Ryanair pushing ahead with $6 standing room only seats and paid bathrooms

Last year, Ryanair first mentioned their concept for several rows of standing only seats. The idea back then was to install special standing seats and offer them for a reduced fee.

The new seating innovation has not been implemented yet, but Michael O’Leary wants everyone to know that he is still very serious about it, and hopes to pay for the new seats with proceeds from the paid bathrooms he also hopes to install soon.

If there is one thing I’ve learned about Ryanair, it is that even though most of their ideas sound like crackpot ways to generate some free PR, they take their silly ideas quite seriously.

Ryanair knows that there is virtually no limit to the inconveniences passengers will put up with in exchange for crazy low airfares. When your flight is just a few hours out of a one week vacation, the savings on airfare leave you with more money for food, booze and tacky souvenirs.

With the new seats, between 40 and 50 extra passengers can be loaded on the planes, pushing things to the absolute maximum the plane is approved to carry. Still, the big question is whether you’d be willing to pay an insanely low fare in exchange for a standing seat on a flight of several hours.


[Image from AFP/Getty Images]

Ryanair says “screw you” to stranded passengers – European Union sends them a copy of the law

Ryanair CEO Micheal O’Leary played tough guy this week when he told his customers that he wouldn’t pay a penny to cover expenses resulting from being stranded due to the Icelandic Volcano.

In statements to the media, he admitted that he was fully aware of EU compensation laws, but chose to ignore them claiming:

There’s no legislation designed that says any airline getting a fare of 30 euro (£26) should be reimbursing passengers many thousands of euro for hotel accommodation. It’s absurd.

Well, unfortunately for Mr O’Leary, there actually is legislation that is designed just for that purpose. In fact, European air travelers are one of the most protected groups of travelers in the world.

As it turns out, European lawmakers may have told Ryanair to re-read the laws he’s bound to – because two days after his tough statements, the airline took a u-turn and confirmed that they would indeed be refunding passengers for “reasonably-receipted expenses”.

Ryanair dumps passengers on wrong island – doesn’t care

A planeload of passengers on a Ryanair flight from the UK to Lanzarote (one of the Spanish Canary Islands) learned the hard way that low cost carriers carry a hidden price.

Instead of landing in Lanzarote, the plane landed in Fuerteventura (about 30 miles from their intended destination).

Bad weather had forced the plane to divert, but usually when a plane has to divert, a normal airline takes care of its customers.

Obviously, Ryanair isn’t considered to be a normal airline, so the passengers were told to get off the plane, and after refueling, the plane took off, leaving the passengers to fend for themselves.

There were no Ryanair staff at the airport, and with no way to reach anyone from the airline, the passengers had to book hotels for themselves.

The next morning, the passengers were able to grab a ferry to their correct destination, losing a night of their vacation and any hotel nights they had booked.

A Ryanair spokesman confirmed that the flight had indeed been diverted, but was quick to point out that “if flight disruption is outside the control of the airline, no monetary compensation is due.”

So there you have it – flying with Ryanair really is a gamble, and you don’t even know whether you’ll actually arrive at your destination. Perhaps they can make some more money by starting a “will we get to our destination” lottery on their flights.

(Image: Getty)


Ryanair pressing ahead with its pay to pee scheme

Around this time last year, Ryanair made the news when its quirky CEO announced his plans to charge passengers for using the bathroom. The inital reaction was that of amusement, then when people realized the guy was serious, people started questioning his mental health.

The news died down, but apparently the folks in Dublin have been working hard behind the scenes to actually become the first airline in the world with paid bathrooms.

In fact, the airline is taking things one step further by removing two of the three bathrooms on the plane, and adding more sears. End result? One pay-to-pee bathroom and a 5% decrease in ticket prices.

The entire scheme actually makes perfect sense, especially since the airline is using the modification to lower prices even more. Of course, this is going to be bad news for people with a bladder problem, or those that enjoy taking their photo in the airplane bathroom.

No announcement has been made when Ryanair passengers will need to bring pee pee money, but knowing how efficient they are, it may be sooner rather than later.

Ryanair blasted for “childish” payment system

Rarely does a week go by without some kind of news blasting Ryanair for something the low cost carrier did to annoy their customers.

This time, it all revolves around a silly payment method implemented by Ryanair. For years, the airline has been advertising its ultra low cost fares without mentioning additional fees or surcharges.

New regulations in the UK mean Ryanair has to include credit card payment fees in all its advertising materials – but sneaky Ryanair found a way around this rule.

By creating one free payment method, the airline can get away with advertising its tickets, without mentioning a GBP5 surcharge for each passenger that uses a credit card.

The “free” payment method is only available with a specific Mastercard prepaid card. All other payment methods are hit with the surcharge – for every single passenger, even if the tickets are all purchased on the same card.

The UK Office of Fair Trading investigated the matter, and called it “puerile and childish” – though I doubt Ryanair cares what anyone else thinks. The law is on their side, and they found a smart way around it. Sure, it may be a smart way that once again penalizes its customers, but at the end of the day, their fares are still substantially lower than any other European carrier.