Can Economy Passengers Use First Class Lavatory?

Can Economy Passengers Use First Class Lavatory?

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Here’s a topic that I’ve never addressed, but which I figure makes for an interesting discussion. If you’re traveling in economy, can you use the first class lavatory? And if you can, should you?

Rules around using first class bathrooms

Airlines go great lengths to configure their cabins efficiently, and to cram in as many seats as possible. For your average domestic narrow body aircraft, you might just have one lavatory at the front of the plane, and two (or so) lavatories at the back of the plane.

So if you’re traveling in economy, is it appropriate to use the first class lavatory? After all, it might be the closest one to you, and it’s possible that there’s not a line to use it, while there may be a line to use the lavatories at the back of the cabin.

For domestic flights, the answer is that you are typically allowed to use any lavatory on the aircraft, though the exact policy varies by airline. Here’s my understanding of the rules, and someone correct me if I get anything wrong:

  • American and United allow passengers to use the lavatory in first class, no questions asked
  • Alaska states that “guests should use the restroom in their assigned cabins, and are required to do so on inbound international flights”
  • Delta states that “while customers should use the lavatory in their cabin of service, our crew leverages situational flexibility to support special accommodations as needed”

As you can see, at worst you’re told that you “should” use the lavatory in your cabin, but not that it’s required.

Note that the above is specific to domestic flights within the United States. On international flights bound for the United States, the consistent rule is that you’re required to use the lavatory in the cabin in which you’re seated. That’s not just an airline policy, but a government policy (along with not congregating in the galleys). In my experience it’s consistently enforced, at least to the extent that the crew is paying attention.

Also keep in mind that you have to follow flight attendant instructions, so if they tell you not to use the forward lavatory, you have to listen to them (it could be because the pilots need a bathroom break, etc.).

Anyone can generally use the first class lavatory

What should the policy around lavatory use be?

It’s worth noting that while airlines in the United States mostly let you use lavatories in any cabin, a vast majority of foreign airlines require you to use the lavatory in your cabin, with no exceptions.

Heck, I’d say when flying on a top global airline, having access to a (typically) clean lavatory is a part of the value proposition of flying in a premium cabin. After all, a lavatory is likely to be a lot cleaner, given how many fewer people have access to it.

What should the policy be on US airlines? Well, I see both sides.

On the one hand, it’s kind of annoying when you pay extra for first class, and then for the entire flight there’s a steady stream of people standing in the aisle waiting for the forward lavatory. Heck, at times it can even be tough to use the lavatory when you’re in first class, since you basically have to just stand up at your seat to indicate to those coming up from economy that you’re waiting as well.

On the other hand, this is sort of a problem created by airlines. US airlines often simply don’t have enough lavatories in economy to accommodate the amount of “demand,” as you’ll often have two lavatories for around 150 passengers. There’s almost always a line in the back of the aircraft of people waiting for the lavatory, so I can’t blame people for not wanting to wait for extended periods of time.

Furthermore, during service, the aisle is often blocked with a cart, so it’s not like there’s even an easy way to get to the back.

American Airlines first class bathroom (just kidding)

Bottom line

Generally when flying on US airlines on domestic flights, you’re allowed to use the first class lavatory when flying in economy. There is some discretion here, especially on Alaska and Delta, which recommend — but don’t require — that you use the lavatory in your cabin.

Personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using the lavatory closest to you, assuming it’s within the carrier’s rules. However, it’s just yet another thing that makes the experience of flying in a premium cabin on a US carrier different than flying in a premium cabin on a foreign carrier.

What’s your take on using the first class lavatory when traveling in economy?

Conversations (80)
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  1. Dee Guest

    As a 36 year employed f/a of a major airline, I have recognized that the rules have changed over the years. I personally do not deny anyone the use of a lavatory in f/c cabin because they are EQUAL throughout the aircraft. I will admit that I ensure that f/c passengers have access. If someone/multiple customers wish you use the lavatory- they must remain aT the rear of the cabin- BEHIND the curtain. They are...

