In attempt to make passengers more comfortable, American Airlines is retrofitting one lavatory door on its Boeing 737 MAX.
Currently, the lavatories on AA’s Boeing 737 MAX have “slab doors” just outside the rear galley. Those doors open into the aisles and can bang against each other when opened at once. This has led passengers to congregate in the rear galley in order to avoid being hit or trapped between the doors.
Boeing has created a fix in the form of a bi-fold door similar to what we already see on many aircraft. It will open inwards, avoiding any potential collision with the door across the aisle. The second door, by the way, will not be retrofitted. In an internal memo to employees, Jill Surdek, AA’s Vice President of Flight Service, noted that the slab door allows easier access for larger passengers and those with disabilities.
AA’s existing 737 MAX aircraft will be retrofitted with the new lavatory door throughout 2019. Future deliveries will include the bi-fold door.
Let me clear, I give American Airlines credit for trying. But a new door will not make a tiny restroom any roomier. It is still putting lipstick on a pig. In fact, while it solves the aisle protrusion issue, it arguably makes the lavatory even more compact.
Perhaps an AA flight attendant sums it up best:
Truthfully, I believe many hold it until they land because they know they can’t fit.
Do small lavatories bother you?