Skydrol
Topic Author
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Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:20 am

I fly on WestJet several times a year. For those unfamiliar with WestJet's 737s, unlike Air Canada's airplanes with divided two-class layout, the WestJet 737s have no cabin dividers.
Therefore the forward and aft lavatories are available for all passengers, and this is mentioned in the announcements at the beginning of the flight.

This announcement seems to fall on deaf ears.

What I have noticed time and time again, is passengers will line up for the one (or two) lavs at the rear of the airplane, but the forward lav occupied sign will show green, and people keep lining up in the aisle for the aft lavatories.
Sometimes even passengers sitting near the front will walk all the way to the back of the plane, and line up, when the forward lav is vacant!

Do people just have a mindset the forward lav is for F or J class (even when there isn't one)? Or is it just ingrained in most people, the toilets in a plane, bus, boat etc. are always at the back?

When I have been sitting near the back I find it amusing people will walk aft to stand for ten minutes to wait for the aft lav, when instead, they could have walked forward and it is vacant.

Again, if nothing else, it is a safety risk in case of sudden turbulence with passengers standing in the aisle longer than necessary.


People are strange creatures of habit.





LD4

[Edited 2016-03-28 21:22:06]
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spacecadet
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:32 am

When I flew Delta first class from JFK-FLL a month or so ago, it seemed like the entire Y cabin came up to use the lav despite the lack of any announcements saying they could, and despite the clear dividers between classes. It used to be that this was expressly disallowed, but my experience is the opposite of yours - nowadays people just assume they can go anywhere they want. (I'm not saying they can't on Delta, just that no one was told they could; they just assumed it as the default.)

(Shrug) maybe it's a regional thing.
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YVRFlyer
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:58 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 1):
(Shrug) maybe it's a regional thing.

You may be on to something there... I've noticed whenever I'm sitting next to a gate for a plane going to Florida, the boarding staff repeatedly have to loudly remind the passengers about line-up order, i.e. "we are now boarding ONLY First Class passengers and members of 1K/Medallion/..."

Must be a cultural thing down there, or maybe they're hopped up on bath salts or coke.
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Wingtips56
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:22 am

Once at the gate, we made very clear announcements that we were starting boarding with Rows 24 through 30. Please wait until your row is called, blah, blah. Rows 24 to 30 at this time please. Half of the passengers boarded. The airplane only had 21 rows.

So signs and announcements are mostly a waste of time and effort.
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flipdewaf
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:25 am

Maybe its that going to the lav is an inherently personal thing, if you are stood in a queue that stretches for 3 rows from the back you may have 15 people seeing you but at the front its like being on a stage with all 150 people watching. So in essence the back is a more private place for doing private things.

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CRJ900
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:37 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 1):
(Shrug) maybe it's a regional thing.

In Scandinavia everyone wants to use the forward lav, always 10 waiting in the aisle and everyone craps like there is no tomorrow. That's why I prefer to work in the aft section of the cabin. And I always use the aft lav when going myself, don't want to ruin the myth that flight attendants never need to use the lav  Wink

[Edited 2016-03-29 02:43:18]
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VapourTrails
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:39 am

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 4):
Maybe its that going to the lav is an inherently personal thing, if you are stood in a queue that stretches for 3 rows from the back you may have 15 people seeing you but at the front its like being on a stage with all 150 people watching. So in essence the back is a more private place for doing private things.

Yes, this. I would instinctively do the same thing, if on an aircraft with more than one lav option. If you move towards the front of the cabin you have more pax watching you, full stop. It gets you noticed easier. I do it, ..oh yeah, they are going to the lav.. People behave differently when they are on aircraft, compared to other settings IMHO. On a train it wouldn't matter so much.   
 
coolian2
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:43 am

I'm too tall to comfortably stand up in the 737 forward lav.

I'll use it if I'm closer, but I won't be happy about it.
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qf2220
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:44 am

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 3):

Why call for rows 24-30 to board if only 21 rows......?

Must be skipping a lot of rows in that plane!
 
klm672
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:10 am

Quoting VapourTrails (Reply 6):
Yes, this. I would instinctively do the same thing, if on an aircraft with more than one lav option. If you move towards the front of the cabin you have more pax watching you, full stop. It gets you noticed easier. I do it, ..oh yeah, they are going to the lav.. People behave differently when they are on aircraft, compared to other settings IMHO. On a train it wouldn't matter so much.

Yup, I agree. "Are they heading for the cockpit?!"
 
Skydrol
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:51 pm

Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 5):
In Scandinavia everyone wants to use the forward lav, always 10 waiting in the aisle and everyone craps like there is no tomorrow.
Quoting VapourTrails (Reply 6):
Maybe its that going to the lav is an inherently personal thing, if you are stood in a queue that stretches for 3 rows from the back you may have 15 people seeing you but at the front its like being on a stage with all 150 people watching. So in essence the back is a more private place for doing private things.
Yes, this. I would instinctively do the same thing, if on an aircraft with more than one lav option. If you move towards the front of the cabin you have more pax watching you, full stop. It gets you noticed easier. I do it, ..oh yeah, they are going to the lav..

