All Nippon Airways to have women-only bathrooms on international routes

Starting March 1, ANA will designate some lavatories on international routes as only for women.

One toilet in the aft section of each plane will be reserved just for women. The signs are expected to go up in March and be completed fleet-wide by the end of April.

Exceptions include A320/B727 aircraft, and depending on the passenger load, the women-only restriction may be lifted if there aren’t enough women on board. (ANA flies long-haul flights from North America to Asia, including Japan.)

There will be no male-only bathrooms, so women can use either. Other than the new signs, there are no differences between the restrooms, though the airline is considering having different amenities in the women-only restrooms, such as special hand soap.

The change comes as a result of customer demand, though spokesperson Justin Massey tells me via e-mail that “there weren’t specifics about seat-down-versus-up… It was determined in general that the females preferred not following a male into restrooms and that males, to some extent, mentioned not feeling totally comfortable with a female coming into the restroom after they’ve used it.”

Considering the line to the ladies’ room always seems longer no matter where you are, this change could help make a long flight slightly more tolerable since women can now access more on-board restrooms than men.