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No Recourse For Full Lavs In Flight?  
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4037 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10236 times:

Full story here:

http://www.startribune.com/local/131920538.html

Lavs normally don't fill up like this. Sounds like the ground crew in Barcelona used too much "blue juice" thus lowering the capacity.
Nonetheless...is it really that important to keep Y and F segregated, to the extent of not allowing coach pax to use possibly the only working lav on the aircraft?

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9978 times:

Regardless of what the UA/CO spokesman said, it sounds to me like the lavs had NOT been serviced in BCN. Apparently, this was on a 757?


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineandz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9864 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

American Restroom Association?

Are you serious?



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlinebluewhale18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9867 times:

It could be that the crew dropped the ball and didn't catch a half-full lav before they left BCN. Known to happen.
If it was earlier in the flight then a diversion should have been planned. Didn't CX or someone did it because the lavs were broken a few hours into the flight, over Canada a few month back?

Quoting HPRamper (Thread starter):
Nonetheless...is it really that important to keep Y and F segregated, to the extent of not allowing coach pax to use possibly the only working lav on the aircraft?

This creates a nightmare in controlling access to the forward lav, which also serves the pilots and is the primary concern of the crew these days. Imagine having to barricade forward lav/galley with dozen of passengers lined up in the aisle. Speaking of which, what happens to "No line may form at the forward lavatory"? I can't say I support the decision but I guess the crew's hands are tied as well.



JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
User currently offlinesafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9825 times:

Quoting bluewhale18210 (Reply 3):
I can't say I support the decision but I guess the crew's hands are tied as well.

It is a security regulation that passengers must use the lavatory in their ticketed class of travel on international flights. If there isn't a working one ... I guess they're out of luck.

I know at my airline we've had plenty of diversions when lavs stopped working in flight. But none of those planes were over the middle of the ocean. It puts the crew in a tough position - and shows why maybe some of the TSA and its related security directives should really be examined more fully.



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9825 times:

If there's only 1 lav, forward, if the rear lavs hadn't been service, there's a good chance the forward lav hadn't been service also. Might not take long for that one to not be usable, too.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9794 times:

Quoting safetyDemo (Reply 4):
It is a security regulation that passengers must use the lavatory in their ticketed class of travel on international flights. If there isn't a working one ... I guess they're out of luck.

I guess the crew would be out of luck if someone decided to relieve themselves in the galley then.


User currently offlinesafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9768 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 6):
I guess the crew would be out of luck if someone decided to relieve themselves in the galley then.

Yes they would. Again ... we can thank the TSA and other narrow-minded security directives for that fact.



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlinebsu747 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9763 times:

Putting the boot on the other foot & it was the other way around?
What would happen if the one lav in business/first class was not working & the 3 in coach class were working, would the posh people be able to use the poor peoples lavs?



Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4037 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9714 times:

Quoting bsu747 (Reply 8):
Putting the boot on the other foot & it was the other way around?
What would happen if the one lav in business/first class was not working & the 3 in coach class were working, would the posh people be able to use the poor peoples lavs?

Something tells me, security policies aside, that the crew would have found a way to make it happen. Airline pax are not considered equal.

We will probably never find out what happened on the ground at BCN. The ground crew could have emptied both and refilled too much, not emptied at all, or only emptied the forward and not the aft. Maybe the forward was full too and just wasn't used enough for anyone to notice. A lot of questions in this situation.


User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9707 times:

Quoting safetyDemo (Reply 7):
Yes they would. Again ... we can thank the TSA and other narrow-minded security directives for that fact.

They could act upset and TSA might care but I'm extremely skeptical anything would come of it. If you go somewhere where restrooms are expected and then unavailable, what are you to do? If you have to go you have to go.

If I had to choose between going in my pants and disobeying a flight attendant you can bet I'd disobey in a heartbeat. I'd head for the first class lav and ignore the FA. If they physically kept me from the lav, I'd go where I could and that would only be my clothes if I were restrained.


User currently offlineLTC8K6 From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 1203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9663 times:

Quoting andz (Reply 2):
American Restroom Association?

