuel prices are making it difficult for even Ryanair to keep fares low, so anything which helps them to reduce costs is essential. Having six more seats on the aircraft would not require more cabin crew and would reduce cost per seat.”

The controversial Ryanair boss also insisted that the airline will continue as before, whatever the outcome of an investigation into fees for debit and credit cards. At present the airline charges an “administration fee” of £6 per person per flight, avoidable only by paying with Ryanair’s “Cash Passport”.

The Office of Fair Trading is investigating a “super-complaint” by the Consumers’ Association into charges by low-cost airlines.

The OFT says “Retailers should make headline prices meaningful for comparison purposes by not imposing surcharges for debit cards, which we consider are currently the standard online payment mechanism”. Asked whether a £40 fare to Spain would be shown as £46, to take account of the £6 charge for paying with debit or credit cards, Mr O’Leary said “It will be shown as £40 with a big asterisk: ‘Pay by the Ryanair Cash Passport’. There’s the impression created abroad that it would be an end of credit and debit fees, or Ryanair’s admin fees. There won’t be any change whatsoever.”

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week