    As a 36 year employed f/a of a major airline, I have recognized that the rules have changed over the years. I personally do not deny anyone the use of a lavatory in f/c cabin because they are EQUAL throughout the aircraft. I will admit that I ensure that f/c passengers have access. If someone/multiple customers wish you use the lavatory- they must remain aT the rear of the cabin- BEHIND the curtain. They are not permitted to stand in the aisles of the cabin. I always err on the side of caution, as you don't know a person's Medical condition. Although many that attempt to come forward are simply impatient.

    I have on several occasions had customers that became annoyed and stated to me , the reason that they pay additional fare is to ensure they will have facilities available to them and not be shared with the masses ((*noted - these were all on international destinations)

    However, this is not a rule enforced /written by my employer..it is a courtesy extended to those paying a premium price for their seats.

    My suggestion is to try and use the facilities in the airport terminal, if time permits. IMO, aircraft lavatories are filthy. Bring your Lysol wipes and clean before entering to ensure they meet your standards. And never enter without shoes.

  2. Michael Lavering Guest

    The rule should be cabin exclusive, unless there is a service cart blocking the aisle.

  3. Mike Guest

    'The FC lav. Should be FC passengers only. I pay a lot extra money for FC tickets so I should have wait to use restroom while economy passenger use it.

  4. Fly Girl Guest

    I am a flight attendant for United and our announcements include that passengers should use the lavatory located in their cabin when possible. Exceptions that I always allow: (1) when the cart is in the aisle and (2) elderly or disabled that can’t walk to the back. I absolutely never allow a line to be formed around first class seats. If there are multiple people from economy waiting to use the F bathroom, I tell...

    I am a flight attendant for United and our announcements include that passengers should use the lavatory located in their cabin when possible. Exceptions that I always allow: (1) when the cart is in the aisle and (2) elderly or disabled that can’t walk to the back. I absolutely never allow a line to be formed around first class seats. If there are multiple people from economy waiting to use the F bathroom, I tell them to form a line behind the curtain for first class. This is for safety because passengers are not supposed to congregate in the galley areas close to the cockpit and we also have more service items (hot plates, ovens, glassware) and are often moving back and forth through the aisle. It also allows me to control the flow of traffic. If someone in F needs to use the bathroom, I let them go first so that they still have the feeling of exclusivity and I rotate between Y and F. The only time I get annoyed by Y pax using the F bathroom is when there is no line for bathrooms in Y, no carts, and nothing preventing the pax from walking to the back except their ego.

  5. Darren C Diamond

    I fly @ 8 times per month, on AS, AA, and UA primarily, @ 50% first, 50% economy. AS is the worst because all three lavs are in the rear, meaning premium economy is the furthest from a lav and AS doesn' want even top elites in PE to use the lavs in F.

  6. Nora Guest

    Why write article about airline, when simply not even listening to their announcements‍♀️. United clearly states in their after take off announcement, not matter the road, that passengers should use lavatories in their assigned cabin.
    At least lake time for research, before writing article.
    And it looks pathetic to write about such bs

  7. Zama Guest

    We recently flew American from Cancun to PHL. The flight was full. There was an announcement specifically stating that passengers should only use the restrooms in their assigned section. I guess first class was complaining. We fly American about twice a year. Never heard that before.

    1. Michael Lavering Guest

      The article states that is a government regulation on inbound international flights

  8. UncleRonnie Guest

    “I paid for first class, stay out of my restroom, plebs!”

    What about F pax who bought a Y ticket and got upgraded just before takeoff? Should they have to walk to the back of the plane? ;)

  9. Tony N Guest

    Use it before you get on the plane. Go on a food fast and don't eat, don't drink for 6 hours. Don't worry you'll be fine.

  10. United Hater Guest

    Interesting article. This is the very reason I have banned United Airlines from my business use for all my employees and for my personal travel as well.
    I flew my elderly mother from Florida to Los Angeles to come see me for the holidays. Sitting in economy near the front, she had to use the toilet. At 82, walking to the forward toilet 6 rows from her was the easiest option rather than backwards...

