When Ryanair will restart most of its flight services in summer, passengers will have to ask flight attendants for permission to use the toilet in a bizarre COVID-19 measure.
Like most other airlines, Ryanair currently has most of its flights grounded as flight traffic has come to a halt due to closed borders and decreased demand due to the corona virus crisis.
The airline however plans to resume most of its flights from 1st July and hopes to restore around 90 percent of its original route network before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Just like most other airlines planning to resume flights, Ryanair passengers will need to take into account some special measures such as temperature screenings before they are allowed to board the flight.
Passengers must also wear a face mask if they intend to fly with the Irish low-cost airline.
One of the more unusual measures which Ryanair has drafted is however their new toilet regulation. According to the Irish budget airline, passengers can only use the on-board lavatories “upon request”. Much akin to primary school, passengers will only be allowed to walk to the lavatories once they received permission from the teacher err.. flight attendant.
The measure is intended to prevent queuing in front of the toilets on board Ryanair’s planes, although somehow it strikes me as rather bizarre that passengers are seating side by side in a cramped configuration but are not allowed to wait in queue in the aisle of the aeroplane.
I’m certainly no medical or safety expert and my opinion should certainly be taken with a pinch of salt, but I really think this is completely unnecessary as there is no greater risk queuing for the toilet than there is remaining in your seat.
And I didn’t even talk yet about boarding procedures, with passengers without doubt standing in a similar queue in the aisle while the passenger in front of them stows his or her luggage in the overhead bins! With the same circus being repeated upon disembarkation.
This isn’t the first time that Ryanair has hit news headlines as previously CEO Michael O’Leary caused a huge outcry when he dropped the suggestion that Ryanair would charge passengers for using the plane toilets.
Although many pundits took this seriously and were quick to attack O’Leary and Ryanair, I think it was actually a clever marketing ploy of the outspoken Irishman.
As there are actual regulations in place to safeguard safe air transport by organisations such as IATA, charging for toilets is a measure which would unlikely have been ever approved by regulators. This is for sure something which Ryanair bosses are smart enough to have realised. To me, it therefore all sounded like a smart way to guarantee a few days of free news coverage (and thus free advertisement).
For a low-cost airline, it doesn’t matter really if you receive bad press – at least not to the same extent as a full-service airline. To many potential customers, the Ryanair “we will charge for your toilet visit” only reinforced their image of the airline being no-frills and cheap – which has the result that people are actually looking up how cheap those fares actually are!
It really wouldn’t surprise me that this “you need to ask for permission to use the lavatory” measure was also created by the Ryanair marketing team instead of a health and safety expert. After all, isn’t the message that Ryanair wants to get across “we will resume operations”?
This is a hell of a clever way to do so!
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