Ryanair invents the solo mile-high club
By Emma Haslett Tuesday, 08 November 2011
If Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary is serious, in-flight entertainment could be about to become a lot less family-friendly ...
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As if the idea of flying Ryanair wasn’t already disquieting enough, the sight of your neighbour enjoying him- (or her-) self rather too much could be about to become a regular thing. Yep – the airline’s CEO, Michael ‘you are not getting a refund, so f**k off’ O’Leary, has cheerily announced that he wants his company to take a step closer to becoming simply a fleet of flying orgies by offering ‘erotic movies’ to passengers. Naturally, he was keen to assure that, in classic Ryanair style, any such offering would be kept tasteful and discreet. ‘I’m not talking about having it on screens on the back of seats for everyone to see,’ he insisted. ‘It would be on handheld devices.’ Fair enough, Michael – but that does still leave one hand free…
This is according to an interview in The Sun. O’Leary said it was all part of a potential pay-TV-type service which bored passengers could subscribe to on their smartphones or tablets, allowing them to play games, gamble, watch movies, or indeed watch pneumatic young women at play. Although O’Leary’s logic baffles us: ‘Hotels around the world have it, so why wouldn’t we?’ he asked. As if a situation in which you’re wedged between someone complaining vociferously about the price of Ryanair’s Bullseye Baggies and a member of a stag party who’s quietly vomiting into his lap is an entirely natural moment to want to escape into the world of someone else’s rumpy-pumpy. Still – at least the seats are wipe-clean, eh?
But, as usual (remember the plans to charge passengers to use the loos? Or standing-up seats? Or flying sans co-pilot?), O’Leary may be getting a little ahead of himself here. As a Ryanair spokesman said: ‘Nothing has been decided as yet’ – which may very well be code for ‘we’ve never heard of this idea, now stop bothering us’. Analysts don’t seem convinced about how ready the market is for free love, Ryanair style, either. As Bob Atkinson, of Travelsupermarket, said: ‘Anyone could see it on a plane. It’s wrong.’ Hmm. Next time, perhaps.