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Smaller Airplane Lavatories on the Way in Some 737s

By Rich Smith - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:26PM

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B/E Aerospace says one customer has hired it to retrofit its fleet. Delta says the 100 aircraft it has on order will have the smaller lavatories.

If it's true that misery loves company, then acrophobes and claustrophobes will enjoy this next item.

On Tuesday, airplane interiors outfitter B/E Aerospace (BEAV) announced that one of its customers has just hired it to retrofit its fleet of Boeing (BA 3.52%) 737 airplanes with new, smaller lavatories. Henceforth, fearers of flying can add claustrophobia to their worry-list.

According to B/E, the customer -- whom B/E declined to identify -- will soon be installing new lavatories featuring B/E "Aircraft Ecosystems" vacuum toilets, new LED lighting systems, antimicrobial coatings, and "Spacewall" technology on its planes. B/E says that when combined with other remodeling, including changes to the pitch of seats, converting to the new facilities will free up enough extra space onboard the planes to squeeze in "up to six incremental passenger seats per aircraft." Henceforth, B/E says its new lavatories "will become standard equipment for [Boeing's] new 737's."

B/E spokesman Greg Powell its new lavatories offer "more useable space, and [are] more comfortable for passengers."The Wall Street Journal  reports that Delta Airlines (DAL 3.43%) likes the new loos.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black says there's no noticeable difference in space within the lavatory and confirmed by telephone that the 100 Boeing 737-900s that Delta has on order will feature the new loo layout, permitting the installation of four more passenger seats than normal. But Delta has no plans to retrofit its existing 737s with B/E's new configuration.

So Delta is not the airline retrofitting its planes with smaller lavatories. As for anyone who is, they might want to heed a warning from Seth Meyers, who quipped on Saturday's edition of "SNL Weekend Update" that "the top two complaints about air travel are the bathrooms are too big and there aren't enough people on my flight."

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The Boeing Company Stock Quote
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