The most uncomfortable seat on the plane is about to become even more awkward. Some airline bathrooms will soon shrink from their already miniature 3ft by 3ft area.
According to the Daily Mail, Delta Airlines is the first carrier to try out the new smaller lavatories. The mini restrooms will be fitted to Delta’s 737-900 aircraft, allowing for four extra seats in economy class.
The move to tinier airborne toilets comes at a time when the airline industry is working to cut costs and maximize revenue. Shrinking the square footage of their sky-high latrines will allow air carriers to squeeze in more seats and eke out a bit more profit.
“On airplanes, it is all about how you use the real estate,” Sebastien Weber, chief executive of Zodiac Aerospace – a Los Angeles-based firm that builds aircraft toilets – told the Wall Street Journal.
The airline said that the lavatory won't be noticeably smaller on the inside and will be just slightly smaller than the standard 3 ft x 3 ft coach class lavatory, according to the Journal.
While aircraft restrooms are not technically required by the Federal Aviation Administration, since the 1930’s commercial airlines have come to a common understanding that passengers will need to relieve themselves during flight.
Hopefully the carriers don't ignore the past eight decades of in-flight toilet innovation. It's clear that as airlines begin to tighten up on budgets, they aren’t hesitating to shrink the most important seat on the plane.