Tiny Bathrooms in New Airplanes Draw Ire of Customers, Flight Attendants

Some have complained the sinks are so tiny, they can only wash one hand at a time

What to Know

  • Cramped bathrooms in new Boeing airplanes being used by American Airlines and others are drawing complaints
  • The tiny toilets in the new Boeing 737 MAX allow the airlines to fit 12 more people onto the plane at a time
  • But customers and flight attendants say the airlines have gone too far and that the bathrooms are much too small and narrow

Cramped quarters in some new Boeing 737 MAX plane bathrooms are drawing complaints from customers and flight attendants.

Specifically, the smaller lavatories are confined to American Airlines’ newer jets. American is one of just a few carriers flying the new 737 MAX, which is built in Washington state. The bathrooms were built to the airline's specifications.

The new bathrooms are 24 ½ inches wide. That’s 10 inches more narrow than the airline’s older 737 models. Watch the video above to see reporters constructing the bathroom, to scale, out of cardboard boxes to gauge just how small they are.

The smaller bathrooms allow American to fit 12 more seats in the cabin.

Customers and flight attendants have complained the sinks are so tiny, they can only wash one hand at a time.

They're designed with a "notch" so that the last seat is right up against the wall of the bathroom.

The Los Angeles Times also reports flight attendants are complaining because when both bathroom doors are open at the back of the plane -- flight attendants are trapped in the galley.

The airline says it's looking to fix that problem.

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