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Toilet charges on board flights would be 'stupid', says easyJet
04 July 2010 @ 20:52

Charging for toilets on board flights would be 'stupid' according to easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who found himself grilled by his colleagues in court this week.

The Greek entrepreneur, who holds a 38 per cent stake in the airline, is embroiled in a dispute with easyJet about its business model and expansion plans.

Under rules written up a decade ago the airline is not allowed to make any more than 25 per cent of its profits from 'non-core' activities such as baggage charges, insurance, its text-message information service or any other extra costs.

But in a high court hearing there was heated debate over what constitutes 'core' and non-core' services.

Sir Stelios claims that the only core activity for a passenger is actually buying a seat and that new baggage charges are actually a secondary business.

But his associates argue that the fees, which raised £238m alone last year, are as integral to the airline as fares for seats.

Lawyers questioning Sir Stelios said he was treating people as 'pound notes' when he tried to explain his argument for core and non-core services.

His claim that young children who take up seats should be charged while those sat on parents' laps should not, prompted incredulity from his colleagues.

However, one positive thing to come out of the messy court case is an apparent agreement between Stelios and his colleagues that charging for toilets is not the way forward.

The apparent stance against the fees will be welcomed by cash-strapped families who were left horrified by Ryanair claims that it was looking into coin-operated loos on board flights.

Budget airlines have steadily increased so-called 'hidden' charges to remain profitable.

Many people question just how much cheaper flights really are once you have added in baggage, credit card and onboard food charges, not to mention check-in fees and debit card transaction payments.

Sir Stelios is concerned that the airline is expanding too much with plans to buy more than 20 new planes.

His concern particularly focuses on the airline's refusal to pay dividends to shareholders after 10 years listed on the stock exchange.

If he wins the High Court case he could well withdraw the use of the brand name easyJet from the airline and instead lease it to other businesses such as Expedia or even major tour operators like Thomas Cook.

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Truth hurts! said:
04 July 2010 @ 22:37

Men who don't sit down to urinate on the aircraft should be forced to clean their urine from the seat! DISGUSTING!

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