Anyone that has flown on an airplane knows that airplane bathrooms tend to be strange places. Not usually spacious and “throne” worthy. On top of that, the powerful vacuum toilet seems as if it had the potential to suck you right out of there. Hence, in order to make bathroom usage on an airplane a more pleasant experience for everyone, we have compiled a few simple and easy to remember guidelines to help you use the airplane bathroom in a courteous manner.

Keep it clean

You have probably heard the saying, “leave it cleaner than you found it,” no? Well, that may be tough to follow if you enter a forsaken place that creeps some people out. Well, on the other hand all you need to do is to keep it clean yourself. If everyone followed this simple rule, bathrooms in planes and for that matter everywhere else would be a whole lot cleaner.

  • After you are done with the sink, wipe it down.
  • Deposit your used paper towels in the trash can. Do not flush them.
  • After you are finished with your business, close the lid and flush!

Very simple guidelines. If you are the type of person that could care less, well then at least consider your fellow travelers and flush the toilet. Studies show that a number of travelers don’t even bother closing the lid and/or even flushing the toilet. For goodness sake people. Keep it clean. We are asking you to bring a disinfectant wipe and cleaning the whole bathroom. But if you want to, go ahead and earn some extra karma!

Who watches your child?

Going to the bathroom is a quick deal, usually. But if you are traveling with children, nature will still call, and if you are traveling alone who do you ask while you relieve yourself? Well, this boils down to a few possibilities. If you really want to follow etiquette, then you don’t ask your neighbor to watch them while you quickly head to the bathroom. You call a flight attendant or secondly you take your child with you. In most instances, unless perhaps it is a newborn, you probably will take option 1.

Nonetheless, who knows. You may be sitting next to someone who you have begun chatting with and seem friendly enough to keep their eyes on your child for a few minutes. Hence, it really boils down to circumstances. Make a decent call.

Choose your seat carefully

Yes, where you sit matters when it comes to bathroom policy. If you sit near the aisle, especially on long haul flights, then be prepared for those in the inner rows to sort of trample all over you as they try to head out to the bathroom. That is the trade-off one must accept if you want that additional free space of empty aisle.

However, if you are sitting on the inside, be courteous, and unless you have a medical condition, don’t abuse your bathroom privilege more than needed. A simple “excuse me,” and quick shuffle by will do the trick.

In and Out

Another thing to note about airplane bathrooms is that they are meant to be in-and-out. Unless you have a medical condition, the airplane restroom should be like a drive-through. You quickly go, get your business done, and get out. Even if no one is standing around and waiting, lines and queues can quickly form. All that additional stuff you may need to do, like makeup, hair styling, reading, texting, etc., can all be done at your seat as well.

Know when to go

Use the bathroom before even boarding while still at the airport. Once you board, you won’t be able to use the lavatory during taxi and after takeoff for quite some time while the captain still has the seatbelt sign on. There have been incidences of delays as passengers needed to use the restroom prior to takeoff and hence were not fastened in their seats.

On top of this, avoid wanting to use the restrooms while meal service is underway or as flight attendants begin beverage service. You may think you can squeeze by with grace, however, chances are you’ll be sticking your butt into the face of a fellow seated passenger while trying to wiggle off to the side to allow the big boxed cart to pass. Hold it or go in advance of service starting.

Be kind

The majority of us, when wanting to use the bathroom – it is typically not in an emergency mode in regards to toilet usage. Hence, if someone comes with a child, allow them to move to the front of the queue. More karma points and it’s a nice gesture to your fellow humans. Plus, you’ll get to stand longer, allowing your body to recover from sitting on a seat as if you were a doll in a small chair. That is unless you are flying business or first class.

Lock the door

Make sure you lock the door upon entry. No one wants to walk in on a stranger in the bathroom with their pants down. A quick simple turn of the bathroom lock will ensure no one is scarred for life or embarrassed for having walked in on you.

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