At the swimming pool, the rules are dotted around the edge; ‘No Petting’, ‘No Diving’, and ‘No Water Bombing’. Rules which are implicated for the benefactor of pool-goers and the safety of one’s self. When the matters of an airplane toilet are discussed, the visibility of these unknown, unspoken rules are not so easy to find. Although these rules are not technically federal regulations, they are a helping hand in airplane, bathroom etiquette.
- Don’t judge: You’re blissfully sitting in your aisle seat, comfortable in the knowledge that the moment an urge to pee hits your bladder, you can release and relieve yourself without irritating your fellow passengers. But, spare a thought, for the unfortunate chap who wanted a window seat, but had a dodgy McDonald’s before the flight. Don’t be a “soul-less aisle fascist”, tut and stare disapprovingly as he frequently gets up and down, it could be you one day.
- Don’t hog the toilet seat: Be courteous to other passengers in their bladder-time-of-need. Save makeup application, hair styling, or whatever unrelated bathroom activities, to the confines of your allocated seat (and that is not the toilet seat). Costello writes, “Long airplane-lavatory queues can form in a matter of seconds.” So, even if there was no line when you entered, you could be unwillingly creating one as you try to beat the turbulence, whilst applying lippy.
- Keep it locked up: We all may have had that awkward moment when we forgot to lock the door and someone confidently barges in, only to discover a mysterious force slams the door shut in their face. The advice is simple, always remember to lock the door behind you!
- Flush it away: After ablutions, it is polite to remove the possibility of odour and such for the next person. Simply flush twice.
- Keep away: Nobody wants to be in the awkward situation of having your backside in their face. When the attendants squeeze down the (already narrow enough) aisles with their trolleys, it is best to remain seated and refrain from any attempt to reaching the toilet.
- Airport rather than airplane it: If it is possible to relief yourself at the toilet-full, washroom heaven that is the airport, then do so. Be prepared and airplane-savvy. Apply makeup, touch-up your hair and empty bowels before you shop in Duty Free. It’ll make the entire flight experience better for all.