All Nippon Airways (ANA) seems to have a strange fascination with bathrooms. Back in October, the airline publicly asked customers to hit the restroom before boarding, in an effort to minimize aircraft weight and shorten lines for the onboard loo.
Now the airline is making waves again, by announcing it will designate ladies-only bathrooms aboard its aircraft. Today in the Sky reports that ANA will declare one restroom, generally located in the aft, to be women's-only. Women's-only bathrooms will be present on all but its smaller planes, such as its Boeing 737s and Airbus 319s, even when they are flying longer routes. ANA says the decision follows "numerous requests from passengers."
Men will be permitted to use the facilities under certain circumstances, including:
- When required for safety reasons, just prior to the seat belt sign being turned on during take-off and landing.
- When a passenger is not feeling well and a personal emergency requires such use.
- When there are very few female passengers and the women-only designation has been lifted for the flight (an in-flight announcement will be made in such cases).
This move begs an obvious question: Is this really necessary? And if so, why only one bathroom? Why not split all the restrooms 50/50 between men's and women's facilities? I'm a bit baffled by the whole thing so I can't honestly venture a guess, but what do you think? Is ANA just trying to instigate a battle of the sexes?