You won’t find these airplane bathroom rules on the posted placards or lighted information signs located throughout the cabin of your plane. Unfortunately, federal regulations do not require passengers to comply with them.
But please, please take the advice of the blog on Airfarewatchdog.com, aimed at making flights more bearable for all of us who don’t have VIP access to the first-class bathroom. Among the suggestions from blogger Caroline Costello:
- Judge not. Stow your aggression for seatmates with weak bladders in the overhead bin. “It’s the trade-off [aisle sitters] accept for the perk of sitting next to a heavenly pocket of empty space,” Costello writes. If you’re mean to seatmates who have to interrupt your peace to reach the john, well, you’re a “soul-less aisle fascist.”
- Hurry up. Just because you don’t see a line doesn’t mean you can dawdle — especially if you made a mad dash at the ding of the seatbelt sign. “Long airplane-lavatory queues can form in a matter of seconds,” she says. “Save makeup application, hair styling, book reading, texting, phone conversations, and needlepoint for the plane seat.”
- Lock the door. I know, we just told you to hurry. “But [we] all can agree that a simple turn of the lock will save untold innocents from crushing indignity,” she says.
- Double flush. “‘Leave the world better than you found it,’ said someone who spent time in a 3-by-3-foot aircraft lavatory sullied with puddles of questionable liquid and crumpled paper-towel balls,” Costello says. Don’t make a mess — or a stink. Courtesy flush, and flush again before vacating the premises.
- PB4UGO. I remember this license plate from when my mom was dropping me off at elementary school one day. It was affixed to a minivan full of first- and second- graders. The advice holds up today. Use the bathroom in the airport, and refrain from using it while the flight attendants are serving snacks or meals. “When the big, boxy meal cart comes down the aisle, anyone lingering out of his or her seat must squeeze into the personal space of an unfortunate aisle-seat passenger,” Costello says. “This configuration becomes particularly uncomfortable when the butt of standing Passenger A is positioned inches from the face of seated Passenger B.” (Take that, soul-less aisle fascist!)
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