I read a disturbing article in the Sunday Tribune this past week by AP writer Shawn Pogatchnik that left me flush with anger. The article was titled “Airline floats ‘pay-as-you-go’ toilets”.
In the article, Pogatchnik states that Michael O’Leary, Airline Chief of Ryanair (did I mention this article came out of Dublin?) is suggesting, maybe in jest, that in the near future passengers may be asked to pay to use the bathroom on airplanes.
Apparently this guy, O’Leary, likes to sit on his throne and make claims to get cheap publicity, but if he’s not full of crap and means business could this be the wave of the future? If it is, it would cause a trickledown effect that can only be referred to as Destination Discrimination. Friendly Skies? My ass.
If you add a few bucks to airline prices, whether they’re high or low at any given moment, who would be the wiser? Asking people to dig into their pockets in flight so they can “conduct business” in the W.C. is wrong on so many levels; 10,000 feet, 20,000 feet, and even 30,000 feet.
Would you need correct change, and if so, would there be a change machine on-board? I’ve never tried to pick one up, but I’m pretty sure change machines are heavy and that would mean that we’d only be allowed to pack a suitcase weighing about 10 pounds, so we’d only be able to bring socks and underwear to our destination so as not to overload the plane. That might be fine if you’re on your honeymoon, but that wouldn’t bode well for the rest of us.
If you’re going to a black tie wedding you’d have to wear you tux on board. And if you are going on a golf vacation, you’d have to send your clubs ahead by Fed Ex or UPS. And your wife. If she’s invited.
And let’s just say you’re coming home from Mexico with a case of Montezuma’s Revenge. If that were the case, I’d just stay in there the whole flight instead of paying each time I had to go. It would be more economical, even if it might irrigate, I mean irritate, the other passengers.
Or we could use the little barf bags provided in the seat pockets in front of us. People would be dropping “trou” to dispense their solid waste, or letting little Mr. Ding Ding out for a whiz. “Oh, Ms. Flight Attendant. I could use another barf bag if you have one handy. And do you have any magazines or a newspaper? This might take awhile.”
But on the other side of the commode-tion there is the fact that airlines give you little more than a soda for free these days, so in reality, they would be losing money if you didn’t need to use the facilities. If they served full meals they might get a better turn out in the end.
Also, this trend might keep people from bringing food on board. This works for me because there is nothing more nauseating than the smell of one thousand food courts wafting up your nose during flight.
Also, if people would rather keep things to themselves, if you catch my drift, due to consternation over having to pay as you go, the gas generated by these passengers should somehow be converted into fuel for the plane, thereby saving even more money for the airlines.
So, as you can see, there is good and bad associated with this idea, although I, for one, am against it. I tend to go more than the average bear because I need to tinkle on a frequent basis. It might cost me $5 on a two-hour flight if I had to pay a dollar every time I needed to use the facilities. I’d be dribbling out money left and right while the person next to me might not go at all. It hardly seems fair.
But, I am not much of a flyer anyway. I pretty much hate flying and since we are faced with what can only be perceived as a recession, I’m not flying anywhere in the near future very soon anyway.
When Richard was on a business trip about a year ago the flight attendant said on arrival, “Please remain in your seats until the aircraft comes to a complete stop, and be carefule when you open the overhead bins because ‘shift happens.’” She wasn’t kidding. “Shift” is happening now, if what the article says is true. And the “shift” will hit the fan if Mr. O’Leary isn’t kidding around.
Remember the song by Irving Berlin “Sisters, Sisters”? Well, I’ve changed it a tad:
“Lord Help the Mister Who Comes Between Me and My Sister,
And Lord Help the Sister Who Comes Between Me and My Can.”