NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Irish airline Ryanair announced today that it would begin offering child-free flights in October, citing a study that found a third of European travelers have had a flight ruined by a noisy child.
Now, there’s a pretty good chance that this is an April Fool’s Joke – in the press release, Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara expressed a desire to let passengers “avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling” – so we’re taking this one with a whole shaker of salt. With that said, this is the same airline that once proposed charging passengers to use the bathroom, so we wouldn’t be surprised if this “prank” were actually a trial balloon of sorts. In other words, if Ryanair gets a positive response to the proposal it might actually look into doing this, but if there’s widespread outrage it can just claim it was all an April Fool’s joke.
Regardless of whether it turns out to be a joke, we have to admit that we would consider paying a small premium (say, $5) to be sure that there wouldn’t be a baby screaming for the duration of a six-hour flight. And that got us thinking: What other services would we be willing to pay for when we fly? While we regularly slam airlines for charging exorbitant fees for baggage handling and extra legroom, we’re not universally opposed to paying a little extra if it would actually improve our flying experience. Here are five fees we wouldn’t hate.
1. Priority Takeoff. Yes, we know the airline has no control over how quickly its planes are allowed to take off. But what if – and this is strictly hypothetical – the airline could pay the tower to push its planes to the front of the line, and then pass the cost of that bribe on to the passengers? I think most passengers would be willing to scrounge up an extra $20 if the alternative were spending two hours waiting to get onto the runway.