Are you serious?

Yes.

http://americanrestroom.org

http://americanrestroom.org/#idx


User currently offlinesafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9663 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 10):
If I had to choose between going in my pants and disobeying a flight attendant you can bet I'd disobey in a heartbeat.

I'm not disagreeing with you. As a flight attendant myself I'd probably use my best judgment to make it available to them with the caveat that they cannot form a line in the first class cabin or galley area. But, I wasn't on the flight, and like I said - per the policy, the Crew did the right thing to do when you only look at it in black and white.



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlinenwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3383 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9423 times:

Quoting LTC8K6 (Reply 11):

http://americanrestroom.org

http://americanrestroom.org/#idx

Beyond awesome.

And, hey, a little over a month before "World toilet day." Who knew?



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3191 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9387 times:

Travelling Front or Back we are all human beings, we all have body functions which we can control, to a point.
Yes it is nice to have to Posh choice but when the chips are down and we are all in the same tube we need to share, for the common good.
We are all Human,we all have faults, we all need a helping hand, sometime.  



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineChinaClipper40 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 160 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9248 times:

Only 2 hours out of EWR? That would put them pretty much squarely over Nova Scotia. With lots of diversion airports available - Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Bangor - that can land a 757. Since the plane was near the end of a 9-hour oceanic crossing, it was obviously light and could probably even have landed at Sydney or Yarmouth airports. What if they had a diabetic on board or someone with a prostate problem who needed to urinate out of MEDICAL NECESSITY? I believe that the crew (and Continental Airlines) handled this situation quite poorly. The extra costs of diverting into one of the available airports in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Maine might have constituted a salutary wake-up message to management at Continental Airlines.

User currently offlinebsu747 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9058 times:

If they had to divert to an alternative airport, how much of a delay would it be to just hook a specialist service vehicle to the aircraft to empty &/or refill the lavs?
They may not even have to refuel or deplane so ground services could be very minimal & the flight could continue on its merry way.
I am guessing 30-60 minutes tops if they don't have to re-route the plane much. If it means getting to my destination later rather than having an unwelcome package in my pants, I know which one I prefer.



Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
User currently offlineiahflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9011 times:

Would I be right in saying that we need a hatch nowadays on an aircraft that would allow in this case, bags of "output" to be placed in, and then sent away? Might be good for other things to, but the bags would need to be biodegradeable though.


Little airports with the big jets are the best!! Floyd
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8990 times:

Quoting bluewhale18210 (Reply 3):
If it was earlier in the flight then a diversion should have been planned. Didn't CX or someone did it because the lavs were broken a few hours into the flight, over Canada a few month back?

CX always seem to have problems with the loos, a couple of months before I flew with them from RUH to HKG they had a flight divert to India due to all the loos not working on an A330/A340. When I flew with them, they were the first carrier I'd seen with a big sign by the flush button saying "don't flush these items" with things like toys etc crossed out


If I knew of the problem at the point of departure, I would have turned back and got it fixed. A 757 doesn't have as many loos as a 777 or 747 and with the possibility of all of them out of service for a 9 hour flight, over an ocean and the risk of having them possibly overflow would damage the airlines reputation more than diverting back and getting them cleared then continuing with a delay (I'm sure most passengers would prefer this too, a 2 hour delay over 9 hours in a tube of crap)


User currently offlinecabso1 From Canada, joined May 2005, 502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8876 times:

Quoting planejamie (Reply 18):
When I flew with them, they were the first carrier I'd seen with a big sign by the flush button saying "don't flush these items" with things like toys etc crossed out

Nearly every airline I've flown on (even Amtrak and other train operators) has a sign saying what can and cannot be flushed down the lav. They have to do it because people are inherently stupid.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9508 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8563 times:

Lav problems are relatively frequent. Losing all lavs is more common on narrowbodies than widebodies however. There are multiple causes. First off, the lavs might not have been serviced. Blame on ground crew and the cabin crew for not checking. The second is that a toilet broke in flight and could not be stopped. That can cause the tank to fill (presuming it is a 757) which will make the lavs inop. In widebodies flushing things other than toilet paper is a problem as it can damage the vacuum system. Widebodies run typically with two independent systems so that only half the lavs would be lost because this is known to happen.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinebluewhale18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7751 times:

Quoting bsu747 (Reply 16):
If they had to divert to an alternative airport, how much of a delay would it be to just hook a specialist service vehicle to the aircraft to empty &/or refill the lavs?

