If you’re used to flying in economy, you probably have a fairly negative opinion of airplane bathrooms: cramped spaces with juddering folding doors, ridiculous trash cans, and a long line to get in. But there’s another world of airplane bathrooms out there featuring showers, real toiletries, actual sinks, and decent water pressure. If you’re in the market for a first-class airplane ticket, consider booking onto one of these routes and aircraft models – picked out by professional flight reviewers – and you’ll land fresh as a daisy.
1. Airplanes with bathroom windows
Jeb Brooks, professional YouTuber specializing in travel videos (especially flight reviews), has two favorites when it comes to airplane bathrooms:
“First, Delta Air Lines’ A220 has a bathroom at the back of the airplane with a window,” Brooks says. “It’s been dubbed the ‘loo with a view’ and is a real crowd pleaser. But only when the airplane is inflight, of course!”
2. Fancy airplane bathrooms with showers, full-length mirrors, and heated floors
Another airplane bathroom that stands out to Brooks are the Emirates bathrooms on the Airbus A380.
“They’re nestled at the front of the Super Jumbo’s upper deck and not only are they massive, they also have everything you could imagine, from showers to full-length mirrors,” Brooks says. “They’re stocked with every lotion and potion you can imagine. And, maybe best of all, the floors are heated. You wouldn’t want your first-class feet to freeze after your shower, after all!”
Brooks isn’t the only one to call out the luxury of the A380 bathroom, either.
“the first-class forward bathrooms on Emirates’ A380s are perhaps the most palatial bathrooms I’ve had the pleasure of using while flying,” says Tiezheng Bu, flight reviewer behind the YouTube channel Vicarious Voyager. Bu adds that “there’s enough room to fit four or five adults fairly comfortably – you could run a small book club in there. Amenities abound as well, from towels of different sizes to shampoos and conditioners, to cosmetic products you’re invited to take home. Everything is clad in a slightly gauche but nevertheless very luxurious faux burr wood, and the toilet seat is cushioned to be gentle on your rear end. Overall, it’s a very pleasant place to be, and resembles more of an at-home spa than an airplane toilet.”
3. Airplanes with downstairs bathrooms
Bu says the Airbus A340-500s and A340-600s are the first intriguing airplane bathrooms that come to mind.
“There’s nothing special about the lavatories themselves, but rather where they’re located,” Bu says. “When you get to the rear galley, there’s a flight of stairs you can take to the lower deck where, depending on the airline, you can find three to four restrooms as well as the door to the crew rest. I remember as a child traveling on Lufthansa’s A340s, I would also be excited by the prospect of walking up and down stairs on an airplane to go to the bathroom. It just seemed so bizarre and fascinating to me.
4. Airplane toilets that dispense anti-freeze
While luxury and location are the defining memorable factor for some planes, what happens when you flush makes others stand out.
The lavatories on some of Air Canada’s Dash-8 Q400 aircraft servicing certain northern routes have bathrooms with no sinks or running water. Water pipes would freeze in the low temperatures these route travel. When a toilet is flushed, a small stream of blue-colored antifreeze solution comes out of the rim.
5. An airplane bathroom that is better than any airplane seat
Singapore Airlines uses the Airbus 380 as well, and while it doesn’t have a shower like on Emirates, YouTuber Nonstop Dan notes that it’s extremely opulent
“Singapore Airlines A380 first class has the coolest bathrooms in the sky,” he says. “They feature a large vanity mirror with a chair, accompanied by a drawer full of amenities. The toilet is hidden behind it. Everything about this lavatory feels luxurious, and I’d rather spend my flight here than in most airplane seats.”