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nov 16

Could In-Flight, Pay-Per-View Porn Lower Airfare?

Could there be in–flight porn on Ryanair? ((Courtesy bigpresh/Flickr)

Ryanair's CEO thinks so. He recently announced plans for the European low-cost carrier to start offering high–altitude erotic films.

Just a week after releasing its fourth annual Cabin Crew Charity Calendar—featuring stewardesses posing in revealing lingerie and bathing suits—Ryanair is flirting with controversy yet again.

At a press conference last week, CEO Michael O'Leary announced plans for the Irish airline to offer a pay–per–view pornography service on flights.

"I'm not talking about having it on screens on the back of seats for everyone to see—it would be on handheld devices," O'Leary explained.

Specifically, the plan would allow passengers to log into a Ryanair app on their smartphones or iPads, which they could use to gamble, play games—or purchase a smutty movie. "Hotels around the world have it, so why shouldn't we?" O'Leary asked.

(The obvious answer to that question—because hotels have novel things called doors and privacy—was apparently not raised.)

That said, if the profits earned by hotels that offer in–room, pay–per–view porn are any indication, this risky move could help Ryanair earn a bundle—and, ostensibly, lower its airfares.

It's been reported that major hotel chains—including Hilton, Marriot, Hyatt, and Sheraton—have earned as much as 70 percent of their in–room profits from guests buying porn. That same CBS News report said a whopping 50 percent of guests at those hotels purchased in–room pornography.

Still, porn behind the closed doors of hotel rooms is one thing; broadcasting racy films in an open plane cabin is quite another.

O'Leary's recent eyebrow–raising announcement comes on the heels of several other headline–grabbing moves by Ryanair to lower costs.

In July, O'Leary outlined plans to start charging passengers £1 to use restroom facilities during flights.

He also said he's contacted Boeing to look into adding "vertical seats," which passengers would be strapped to while standing upright, to each of Ryanair's planes—not exactly comfortable, but a downright bargain, at a planned cost of £4 to £8 per flight.

That last point really gets to the heart of this story: How much are we willing to put up with for lower airfare? If standing up during an entire—possibly bouncy, turbulent—flight is worth the savings, does the same hold true for being surrounded by seatmates who are caught up in steamy movie scenes?

Whether this latest, X–rated proposal helps build revenue for Ryanair and lower its airfares—or, simply, inducts a whole lot more members into the Mile High Club—remains to be seen. But what's your take? Would you be willing to put up with porn playing on your seatmate's handheld, if it meant paying a lot less for your flight?

MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL

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Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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