    Interesting article. This is the very reason I have banned United Airlines from my business use for all my employees and for my personal travel as well.
    I flew my elderly mother from Florida to Los Angeles to come see me for the holidays. Sitting in economy near the front, she had to use the toilet. At 82, walking to the forward toilet 6 rows from her was the easiest option rather than backwards approximately 40 rows.
    The male first class flight attendant literally placed his hand on my mother’s shoulders and told her this toilet was for the premium guests only, and pointed to the rear of the plane. Due to being 82 years old, toilet urges come quickly and this was an urgent matter. She asked politely to use the open and available toilet but refused. Even a first class passenger commented that is was fine but she was still forced to use the rear facilities. Now she was completely embarrassed.
    With what we’re 5-7 passengers in line for the 2 economy toilets, the urgency was now quite problematic. You can understand what may have happened next and won’t write it out of a sense of decency and respect.
    I informed United and documented a formal complaint. Their only response was the “policy” about cabin assignment and toilet use.
    Never ever ever again will United airlines be used for ANY corporate travel even if it half the price of the next flight. And I never ever ever fly United for leisure travel, and cut my United credit cards. Despicable company.
    This is a 100% true story.

  11. Debra M Casillas Guest

    I feel that paying for First Class means that only those also in First Class should be able to use the restrooms in that cabin. It always irks me to see someone walking up from economy, etx....to take advantage of the First Class restrooms. I know...it sounds childish? But I think that what we are paying for these seats...DO come with some perks - and the First Class lavatories are one of them. And yes....even...

    I feel that paying for First Class means that only those also in First Class should be able to use the restrooms in that cabin. It always irks me to see someone walking up from economy, etx....to take advantage of the First Class restrooms. I know...it sounds childish? But I think that what we are paying for these seats...DO come with some perks - and the First Class lavatories are one of them. And yes....even if they are "NOT OCCUPIED".....all the better in order to service the First Class passengers more promptly.

    1. Hypocrite Guest

      Why? So your bum doesn’t touch where an economy passengers bum sat? At least you know you are childish. What about at the airport ? They don’t have first class toilets, so what do you do? Even in the lounges there are passengers from all seat categories! Do you old it and wait for your planes throne ?

  12. AD Diamond

    Wow… there’s some entitlement going on here tonight. I get it’s annoying to have to wait for the toilet in F, especially when someone takes up residence in there. But if that’s the way some of you feel about other human beings you’re sharing a plane with, you need to develop some empathy.

  13. Anonymous Guest

    In United’s announcement: “ use restroom in your ticketed area whenever possible “

    Not only for safety reasons as lining up near the forward laboratory isn’t allowed but also yes it’s not fair for first class passengers and yes they complain lol .

    But yes a quick 50 min domestic flight on a narrow body it might not be a big issue but that Curtain isn't there for decoration and if it wasn’t for...

    In United’s announcement: “ use restroom in your ticketed area whenever possible “

    Not only for safety reasons as lining up near the forward laboratory isn’t allowed but also yes it’s not fair for first class passengers and yes they complain lol .

    But yes a quick 50 min domestic flight on a narrow body it might not be a big issue but that Curtain isn't there for decoration and if it wasn’t for safety of being able to see the cabin I’m sure a door would be lovely instead and no questions would be asked then where your allowed

  14. Norm Guest

    Never mind the lavatories , I think economy class passengers should get drinks and spare food from first and should also get a chance to use lie flat bed’s occasionally. Heck, there should be no seat assignment and why not draw lots for who goes where, irrespective of who paid what. Airlines already are promoting staff diversity as hard as they can. What about passenger diversity.

    1. ML Guest

      Those are really the remarks of someone who has never flown nor had any type of human engagement with airline employees. Ever.

  15. JustSaying Guest

    NO NO HELL NO..........If you want to use it then figure out how to get a First Class ticket instead of being a mooch!

  16. Crosscourt Guest

    This practice of allowing economy pax to use first washrooms or business class washrooms needs to stop. The US carriers are atrocious with handling such aspects ... along with most things. Not only are economy people obstructing the fiest washrooms but there's the incessant foot traffic. Enough. You paid less, you wait and stay in your own area.

