Pilots Locking Lavatory Door In Polaris

Old Mar 2, 2024, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by ABC Traveler
Not sure if this is related, but on my recent United flight sitting in C class, they have a FA blocked the entrance to the front lavatory when the pilot is using it, but as soon as he's done the FA moves out of the way and we can use it. So there's no "commandeering" but they do restrict passengers front approaching when the pilot needs the loot.
That's SOP whenever a pilot needs to use the lav:

1. The aisles are blocked by carts and FAs.
2. The pilot exits the cockpit and an FA takes their place.
3. When the pilot is done, the FA leaves the cockpit and the pilot returns.
4. The aisles are unblocked.

What we're talking about here is different; i.e. the external lock on the lav being left on for the entire flight, thereby making that lav unavailable to pax.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by ABC Traveler
Not sure if this is related, but on my recent United flight sitting in C class, they have a FA blocked the entrance to the front lavatory when the pilot is using it, but as soon as he's done the FA moves out of the way and we can use it. So there's no "commandeering" but they do restrict passengers front approaching when the pilot needs the loot.
That's normal and regulation.

Except for calling it "the loot". 😅
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 3:42 pm
  #48  
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Let's keep focused on the issue and less on the motivation or veracity of reporters. "Discuss the issue, not the poster(s).

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Old Mar 2, 2024, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by wxguy
I can see the point. 764s with augmented crews have "crew swap" at specific times, and usually all pilots will take a restroom break in succession at this time. When one pilot leaves the rear-of-J 764 lav and locks the door, it's being "held" for the next pilot who will use in a minute or two after the swap in the cockpit. That way, the subsequent pilot user won't have to wait in line. Fair, or unfair can be debated, that's the rationale.
Originally Posted by zombietooth
I've only noticed because of situations where I was waiting to get into the lav and saw a pilot exit the forward lav and lock it. On the few occasions when I've inquired about it to the FAs, I was told that it was reserved for the pilots. I never thought it was a big deal, but my memory was jogged upon seeing this thread.
Iíve seen similar where a pilot coming out will lock the lav, followed by another pilot using it shortly afterwards. But havenít encountered one that is normally used by passengers locked the entire flight without some sort of announcement.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by featheroleather
but some posters here have seen it happen on their flights so they paint with a huge brush & claim its a system wide situation only at UAL.
I think people are saying they see it happening, no one is saying it happens a lot.

I personally find most UA pilots are great. But not all.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by featheroleather
but some posters here have seen it happen on their flights so they paint with a huge brush & claim its a system wide situation only at UAL.
The problem too is it is unclear how many of these accounts were a perception that the lavatory was locked the entire flight Vs actual knowledge that it was. I think most accounts seem clear that the lavs were locked for extended periods of the flight but other than being a lavatory watcher, or those cases where told by the crew, it's hard to know that a lav was 1) operational and 2) access was denied to passengers for the entire flight.

We may just think that it was deliberately locked all the flight but I suspect in some of the reports that may not have been so. There was one post we know for sure that wasn't the case as poster reported the two front lavs were locked in a 764, that doesn't have front lavs, causing all the passengers to use the lavs at rear of J cabin.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 10:33 pm
  #52  
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Bottom line - anyone who experiences this should file a complaint. Unless there is a published policy that regulates priority or restricted access to the lavatory, no crew member has any right to restrict the lavatory for their own personal use. File the complaints, and when encountered on board, just unlock the lavatory yourself if you see this happen.

What are they going to do, divert the flight? Dare them to. I doubt HQ would be impressed with that decision.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
...., and when encountered on board, just unlock the lavatory yourself if you see this happen......
And what if this an uncompliant lav?
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
And what if this an uncompliant lav?
I've been on flights where the lav was indeed uncompliant, and a notice was clearly visible on the door. I've also seen doors being locked without the sign, and if it isn't because of FAA regulations, then it is a fair assumption it's a perfectly usable lav that someone has decided on their own to make it off limits to the passengers.

In the latter case, if I really needed to use the lav and there was no other option, I can see myself using self help to gain access.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
...just unlock the lavatory yourself...
I prefer my flights 100% drama-free, tyvm.
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Old Mar 2, 2024, 11:18 pm
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I prefer my flights 100% "accident"-free, thank you very much (TYVM).
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Old Mar 3, 2024, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by narvik
I prefer my flights 100% drama-free, tyvm.
I also prefer to be seen as a passenger who complies with FA and crew instructions. I think filing a complaint would be appropriate.
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Old Mar 3, 2024, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
What are they going to do, divert the flight? Dare them to. I doubt HQ would be impressed with that decision.
I would definitely not dare anyone to divert a flight. That they can surely do. Flights have been diverted for less. All it takes is for the FA to 'feel threatened', by one's presence. They dont know what next the passenger will tamper with in the aircraft. And the crew will sure play it by the book so whether HQ is impressed or not they will be in agreement with the decision. Very likely the person who will pay the price for the diversion will be the passenger who caused it - who knows they may even be able to get the passenger arrested and charged for some misdemeanor.
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Last edited by ani90; Mar 3, 2024 at 7:44 am
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Old Mar 3, 2024, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by ani90
I would definitely not dare anyone to divert a flight. That they will surely do. Flights have been diverted for less. All it takes is for the FA to 'feel threatened', by one's presence. They dont know what next the passenger will tamper with in the aircraft. And they will sure play it by the book so whether HQ is impressed or not they will be in agreement with the decision. Very likely the person who will pay the price for the diversion will be the passenger who caused it - who knows they may even be able to get the passenger arrested and charged for some misdemeanor.
So what you're saying is the only option left for a passenger suffering from incontinence is to soil themselves while waiting for access to a compliant lav? Because sooner or later, given the way the airline industry has crammed more seats in their metal/CFRP tubes while at the same time reducing the number of lavs, we're going to read about a non-drunk passenger faced with a Hobson's choice when they can't find an open lav.

But I do see a new money-making opportunity for the airline. they might want to start selling these.

​​​​​​
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Old Mar 3, 2024, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by halls120
So what you're saying is the only option left for a passenger suffering from incontinence is to soil themselves while waiting for access to a compliant lav?
I certainly said no such thing. Not sure where you got that from. Read my response again - I was only commenting on the advice to dare diversion of the aircraft.
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