TALKING POINT | Waiting for the WC in business class is all too easily dismissed as a ‘first-world problem’.
And perhaps it is, when the rest of your time flying at the pointy end is so good: the well-appointed airport lounge, the comfortable seat, the restaurant-grade meal before you stretch out to grab some shut-eye on that fully-flat bed.
But maybe that’s why having to line up to use the business class lav can be an ill fit in the overall experience.
The queue factor ticks up if your airline of choice offers inflight pyjamas – changing into (and again out of) those ‘sleep suits’ not only increases the demand for loos but also the time spent in them.
This struck me on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles in one of Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ERs refitted with airline’s swish new business class.
The redesigned cabin sports 37 of Virgin’s stylish seats and three lavs – two at the very front of the main cabin, and a third nestled next to the bar area.
That’s a traveller-to-toilet ratio of just over 12:1, which turns out to be on the generous side of the ledger.
Emirates' Airbus A380 has just five loos for 76 passengers (15:1), while Etihad's superjumbos pare that ratio back to 14:1.
On Singapore Airlines' A380 the ratio varies between 10:1 and 14:1 depending on which version of its superjumbo you end up flying in.
If you’ve ever sat in Qantas A380 business class, drumming your fingers (and perhaps crossing your legs) waiting for that green light – a signal which quite literally means you’re ‘good to go’ – here’s the reason why.
The Red Roo's loo count sees just four WCs shared between 64 business class passengers and, for two of those loos, the 35-seat premium economy cabin.
(Qantas used to set aside four bathrooms for its business class passengers plus two more for premium economy, but rejigged both the seat and toilet count when it reconfigured the twelve-strong A380 fleet in mid-2013.)
What’s your experience with ‘loo queue’ when flying business class?
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