Long-haul flights: How bad are seats next to lavatories?

  • I want to choose a good seat on a 8h+ flight in an Airbus A330-300. I use Seatguru to find it.

    My preference (if I check in fast enough) would be the next row behind the lavatories row, as there's leg space aplenty and I might be able to sleep through most of the hours.

    How bad is it to sit next to the lavatories on the long-haul, considering smell, noise and queues?

    A bit subjective, but for the most part it can be answered. I'll try to do so now.

  • Mark's answer is kinda perfect, but I will give some extra information as a cabin crew member:

    The bad:

    • Lavatory noise (flushing noise is so loud due to air suction)
    • Babies noise, the bulkhead behind almost all lavatories are where baby basinets installed. People with babies usually reserve these seats.
    • Crowd (queues)
    • You can't recline the seat enough (if seated in front of lavatory bulkhead)
    • Not dark enough at night (because of lavatory light when door is open, lot's of lit signs next to lavatories)
    • Usually lavatories are next to cabin crew stations, depending on the airplane type there could be a lot of chimes and calls to the cabin crew station, which means extra noise. Boeing planes in particular are a bit noisy when it comes to chimes.
    • Bad smell.

    The good:

    • Lavatory is one step away.
    • As I said before, usually there are cabin crew stations next to lavatories. The good side is, the closer you are to cabin crew the better you get served especially in long flights.
    • If you do not sleep in airplanes, next to lavatories (and galleys) are the social places in airplanes, you can talk to people who are waiting for their turns or just stretching their legs there.
    • More leg space as you already mentioned (row behind, this is by design actually to give more space to baby basinets)

    At the end, it depends on your style onboard airplanes:

    • If you plan to sleep during the long haul: Take a window seat, no one will bother you to get out or in and you can rest your head on the side.

    • If you plan to stay awake to watch a movie or read a book: Take an aisle seat away from toilets.

    • If you plane to be awake for other reasons: Get a seat next to lavatories.

    Nice work guys! I'll award you the check mark, as I plan to go narcoleptic. Got an extra opinion on 42D/G where there might be a little more legroom to the side? ... and the thin black lines in from of the legroom seats imply baby bassinet mounts, right?

    @arney if you plan to sleep this will be bad idea, people in the middle will keep waking you up if they want to go to toilet or move. Also, stretching your leg to the sides means you blocking the aisle, either cabin crew will ask you to move them inside or people will step on it all the way. Go for A or K seats (window seats) if you plan to sleep.

    Not necessarily on Boeing 767 flights, which do not have bulkhead seats next to the lavatories (the middle seats just continue, and there are lavs *right* next to the middle seats.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM