After some long-haul flights, travels in China, and exposure to this podcast (Fork Fashions and Toilet Trends) and that letter (Why the world deserves a better toilet) I cannot help but wonder this:

Are commercial airplanes universally equipped with Western toilets, or are there exceptions? For instance, I have encountered squat toilets on Chinese bullet trains, but I would not expect to encounter them on planes operated by Chinese carriers.

  • 1
    Some long-distance trains have squat toilets AFAIK. Does that count?
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 14, 2018 at 10:03
  • 7
    I imagine squat toilets would be extremely inconvenient during turbulence.
    – JonathanReez
    Nov 14, 2018 at 11:14
  • @JonathanReez Well, super-high-tech Japanese toilets e.g. on Air Japan could also qualify as affirmative answer, if they existed :-)
    – Drux
    Nov 15, 2018 at 6:40
  • 1
    On some Japanese trains you have both. But the ratio of toilets to passengers is I believe much higher than on a plane, and people’s visits are not partially dictated by a common schedule (like meals on aircraft, or back in the day/on aircraft without personal IFE). In aircraft, you need to go for something that nearly everyone will accept. Western people usually don’t like squat toilets at all and wouldn’t use them unless they really have no other option, and would be very unhappy about it. I don’t think the reverse is true (but I may be wrong on that one).
    – jcaron
    Nov 15, 2018 at 8:44

2 Answers 2


Based on personal experience in the last three plus decades of flying various airlines and flying to a lot of countries, I've not encountered any commercial plane having non-western toilets.

  • 1
    This is based on personal experience. I've travelled extensively in the last three decades and have three passports.
    – Raghavan
    Feb 9, 2019 at 21:11
  • Answer has improved but it is still not the kind of answer which this site is looking for. In my view it is just across the line of acceptable. But it is more in the way of a comment than an answer. (Down votes and upvotes are private, you can guess but you can never be sure who did what kind of voting.) As a mod I could have deleted the answer, I gave you time to improve it.
    – Willeke
    Feb 9, 2019 at 22:24
  • Does this include experience of travel in the third world on local carriers for short hops? I am sure you wouldn't have answered if your experience was mostly LAX-JFK twice a week but would be good to have some more colour. For my part, which is limited outside of first world countries, I've found if a plane is big enough to have a toilet, it's a bog-standard western toilet (pun intended).
    – Calchas
    Feb 10, 2019 at 20:18
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    I will second this. I've been in 40 countries and I'm on my 5th passport by now--and I have yet to see a squat toilet on an airplane. Feb 10, 2019 at 20:18

Since airplanes are usually built also for international flight routes, I don't think that they do a special edition with non western toilets.

  • 8
    That's not a real answer but just a guess, isn't it?
    – Drux
    Nov 14, 2018 at 22:21
  • 1
    The interior fit is up to the airline, not the original manufacturer of the plane. And a very large number of commercial planes are used either domestically or regionally, so this argument doesn't really hold water. Feb 10, 2019 at 17:16

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