Believe it or not, the 777 toilet may not be one of the most talked about parts of the passenger experience, but it hasn’t really changed since the 777 came to service decades ago. So step ahead 24 years and it’s about time that a company is offering a brand new concept to the aircraft’s restrooms, that allow for customisation on top of a sleek new space that will elevate the passenger experience for those opting for this retrofit.
The ‘VT Volant Lavatory Modification Kit’ designed by London based studio Acumen delivers a quantum leap in these small often overlooked spaces. It’s already been nominated in the Crystal Cabin Awards this year, and is available as an on-wing service bulletin. We absolutely love these beautifully designed kits, and it does raise the question, why has it taken over 2 decades for this to happen.
A West-Coast company, VT Volant has two decades of experience supplying the aviation market, providing new and refurbished interior parts and support services to aircraft operators, leasing companies, integrators and MRO service providers.
Shaking things up was fairly simple to do, repurposing the standard shells of these restrooms, using the existing service points, and re-skinning to reflect the modern day passenger experience, and bring the 777 in line with the sinuous curves of the 787 and A350 interior fits.
There are some great customisations, such as pushing back the mirror cabinet to offer more space, new trim and finish options which allow for full customisation, and Corian sinks that are larger, offering more space for passengers to wash, brush teeth and apply make up while giving operators long lasting wipe down surfaces.
The designers have even built in modular surfaces such as removable sink units that allow to replace the most used surfaces, making repairs and maintenance more affordable. The suite of products are also modular, meaning each of the different toilet units on the 777 use similar parts, meaning even more reason to opt for a singular concept across an airline’s fleet.
The backlit, smooth surfaces also give the impression of cleanliness, with less joins that collect dirt and dust through their extended use. These units, while simplistic, also reference the emerging trend of wellness, with more space, brighter light, cleanliness and simple adaptations of scent and sound, could create something that will make certain airlines adopt these toilets straight away to improve customer satisfaction scores.
It might sound odd, but for the majority of passengers on board aircraft, the toilet visit is their one opportunity to stretch legs, especially on a long haul flight. That means that these often overlooked spaces act as a large part of the passenger experience.
China Airlines has adopted a bespoke soundtrack in their toilets, and both Finnair and Virgin Australia created women’s only toilets, then there is Air France’s A380 First Class which offers a changing room. Each of these elements showcase airlines are investing in to this part of the passenger experience, yet this new toilet concept could go a long way to improve the passenger experience in every class on 777s around the world. It seems both Acumen and VT Volant could be on to a winner if passengers have anything to do with it.