Smaller Lavatories Mean More Seats

This is one of the lavatories aboard an Airbus A330-300 aircraft operated by Virgin Atlantic on March 6, 2013. Photograph by FlyerTalk member ycp81. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by ycp81.

The lavatories on the new Boeing 737-900 aircraft ordered by Delta Air Lines reportedly will be smaller than the lavatories typically found on mainline aircraft currently in use, which is expected to result in four additional seats in the economy class cabin as a result.

Passengers will supposedly not notice the difference.

The additional seats will reportedly use space behind the sink units — which is currently unused and wasted — and have the exterior wall of the lavatory molded in such a way in which the seats in front of it will be able to recline.

I have not seen the actual configuration, but if it is indeed true, I think that this is a great idea — especially if there is purportedly no difference to be noticed by the passengers.

Think about it: imagine being able to recline your seat without having it turn into a heated controversy. After all, the lavatory is not going to complain about having less space on which it can work on its laptop computer — and there will be nobody constantly kicking you in the back of your seat.

Of course, I am not addressing the eventual putrid aroma freshly wafted to assault your olfactory sense from when the door opens after a passenger with seriously potent stomach issues uses the lavatory — but that is another story.

Sure, the lavatories can be rather cramped — but on mainline aircraft, I do not recall ever thinking that I wish there was more room. I personally do not need more room — although you might disagree due to your comfort preferences or physical proportions. I am in and out of there quickly, and I always wear my shoes in the lavatory to avoid my feet ever being exposed to those nice puddles on the lavatory floor.

If I had a complaint about the lavatories, it would be the sinks — especially on the Boeing 757-200 series aircraft operated by Delta Air Lines. I like to soap up my hands thoroughly, but that shallow basin with the faucet which is too short and on an angle renders washing my hands without touching the sink nearly impossible. I resort to carefully orchestrating a complex ballet of turning the faucet on with a paper towel in one hand while first washing the other hand and then cupping it to hold enough water to rinse at least some of the soap off of the hand with the paper towel — and I repeat as necessary until my other hand is clean. This has to be measured and timed just right, or else I have to manually drain the sink with the paper towel in my hand in order to finish the process without touching the used water.

Come to think of it, I also dislike the paper towel dispenser: when it is too full, a game of tug-of-war ensues between me and the towel dispenser until I eventually win with my cherished prize of one paper towel — although it may sometimes entail a few losing battles with those paper towels which surrender and acquiesce a portion of themselves into the clutches of my dripping wet hands; and when it is almost empty, one slight tug of a rogue paper towel causes a cascading rainfall of its brethren, effectively emptying the towel dispenser but filling the sink with their pseudo-absorbent prowess. Bonus points are scored if the flimsy door of the towel dispenser opens in the process.

Other than that, I have no complaints about lavatories aboard an airplane — but attempting to join the “mile-high club” in one of the smaller lavatories aboard one of those new Boeing 737-900 aircraft ordered by Delta Air Lines might prove to be increasingly difficult, according to FlyerTalk member GRALISTAIR

…unless you are up for a challenge…

Comments (Showing 3 of 3)

  • edgewood49 at 5:45pm April 04, 2013

    Is this Spirit Airlines or Delta !!!!!!! next stop towel charge !

  • scooternva at 7:21am April 05, 2013

    Really? Delta’s new 737-900 airliners will be smaller than the lavatories on current mainline aircraft? Those are some tiny airplanes!

  • Brian Cohen at 10:25am April 05, 2013

    That was a – shall we say – model example of a good catch. I have corrected the context of the content. Thank you, scooternva!

    While I am at it, I wonder if I should check out the size of the lavatories in the scale model Boeing 777-200 aircraft I have here in my office…

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