What may happen once airlines start charging for toilet usage onboard!

Airlines want to charge extra for everything- seat selection, food, baggage, priority boarding, priority baggage out, for rescheduling your ticket and more. Luckily once you get on a plane use of toilets (lavatory in a more sophisticated wording) is still free.

But that is changing fast. Charging for toilets onboard is no longer a question of ‘if’ but ‘from when’. Ryanair has already leaked a pricing plan [details here]

RyanAir wants to force their customers to use toilet at the airport before boarding or after getting down, so that usage of onboard toilets can be reduced. If that happens, Ryanair can remove 2 toilets from the 737’s rear and add 6 more seats there, lowering everyone’s ticket price by another few percent.

I am imagining what would happen if Indian Airlines and airlines around the world start charging for toilets.

This might sound gross, but it could soon be reality. For now enjoy reading but pray this doesn’t happen

  • First Class: Unlimited Toilet usage
  • Business Class: 1 complementary usage per hour of flying, chargeable for additional usage
  • Premium Economy: 1 complementary usage per flight, irrespective of flight duration. Pay 200 INR second usage onwards (max 2 minutes)
  • Economy Saver: No complementary usage. Pay 250 INR per minute usage. Pre-book for just 200 INR and save 50 INR. But the pre-book comes with the condition that the passenger needs to select exact timing when he/she wants to use the lavatory. Else it is gone.
  • Economy Flexi: Same as economy saver but comes with an option to edit your lavatory slot 2 times during the flight without losing it.
Other rules & practices that may come up...

  • Passengers who’ve not booked any toilet slot but are having ‘urgency’ should pay 1000 INR for priority usage.
  • Boarding pass will be issued only after you show to the counter agent that you’ve enough cash/credit limit to pay for onboard toilet usage or you’ve already paid for your slots.
  • Passengers who have pre-booked the lavatory slot but don’t want to use it can give it to other passengers in need. But a Lavatory swap fee (LSF) of 50 INR will be charged to both passengers.
  • Note that all usages are on a per minute basis. If you paid for 1 minute and didn’t come out within 60 seconds the door would automatically open at 61st second. You’ll get a notification to pay extra and extend your stay when 50 seconds have crossed.
  • Airports will charge an extra 200 INR per person as “Lavatory usage fee”- as almost everyone will try to use airport toilets as much as possible to save paying for toilets onboard. This cost will now be added to ticket fare by default.

Airlines will also incorporate technology to measure how much waste a passenger has released into the lavatory. Once that technology is available a limit of how many ML urine a passenger can pass or how many grams of the other thing one can release will be announced. Anyone crossing this limit will be charged a penalty.

Business Analytics and Market Intelligence kicks in

Seeing that toilet usage revenue is exceeding profit from ticket sales, those who paid maximum for toilet usage will be upgraded to business/first class, but their toilet usage charges will remain the same as economy class because the airline doesn’t want to lose that revenue.

Passengers will start carrying portable toilets in their cabin bag to save on paying exorbitant fare for usage of inflight toilets. Once this starts, airlines will start measuring cabin baggage when you exit the plane as well, just to check if the weight has increased compared to what it was before you boarded…

Sensing the opportunity, some ticket booking startup will emerge offering complementary toilet pass as their unique selling proposition, funded by VC money. Everyone will rush to this website to make it a unicorn. Once they exhaust VC money they will be forced to increase “convenience fee” and other charges silently to make up for cost of complementary toilet pass. The startup will also negotiate with airlines for wholesale rate so that they can save some money..


  1. Loved the content. Credit card companies can also pitch in offering free toilet vouchers if tickets are booked using their cards. :P


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