Sometimes it feels like budget airlines are doing their absolute best to make air travel a complete fucking misery, and are constantly looking for new things they can do to make it worse. Ryanair is the latest offender, announcing it plans to make passengers ask permission to use the toilet once flights resume.
As if the neon yellow decor and the lack of a pouch on the seat in front of you was bad enough, Ryanair has decided to remind us what it's like to be back in school when someone could seriously tell you you're not allowed to go and relieve yourself.
This is all part of new rules for when the airline gets flights going after the lockdown ends, and has specifically said queueing for the toilet isn't allowed when you're on the plane.
The official explanation is likely to do with social distancing and trying to prevent the spread of infection. But when you're trapped inside a sealed, cramped metal tube with hundreds of other people you're not exactly in the best position to avoid someone else's expelled air. Especially since group chief executive Michael O'Leary has already said leaving the middle seat empty for social distancing reasons is "idiotic".
So yeah, this is either completely stupid or pointlessly cruel.
But the airline wants to look like it's doing something, so there's this as well as other new measures. They include fewer checked bags, asking passengers to wear face masks, daily deep cleans using chemicals that stay effective for 24 hours, as well as only being allowed to buy pre-packaged snacks and drinks with cash-free payment. Though I thought the food and money thing was already a thing, like the HEPA air filters Ryanair says it uses. [The Guardian]