  17. AAA AAA Guest

    If you have any plane ticket, it should be a federal law that you have access to one lavatory within 15 minutes of your need. You can be required to use the lavatory within your class.

    However: If you have to wait longer than 15 minutes, you need and should have access to an available lavatory. I cannot believe this is not a law.

  18. Mark Guest

    This is where I truly miss the 757. There was a lavatory at the front of the Economy cabin. Therefore, no need to blow past the curtain and use the F/C lavatory. Why can’t airlines just place a lavatory at the front of the Economy Cabin on most aircraft? This takes care of that issue. I purchase my F/C seats. I find it irritating that Y passengers are allowed to cut in front of full paying F passengers. AA is the worst at managing this issue.

  19. Roger N Guest

    I always fly First and Business in the often forlorn hope of getting some peace and quiet...i am paying good money to do this yet except on long haul international none of the crew seem to care and least of all do the people in the back whose fares i am probably subsidising. If I was in economy i would regard it as rude to intrude into the front cabin which i had not paid...

    I always fly First and Business in the often forlorn hope of getting some peace and quiet...i am paying good money to do this yet except on long haul international none of the crew seem to care and least of all do the people in the back whose fares i am probably subsidising. If I was in economy i would regard it as rude to intrude into the front cabin which i had not paid for and would be embarrassed to do so but the truth is most of these people ARE rude and don't appear to give a damn. The airlines that take our money are as much to blame as anyone but if people want to get into the front cabin they should buy a ticket.

  20. Miami305 Member

    @Lucky
    The AA rule is that economy passengers can use the FC lav, but if it is in use, must wait at the back of FC cabin, behind the last FC seats. That way if a FC passenger needs to use the lav, they have access first. Also no people standing over you waiting. This is not always enforced, but it makes a lot of sense and is fair to everyone.

    1. Roger N Guest

      Its a shame that they NEVER enforce the rule!!

  21. Fed UP Guest

    US "First Class" is a joke... surly Flight Attendants, crappy service, and if there is food, its nothing special... Add to that the continual back and forth of both economy passengers AND FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, who can't seem to stay in their assigned cabin either.... When Flying ANA, Singapore or JAL, no one get through into the other cabin... AND the Flight Attendants have everything they need and there isn't the continual back and forth (...

    US "First Class" is a joke... surly Flight Attendants, crappy service, and if there is food, its nothing special... Add to that the continual back and forth of both economy passengers AND FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, who can't seem to stay in their assigned cabin either.... When Flying ANA, Singapore or JAL, no one get through into the other cabin... AND the Flight Attendants have everything they need and there isn't the continual back and forth ( and sometimes yelling) between FA for a coke or whatever. US airlines have some of the worst service, although there are other international carriers that aren't much better.

  22. 1st Class Crapper Guest

    The 3 of you sound like a bunch of pretentious A-holes. If I have to take a dump to the point I'm about to crap in my pants, you can bet your stick filled ass I'm going to use the first class toilet if the two in the back are in use.

  23. Patty-O Guest

    OK first classers, just stay out of my economy bathroom.

  24. Krod Mandoon Guest

    Lot of entitled d bags here...

  25. MM Guest

    Always LOVED the B752's at United. Beautiful looking plane, and a lav behind "1st Class" so that the F cabin remained mostly quiet with no passenger flow from behind trying to get to the front lav. Actually felt like a different cabin on a domestic flight.

    1. Fed UP Guest

      Agreed. Also, flight boarding was less chaotic, turn left for first, turn right for economy... Great design, all aircraft should be designed this way

  26. Jeffe Guest

    I think passengers should use the restroom in the cabin they are booked in. There should be no flex on this because people abuse it as they do with other things like boarding a plane as a disabled when they are clearly not.

    This is however a fault of the airlines for not enforcing the rules they put forth like how many carry on items are allowed on per passenger.

    If they aren't willing to enforce it will never be as it should on paper.

  27. Taylor Guest

    I think it's fair to ask economy passengers to use the lavs in economy only, with a few exceptions:

    * If the cart is blocking the aisle between your row and the Y lavs, you can use the F ones.

