New Lavatory Innovation May Be Coming To Two U.S. Airlines

Stealing inches out of the lavatory helps airlines cram another row of seats into the plane. The new smaller lavatories some airlines have been using on narrowbody aircraft have been called “the most miserable experience in the world.”

But what if there was a lavatory that was easier to get into and that was even expandable? That’s not only great for passengers of size, but even better for passengers with mobility challenges. Larger aircraft have to have bigger lavatories to accommodate these special needs, and the U.S. government is considering making this mandatory for single aisle planes as well.

Will Horton highlights the new “Access lavatory” from Acumen which debuted this week at the Singapore Airshow.


Credit: ST Engineering/Acument Design

As Horton explains, the configuration of the cabin has to be tightest at takeoff and landing where aisles and exits have clearance requirements, but that a lavatory can expand inflight. As a result it expands 13 inches into the galley area, which is also where passengers enter. This gives “40% more floorspace and allows for a 24-inch diagonal entrance” which is great for accessibility.

Cabin crew may push back against this. It takes up galley space and according to the press release they’ll have to expand and close the extender. However the manufacturer claims to be in discussion with two airlines in the U.S., “experience airlines that have inclusiveness as part of their model.”

Expect to see the new lavatory certified this year because the manufacturer believes you could see this on a plane in 12 months.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Something must be done

    I’m not a huge guy … 5’10”, 175 lbs. (athletic build. Between Men’s Size small/medium)

    But I have difficulty going in, turning around, and sitting down in these restrooms

    The FA has to help an elderly person of size use restroom. They had passenger face out while walking backwards into the stall because they could not turn around.

    Should be illegal

  2. Someday, the toilet will have a seat belt and they will sell that seat. The passenger will be required to stand during the flight to allow lavatory use.

  3. @JRMW “should be illegal” don’t be so dramatic. have you ever seen the bathroom on a greyhound? Yes, small bathrooms suck but they are commonplace for trips much longer than airplane flights.

  4. So the passengers have to go into the already-cramped galley? Lav door opens into the galley where food and beverages are being prepared? Would you like a toilet in your kitchen? Especially with 100-200+ people using it, many of whom – sorry – think nothing or urinating on the floor. Disgusting.

  5. I’m not being dramatic.
    These should be illegal

    I believe they run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act
    Hence my statement regarding the elderly person who needed help to get in/out of the bathroom

    A greyhound bathroom is bigger than this

  6. I can see it now Gary. You will have to ask the flight attendant behind a closed curtain to extend the lav. They will probably claim it is broken or this plane doesn’t have it.

  7. Slightly off subject but if 5’10” 175 lbs man is “small to medium” … holy crap! This explains the complaints about “small” lavs as I’m sure there are many men and women that exceed the referenced size.

  8. I’m so sick of all of these airlines and the way they operate . I think we need to pick a two week period and boycott them . And keep doing it until they start listening . Nowhere in the business world is any company treated so highly, and with so little regard for consumer rights as with airlines . The customer are crammed into ever-shrinking tiny spaces, and charged a limitless, endless array of “fees”, for such exceptional amentities as taking a bag along to change clothes during your 2 week stay ! And when you call them out for it, they start pointing their fingers at other airlines, like little kids; “well, he made me do it !”
    Its disgusting what they’ve done to what used to be, an elegant form of travel . And, if i wasn’t able to drive, i would actually prefer to ride on a bus . At least on bus lines, people are treated as people, not as cheap cargo . Boycott the airlines . They’ve had it way too easy, for way too long . Like too many other businesses, the people at the top think they DESERVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN SALARY, AND PERKS, AND YES, THEY’LL GO OUT OF BUSINESS, AND PUT ALL THEIR EMPLOYEES OUT OF WORK, RATHER THAN TAKE ONE DIME LESS . But eventually someone a little more fair minded will start an airline . Boycott .

  9. That’s not sanitary. Food and drinks are being served and stored in the galleys. Just regulate the legroom to prevent airlines from cramping more seats and making labs smaller and smaller.

  10. Most people already hate using those facilities, the airlines see that as a reason to eliminate it altogether, and yes they’ll cram just as many seats in there as they can .
    Yet people continue to PAY, often, ridiculous prices, to be abused in this manner . It has to stop . Make flying a great experience again, boycott them until they change . They have proven, time and again, THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS, ONLY THEIR CUSTOMERS MONEY . Look at all the stories about customers behaving badly on airplanes, arguing, shouting, punching each others seat, or even punching each other . People feel violated on aircraft . And they aren’t wrong for feeling that, their just taking it out on the wrong people . The airline crammed you into each others personal space, and that’s where alot of the blame, squarely belongs . And it always amazes me because then the airline people try to act so surprized and appalled at the bad behaviour, that THEY caused !
    But what amazes me even more, are the folks who keep paying them for this kind of abuse . Please stop and take a moment to think about it . You PAY THEM,… A LOT . IS THIS REALLY HOW YOU WANT TO TRAVEL ? Shut em down .

  11. Most people already hate using those facilities, the airlines see that as a reason to eliminate it altogether, and yes they’ll cram just as many seats in there as they can .
    Yet people continue to PAY, often, ridiculous prices, to be abused in this manner . It has to stop . Make flying a great experience again, boycott them until they change . They have proven, time and again, THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS, ONLY THEIR CUSTOMERS MONEY . Look at all the stories about customers behaving badly on airplanes, arguing, shouting, punching each others seat, or even punching each other . People feel violated on aircraft . And they aren’t wrong for feeling that, their just taking it out on the wrong people . The airline crammed you into each others personal space, and that’s where alot of the blame, squarely belongs . And it always amazes me because then the airline people try to act so surprized and appalled at the bad behaviour, that THEY caused !
    But what amazes me even more, are the folks who keep paying them for this kind of abuse . Please stop and take a moment to think about it . You PAY THEM,… A LOT . IS THIS REALLY HOW YOU WANT TO TRAVEL ? Boycott them, Shut em down .

  12. @Revolting perhaps you should consider spending a bit more money to be in first class? Remember, those crammed seats are being sold for as little as US$25 per flight. In all honesty, air travel has turned from something nice and luxurious to public transportation.

    Unfortunately the travelling public wants the most for their buck, expecting to be treated like royalty for their $25 ticket. The cheaper the tickets, the more cuts in and around the experience to cover the costs.

  13. Pardon me, Revolting 2.0, I don’t know where anyone flies anywhere, for $25 . The fares I always see are $250 and up, and that’s from a long way off . And I’m sorry if I came off sounding wealthy, I’m not, I’m retired on a fixed income, and personally, I can’t justify the price of a first class ticke especially on a domestic flight . What I’m saying is that these airlines have had it their way, way too long, and they’ll continue pushing people into smaller and smaller spaces, until people stop paying them . And its a proven fact that we all do have a personal space, that, once its infringed upon, as in tight seating on aircraft, people are inclined to do one of two things,… fight or flight . No pun intended . What we’re seeing with all these videos and sordid stories happening on airplanes, is directly linked to that . Yet we keep paying them and inviting the abuse . As for my wife and I, both of us, who, flew on the first day airplanes could fly, after 9-11, because we couldn’t let the terrorists win, we can’t really stand to fly anymore . If we HAD to, sure, but if we can possibly avoid it, we do . Recently was tempted to fly down to see a family member that has had a debilitating stroke, but gadzooks, I can’t afford to throw money away like that . Would also like to point out, that my wife and I both FIT, in those seats, unlike too many of the folks we always seem to end up next to . The seats are made for small people, not full size adults . And then there’s this reclining nonsense .

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