Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ryan Who?

Some days I carefully browse the online news sites for some little tidbit that peaks my interest and provides me with a topic to be used as a creative outlet for my blog. Other days stuff just falls out of the sky, into my lap and onto me, like the bird droppings that just happen to find their way on my head or shoulders or onto my freshly washed and waxed car. These droppings always seem to have my name on them and find me or my car even though there are hundreds of people around me and plenty of freshly washed and waxed cars driving right next to me. This blog entry is about one of those large load of bird droppings that found its way onto my lap. It is about an airline, I use the terminology very loosely, called Ryanair. Ryanair is a airline company that is based out of Dublin and has numerous flights throughout the European market. They like to fancy themselves as a budget/discount airline. From what I have read online, they indeed fall into their desired catagory. Although they do charge little for their flights, it appears that they make up for the lowly flight costs with other "attributes" and charge extra for every little thing possible plus some. I could go on and on about all of the negatives that have been associated with this airline but I don't want to give them anymore publicity than they already get. I think the old addage that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all, applies here. This airline appears to be a huge believer in nickel and diming customers for every penney that they have. Today I am only going to focus on one of their more brilliant ideas that the CEO came up with to add to their profitability. It is the "pay to pee" concept that Ryanairs' chief executive Michael O'Leary came up with. During a press conference last week, O'Leary made a statement to the affect that the days of the unlocked potty are indeed numbered and that his next target would be coin-operated toilets. According to an article written by Shawn Pogatchnik, an Associated Press Writer..... It could also become the next serious money-maker at Ryanair, already Europe's most profitable and aggressively expanding airline. O'Leary estimates if 20% of passengers pay 1 pound (euro1.12, $1.40) to use the restroom, this would generate 15 million pounds (euro17 million, $21 million) annually — which he characterizes as future "fare savings to the traveling public." Pogatchnik continued by writing that....O'Leary said he has asked engineers at U.S. aircraft maker Boeing — which supplies Ryanair's entire fleet of 737-800s — to design toilets with doors that open only if you swipe a valid credit card through the locking mechanism. He conceded that his earlier idea, to make them coin-operated, wouldn't work in part because Ryanair operates heavily in areas using both the euro and British pound.
"We have looked into this before, and the problem is Boeing can't come up with a mechanism on the toilet door to take coins," he said. "We're suggesting they go back and look at a mechanism where you'd swipe the credit card for a quid (British pound) on the toilet door. They've gone off to look at that. ... We are serious."
He didn't seek to soften the impression that Ryanair was happy to make its passengers suffer.
"Most people would go to the loo (toilet) before they get on the plane, or they hold it until they land. You would only have to deal with the people who absolutely have to go," he said.
One positive effect, he said, would be to "reduce an awful lot of the unnecessary visits to the toilet that (expletive) so many passengers off."
What uncecessary visits to the toilet??? I have been on a few flights in my time and have used the planes bathroom once. Believe me..I was very hesitant on going to the back of the plane and doing my business in a little bitty room that wasn't the cleanest room that I have seen. I don't ever remember seeing any lines or people climbing over each other for the privilege of using any airplanes bathroom. As far as I am concerned, it is mainly used as a last resort....when one just can't hold it in any longer. And as far as the part about....(Expletive) so many passengers off?????
If the choice was having a passenger get up and go use the bathroom at the back of the plane versus having that same passenger dribble on the seat and floor next to me, I'll take the prior event every time.
And how did Ryanair come up with the total of 15 million pounds or 21 million dollars that this new rule would generate? Did they have attendents sit near the bathrooms and take a head count on each flight to come up with an average number of bathroom users per flight? Give me a break.
Based on all of the complaints that I have read online and how this airlines does business..... Mr. O'leary there are a couple of things that I can promise you...I will never step foot on one of your planes nor will I ever do any #1s or any #2s........in any of your flying loos!!!!!!
For more info on Ryanair and customer opinions:
Airline Quality Forum

Ryanair Campaign

Ryanair Customers Discussions Board
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