    * If there are passengers that are mobility limited seated at the front of Y, they shouldn't be forced to go all the way to the back if it would cause undue pain or stress.

  28. John L Guest

    I almost always fly coach, but fly quite frequently. I have always used the bathroom in my section, with one exception. When service is blocking the aisle to the back. When you gotta go, you gotta go, and if those trolleys are in the way for half an hour, I’m going up front.

  29. jb17 Member

    My only issue is the very end of the flight - FC passengers usually don't 'line up' but rather wait for the lavatory to open before standing up.

  30. MSPpete Guest

    I used to escort my aging parents on flights to Florida and California. A big + to flying domestic first was immediate access to the bathroom.

  31. Bob Guest

    What's the policy when it comes to premium economy passengers on international flights, where you usually don't have a specific lavatory? Does anyone know?

    1. Doug Guest

      It varies. I did a Premium Economy trip a couple years ago on Delta and Air France's A350. Both planes have a galley and lavatory between Premium Economy and Business. On Delta, there were snacks in the galley for Premium Select and both Premium Select and Delta One passengers were welcome to use the lavatory. On the Air France flight, that section was reserved for business class only and there was a flight attending strictly...

      It varies. I did a Premium Economy trip a couple years ago on Delta and Air France's A350. Both planes have a galley and lavatory between Premium Economy and Business. On Delta, there were snacks in the galley for Premium Select and both Premium Select and Delta One passengers were welcome to use the lavatory. On the Air France flight, that section was reserved for business class only and there was a flight attending strictly enforcing the rule, meaning you had to go back and use the Economy lavatories.

  32. Lara S. Guest

    I've heard the "please use the bathroom in your class of service when at all possible" from almost every domestic airline flight I've taken recently (fly monthly for work plus more when vacationing with family).

    I think if you are in economy, especially at the front, and the cart has been blocking the aisle for ten minutes serving other passengers it is reasonable to check if lav up front is empty and use it,...

    I've heard the "please use the bathroom in your class of service when at all possible" from almost every domestic airline flight I've taken recently (fly monthly for work plus more when vacationing with family).

    I think if you are in economy, especially at the front, and the cart has been blocking the aisle for ten minutes serving other passengers it is reasonable to check if lav up front is empty and use it, or if it is a kid, who I think we all know has a smaller bladder and may not be able to hold it as easily.

    I don't think economy passengers should default to it though, and I do not when I am in economy even though I am always in the first couple rows of economy. I only resent it when I am in first class when it seems like someone is consistently using the first class lav from economy just because it is closer. Mostly they are all terrible bathrooms and I don't care. It's not like someone is accessing it for the free nonexistent extras or for the larger space that they never give! Obviously this is in re domestic flights. International you should always use the bathrooms in your cabin.

  33. David Blacher Guest

    I am mobility impaired, and whenever I fly, I request a seat close to the bathrooms (since I usually board first, this is very doable). I have always been accommodated. My line of choice is Delta, however, as a world traveler, I fly others. I recently was on Emerites, first class - the bathrooms, with showers were larger than mine at home. HA!

  34. Raylan Guest

    I'm going to suggest a compromise for US domestic flights that pisses everyone off! Domestic F and pax who are in US carriers' economy with extra legroom can use the front lav. Everyone else uses the rear lav.

  35. iamhere Guest

    Absolutely disagree with you. Passengers should be only allowed to use the lavatory in the cabin they purchased. Imagine if you really paid for the domestic first class, you would not be happy to wait, share, etc. It's basic respect unless a special situation, such as mobility issues.

    1. George Romey Guest

      When I'm in coach I use the coach lav. On AA pilots sometimes will make an announcement to that effect although I think it's to allow the F FA(s) to perform the meal service much easier.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @iamhere

      "cabin they purchased"??? Now that's a first.

      So nonrevs or deadhead crews who didn't purchase a seat are not allowed to pee?

      Seeing any nonrev in a premium cabin is probably a trigger for you.

