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Having worked for a Government contractor, I can tell you first hand that it is very expensive to make a design change, even a trivial one like removing ashtrays that are no longer needed. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen piping being re-routed around obstructions that no longer exist. The reason was that the cost of reworking all of the ...


Asked and answered on Aviation.SE. Summary: They're required by US federal aviation regulations. The apparent rationale is: a desperate, or unscrupulous, smoker might (illegally) light a cigarette in the lavatory. If they do, it is good for there to be somewhere safe for them to put the cigarette butt. Otherwise, if they don't see anywhere else to put it, ...


Because they were built into the doors, panels, arm rests and other areas before smoking was banned. The seats get changed fairly regularly as airlines update their cabins, and the newer designed chairs no longer include ashtrays. But bathrooms are often left as is, unless something is broken so they still have older ashtrays still embedded.

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