If there is an airport with readily available equipment and staff on hand, not that long. A 747 takes less than 20 mins to empty the honey bucket. A 757 will probably take the same time, if not less.
One implication is if the airline needs special customs permission to "import" the waste at an airport other than its destination.

Quoting bsu747 (Reply 16):
They may not even have to refuel or deplane so ground services could be very minimal & the flight could continue on its merry way.

They will most likely take on more fuel. And a new flight release, as this will certainly be an airport not originally listed on the dispatch release. If the ground crew knew what they are doing it can be over with as little as 30 mins on the ground.

The crew probably decided to tough it out for 2 hours instead of making a diversion. Crew time should also be considered. If the crew might time out or at a risk of timing out if they divert (and therefore stranding paxs at a small airport with no terminal facility and no way to clear customs, effectively trapping all of them onboard), they probably would choose the lesser of 2 evils.

Quoting ChinaClipper40 (Reply 15):
What if they had a diabetic on board or someone with a prostate problem who needed to urinate out of MEDICAL NECESSITY?

"Medical Necessity" does not constitute a "Medical Emergency". If there's an medical emergency it means someone might die or be permanantly disabled if the airplane doesn't get on the ground ASAP. If someone has a condition that has to frequent the restroom the crew can't divert to middle of nowhere and risk stranding passengers. It meant absent of proper facilities the person will go in the seats and make everyone's flight miserable. Trust me. I have seen the aftermath.



JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7675 times:

Quoting cabso1 (Reply 19):
Nearly every airline I've flown on (even Amtrak and other train operators) has a sign saying what can and cannot be flushed down the lav. They have to do it because people are inherently stupid.

That's odd, I could swear AF, BA, BD, LX, LH, KL didn't :S - maybe the european carriers don't put the sign there or maybe I've just not noticed it!

Quoting bluewhale18210 (Reply 21):
One implication is if the airline needs special customs permission to "import" the waste at an airport other than its destination.

Oh lol. That's just customs gone mad - can they not just chuck it over the fence and hope no-one notices xD


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7350 times:

Quoting planejamie (Reply 22):
That's odd, I could swear AF, BA, BD, LX, LH, KL didn't :S - maybe the european carriers don't put the sign there or maybe I've just not noticed it!

I think this came from TWA.

When I had Chapter 38 was one of my specliaties people would send me things like this!



User currently offlineamccann From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6987 times:

Quoting ChinaClipper40 (Reply 15):
What if they had a diabetic on board or someone with a prostate problem who needed to urinate out of MEDICAL NECESSITY

I am a very well controlled type one diabetic but if on the rare occasion a high blood sugar does occur (high blood sugars lead to frequent urination) I know that if the only restroom available was not in my ticketed class I sure as hell would break the rules... or conduct my business in the galley.



What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. - Ronald Reagan
25 wjcandee : Hmmm... The sink vents overboard through a drain mast, so... Just sayin'.
26 bennett123 : Regardless of rules, I doubt that the passengers with legs crossed will understand.
27 Post contains images JAGflyer : World Toilet Summit? My day has been made...
28 bwaflyer : BD do on mid haul aircraft on the inside of the toilet seat.
29 Post contains images Skydrol : Relief tube!!! LD4
30 b727fa : There are "legal" exceptions to the so-called "Class of Service" rule. There's more to this story.
31 Post contains links 474218 : I guess you haven't noticed it: Check the 0:35 point of the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCEf1DgnjhE
32 baexecutive : I think the Cabin Crew would use best judgement on the day, for example if it was a night flight it wouldn't really be fair to allow a lot of traffic
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