  36. JK Guest

    Passengers would have a lot of difficulty accessing the First Class lavs as there is usually a Business and Premium Economy cabin separating them from the First Class cabin. If we are being honest, First Class domestic service is nothing more than a Premium Economy service and seat. Sometimes it is acceptable to use the PE lav on a domestic flight, but equally sometimes the flight attendants will reprimand you for doing so. If flying...

    Passengers would have a lot of difficulty accessing the First Class lavs as there is usually a Business and Premium Economy cabin separating them from the First Class cabin. If we are being honest, First Class domestic service is nothing more than a Premium Economy service and seat. Sometimes it is acceptable to use the PE lav on a domestic flight, but equally sometimes the flight attendants will reprimand you for doing so. If flying economy domestic, I would always try to venture to the rear to avoid any 'security' issues by accessing the PE cabin.

  37. Jim Guest

    In my observation, it seems many economy passengers use the forward (i.e. premium) lav because they have never previously set foot on an "aeroplane," and since that's what's in their line of sight, it's what they go for. I often experience a shorter wait walking all the way to the back of the plane even if I'm in row 2.

    In example, on a recent transpacific flight on a 773, the lavs at door 3...

    In my observation, it seems many economy passengers use the forward (i.e. premium) lav because they have never previously set foot on an "aeroplane," and since that's what's in their line of sight, it's what they go for. I often experience a shorter wait walking all the way to the back of the plane even if I'm in row 2.

    In example, on a recent transpacific flight on a 773, the lavs at door 3 had a queue for a large portion of the flight; but there was never a wait for the ones at door 4.

  38. Azamaraal Guest

    Just got off the almost worst flight in Business on Lufthansa LH459(?) SFO to MUN on a 759. Horrible lie flats with NO space for my 10 1/2 feet and arms. Have a horrific bruise on right arm.
    There were two loos in the mid cabin and one in front. The two were busy so I attempted to use the front which was empty. Told to go away because it was reserved for pilots...

    Just got off the almost worst flight in Business on Lufthansa LH459(?) SFO to MUN on a 759. Horrible lie flats with NO space for my 10 1/2 feet and arms. Have a horrific bruise on right arm.
    There were two loos in the mid cabin and one in front. The two were busy so I attempted to use the front which was empty. Told to go away because it was reserved for pilots and crew
    Funny, actually, as crew service was totally missing: served dinner and total of two drink rounds before disappearing for 6 hours.
    Flew onward on TG925 also 359 and everything was the exact opposite to LH. Great flight but too short! What I treat!

    1. Michael_FFM Diamond

      Welcome to Socialism a la Lufthansa

  39. frrp Diamond

    In the EU, is it not illegal for airlines to restrict toilet use to certain cabins?

    1. Andy Diamond

      No, it‘s not illegal. E.g. Iberia makes such an announcement at the beginning of every flight and enforces it.

  40. Michael_FFM Diamond

    Passengers should use the toilets assigned to their cabin. If they want to have more comfort, like better seating or better access to the toilet because 1 toilet is shared with 20 passengers instead of 100, then they should pay for that.
    Policies like the ones mentioned are just catering to lazy cabin crew, who does not want to enforce rules. Lufthansa is one of the European examples, where lazy crew is de-facto creating...

    Passengers should use the toilets assigned to their cabin. If they want to have more comfort, like better seating or better access to the toilet because 1 toilet is shared with 20 passengers instead of 100, then they should pay for that.
    Policies like the ones mentioned are just catering to lazy cabin crew, who does not want to enforce rules. Lufthansa is one of the European examples, where lazy crew is de-facto creating socialism on board. On Condor on the other hand the crew is vigilant and enforces cabin-based access rules.

    1. henare Diamond

      "socialism on board" is the funniest thing I've read here today!

    2. Toobis Member

      They've used this term twice in these comments and they probably can't even define socialism.

  41. Chicago Chris Guest

    Probably in the minority here, but I say the bathrooms should be open to everyone. There just aren't enough in Y, especially when you're on a narrowbody going transcon. I could also make the safety argument -- fewer people queuing in the back means more people sitting with seatbelts during turbulence, but really it's a basic human right. Everyone has to pee at some point.

