As if flying these days isn’t enough of a hassle, no sooner did Florida-based Spirit Airlines this week announce a charge for carry-on bags when word seeped out yesterday that Dublin, Ireland-based Ryanair is pushing ahead with (ready for this?) plans to collect between $1.30 and $1.55 for passengers who seek to spend a few moments in its aircraft lavatories, notes Grumpy Editor.com.
This is the stuff that gives hard-working public relations people headaches.
For travelers on Ryanair, the upcoming plan could result in rather expensive extra charges on long trips, especially after drinking coffee. That’s because the airline flies to 153 destinations in 26 countries.
London’s Daily Mail reports Ryanair “is working with Boeing to redesign the cabin and develop coin-operated toilets on 168 of its planes. Not content with charging passengers for use of the facilities, the airline is also looking at reducing the number of toilets on board, leaving just one available cubicle for up to 189 passengers."
Ryanair figures removing two out of three lavatories can yield at least six extra seats.
And get this thinking relayed (presumably with a straight face) by the airline’s PR person: "By charging for the toilets we are hoping to change passenger behavior so that they use the bathroom before or after the flight.”
Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines --- which flies to 40 destinations in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America --- says it will be the first carrier to charge for carry-on luggage.
Starting Aug. 1 (unless it backs down), the airline will nick each passenger between $20 and $45 for one carry-on brought on board.
This after other charges, including $16 per round trip to book via its Web site, $2.50 security fee, $3.70 domestic segment tax, $4.50 passenger facility fee, $8 passenger usage fee and $15 to $45 for each checked bag.
With the carry-on fee, Spirit’s PR person quotes the airline’s Chief Operating Officer Ken McKenzie boasting, “this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process, all of which ultimately improve the overall customer experience.”
All is not gloomy.
Exempt from the carry-on charge are infant diaper bags and pet containers.