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The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:36 am
by filipinoavgeek
With Etihad reportedly considering retiring all of its A380s and even Emirates potentially cutting a lot of its A380 fleet, is there still a future for inflight showers in commercial aircraft once the A380 is gone? Will another non-A380 plane ever support the feature? And how come 777s/A350s/787s have never had inflight showers when at least one airline operates bars on 777s, inflight bars being an A380 trademark? While I understand that the showers are meant for first class passengers, it's not like first class is non-existent on 777s and other long-haul aircraft.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:04 am
by Starlionblue
IMHO in-flight showers are more of a showoff product than a commercial advantage. Also, in an A380, there's lots of space for large suites, the Etihad "Apartment" and so on. This is not the case in the 777/787/A350.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:24 am
by filipinoavgeek
Starlionblue wrote:
IMHO in-flight showers are more of a showoff product than a commercial advantage. Also, in an A380, there's lots of space for large suites, the Etihad "Apartment" and so on. This is not the case in the 777/787/A350.


Is there any reason then why they weren't ever used on the 747 then? Also with how large the 777 is, they probably could have found a way to add a shower if even a small one if they wanted to, though my guess is that they would have rather crammed in more seats.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:48 am
by Starlionblue
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
IMHO in-flight showers are more of a showoff product than a commercial advantage. Also, in an A380, there's lots of space for large suites, the Etihad "Apartment" and so on. This is not the case in the 777/787/A350.


Is there any reason then why they weren't ever used on the 747 then? Also with how large the 777 is, they probably could have found a way to add a shower if even a small one if they wanted to, though my guess is that they would have rather crammed in more seats.


The 747 was designed in the 60s in an era when the largest airliners before it were narrowbodies. I guess showers didn't enter anyone's mind at the time. Grand pianos and inflight bars were big enough innovations at the time. :)

Also, the A380 has significantly more floor space per pax compared to the A380.

Adding a shower to any widebody is certainly possible. But as you say, getting in a few more seats is probably more lucrative.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:00 am
by VSMUT
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
IMHO in-flight showers are more of a showoff product than a commercial advantage. Also, in an A380, there's lots of space for large suites, the Etihad "Apartment" and so on. This is not the case in the 777/787/A350.


Is there any reason then why they weren't ever used on the 747 then? Also with how large the 777 is, they probably could have found a way to add a shower if even a small one if they wanted to, though my guess is that they would have rather crammed in more seats.


A great part of the A380s crown is unsuitable for seating passengers due to ceiling height and the staircase. That is where airlines placed their showers and oversized toilets. The 777 didn't really have these unusable areas. The 747 did, but it was all above the main cabin, which was impractical to access. See the skyloft concept for the 747-8i.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:25 pm
by Sokes
If A380 had a swimming pool on the upper deck, airlines may not have to retire them.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:41 pm
by Sokes
double post

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:25 pm
by BravoOne
I have operated a coup;e of Boeings with showers installed/ They are a maintenance nightmare and that just the beginning of the problems.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:31 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
Showers belong in hotel rooms, not airplanes. As an acquaintance said on the issue of long range flights, “after about 11 hours, land, pax go to the Four Seasons, crew to Marriott and have a nice evening, depart after breakfast.” Very civilized operation.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 1:19 am
by United857
VSMUT wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
IMHO in-flight showers are more of a showoff product than a commercial advantage. Also, in an A380, there's lots of space for large suites, the Etihad "Apartment" and so on. This is not the case in the 777/787/A350.


Is there any reason then why they weren't ever used on the 747 then? Also with how large the 777 is, they probably could have found a way to add a shower if even a small one if they wanted to, though my guess is that they would have rather crammed in more seats.


A great part of the A380s crown is unsuitable for seating passengers due to ceiling height and the staircase. That is where airlines placed their showers and oversized toilets. The 777 didn't really have these unusable areas. The 747 did, but it was all above the main cabin, which was impractical to access. See the skyloft concept for the 747-8i.

Agreed, the showers are installed in the gigantic lavatories at the very front of the upper deck, where the curvature of the fuselage in the area makes it impossible to install any sort of normal seating.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 1:39 am
by DocLightning
The showers in the First Class lounge are much nicer than anything you will find on a plane, and you can stay in them for as long as you like without the water shutting off.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 3:29 am
by jetmatt777
Seems like more of a gimmick - I would rather a shower after a long flight, to refresh. I feel if I took a shower on an airplane I would probably take another when getting to the hotel. I also feel that way about certain short flights offering a snack service, sometimes I am just eating a snack for the novelty of eating an 82% supersonic bag of pretzels, not that I was hungry or even remotely interested in eating.