  42. Eskimo Guest

    Until a power trip crew enforce the name you own FAA rule of the day.

    Airline policy is not an FAA mandate.

    Especially crews citing FAA rules when it comes to lavatory usage, it’s always full of shit.

  43. Don K. Guest

    Good article. For those that don’t like the rules as they actually exist, might I suggest a private charter where you won’t be forced to share an aircraft with the riffraff? The fact is, without those main cabin passengers the airline couldn’t afford to operate the plane.

    1. TravelBlerd Guest

      For most airlines, its the opposite. Most Airlines make their money on premium cabin not economy seats.

  44. Andrew B Guest

    We were just on an Alaska flight a couple of days ago, and they made a comment that I hadn’t heard before. After saying that economy passengers should use the aft Lavs, they said that if the galley cart is blocking your path, you can stand behind the curtain divider, and the flight attendant would call you up when the forward lav was available.

  45. Chris Guest

    Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I’ve never really witnessed a line for the first class lav caused by economy pax. If it’s free, go ahead and use it. On international flights it’s a little different as the plans are bigger and there is usually a much clearer partition between classes.

  46. DiogenesTheCynic Member

    Useful post, thanks Ben -- honestly I did not now it was totally fine to use the front lav on a domestic flight!

  47. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Y class lavs belong on the wing.

  48. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    My 2 cents: Economy passengers stay in the cabin they paid for. They shouldn't get to use the First Class restroom before a paying FC passenger does. Or use the nicer products in there either.

    1. Mark Guest

      On domestic flights the lavs are pretty much the same in each cabin. Nicer products are in premium cabin lavs on international planes.

  49. James S Guest

    No one, including the airlines, seems to know where premium economy fits in when it comes to lavatory use

    1. Travis S. Guest

      Delta definitely does not allow you to use the Business class lav if seated in PE.

  50. 2PAXfly Member

    Australian domestic airlines Qantas and Virgin tend to have a flexible policing approach to this bathroom use issue. Both use verbal announcements to direct passengers to the bathrooms appropriate for their cabin class. However, enforcement of this varies.

    On older Virgin 737-800s, a magnetic physical barrier prevents economy passengers from using the business class (First in USA) bathrooms. On Qantas, you get everything from no to rigid enforcement, even when illogical (catering cart aisle...

    Australian domestic airlines Qantas and Virgin tend to have a flexible policing approach to this bathroom use issue. Both use verbal announcements to direct passengers to the bathrooms appropriate for their cabin class. However, enforcement of this varies.

    On older Virgin 737-800s, a magnetic physical barrier prevents economy passengers from using the business class (First in USA) bathrooms. On Qantas, you get everything from no to rigid enforcement, even when illogical (catering cart aisle obstruction).

    Interestingly, at the height of COVID, instruction on both airlines was to minimise cabin movement, use the closest bathroom and refrain from queuing.

    Personally, unless I am travelling in business, I tend to head to the back of the plane. The bathrooms have more head room! (pun optional)

  51. Steven E Guest

    On Australian airlines a PA is made after take off that passengers seated in rows between 4 and 30 have 2 lavatories at the rear of the aircraft and that the lavatory up front is for the exclusive use of business class passengers. If it’s a wide body curtains are closed and passengers never go past them - go figure

    1. 2PAXfly Member

      You only get that announcement on Qantas domestic.

  52. Randy Diamond

    Note sure about UA. I have always heard the FA say to first class restroom is reserved for first class.

  53. Patti Guest

    IF the drink cart is blocking the aisle in economy, I can see it on an emergency basis. Otherwise stay in your own lane and cabin.

    Sorry, @Tom but on long international flights, people do use the lav to freshen up, brush their teeth, even change clothes.

    @Sam, 100% agree on cabin luggage. AA has done this to me several times, insisting carry on be checked before the 1st passenger has boarded. FC passengers...

    IF the drink cart is blocking the aisle in economy, I can see it on an emergency basis. Otherwise stay in your own lane and cabin.

