Thursday, 11 February 2016

Qantas refurbishes 737-800 and installs the worlds smallest airline toilet cubicles

Did a quick weekend dash to Adelaide to celebrate my mothers 91st birthday.

Qantas refurbished 737-800
I flew Qantas both directions. One way in a regular 737 - the workhorse of Qantas's domestic fleet, and the return in one of their planes with an upgraded interior.

These upgrades to the 37 fleet were announced in late July 2015. They have 67 aircraft to upgrade, and at that point were promising it would happen within 12 months - so they have a little over 6 mths to complete the transformation.
New seat covers - quilted body, and leather(ette?) headrest

I was impressed with the new 'quilted' seat coverings, business class barriers, and deeper overhead lockers that encourage you to place your case sideways.
Refreshed cabin of 787-800 with new overhead lights and air vents,
and deeper overhead lockers. Still those drop-down screens, but straps to
hang your tablet from, and wifi entertainment streaming.
From Qantas publicity:
'Economy has evolved with our next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Economy customers will experience the new Marc Newson styled seat with 30" pitch, 5" recline and 17.2" seat width.'
Surprisingly, they have managed to maintain 30' pitch in economy despite adding another row of 6 seats (economy goes form 156 to 162  plus 12 business). I think they gained the space from the back galley and the thinner toilets if these seat plans are to be believed.

The top seat map is the new 737-800 with 30 rows. See how thin the toilets are
and how the line of galley storage behind the toilets has disappeared.
Interestingly there is one less crew jump seat as well.


'Slimline' toilets are really, really slim.
The shock was when visiting the toilets. I think these are the thinnest toilets I have ever used on an aircraft. They have reduced the size, by removing the ledge that usually runs along one side, and having the hand basin jut into the 'standing' space in front of the toilet proper. Presuming the plans above are to scale - you can see the difference in size, and the lack of the side ledge.

I'm a kind of mid-size person, with broad shoulders, and I could not turn around without bumping into some part of this new 'slimline' room.

On the upside, the new business class looks great, as do the new class dividers.

Sorry about the lack of focus - but new diamond patterned
Business Class dividers, and new maroon coloured seats
I didn't get a chance to use Q-Streaming, as I had my own entertainment (2nd to last episode of Series 1 of The Leftovers).

Final Word
Go before you board if you want to avoid toilet claustrophobia.

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