Everybody Poops…For a Price


While it’s true that an airplane bathroom isn’t necessarily anyone’s idea of a five-star restroom experience, it does come as a welcome relief 30,000 feet above the ground after two in-flight club sodas. So imagine your surprise when, after scrambling over your fellow passengers and down the narrow aisle with a full bladder, there’s a flight attendant there with an outstretched hand, not to somehow assist you with your bathroom experience (you’ve been doing it quite well for years now all by yourself), but to collect the toilet tax. Yep, that’ll be one euro to use the airplane bathroom if you’re flying Ryanair, an Irish airline with routes across Europe and Morocco. No cash on hand? Sorry, you’re SOL-perhaps literally.

The airline, which also announced a “standing room only” section for its planes last summer to fit more passengers on board, is reducing the number of toilets on each plane to one to make more room for seats. And, indeed, the eco-savvy set already knows that using the bathroom at the airport is more environmentally friendly than the airplane potty (every flush in the plane’s lavatory uses enough fuel to run a car for six miles, since airplanes use powered vacuums instead of gravity to flush), but coin-op loos? Come on.

Seriously, though, here’s the best part of this story:

“The whole idea of making people pay for a bodily function is crazy. There are easier ways to make an extra euro,” says Steven Soifer, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and co-founder of the American Restroom Association and Shy Bladder Center.

Yes, there’s an American Restroom Association and Shy Bladder Center. And yes, I’m 8-years-old.

Editor’s note: Article by Jen Harper. Originally published by our friends at Grist.org. Grist is a media organization that has been dishing out environmental news and commentary with a humorous twist since 1999. Be sure to visit them and say hi, and follow Grist on Twitter, too!


Image: Daquellamanera

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2 thoughts on “Everybody Poops…For a Price

  1. By eliminating two lavatories on an airplane, Ryanair will make life very tough on shy bladder sufferers – those who find it difficult to urinate in bathrooms when others are close by. As it is, many of us paruretics (“paruresis” is the medical name given to this condition) already experience pre-trip jitters as we contemplate, “how am I ever going to fly (x amount of hours) without emptying my bladder?” So we refrain from drinking liquids, become dehydrated as a result, and sit there in our seats squirming and/or developing a panic attack.
    Those with a serious case of shy bladder won’t even bother flying or traveling by train, boat, car, etc. in the first place.

    This proposed policy sounds to me like cruel and unusual punishment.

    Carol Olmert
    Author, “Bathrooms Make Me Nervous”

  2. I try to avoid using the bathrooms on airplanes anyway…this just helps keep me motivated. NOW I know by not using I’m helping the environment and saving money. Thanks for the good read!!!!


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