It came as no surprise to learn that Irish airline Ryanair is considering charging passengers £1 to use the in-flight lavatory. We've seen airlines use a la carte pricing for everything from extra baggage to pillows and blankets, so why not the loo as well?
I'm all for a la carte pricing. It helps our beleaguered airlines stay in the air (Ryanair, for example, will realize an additional £650mm this year alone from baggage charges). But, I don't think a one-size-fits-all loo fee makes sense.
I'd opt for a per flush pricing system. I'd also tack on a "time-spent-in-the-loo" surcharge. Stay inside the little bathroom more than two minutes and you'll be hit with an extra pound per minute. That'll light a fire under some lethargic bottoms. I also think there should be an 'odor eater' fee. If a passenger befouls the in-flight loo so badly that others are reluctant to use it, the airline should nail the offender with a smell violation. Judging by the fifth floor men's room at Peppercom, airlines could realize a serious windfall with an odor penalty.
Airlines have really just started scratching the surface with a la carte pricing. Why not charge passengers for using the overhead air vents? Charge passengers £1 to turn them on and an additional pound per minute. Do passengers think recirculated air is free? Geez, Louise.
The sky's the limit when it comes to airline pricing, so let's get creative people. Oh, and by the way, if it works for the airlines, shouldn't our beleaguered corporations follow suit? I'd like to see the A.I.Gs and GMs of the world start charging employees for their chairs, desks, computers, etc. How about a $15 cover charge for each employee each and every day? The receptionists could collect it.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I like a la carte pricing, but I'd like to see a whole lot more creativity in the process.
Thanks to C.P.O Jeff Kasko for the idea.