Aircraft Lavatories 101
Aircraft Lavatories 101

Aircraft Lavatories 101

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First and foremost

Let’s discuss the various holes in an aircraft lavatory, and their utility.

This is a toilet bowl. Excrete number 1 and number 2 here.
This is a sink. This is NOT a toilet bowl. The only form of bodily fluid welcome here is your saliva.

The number of people who confuse these two is astonishing.

Moving on…

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are suggestions for maximum enjoyment and comfort while answering nature’s call.

First, please lock the door. Once again, an astounding number of people neglect this step. Slide the latch till you see red, as per image below.

The placard says “please lock the door”. Note the dual language for measure.


If you pee standing up, kindly lift the toilet seat. Although we have absolute faith in your aim, everybody have off days. And the “sitting” part of the population (regardless of gender, I do not discriminate) rather not have the residue from your “stream” moistening our bottoms.

However, you know what they say? Watch your own butt. Literally. Therefore, I recommend wiping the seat before bare contact.

Toilet seat covers are great, if available. Note: these are not baking paper.

Toilet seat cover.


Business no 2 is a can of worms. I heartily urge you to approach your friendly flight attendant for an air freshener spray. Before excrement, it is helpful to throw tissues into the bowl to prevent sticking. This is especially the case for the carnivorous among us, as well as those who have “vegetables allergy”.


Air Freshener

Very Important! 

I cannot emphasize this enough. PLEASE. FLUSH. Again and again, I’ve stumbled upon valuable “baked goods”. Just like that, I bid any appetite for eats farewell.

Also, here’s another amazing fact: people have trouble locating the flush button. For your assistance, I included an image.

Just press it.

If the tissue trick didn’t work, flush again. If yesterday’s dinner still refuses to disperse, try this: empty a cup of hot water down the bowl, then flush. This method never fails.


Let’s consider the sink. As a second officer on the Airbus, I was taught everything about flying this big bird, except… how to use the lavatory sink. My first few flights, I stood there, starring helplessly at the streaming water, completely clueless. It was a couple of flights later when I discovered that the flow stops without my interference.

Embarrassing story time is over, here’s a picture of the lavatory sink and tap.

Lavatory sink and tap.


For your reading pleasure

Here are things NOT to do in an aircraft lavatory (based on real life events):

1. Shower

Surprise: the water WILL flow out into the cabin to resemble the Muar River.

2. Spray perfume within the vicinity of a smoke detector.

This might or might not set off the smoke alarm. Spoiler: it will. We, the pilots, pee in our pants a little every time the master warning sounds as a result of your stint. Please spare us the misery and use roll- on deodorant.

3. Smoke a cigarette

The master warning pierce our eardrums once again, we actually do wiz in our pants. AND you have to deal with an angry cabin crew. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with an angry cabin crew. No dessert for you.


This is not an invitation to lit one up. Its actual function escapes me.

Last but not least

Never leave the lavatory without a mirror selfie.

Have a nice day!



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