Two Airports Are Up For the Best Public Restroom in America Award

You’d never expect a U.S. airport to be nominated for the country’s best public restroom. At Dallas Fort-Worth, for instance, when they renovated the A terminal they didn’t even refresh the bathrooms and when they re-do terminal C they’ve scaled back the budget so there’s no money to do the restrooms there, either.

However a new restroom in Seattle’s North Satellite terminal is a finalist for American’s best. And so is a restroom in the refreshed New York LaGuardia Terminal B. Say what?

Nice restrooms in airports are more common in Asia. For instance the men’s room on the G pier in Singapore’s terminal 4 ought to be a tourist destination in its own right.

But in the U.S.? That’s almost unheard of. And while I don’t think it comes close to comparing to the beauty of that men’s room at Singapore Changi, this bathroom doesn’t look bad at all:

The Sea-Tac restroom features automatic soap dispensers, quartz multistation stalls and environmentally friendly flushing fixtures, according to a statement from Cintas, the business support company that hosts the contest.

Seattle North Satellite Restroom, Credit: Cintas

As for that LaGuardia restroom?

The stalls are deeper and wider to allow passengers to easily bring in luggage and close the door behind them. Prioritizing cleanliness, the restrooms in the new Terminal B are designed to be as hands–free as possible. The sinks are trough–style with a raised counter above. The restrooms even incorporate live orchids, custom mosaic tiles at the entryway and over the urinals, as well as graphics depicting New York City on the stall doors.

Through September 13 you can cast a vote for one of the 10 finalists in the Americas Best Restroom awards.

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, 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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  1. Although many DFW restrooms were renovated prior to the terminal renewal, they are still pathetically maintained. They lack thorough cleaning and and don’t smell clean. The improperly used harsh chemicals have etched the fixtures. In contrast, PHX terminal 4 remodeled restrooms a few years ago. Even so, they were well maintained, fresh and 20 years old. The folks running DFW have terrible focus on cleanliness

  2. That explains why when I tried to book an award flight with American Airlines from MIA to BCN they offered me this itinerary: MIA-LAX-SEA-PHL-BCN, but when you try to book PHL-BCN they offer you PHL-SEA-LAX-MIA-BCN. American Airlines is putting the customers first, they want them to enjoy the bathrooms of SEA during one of the multiple layovers.

  3. i agree, EWR the worst. Ive been to 40 states or so and 35 countries and my own airport, EWR is like some sort of prison / war camp type smelly, disgusting, germ fest anytime I get off a plane and it makes me wonder if there is any cultural optimism at all within the peeps they hire to make the place clean and smell nice.

  4. The difference is that SIN’s entire airport is consistent with their award winning bathroom. LGA, and the rest of the NYC airports, are disgracefully-mismanaged. One award-winning bathroom doesn’t change that, it just highlights the irony.

  5. It’s a small airport, but I always thought the restroom near baggage claim in Fort Smith, Arkansas (FSM) was a particularly nice restroom.

  6. It is a small airport, but Albuquerque has the most spacious restrooms I have ever seen, and on the day I was there, they were spotless. It was such a refreshing change from the cramped, crowded restrooms that seem to be the norm everywhere else.

  7. Here’s a hint for all airport bathrooms trying to make a “best of” list:

    Stop installing faucet aerators that spray 20 little individual streams that splash all over my pants no matter how hard I try to stay dry! Just give us water like adults in a single stream. (And a paper towel dispenser mounted high enough so it doesn’t drop the bottom of the paper towel onto the wet counter top and I have to dry with other people’s sink water all over my hands.)

    How much can a design guy cost that would fix all of these stupid annoyances?

  8. The one in Seattle is remarkable.
    I flew Alaska two weeks ago and stopped in there (not knowing anything about it). And I was in that rare moment when the jaw dropped.
    It is the finest airport restroom I’ve ever seen in the U.S.

  9. Flying from Chicago O’Hare to Incheon Seoul was a classic Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde experience. It wasn’t that Chicago was bad, but Seoul Incheon was nearly perfect.

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