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LAT: Airline bathrooms are getting smaller — you’re not imagining it

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Airline bathrooms are getting smaller — you’re not imagining it

 

If the restroom on your next flight seems a bit snug, don’t assume you’ve picked up a few pounds. U.S. airlines increasingly are putting smaller lavatories on their planes — and the economics of the decision means the smaller restrooms are probably here to stay.

 

As labor costs rise and fuel prices surge, airlines are taking advantage of robust travel demand to squeeze as many passengers as possible into planes. Knee-bashing reductions to legroom and elbow-crunching cuts to seat size are well-known tactics. The latest method is to retrofit old aircraft and order new ones with svelte lavatories that allow for an extra row of seats in the cabin.

 

Airlines say the new restrooms are just a few inches smaller than what passengers are used to. But it’s not as though the bathrooms were that big to begin with, and the tighter fit is sparking complaints from pilots, concerns from flight attendants and griping from travelers. Consultant Samuel Engel said taking his 4-year-old son to the restroom during a recent four-hour flight was like a yoga exercise.

 

“We’re both compact people, but I still had to basically straddle him to be able to fit in the lav together,” said Engel, who leads the aviation group at consulting firm ICF. “The sink is so tiny that we did a sort of four-handed ballet to wash each of our hands in turn, splashing water all over in the process.”

 

Click on the link for the full article

 

 

And in related news...

 

FAA tells airline passengers 'We're a safety agency, not a creature comfort agency'

 

If that airline seat is a tad snug for your burgeoning backside or the distance between rows makes you claustrophobic and fearful that a bit of reclining could crush your knees, blame it on the money-hungry airline.

 

That's the message from the Federal Aviation Administration, which said Tuesday — as emphatically as skillfully fashioned legal jargon can describe — that the squeezing of the nation's expanding bottoms into shrinking airline seats is not its problem.

 

The FAA did so despite a demand for federal regulation of seat size, a lawsuit brought by the consumer group Flyers Rights, and a judge's order that the agency reconsider its position.

 

Reconsider, the FAA did, and concluded that there is "no evidence that a typical passenger, even a larger one, will take more than a couple of seconds to get out of his or her seat" in the case of an emergency.

 

Seat width on many major airlines has shrunk from about 18.5 inches to 17 inches. Seat pitch — the distance between your seat and the one directly in front of you — has decreased from an average of 35 inches to 31 inches, and on some airlines it has been reduced to 28 inches.

 

While seats have grown smaller, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, the average weight of a U.S. woman these days is equal to that of the average man in the 1960s: 166 pounds. The average man now weighs almost 196 pounds. Men pack a 40-inch waistline. Women tickle the tape around the waist at 38 inches.

 

Click on the link for the full article

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I flew Virgin to Europe last month and I was shocked at how LARGE the lavatory was.  You could have fit 4-5 people in it.  It was insane.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 or 5!?     the whole A-Team..??!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

maybe........

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

th?id=OIP.y23b4AKFN6FLolp_uPCvIQHaFw&pid=Api

Edited by mcsluggo
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Stupid question, how do wheelchair bound people fly commercial? I know people get wheeled through airports, but once on a plane are they stuck in their seat (bar a flight attendant carrying them to the lavatory)?

 

Also, I get that making legroom smaller allows more paying seats to be installed. But are lavatories getting smaller for this reason too? Or are they transferring that to food storage? Or just less material to build the plane?

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Posted (edited)

I'd suspect planes are carrying more cargo (mail and other packages) than they use too. Thus the need for more room for that (and less passenger room as a result)..

Edited by The Evil Genius

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Posted (edited)

They should make regulations on the number of seats a plane can have depending on the size. Adding more seats in a plane that is maybe not designed to carry extra weight is dangerous.

 

They say that fuel costs are surging, but you will still use more fuel if you add seats (weight). This is why I rarely fly anymore and I’m not heavy at all. 

Edited by pjfootballer

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1 hour ago, pjfootballer said:

They should make regulations on the number of seats a plane can have depending on the size. Adding more seats in a plane that is maybe not designed to carry extra weight is dangerous.

 

They say that fuel costs are surging, but you will still use more fuel if you add seats (weight). This is why I rarely fly anymore and I’m not heavy at all. 

 

Yea, the second article China posted addresses this.  The FAA said they aren't going to do that.  

 

Personally, I travel quite a bit and my issue isn't with seat or lavatory size, it's with the demeanor of airline employees (mostly the folks at the gate).  About half seem to just not give a **** about making air travel anything other than an ordeal. 

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38 minutes ago, PleaseBlitz said:

 

Yea, the second article China posted addresses this.  The FAA said they aren't going to do that.  

 

Personally, I travel quite a bit and my issue isn't with seat or lavatory size, it's with the demeanor of airline employees (mostly the folks at the gate).  About half seem to just not give a **** about making air travel anything other than an ordeal. 

 

Well, at least they're honest about it.  That's all it is, an ordeal.  

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