In the continuing quest to eliminate touchpoints and limit the spread of COVID-19, one airline is addressing one of the most germy areas of an airplane: bathrooms. Japan’s All Nippon Airways, in collaboration with aircraft interior company Jamco, is testing a new doorknob design that would allow passengers to open the bathroom door with their elbows. The design is currently only being tested at the airline’s lounge at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, but if successful, the feature could be rolled out on its aircrafts.
The new design is a sliding locking device that can be easily operated by an elbow. It shifts from side to side, locking and unlocking the door, while the handle can be pressed with an elbow, making it possible to push open the bathroom door without touching any common surfaces with your hands.
While elbow-operated doors won’t completely ease travelers’ concerns about flying during the pandemic, they should create some peace of mind.