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Using the Lavatory on the Ground

Airlines today run very tight schedules. Everything is taken into account so that each plane spends as little time sitting on the ground as possible. The time between fights when passengers are getting on and off and when the planes are cleaned is called the turn time.

A big variable in the turn time is how quickly the airlines can get passengers on the plane and into their seats. Each airline uses its own system to board and each airline has a certain amount of time allocated to this.

Problems arise when passengers do things that slow down or disrupt the boarding process. One thing that can cause delays is using the lavatory during boarding.

The lavatories are often at the back of the plane which means you will have to fight the flow of boarding passengers to get back to your seat. But the bigger problem is passengers waiting until the last minute to jump into the lavatory. FAA regulations prohibit aircraft movement on the ground if any passengers are not seated. So even if the doors are closed and the crew is ready to go they still have to wait for anyone to finish.

This might not seem like a big deal but these few minutes of delays can lead to longer delays as the day goes on. Also, for passengers making connections any delays can prevent them from making their next flight.

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Jay Muller

Author of The Flight Advisor

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