airplane toiletWhile 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 the 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.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

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


Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.