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Travel Tramps

How could airplane bathrooms get any smaller?

by Kathleen Curry & Geoff Griffin
- Posted // 2013-04-12 - What's one place on an airplane that could really be made more compact? If you said "bathroom" you are, shockingly, not alone. Despite the staggering smallness of the average airplane restroom, Boeing and airlines have been won over by a recent proposal to reduce the amount of space taken up by bathrooms on 737s.

Delta will be the first airline to take the plunge, (OK, pun intended) with the first passengers squeezing into them by the end of the year on new jets. Other airlines are expected to follow suit in the next few years.

Given that the smallness of toilets on planes is a staple of comedy and complaining, what prompted the switch? By reducing the size of bathrooms, engineers are able to squeeze four more seats onto the plane. Delta argues that the adjustment will barely be noticed by passengers; space is carved out from behind the sink and in contouring the walls. Do you welcome the newly curtailed bathroom and its consequent additional seats, or is this just another instance of passengers having to pay for airlines' greed? We'll reserve judgment for when we meet the new lavatories face to face in the coming year.

The Travel Tramps write about their treks for City Weekly and host the Travel Brigade Radio Show. Follow them on Twitter @TravelBrigade.

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