Lovin’ The Airport Lavs

Editor’s note: no “Strange” this week, so I thought I’d end the week with this fun post on lavs that I originally wrote back on Oct. 25, 2011.  Enjoy, and I’ll be back live on Monday.

An article in SmarterTravel on a contest naming America’s best public restroom(Chicago’s Field Museum) prompted me to look at this topic on the airports side.

So, kids, let’s talk toilets — airport toilets.   To be real, I’m one of those folks that hates using public restrooms.  But sometimes, you just have to go, and I know what I like in a good bathroom.

  1. Larger stalls.  When I’m traveling, I usually have my backpack and a rollerboard, and I don’t want them out of my sight.  Or I’m traveling with my daughter, and I REALLY don’t want her out of my sight.  So I appreciate the larger stalls that accommodate my stuff, at airports including Terminal A at Boston-Logan International Airport or Terminal D at DFW Airport.
  2. Purse shelf above the toilet.  We’ve all heard the stories about people reaching over and taking purses when you’re at your most vulnerable, so you want that shelf that is way out of reach, like those at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport.
  3. A sani-seat. I’m one of those people who carry their own paper toilet seat covers and a purse-sized can of Lysol just in case they’re not available.  But I love the toilet seats at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, because they have the automatic plastic sleeve that covers the seat — the ultimate in cleanliness and sanitation.
  4. The Dyson Airblade hand dryer.  Paper towels are messy and wasteful. The old-school hot air hand dryers take too long and leave your hands dry.  I tested this hand dryer on the exhibit floor of an airports conference and was sold.  It dries quickly and leaves your hands soft, so I’m glad to see airports like Los Angeles International installing them in restrooms.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the bathroom attendants at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.  I had come off a US Airways red-eye and was desperate for a bathroom. I go in and I’m startled by a bathroom attendant in NASCAR clothing.  But she turned out to be a lifesaver, since she had some mouthwash, among other necessities, on her tray. And yes, I did leave a tip.

So what do you like to see in your airport restroom?

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