It’s not just you: Plane toilets really are shrinking

Airlines are shrinking the size of their toilets in an effort to squeeze more passengers in, but as these pictures show, it’s becoming a tight fit.

More seats means more revenue in a business where profit margins are squeezed tight and it seems passenger comfort has been pushed aside.

Passengers have already begun complaining about the new toilets and there are even fears their smaller size could lead to more air rage incidents, The Sun reports.

American Airlines estimates adding extra seats could generate more than $684 million a year and is beginning to use smaller bathrooms on its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

These new airplane bathrooms are so great. 5’9” max height! Go Alaska! #alaskan #alaska #alaskaairlines #virginplaneswerebetter #notv #noentertainmentcenter #milehighclub #bathroomselfie #6footclub #airplanebathroom

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The new toilets are 62cm wide — more than 25cm smaller than those on the airline’s older 737 models, which allows 12 more passengers in the cabin.

According to reports, passengers say the toilets are so tiny it’s a struggle to wash more than one hand at a time.

Water is also said to splash everywhere as sinks are so small.

Flight attendants have complained the rest of the plane is so cramped that if both toilet doors are open, they get stuck in the gallery.

The struggle is real. #tallman #airplanebathroom #icantturnaround #superawesome

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For tall passengers such as 193cm-tall Barry Brandes, a retired singer from New York who travels several times a year on United Airlines, that means an even tighter squeeze.

“If I don’t duck, I hit my head on the door. I can’t stand up completely, so I have to twist myself into a pretzel to use the facility,” he told the New York Times.

Even for people of average height, the size of toilets is becoming a problem.

Eddie Santos, who’s about 173cm, recently flew from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and told the Washington Post: “I had to twist my shoulder just to get in. It was uncomfortable.”

Zach Honig, editor-at-large for travel website, posted a picture of himself standing inside one of the new toilets.

“Oh, fun, what’s this little thing? A vertical luggage storage compartment?” Nope… it’s a real, live, somehow-Boeing-United-and-the-manufacturer-signed-off-on-this airplane bathroom, now flying on @United’s 737 MAX. See what makes it especially terrible at the @thepointsguy link in my Instagram bio.

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“Oh, fun, what’s this little thing? A vertical luggage storage compartment,” he wrote.

On a United flight from Houston and Orlando he watched passengers as they emerged from the smaller lavatories and said: “All of them seemed really surprised.”

Fears have also been raised about the air rage stemming from the new small toilet size.

“We believe these lavatories contribute greatly to the general decline of the in-flight experience and have the potential to lead to increased incidents of air rage,” said Shane Staples, a spokesman for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants at American Airlines.

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American Airlines captain Jimmy Walton said the new 737 MAX bathroom was “the most miserable experience in the world”.

“You’ve added 12 more seats, no more lavatories and you’ve shrunk that lavatory to 75 per cent of what it was before. I can’t turn around in it,” he said.

Jami Counter, vice president of flights at TripAdvisor and air-travel sites, said airlines “have decided the lavatory doesn’t matter that much” as they try to squeeze in more seats.

Apparently the same person that designs Lamborghini’s is the same person that designs airplane bathrooms. #airplanebathroom #lamborghini

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“I think they might have gone a bit too far. They’re taking it off of what already was a very skinny configuration.”

Joshua Freed, spokesman for American Airlines, said the company was “not unique and not alone” in lavatory size.

Maddie King, a spokeswoman for United, said lavatories on the airline’s newer 737s are the “industry standard”.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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