Airline Wanted to Charge Passenger $117 for Urinating in a Bottle When All Lavatories Broke

Airlines have been cutting back for years. Before it was basic economy and seat fees, there were checked bag fees, and the elimination of free meals onboard that we used to all think were disgusting anyway.

Frustration with seeming ‘cuts’ in airline perks dates back farther though. In 1987 Alaska Airlines promoted their full service, asking when the cuts would end, with a commercial highlighting a man who wanted to use the lavatory but who didn’t have any change to get in.

We know that airlines can fly without operative lavatories at all though.

And also that every time Ryanair has been out of the news, its CEO Michael O’Leary makes an outlandish claim about making people fly standing up or charging for use of the lav. The idea there is any publicity is good publicity, especially if it communicates the underlying message that Ryanair is cheap.

Here’s one fee that I never thought I’d expect an airline to want to collect though, an £90 penalty (US$104) for urinating in a bottle when all of a plane’s lavatories were out of service. Paging United Airlines President Scott Kirby who once tried to charge for water when he was President of US Airways, who knew that an airline could earn more force feeding water to passengers?

The lavatories on a Ryanair flight from Leeds to Faro, Portugal had all its lavatories go inoperative.

When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. So a man went in a bottle. And a member of the cabin crew thought he saw the man splash onto that flight attendant’s jacket.

Witnesses claim the cabin crew were angry after some of the urine splashed on one of their jackets.

The video, filmed by a friend, shows one of the members of staff pointing his finger and asking the man: “If I go and pee on your luggage, would you like it?”

…[T]he young man couldn’t hold it in any longer and went to the front of the plane where the cabin crew sit for privacy.

She said he was relieving himself into the bottle when he was caught by a furious air hostess who ordered him to pay 90 euros, claiming he had committed an “aviation offence”.

United may say they’ll no longer call the police on their customers except when safety is at stake, but Ryanair makes no such promises. They called the police to meet the aircraft.

A Ryanair spokesman said: “The crew of this flight from Leeds Bradford to Faro requested police assistance upon landing after a passenger became disruptive inflight.

“The aircraft landed normally and the passenger was removed and detained by police upon arrival.

“We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.

“This is now a matter for local police.”

However another passenger reports that the man “was spoken to by the officers but matters weren’t taken any further.”

There’s video of the altercation:

Ryanair used to say they were thinking about charging to use the lavatory. It turns out their flight attendants threaten to charge passengers for not using the lavatory.

So if you thought United’s and American’s ‘Basic Economy’ fares where you’re not permitted to bring a full-sized carry on onboard are bad, there are certainly worse fees out there!

(HT: Ken A.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hope they play that video on the news all over Europe so the FA’s are hooted at and scorned wherever they go. Instead of helping pax who may have bladder or prostate issues (as 20% of men do) they were bullying him about it after he had no choice but to relieve himself in a bottle. Just the idea he had to pee in a bottle should make the airlines fall all over themselves apologizing, but not in this world where the FA’s think they have police powers and can humiliate someone ever greater than they already have with their out-of-service loos.

    We are not taking this any longer. No matter if fat bloated Trumpian authoritarian bootlickers want to enforcecorporate rule, we will beat you back with video for the world to see. You’ll never step out your door again without being recognized as that thug who bullied someone for having to go to the bathroom when you’d locked them all! Buh bye!

  2. I’m confused why he didn’t use the bottle in the lav itself? Did they lock the doors and refuse to let anyone even in, flush or no flush?

    If so, FAs had it coming. I probably wouldn’t have been polite enough to bother using the bottle.

  3. Geez – what’s with Greg? The Airline Deregulation Act which started this downward airline spiral was passed in 1978 when Carter was president, not Trump. But I guess it is an inconvenient truth to point that fact out?

  4. If you got to go you got to go.. I have IBS and have to urinate often what do they expect?

  5. The guy sitting in the seat looks like Lucky.

    Maybe it was shot when he was flying doing his college years 🙂

  6. @djibouti Usual procedure is to lock the door when a lavatory on an airplane or train is out of service. This is to prevent a passenger from forgetting and possibly causing flooding or a backup.

    Obviously, the flight crew absolutely handled this poorly. Having said this, I can’t help but think the issue may have been alleviated if the passenger had politely gone to a crew member, explained the bladder issue, and requested some accommodation.

  7. Sorry @AlohaDaveKennedy but the “inconvenient truth” to point out is that your attempt, in typical Trumpian-fashion, to try and deflect blame to someone else (an administration that has been out of power for nearly 40 years) is undermined by the fact that we are not talking about a U.S. carrier here. It is Ireland’s pride-and-joy – Ryanair! So, the Airline Deregulation Act, for all it’s plusses and minuses, is thoroughly irrelevant here. Rather inconvenient for you, I’m afraid.

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