For most people who have traveled within and around Europe, Ryanair is synonymous with cheap flights. Now, it may add pay-per-view porn to its in-flight repertoire, furthering its notoriety for developing “different” kinds of commercial ventures.
Melissa Locker summed up the idea by Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary best in her TIME article: “Yes, the company that charges customers to check-in online and at the airport, may now be helping customers join the Mile High Club from the comfort of their seats.”
O’Leary originally released a statement about the new “service” to the British tabloid The Sun. He explained that the porn would be available “on handheld devices” instead of the typical viewing options for other entertainment services on the screens placed on seat backs. He compared the service to those offered by hotels. However, concern has been raised over the public nature of viewing such kinds of films during a flight where children might be present.
That argument is valid, but is it really any different than if someone saved porn on their laptop and then chose to view it during a flight? Not that I’ve ever seen or heard of anyone doing that before, but the potential is there—whether a flight attendant asks the passenger viewing the adult material to put it away or not.
I’m not arguing in favor or against it at this point.
It’s a wait-and-see game for the next year or so to see if the company will decide the financial costs of “securing broadband connection powerful enough” to support the service are worth the trouble. If it does become an active service, I suspect it won’t last long because of the high potential for large public outcry from parents.
Personally, I’d be curious to know how many people would actually use the service.