    Sorry, @Tom but on long international flights, people do use the lav to freshen up, brush their teeth, even change clothes.

    @Sam, 100% agree on cabin luggage. AA has done this to me several times, insisting carry on be checked before the 1st passenger has boarded. FC passengers who've paid more should NEVER have to check a carry on bag. Period.

  54. Tom I Guest

    My issue isn't who uses the lavs. It is how LONG they use them especially on international flights. I wish there was a timer that blew the door open after someone is in for 3 minutes!

    1. Azamaraal Guest

      Oh is that ever true! Why do people take forever for a simple task? You really can't just stand there and admire yourself for 20 minutes?

    2. Kelley P Diamond

      Sometimes it does take a bit longer to uh, take care of business....

  55. D3kingg Guest

    Yes on domestic flights. No on US carrier international flights due to security.

    1. Don Guest

      If security is the priority on this subject, and I am not trying to be argumentative, but 9/11 happened on domestic flights......

  56. David Diamond

    Arguably there’s not enough leg room in a Y seat for a long international flight as well, but I don’t think that entitles anyone to self upgrade into a higher cabin.

  57. Sam Guest

    My $0.02... Economy passengers should be absolutely forbidden from using the First Class lavatory, and crew should enforce this. They should also close the curtain separating the cabins, even if it is just the mesh one on domestic US flights (which they almost never bother to actually do).

    Additionally, first class passengers should never have to gate check their bags, even if they are last to board. The crew should be able to figure out some accommodation for them.

    1. Morgan Diamond

      A few weeks ago I flew DL F from LGA - CLT which was on a CRJ900 with very little overhead bin space. I would have been the 4th or 5th person to board yet when I got to my seat to put my one backpack in the overhead locker there was no room due to the lady sitting behind me (also in first) bringing on 3! Full size carry ons consisting of a suitcase,...

      A few weeks ago I flew DL F from LGA - CLT which was on a CRJ900 with very little overhead bin space. I would have been the 4th or 5th person to board yet when I got to my seat to put my one backpack in the overhead locker there was no room due to the lady sitting behind me (also in first) bringing on 3! Full size carry ons consisting of a suitcase, duffel bag and a big tote/hand bag. I had to walk down into economy to put my bag in the overhead bin.

      I wish the crew had made her gate check one or two of her bags (and that is coming from a fellow first class pax who’s flight was diminished because of her selfish behaviour) Because I paid cash for my first class fare and a perk of that is having my (one) carry on being directly above my seat for easy access. So if we are talking about first class passengers not gate checking bags then I think everyone needs to play by the rules.

    2. Steven Guest

      Only way that would be acceptable is if they had more restrooms on the plane. That's not happening though so here we are.

  58. Ron R Guest

    I fly and pay for first class domestic every month. I pay for a larger seat, boarding etc... I also expect a reasonable amount of " exclusivity" including not having to wait for 5 people in line for the loo...
    Please stay in the cabin you are ticketed! Delta is pretty good, butt AA is the WORST... When a flight attendant asks me to sit down because of the clown car from coach....

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Sam Guest

My $0.02... Economy passengers should be absolutely forbidden from using the First Class lavatory, and crew should enforce this. They should also close the curtain separating the cabins, even if it is just the mesh one on domestic US flights (which they almost never bother to actually do). Additionally, first class passengers should never have to gate check their bags, even if they are last to board. The crew should be able to figure out some accommodation for them.

7
Miami305 Member

@Lucky The AA rule is that economy passengers can use the FC lav, but if it is in use, must wait at the back of FC cabin, behind the last FC seats. That way if a FC passenger needs to use the lav, they have access first. Also no people standing over you waiting. This is not always enforced, but it makes a lot of sense and is fair to everyone.

3
Taylor Guest

I think it's fair to ask economy passengers to use the lavs in economy only, with a few exceptions: * If the cart is blocking the aisle between your row and the Y lavs, you can use the F ones. * If there are passengers that are mobility limited seated at the front of Y, they shouldn't be forced to go all the way to the back if it would cause undue pain or stress.

3
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