Hold It: Airline Might Ditch Toilets to Make Room for More Seats

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President of Irish budget carrier Ryanair Michael O'Leary poses prior to a press conference in Madrid on September 13, 2011.

Oh, the things Ryanair will do to save money.

Brought to you from the CEO who brainstormed charging for toilet use and standing-room-only flights comes another humdinger: shaving the number of bathrooms on planes down to one, in order to make room for six more seats. Michael O’Leary, said CEO, dismissed worries that one bathroom might not be enough for 200 people, telling London’s Independent that they “rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.” (Clearly O’Leary has never been in a one-bathroom situation with someone experiencing gastrointestinal problems.)

Part of his justification for the idea is that six extra seats could translate to a 5% savings for passengers, which is actually less compelling given how extremely cheap the tickets are on Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline. Your average flight goes for £40, about $63, making the bathroom sacrifice worth about £2, or $3.15 per person.

There is still hope, yonder Europeans. O’Leary said the loo-lacking planes would initially be used on shorter flights. More important, the airline currently only uses the Boeing 737-800, which is allowed a maximum of 189 seats. Ryanair—surprise, surprise—is already maxed out. So Boeing would have to re-certify the aircraft before the plan could go ahead, and Boeing hasn’t said anything encouraging (yet).

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Katy Steinmetz is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @KatySteinmetz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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