35,000 FEET—Michael O’Leary has come up with some good and bad ideas for the airline he runs. The Irish chief executive of Ryanair recently said he wanted to reduce the number of lavatories on airliners to one to make room for a few more seats on the planes. Now he wants to offer porn on the flights. We think those two ideas may conflict.
We also think O’Leary may be one of those chaps who speak first and think about what they’ve said afterwards, so we haven’t a clue if the porn comment is serious. But it really doesn’t matter if the real intent of the remark was to get the attention of the media. Why should Richard Branson get all the attention, especially after a disastrous week like this?
This is not Ryanair's first brush with porn. In 2009, it was revealed that one of the airline's stewardesses moonlighted as a porn star. To its eternal credit, Ryanair did not can the girl. To the contrary, a spokesperson said, “What people do before or after they work for us is their business.”
God bless the Irish. At any rate, the truth behind the current frothy Ryanair headlines is that the porn, if it happens, will not be provided via in-flight entertainment but by way of a new Ryanair application available for smartphones.
That’s quite a difference in terms of screen size, and don’t expect the offerings to be inexpensive. If the idea is to replicate the way porn is provided in hotel rooms, the price points will be more than most people are used to paying and the offerings themselves may be edited versions of the original content. That’s just how the game is (or was) played with hotel customers who had few options in the days before good wireless.
But there may be another possible fly in O’Leary’s porn ointment. If adult content is available via a smartphone app, doesn’t that mean that internet access will be required to use the app? If internet access is available, what will prevent travelers from accessing porn sites anyway?
But if internet isn’t available, what would prevent a person who wanted to watch porn on a flight by means of an electronic device such as a phone, pad or laptop from loading some up and taking it with them? Put a less delicate way, what fool would actually prefer to pay the inevitable surcharge required to access Ryanporn?
This is if it happens at all; after making the announcement to British tabloid The Sun, a Ryanair spokesperson reportedly walked the idea back as quickly as possible, saying no decision had as yet been made.
We’re hoping that was done because they realized the idea was lame and that a much better idea would be to make porn on Ryanair. Pull a few seats out, build a mile high studio; get Porno Dan to create a new Fuck-a-Flyer line. We know one stewardess who's game.
Now you’re talking revenue-generation.
Photo: Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary and one of his really big jets