Interesting. Must be more cultural than I thought. Scandinavians seem to have no problem lining up in plain view of all the passengers for the forward lav to 'crap like there is no tomorrow', while others seem more reserved just to be lined up in view of others, Canadians seem to fit in this category. I actually never considered some people do not like being seen lined up in view of others, so there seems to be a motive behind this.




LD4
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TravelsUK
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:57 pm

Always amuses me in Y on the BA 777s, the lavs by doors 3 always have a ton of people waiting but take a stroll up towards the rear galley and there is never a line for the 3 lavs there!
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JHwk
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:41 pm

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 10):
Scandinavians seem to have no problem lining up in plain view of all the passengers for the forward lav to 'crap like there is no tomorrow'

Swedes have no problem running up to the lav and back "naken fis", but that is a story for another day.

I can see not wanting to do the pee dance with everybody looking at you-- but I am more pragmatic than that.
 
MKIAZ
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:42 pm

maybe they just want an excuse to stand up and stretch for a bit?
 
mayhem
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:28 pm

Let's keep that suggestion quiet...
I sit in F most of the time (upgraded or paid, doesn't matter), and am kind of annoyed when people keep walking past the curtain. Part of the perks of F/J is a lower ratio of pax/toilet = lower chances of messed up toilets and shorter rows.

Pushing this: when my employer pays for F/J they expect me to work on the plane. When the plane smells like cattle poo I lose productivity. When I have to wait in line for the toilet/boarding/security I lose time to be productive. (sarcasm here)

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SWADawg
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:36 pm

In the US, there is usually supposed to be a PA made that there is to be no standing or forming a line waiting for the forward lavatory. You must wait in your seat for the lavatory to be vacant before proceeding. You can form a line for the rear lavatories, which is why you will usually see more passengers using the rear lavatories.
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Yflyer
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:25 pm

Quoting qf2220 (Reply 8):
Yup, I agree. "Are they heading for the cockpit?!"

I do sometimes use the forward lav if I'm on an all economy airline, but whenever I do I do feel a little bit awkward getting up and walking towards the cockpit.

Quoting SWADawg (Reply 15):
In the US, there is usually supposed to be a PA made that there is to be no standing or forming a line waiting for the forward lavatory. You must wait in your seat for the lavatory to be vacant before proceeding.

Yeah, sometimes I'll be sitting in say row 5, the forward lav is occupied and there's a line for the rear ones. So I'll be thinking "ok, as soon as the forward lav frees up I'll get up and go use it." Except a guy in row 3 is thinking the same thing, and he gets up at the same time as me and beats me to it. At that point I'll probably just go get in line for the rear lavs. Even though I have to wait in line at least I've claimed my spot and don't have to worry about someone else sitting closer than me getting there first.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:36 pm

I've noticed that usually the forward lav is dirtier and smells worse than the aft lavs. It's also smaller. In my experience, most people use the front lav, which would explain why it's usually dirtier, so I always try to use the aft lavs.
 
trex8
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:46 pm

In my purely unscientific survey of southwest 737s I think people head back unless they can definitely get straight into the front ones as the FAs frown on people loitering by the cockpit post 9/11. I have more times than I'd like to remember headed forwards from quite far back and by the time I'm close to the front someone right at the front jumps up and nips in before me and now I'm walking back to the rear. So I'd just rather head to the rear and if I have to stand and wait at least I dont get that look or admonition from the FA.
 
european742
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:00 pm

I haven't really thought about this until I read this! Yes you have a point. On the airline I work for there's only 1 class and on the DH8-Q400 theres only 1 lav at the front and we say this in the PA after take off but passengers still come to the back and ask where's the toilet. On the E-jets we have 1 at the front and 1 at the back and as you say, the back is used far more. I can also relate to passengers thinking that signs are just decorations and we make PA's just because we like to talk :p
 
coolian2
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:19 am

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 16):
I do sometimes use the forward lav if I'm on an all economy airline, but whenever I do I do feel a little bit awkward getting up and walking towards the cockpit.

Now that's interesting. I once was standing waiting for the front lav and the FO stepped out of the cockpit to have a chat in the galley. Nobody looked at me, and I was doing the plane fan "OMG COCKPIT" move.
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YZFOO7F
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:05 am

I prefer the aft lavs on 737s because there's a bit more headroom. I literally need to tilt my head to the side to stand up in the forward lavs.
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alasizon
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:56 am

I'm not a frequent lav user but I personally avoid the forward lav in RJs. I'm 6' 2" and cant fit in the foward lav if at all. The aft lav on the other hand, I at least can stand up.
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TWA772LR
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RE: Passengers Avoid The Forward Lav?

Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:31 am

The forward lav on the 737 is not tall people friendly. That's where the fuselage tapirs to start forming the cockpit/nose. I don't mind using it as long as I get my business done.
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