No one likes to talk about horror of airplane bathrooms. Today that is one of the most talked about horrors. The airplane bathrooms are small and according to Bloomberg, they are getting smaller.  They feel airless. They are dirty after a long flight.  Soap, toilet paper and even water can be gone.  Some are so small that disabled women or larger women cannot use them. On some American flights, says Bloomberg, the bathroom is only 22.1 inches across at the passenger’s chest level when seated. . Believe it or not, airplane bathrooms are not the dirtiest place on the plane.

TSA and air safety not airplane dirt

So what is the best way to deal with this nasty necessity? Here are travel tips from The Women’s Travel Group, tours for solo women.

Don’t stop drinking water to avoid the bathroom. You need hydration especially on long flights. 

Do bring some toilet paper, a Purell type substance and a tiny bottle moisturizer. Keep these items under the TSA rules: Or You can also search for a list of items on  For items, not listed, snap a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter.  TSA writes on line: we look forward to answering your questions, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

Wear clothes that do not touch the floor when you sit or squat. Hold up your dress or skirt. If wearing pants, roll them up to your knees first. If either of these is hard for you to do, say, you have a bad back, wear pants that are tight around the ankles so bottoms do not drag on the airplane bathroom floor.

Definitely do not go into plane bathrooms in bare feet or socks. 

If the bathroom is busy for a very long time, gently push the locked door handle up and down to notify the user. This jarring tells the person inside there are people waiting. In my experience, the door will then open fast. The person will have been putting on make up, texting, or other time -taking activity. If it is obvious that that person has been sick, do not use that bathroom.

Do not drink the bathroom water. Do not even brush your teeth with it. 

If you smell that the person before was smoking, tell staff immediately and remember what they look like. Detectors do not always work, but responsible passengers can be a good default. Airplane filth is one thing; airplane fire is another.

Finally airlines announce that you must use the bathroom only in your cabin. This is a request not a rule. The Points Guy wrote a clear article about using a bathroom in any cabin; he used American Airlines as an example. Here is what he found out:

So we hope the necessary horror of airplane bathrooms is somewhat tolerable with our blog post. Dirty airplanes are changing with new rules. There will be new regulations regarding airplane bathrooms and other areas of the airplane as we learn to deal with Covid 19.

These are practical travel tips from The Women’s Travel Group.

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