Flight Lavatory Issues

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On Oct. 18th, a Chinese movie called Chinese Captain was released in the USA. In the movie, one particular scene caused some controversy:

A woman sitting in the middle of the economy classes wanted to go to the bathroom. But since the serving-cart clogged her way to the lavatory located at the back of the plane. She directly went into the first-class lavatory. Most of the time, when passengers want to use the first-class lavatory, they would usually be asked to the ones at the back of the flight. Is it ok for non-first-class passengers to use the first-class lavatory?


Safety Reasons

Restricting people from using the first-class lavatory can create a quiet environment for pilots. The location of the cockpit and the first-class bathroom can explain this. In most airplanes, the cockpit and first-class lavatory are only a few inches away. Moreover, they are nearly attached. Hence, any noise created in the lavatory can be heard by the pilots, which may potentially threaten the safety of the journey by distracting pilots.

Limiting the people of using the first-class lavatory can, to some degree, prevent danger. The cockpit is the core of safety on the whole flight. So it is indispensable to guarantee that everyone who enters the cockpit meets the legal requirements, and anyone near the cockpit cannot threaten flight safety. The first-class lavatory, being so close to the cockpit, needs more attention than the other ones so that the fewer people being around, the better.

In the famous September 11th attacks, at 8:46 am, a hijacked American Airlines 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre. At 9:03 am, another hijacked American Airlines plane crashed into the southern tower. At 9:37 am, American Airlines 77 crashed into The Pentagon. At 10:02:23 am, American Airlines 93 crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, only 20 minutes away from the White House.

All these 4 incidents share a similarity which is cockpits were intruded. And all the intruders were wandering around the cockpits before the hijacks happened. Therefore, to ensure the safety of all the passengers and staff, to create a secure workplace for the pilots, the place around the cockpits must be specially guarded, including the first-class lavatory.


Service Reasons

Compared to economy class, the first class has far fewer seats. For instance, on airbus 320, there are only 8 seats and a lavatory in the first class while economy class contains 150 seats and 2 lavatories. But the first-class passengers paid 2-3 times the money of the economy-class passengers for better service, including having faster and better access to lavatories. If the economy-class passengers frequently using the first-class lavatory, we can say they violate the rights of first-class passengers to some extent.

First-class lavatories are not only for first-class passengers but also for pilots, who have the highest priority than any other passengers. Therefore, in order not to affect the pilots using bathrooms, limiting the people of going to first-class lavatories is necessary.

But of course, following the principle of being humane, it is allowed for some people who need special care to use the first-class lavatories like disabled people, young children, etc.

Featured Image via CNN







About the author

Taylor is a freshman at St. Mark’s School from Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China. As an artistic girl, she loves playing the piano and is a great pianist. She also loves to dance and paint. Being influenced by her family, she is a big fan of writing, whether it’s big things like her perspectives about a current social event or a tiny aspect of her life like a ray of sunshine glinting through the window in the morning. As a result of her kind personality, Taylor is popular among children. And that’s why she is a volunteer in the Boys’ and Girls’ club this year. In her first year in St. Mark’s, she hopes to bring happiness to more people.

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