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Going to the Loo at the Airport

Go figure that the first post I write about from our trip to London back in May has to do with going to the bathroom. Or, more specifically, the restroom itself. (It’s the “loo” if you want to get all technical and British.)

One of the things I hate, HATE, about airports are their bathrooms. It’s like whoever built them said, “Hey, let’s make this interesting for travelers and make the stalls extra tiny so they can try cramming themselves and all of their belongings inside after getting off a flight where they were already squished together like sardines.” 

Just imagine this is perfectly in focus*

When I get off a flight I’m either A) on my way to catch a shuttle, B) hop on another flight, C) pick up my checked-in luggage, or D) see family/friends and go home. Unfortunately, having to pee usually takes priority. 

So when I get off a plane and take a detour to the restroom the last thing I want to do is get trapped inside an itty-bitty stall that usually has the door swing in instead of out—I mean, really, who designs these things? Don’t they know that you have to practically straddle the toilet just to open/close the door? And if you have luggage with you? Forgetaboutit!

Imagine my shock when I walked into the bathroom at London’s Gatwick airport. The stalls were HUGE (for an airport)! It was like they were all the coveted end stalls of a normal bathroom—the “handicap accessible” ones we all so know and love. (You know you get a thrill when you’re standing in line for the toilet and the end stall opens up just for you—it’s like winning the bathroom lottery!) 

That wasn’t my stall, which means that wasn’t my toilet paper on the floor there. People, clean up your own mess!

Anyway, at Gatwick the doors still swings inward, but check out how much room there is between the door and the toilet— there’s ample room for you and your five pieces of luggage without even feeling cramped. It’s truly an airport bathroom dream come true. 

*When I walked into the loo it was totally empty. I should’ve taken pictures right then and there, because by the time I came out and washed my hands another flight had landed and people were making their way to the stalls. I didn’t want to be that crazy girl taking pictures inside a bathroom, so I turned the sound off on my phone and snapped this real quick. Clearly I should’ve been a little more patient, because now you have blurry pictures of a bathroom. Sorry!


  1. I took a picture of the bathroom signs at Heathrow. I just really liked how the skirt on the icon for the women's bathroom looked different from ours. (Here's a link to what I mean.) See, you're not the only one who takes pics of the loo!

  2. I know what you mean about airport bathrooms! They can be HORRIBLE! The year after I moved to Indiana, they built a brand new Indianapolis airport (and moved it, which makes me feel bad for what were the airport hotels.) When I finally went through there (I think our honeymoon was my first trip) I was WOWED by the bathrooms. Huge stalls, tons of space, all modern… and doors that opened OUT. All of the doors opened out. I couldn't believe it. I am still in heaven every time I go through there!!!

  3. I know exactly what you're talking abou – with tripping over luggage to climb onto the toilet. Hubby and I started peeing individually while leaving one of us to guard the luggage after my flip flop fell off in the toilet :/

  4. Wait till you have kids. Sometimes, I reroute our errands to stores that have family bathrooms. Those cramped stalls are WAY too small for me and my toddler who freaks out whenever a toilet flushes 🙂

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