Friday, July 02, 2010
When I first read this story, I thought it was a joke. But, it wasn't April 1, and the newspaper is the Guardian. So, there might be something to the report that a discount airline is trying to institute standing room only and pay toilets on its planes. The story was careful to note that it might never happen because it would require changes in safety regulations. The idea, however, that an airline considered this is interesting. From a PR perspective, it is pushing limits. It is an effort to see how far one can go before the public rebels. The trade-off, of course, is between price and service -- rather, lack thereof. If the airline gives the standing room passenger who pays to use a toilet a price break, is that enough for the passenger to accept the bargain? At some point, of course, the majority of passengers will say no. However, is that a way to run an airline? The test is profitability. If customers keep coming, then it is. The airline, Ryanair, is well known for bargain flying. It must know something other airlines have yet to figure out.