Airplane “lavatories” are usually just a small step up from, let’s say, the Porta Potties on day two of Coachella. In other words: pretty gross most of the time. But also, an essential amenity for anyone who flies and/or appreciates in-flight cocktails.
But what do you really know about the lavatories on planes? Or what should you know. Well, to start, the word lavatory is derived from the Latin “lavare,” which means: “to wash” (not larvae like the bugs, although more on that below!). Makes sense, as you are (hopefully) washing your hands.
Also, all of this other really fascinating stuff, which will probably forever change the way you look at the bathroom on your next flight. But won’t actually stop you from using them. ‘Cause, of course, you still love cocktails.
There’s no rule that requires airplanes have a working lavatory
Seriously. The FAA has requirements about pretty much EVERYTHING, but there’s nothing that says commercial planes have to have a bathroom. In fact, a 2015 flight from Westchester to Chicago last year took off despite the fact that the only lavatory was out of order, which meant everyone had to hold it for two-and-half hours.