Airline Looking to Install Coin Operated Toilets

Chad Magiera, flickr

"Pay-per-pee" toilets might be coming soon to a cabin near you.

What began as an off-the-cuff remark about installing coin operated toilets by Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary may turn into serious business, according to a report run by the Irish Times today.

McNamara also said the airline is currently in talks with Boeing to figure out how to outfit the fleet with a single coin-operated toilet. The Irish low cost carrier is looking to refit 50 of its aircrafts, removing two toilets to create room for six extra seats.

Ryanair described the toilets as a "cost saving proposal" in its in-flight magazine. The airline hopes the move will reduce fares by at least five percent.

Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for Ryanair, told the Times the fare would only apply to short flights, including routes between Ireland and Britain. The airline plans to charge passengers €1-or around $1.40-to use the bathroom.

The change would need approval, however, because Ryanair's seat arrangement already has the planes filled to maximum allowable capacity.

"One toilet will discourage over dependence. There is nothing in the rule book to say that an aircraft has to have any toilets at all, which might sounds strange, but we believe three toilets are excessive," McNamara said.

O'Leary's proposal first made headlines when he brought up the idea in an interview with the BBC last February. At the time, the comment seemed like a publicity stunt, but McNamara told the Times "he'll say these things as an off-the-cuff remark, and then he'll start to think about it more and more, and he'll start doing the sums."

"He has said that if it got him €5 (around $7) extra he'd wipe people's bottoms for them," McNamara added.

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways recently began asking passengers to relieve themselves before boarding to offset carbon dioxide emissions. The airline estimated the plane would be lightened significantly if half the passengers went to the bathroom inside the airport, reducing carbon dioxide by 4.2 tons a month, reported CNN.

The Japanese airline makes the following announcement prior to boarding: "This flight is a so-called 'eFlight.' The idea behind the operation is to think about the Earth in the sky above. Fuel reduction by lightening the weight of the aircraft will lead to restrain the carbon dioxide emission, which is one of the causes of global warming. Thank you for your understanding."

How do you weigh in on the issue? Let us know below.

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