Airlines have been cutting back for years. Before it was basic economy and seat fees, there were checked bag fees, and the elimination of free meals onboard that we used to all think were disgusting anyway.
Frustration with seeming ‘cuts’ in airline perks dates back farther though. In 1987 Alaska Airlines promoted their full service, asking when the cuts would end, with a commercial highlighting a man who wanted to use the lavatory but who didn’t have any change to get in.
We know that airlines can fly without operative lavatories at all though.
And also that every time Ryanair has been out of the news, its CEO Michael O’Leary makes an outlandish claim about making people fly standing up or charging for use of the lav. The idea there is any publicity is good publicity, especially if it communicates the underlying message that Ryanair is cheap.
Here’s one fee that I never thought I’d expect an airline to want to collect though, an £90 penalty (US$104) for urinating in a bottle when all of a plane’s lavatories were out of service. Paging United Airlines President Scott Kirby who once tried to charge for water when he was President of US Airways, who knew that an airline could earn more force feeding water to passengers?
The lavatories on a Ryanair flight from Leeds to Faro, Portugal had all its lavatories go inoperative.
When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. So a man went in a bottle. And a member of the cabin crew thought he saw the man splash onto that flight attendant’s jacket.
Witnesses claim the cabin crew were angry after some of the urine splashed on one of their jackets.
The video, filmed by a friend, shows one of the members of staff pointing his finger and asking the man: “If I go and pee on your luggage, would you like it?”
…[T]he young man couldn’t hold it in any longer and went to the front of the plane where the cabin crew sit for privacy.
She said he was relieving himself into the bottle when he was caught by a furious air hostess who ordered him to pay 90 euros, claiming he had committed an “aviation offence”.
United may say they’ll no longer call the police on their customers except when safety is at stake, but Ryanair makes no such promises. They called the police to meet the aircraft.
A Ryanair spokesman said: “The crew of this flight from Leeds Bradford to Faro requested police assistance upon landing after a passenger became disruptive inflight.
“The aircraft landed normally and the passenger was removed and detained by police upon arrival.
“We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.
“This is now a matter for local police.”
However another passenger reports that the man “was spoken to by the officers but matters weren’t taken any further.”
There’s video of the altercation:
Ryanair used to say they were thinking about charging to use the lavatory. It turns out their flight attendants threaten to charge passengers for not using the lavatory.
So if you thought United’s and American’s ‘Basic Economy’ fares where you’re not permitted to bring a full-sized carry on onboard are bad, there are certainly worse fees out there!
(HT: Ken A.)