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Airline Flushes Away Passenger Comfort

Congratulations to the Field Museum in Chicago, recently named America’s Best Restroom for 2011. (Yes, someone out there holds a “best restroom contest” every year. I’m guessing the online voters have to drink a lot of water and use a lot of hand sanitizer to do a thorough evaluation.) So, why are we talking about restroom comfort today? Perhaps because you may soon find yourself yearning for the Field Museum’s facilities on your next flight. Notorious budget airline Ryanair intends to eliminate two out of the typical three bathrooms on their planes. That’s right, the airline that formerly proposed charging for the use of lavatories now wants to almost eliminate them entirely. Maybe they think they can charge more that way: supply and demand, right?

Now, airplane lavatories are definitely not going to win a “best restroom” contest anytime soon, but at least you usually have a few choices. If the person in front of you in line has been taking a suspiciously long time in there, and you open the door to a disaster zone, you can always slam the door and head to the one at the front of the plane. But if someone gets airsick in the one and only bathroom, the toilet overflows, or the door lock breaks, the rest of the plane is just going to have to hold it until landing time—the pilot can’t exactly pull over at a rest stop.

You know on a long flight when there’s an hour or so before descent, and everyone lines up for the bathroom to freshen up? Now triple that line, and that’s what a typical Ryanair flight is going to be like the whole time.

The notoriously cheap airline wants to get Boeing, the manufacturer of their planes, to allow them to scrap two bathrooms and add six more seats, which will supposedly let Ryanair cut ticket prices by five percent. (A whopping savings of around $3 based on the usual prices. And how soon until Ryanair replaces that $3 “savings” with another new fee?)

Of course, this may just be another one of Ryanair’s attention-grabbing stunts, and may never actually happen. Check out our list below of other “great” moments in Ryanair’s past. How low can they go?

Readers, what do you think? Would you rather save $3 and share one bathroom with over 100 passengers? Or would you pay extra to fly another airline with a better bathroom ratio?

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