Toilets in the sky on Boeing B737 Airbus A200 are for exclusive use for small people and kids. This may not change for another 20 years.
FlyersRights, the largest airline passenger organization, submitted comments in support of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed accessible lavatory rules for single-aisle aircraft, but it strongly rebuked the DOT’s plan to wait 18-20 years for the rule to be mandatory on new planes.
The average commercial aircraft life span is approximately 20-25 years, meaning single-aisle planes without accessible lavatories will continue to fly as many as 45 years from now, past 2065. Seventy-five years would have passed from the Air Carrier Access Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act before disabled passengers would know that their plane had accessible bathrooms. The DOT stated that 89% of flights between 1500 and 3000 miles (four to six-hour duration) were operated by single-aisle aircraft. For all flights under six hours, much more than 89% of flights are flown on single-aisle aircraft.
“We applaud the DOT for finally taking these steps, but the delay is unconscionably long. This is a matter of health, safety, and dignity, and if it were treated accordingly, we would see a much shorter delay. Instead, it appears that airline balance sheets are winning the argument so far,” commented Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights.org.
The rulemaking docket has over 200 comments in support of the rule but in opposition to the proposed implementation delay. The docket can be accessed here.