Ryanair's Latest Money-Making Scheme: Screening Porn On Planes

Ryanair GirlsRyanair cabin crew on a calendar shoot.

Photo: Ryanair

Perhaps inspired by the latest release of its spicy cabin crew calendar, CEO of Irish budget carrier Ryanair, Michael O’Leary is talking about launching a service where passengers can watch porn on flights, according to The Sun (via Gawker).The dirty scenes won’t be available to view on screens on the back of seats, assures O’Leary, the X-rated entertainment would only be downloadable through an inflight-app for iPads and smartphones.

Click here to see all the crazy things Ryanair has done to keep flights super cheap >
Unfortunately, excited passengers will have to wait at least a year before they can even think about purchasing raunchy scenes on their handheld devices. The airline is still not sure whether it will be able to secure powerful enough broadband connections or if there is a market for porn on planes, reports The Sun.

Of course, Ryanair’s famously charismatic boss is known for pushing the limits of air travel when it comes to keeping fares low. 

And travellers are willing to play along if it means cheap tickets. 

In September 2011, Ryanair reported a 6 per cent climb in passenger traffic, increasing to 7.25 million from 6.84 million the previous year.

O’Leary’s cost-cutting measures may not always get the greenlight — and are often the subject of controversy — but the company’s innovative milieu is something to admire. 

Introducing standing-room-only seating

In July 2010, Ryanair introduced plans to charge passengers £4 (about $6) for standing-room-only seats.

The proposal involved removing the back 10 rows of seats from the airline's 250 planes and replacing them with 15 rows of vertical seats.

Ryanair claimed to be shopping the idea to Boeing, but the jetmaker wasn't too fond of bypassing European safety regulations to help customers save a few pennies.

Asking overweight passengers to pay more

In 2009, Ryanair proposed a 'fat tax' for overweight passengers after one-third of travellers voted in favour of the extra charge in an online poll conducted by the Irish carrier, according to The Guardian.

One month later, the airline said it was dumping the contentious tactic because there was no way to collect the money without causing delays.

Charging customers to use the toilet

In 2009, Ryanair considered charging passengers £1 (about $1.40) to use the toilets on board.

CEO Michael O'Leary told the BBC:

One thing we have looked at in the past, and are looking at again, is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door, so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future.

In 2011, the airline confirmed it was dropping the coin-operated scheme in favour of another controversial plan.

Announcing plans to put only one toilet on each plane

In October 2011, Ryanair served another blow to customer's bladders, announcing plans to reduce the number of toilets on each aircraft from three to one.

Having just one toilet on the plane would allow space for up to six extra seats, thereby increasing carrying capacity, and reducing ticket costs by as much as 5 per cent.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but a spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents did express concerns saying, 'We all know how inconvenient it can be if a toilet on a plane is out of order. This move could be a step too far.'

Charging $56 to print boarding passes at the airport

Ryanair has received plenty of flack for charging its passengers £40 (about $56) if they forget to print their boarding passes at home.

Earlier this year, a Spanish judge ruled the boarding pass reissue fee illegal, according to CNN.

In October, the Barcelona Appeal Court overturned the court's decision, finding the penalty charge complied with Spanish and EU law.

According to Ryanair's website, 'less than 1% of passengers pay this boarding card reissue penalty which applies only in those rare cases where passengers fail to comply with their agreement, given at the time of booking, that they will web check in online before arriving at the departure airport.'

Charging passengers who pay by debit or credit card

In 2008, Ryanair began levying a £6 (about $8.40) administrative fee on debit and credit card payments.

In September 2011, the low-cost carrier launched its own pre-paid card, 'Ryanair Cash Passport,' as the only way for passengers to avoid booking fees, according to The Guardian.

Any passenger that purchases the prepaid MasterCard and does not use it after six months, however, will face an inactivity fee of £2.50 (about $3.50) per month.

Asking passengers to carry their own luggage onto the plane

Many airlines now charge extra for checked or overweight bags, but Ryanair may be the first to try and trim costs by asking passengers to roll their own luggage across the runway and onto the aircraft themselves.

'What it means is no more waiting at the carousel, no more losing your bags, no more wasting your life in over-priced airport terminals,' the company's CEO said back in 2009 (via The Daily Mail).

Ryanair currently charges £40 (about $56) for oversized baggage and £15 (about $20) for up to two checked bags.

Charging for food

Ryanair made headlines in August when the flight crew allegedly offered a soda and sandwich to a passenger suffering a heart attack and the charged him for the meal.

To add insult to injury, the budget carrier is known for charging more than any of its rivals for in-flight food and drink, according to a 2009 study by Nowfly (via The Telegraph).

A comparison among three other airlines -- easyJet, Monarch, and Bmi -- found that Ryanair charges 35% more for tea and coffee, 50% more for a small bottle of wine, and up to 30% more for sandwiches.

Charging up to $220 to change your name on tickets

Ryanair will charge passengers anywhere from £110 (about $150) to £110 (about $220) to change the name on a flight reservation.

Boeing has a different plan for saving money

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