With the latest hint by the airline industry being it will introduce yet another add-on fee, it’s always fun to check on Europe’s largest discount carrier RYANAIR to see what its brain trust is up to…
That’s because a bunch of today’s most irritating fees were originated by RYANAIR and made it across the pond and were adopted by America’s major airlines.
But before we go there, here’s what could become North America’s latest passenger squeeze play.
According to USA TODAY the newest gotcha could be a fee of up to $20 for the privilege to be among the first persons to exit the aircraft upon arrival at the gate.
Hey, an early exit could give passengers more time to make their connection. And frankly we’re already halfway there. Most airlines now offer early boarding—for a price.
So this would really just be a reversal of that process.
Back to RYANAIR, which already is passing along the merchant fees they’re being charged by credit card companies to passengers. They’ve just come up with another little add-on. The discount airline has increased the cost of a checked bag to 20 British Pounds—but only during the busy summer (vacation) season.
Why? Because they can.
And you’ll be relieved to know their controversial pee-for-pay possibility has raised its ugly head again.
So since RYANAIR always seems to be a step ahead in dehumanizing the flight experience with its breakthrough ways of nickel and diming customers to death, there’s a good chance some of our carriers will eventually adopt their latest schemes.
In its in-flight magazine, RYANAIR has just reintroduced the notion of toilet charges aboard their aircraft.
"By charging for the toilets, we are hoping to change passenger’s behavior so they will use the bathroom before and after the flight," the article states.
As silly as that may sound, the economics are all in the airline’s favor.
Take a typical Boeing 737 workhorse equipped with three toilets – one at the front of the plane and two in the rear.
By removing the toilets in the rear of the aircraft, the company could add at least six additional seats.
Allow me to do the math for you.
Say that jet makes eight legs per day. That’s 48 additional available seats. At an average of $175 per flight segment that would bring in an extra $8,400 per operating day, per plane.
And that’s not even counting a possible $1.50 fee for the actual use of the one remaining toilet.
I know, I know. It all sounds pretty far-fetched, but can Standing Room service instead of Seating Only be far behind?
Leave it to RYANAIR to set the standard of future aviation for the world.