Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ryanair Decides to Ditch Own Ideas to Abuse Passengers

Ryanair CEO, who told the media this week he was just joking about charging for airplane lavatory visits showed his twisted sense of humor shows no bounds by starting a contest.

Ryanair launched a light-hearted competition on Thursday to suggest new ways the budget carrier can save money, after criticism of penny-pinching ideas including charging passengers to use the toilet.

The Irish airline said it had already received suggestions including charging €1 for oxygen masks, €25 to use the emergency exits, and €50 for bikini-clad cabin crew.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has been widely criticised for introducing more and more charges, starting with food on board and extra fees for non-online customers, but now including check-in charges.

Most recently he suggested that passengers could be asked to pay £1 (about R14) to go to the toilet on board, although spokesmen subsequently explained that he may not have been serious.

On Thursday Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said: "Ryanair is Europe's largest low fares airline and we plan to continue to reduce costs and fares by stimulating ancillary revenues.

"Since we confirmed that we are considering a toilet charge we have received a huge number of ancillary revenue suggestions from passengers and we want more," he added in a statement on the airline's website.

The airline is offering €1 000 to the most creative idea submitted by the end of March. Other suggestions so far include charging for toilet paper with O'Leary's face on it and charging €2.50 to read the safety cards.

"The winning idea will be chosen by Ryanair and our decision will be final," said the airline. - AFP

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