EVER flown in an airline and seated next to its toilet? You can only do so if you're flying economy class. If you're in Business or First, the toilets are far away from you and you are spared the noise and smell that emanates from the small room.
I was flying back from Dubai two days ago and found myself seated next to the entrance of one of the toilets in economy class. It was a night flight, meaning I could have at least had a nap during the eight-hour flight.
Actually, I couldn't. I just couldn't get a decent shut-eye because, I soon learned, the toilet is the most frequented part of the aeroplace when its in the sky. And not all passengers close the toilet door after use. Someone else have to walk up and shut the damn door!
As I sat at seat number 30H, it made me wonder whether chief executives of airlines or board members ever had the opportunity or privilege of occupying such a seat. I doubt it very much. No real reason for them to do so anyway.
But if they do, they'll realise the discomfot paying passengers have to endure during such a long flight. The doors keep opening and closing; the sound of the flush is enough to make you squirm each time it's being used; the smell of the detergent is not all that pleasing; and some passengers have the habit of 'forgetting' to close the door after using the facility.
I say the airlines should just remove the seat next to each toilet in economy class. There is a curtain that separates the compartment from the toilet, but that's hardly a help. In fact, during the night, the curtain was hardly used.
Removing the seats won't be such a big dent to the airlines' revenue, I'm sure. To help airline bosses or owners decide on this, they should make extra effort to sit next to the toilet the next time they fly. In fact, they should disguise themselves as ordinary passengers and can then see some of the antics of their cabin crew.
Datuk Idris Jala - you game for this?
PS - While you're at it, check the earphones you give us for in-flight entertainment. I won't say more!