Sunday, January 10, 2010

Going in the Sky

Skies weren't so blue for the recession-weary airline industry in 2009. Companies suffered declining profits, which they made up for by adding luggage, food and drink surcharges. But British budget airline Ryanair went a step further by announcing plans to charge people to use the bathroom. The carrier said it would install credit-card readers and charge £1 (about $1.65) to use the loo. But that's not all: the company also said it plans to remove two of the three bathrooms on each aircraft.

"We are flying aircraft on an average flight time of one hour around Europe," Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary told the Guardian. "What the hell do we need three toilets for?" Ryanair's pay-per-potty scheme hasn't yet materialized; officials estimate it will be at least two years before they have removed and reconfigured the airplane bathrooms.

Meanwhile, Japan's All Nippon Airways took a simpler approach by asking passengers to go to the bathroom before boarding in order to weigh less, so the plane would use less fuel.

From Time's Top 10 Oddball News Stories

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