Ryanair is the first airline to launch drinks vending machines and snacks vending machines to it’s pasengers. In a bid to improve their revenue stream from the so called discretionary spend by passengers, aircraft are to be fitted with self service vending machines.
The initiative originated from last year’s suggestion that passengers would be charged for the pleasure of using onboard toilets. Although the toilet charge idea literally went down the tubes the airline continued to explore the idea of passengers paying at point of use for certain onboard facilities. One such idea has developed into the Onboard Vending Machine (OVM).
An added bonus of the vending machines is that cabin crew headcount can be reduced by 2 per flight thus growing the cost saving revenue. It is understood that Ryanair is to tender for the provision of the vending machines in the coming weeks.
A first aircraft, B737-8AS registration EI-DWW has already been fitted out in an operation which involves fitting forward and rear snack and drinks vending machines. Allowing access to the forward vending machine involves removing the first row of seats on the starboard side of the aircraft. The drinks vending machines are located in the galleys at either end.
It is understood that Ryanair is converting 6 aircraft which will be tested throughout the carrier’s network over the next three months. If deemed a success, the idea will be rolled out to the remainder of the fleet by year end. In the picture below taken on board EI-DWW yesterday afternoon, the main cabin vending machine is clearly visible.
So what next? Vending machines for checking in? Vending Machines for paying for excess luggage? Vending machines to buy your life vest in the event of landing on water? After this there should be no problem converting the toilet doors to vending machines where money is required to gain entry.