I'm A Believer!

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:39 am
by aeropix
What at first seemed like a gimmick is actually a blessing and I became convinced after one long journey where the shower made the whole day livable. I was called with short notice to attend a family emergency and had to depart Dubai with great haste, not time for pre flight shower - just showed up grungy to the airport for my 13 hour flight, after which I had to make a 2 hour connect from JFK-LGA, to a 2-hour domestic flight, followed by a 3 hour drive. Having that refreshing shower before landing in JFK in the middle of all that traveling made all the difference in the day. Instead of feeling irritated, dirty, and self-conscious I attacked the connecting flight and long drive fresh, happy, and confident.

From that moment on I've always chosen the A380 if possible since EK does not serve my US destination and I have to make a domestic connection every time I visit home. That shower before landing in the USA makes a huge difference in the entire journey. Plus I do not have to waste time on the ground finding an arrival lounge with shower that would make me miss my domestic flight. If I have been so convinced as a normal traveller, imagine how much difference this facility makes to a businessman who has to land and begin his duties right away.

What I at first thought of as a laughable gimmick, I am now convinced is a valuable tool. It will be missed in the future.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 4:09 am
by filipinoavgeek
There's of course still the question of if we'll ever see inflight showers and other A380 "gimmicks" like duty-free sections in passenger aircraft again once the A380 is retired for good. We know that inflight bars may have a future and in fact some 777s and A350s already have them, and lounges can exist on non-A380 aircraft (there's one on Virgin Atlantic's A350s), but leaves the question of showers and the rest.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 9:08 am
by Faro
The future of commercial inflight showers?...none...

This was more about EY and their over-the-top addiction to gimmickry and 'prestige' offerings than anything else...sound economics and EY management are two diametrically opposed concepts...


Faro

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 9:39 am
by hitower3
United857 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
A great part of the A380s crown is unsuitable for seating passengers due to ceiling height and the staircase. That is where airlines placed their showers and oversized toilets. The 777 didn't really have these unusable areas. The 747 did, but it was all above the main cabin, which was impractical to access. See the skyloft concept for the 747-8i.

Agreed, the showers are installed in the gigantic lavatories at the very front of the upper deck, where the curvature of the fuselage in the area makes it impossible to install any sort of normal seating.


In fact, there is another reason for this space being unavailable for pax seating: there is no exit door in the very front of the upper deck. Current regulations require that every seat in the cabin must have TWO ways towards an exit (front AND back). Therefore, you can only install bars, lavatories, galleys, saunas and showers in that area.
On a side note, back in the late 1960s when the B747 was certified, the regulations were more lax, allowing the Queen to offer seating space in the nose section. Later versions, up to the -8i, could maintain this feature, since the regulations are passed on for variants of the same model, even if the regulations would have been changed in the meantime.

BR Hendric

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 6:12 pm
by estorilm
Did they have some kind of bleed air heat exchanger for the water to pass through to heat it up?

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 6:38 pm
by BravoOne
estorilm wrote:
Did they have some kind of bleed air heat exchanger for the water to pass through to heat it up?



No it was an electric heater, much like the sink hot water system only larger.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 11:52 pm
by Dmoney
I think showers do matter those who pay full price for first class. You aren't hanging around in the lounge like a peasant, they come pick you up, you go through special security and then plane waits for you. Then you've a hotel room on the plane with whatever you need.

Of less interest to the looser travel blogger who shows up early to critique the granola bar for his online review.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Sun May 31, 2020 11:02 pm
by 889091
How often are the water tanks flushed and replenished? At least with potable water that is used to make coffee, it is boiled first.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:10 pm
by BravoOne
889091 wrote:
How often are the water tanks flushed and replenished? At least with potable water that is used to make coffee, it is boiled first.


I have no idea of the flushing you reference. In my previous experience we carried a special hose with a filter on it to use when filling the aircraft water tank (s). In addition there was a UV water purification system installed which I believe is pretty common in most of todays airliners. I have never heard of the boiling that you speak of.

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:42 pm
by dfwjim1
A little bit off topic but were showers cleaned each time after they were used?

Re: The future of inflight showers

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:43 am
by GalaxyFlyer
The Global has a shower as a $1 million option, not sure how many were installed but it wasn’t many. There’s not a lot of room, you stop the shower and the dry air makes you feel cold, then find your fresh clothes.