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Could Airline Bathrooms Go the Way of Free Peanuts?

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The FAA does not regulate airline bathrooms, which are “a passenger convenience item and not a safety issue.”

Accidents are relatively uncommon on commercial flights, but that could change if Ryanair’s plan to remove two-thirds of its bathrooms catches on.

With each bathroom creating room for three seats, the European discount carrier, which is known for proposing bizarre cost-cutting measures, says it could save passengers $6 on a $120 ticket. “It would fundamentally lower air fares by about 5% for all passengers,” CEO Michael O’Leary told The Independent.  “We’re trying to push Boeing to re-certify the aircraft for six more seats, particularly for short-haul flights — we very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.”

Oddly, the otherwise heavily regulated industry has no restrictions on the number of bathrooms on flights, FAA spokesman Les Dorr says, declaring bathrooms “a passenger convenience item and not a safety issue.” Though removing bathrooms is unlikely on longer, transatlantic flights, air travel experts say it’s something the U.S. carriers could pursue for shorter hops.

“People love to complain about all the indignities of air travel, but give them a good fare and they’re right on it,” said George Hobica, president of airfarewatchdog.com. But are passengers really willing to hold it in just to hold onto a few more dollars?

“Passengers will do anything to save a few bucks,” Hobica says. “Unfortunately there isn’t a rule about bathrooms – there should be, but there isn’t. It’s one thing on a puddle jumper – many of which already have no bathrooms – but as far as I’m concerned the lines for the bathrooms are already too long on many flights as it is.”

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    • larry-GM and chrysler did go brpuaknt.lots of big companies have gone brpuaknt without too much disruption. look at the airlines.this bugbear of “a million jobs lost” extremely unrealistic.what would have happened if they had a private BK instead of one driven and funded by the government?well, the law would have been followed for one thing. senior creditors would have gotten paid instead of getting gouged to fund union pension funds.private buyers would have evaluated the assets. some price would have been found at which they were attractive and they would have been sold and kept operating.the only real difference would be in who owned it, who got paid back, and whether or not taxpayers got soaked for $25-30bn.

    • John,A very happy retirement to you.Many thkans for the great fun in the classroom and excellent learning methods we enjoyed for the latin .The Mars’ bars you dished out for 1,2,3 top places in your end of term exams and the Aztecs’ for the history Novel !! And the occasional outing with you in the Legion ..Fond memories !!

    • didn’t contact anynoe so I can’t help you there, we just ordered from the website. The ladies I’m building this for purchased the 3 kits listed on the website and met me at the home store to get the rest of the stuff we needed except we have had to buy a lot of little things as we go. The ladies will owe us just for hourly when we’re done. (plus of course what we have to get along the way.)

    • Ryan Air executives, by implementing this policy, fail to consider the needs of those who suffer from urinary incontinence, diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, or a host of other medical conditions that require immediate access to bathrooms. What happens if the one extant bathroom is out of order?

    • Ryan Air executives, by implementing this policy, fail to consider the needs of those who suffer from urinary incontinence, diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, or a host of other medical conditions that require immediate access to bathrooms. What happens if the one extant bathroom is out of order?

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