Pay-to-Pee airline exec now claims he just wanted 'cheap P.R.'

I hate to give this guy a single byte more of bandwidth, but you need to know. Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, has recanted on his pledge to install pay toilets on his airplanes. Even though he confirmed it to the press at a conference last week, he's now he's saying he was just seeking publicity.


"It's not likely to happen, but it makes for interesting and very cheap PR," said the swaggering exec. He was, he inappropriately joked, "taking the piss."

Last week, he told gathered journalists that he'd asked Boeing to develop a lavatory that would accept credit cards. "It's going to happen," he pledged then. When news leaked out, the public raised such a stink (read some of the comments for my story here, but don't let the kids look over your shoulder), that it's no wonder he's in a hurry to backtrack. None of the publicity he got his airline was any good. In fact, I'd be surprised if there weren't some flaming bags of poop sitting on his doorstep right now.

Congratulations, O'Leary. You got your free publicity. You also wasted our time. And now, millions of people who had never heard of you or your flying bus now hate both of you with a passion. Not a smart move for someone who wants to enter the U.S. market.

Someone tell this guy you can't run a transportation network like you're P.T. Barnum. God forbid his two-bit airline should ever have a serious accident. After all this blarney and crying wolf, no one will listen to the shyster anymore, and in fact, they'd likely blame him for not taking things seriously.

And with that, I type the period on this sentence with my middle finger, O'Leary.

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