Why do airplanes have vacuum toilets

Airplane Toilets: The Five Biggest Myths

There are some curious stories about the airplane toilet. The travel search engine Checkfelix has compiled five and checked them for their truthfulness.

Toilet myth 1: Sucked on the toilet seat

The rumor holds up well: vacuum toilets that are used in aircraft can suck in the rear of the passengers so much that you get stuck in the toilet seat.

No, that is wrong! Vacuum toilet systems have been used in aircraft since the 1980s because they reduced water consumption by over 90 percent, and airlines were able to save weight and fly more economically. The vacuum toilets suck up the contents of the toilet bowl at up to 30 meters per second. But despite the impressive suction power, the pressure generated is simply too weak to suck a person down. This story is a fairy tale.

Toilet myth 2: Love games on the airplane toilet are prohibited

Air passengers who enjoy themselves on the plane can claim to be members of the select Mile High Club. However, making love is not allowed at an altitude of 10,000 meters. Or?

Yes that's right! Mile High Club candidates should note that in addition to a thunderstorm from the flight attendant, legal sanctions for the breezy act of love can also flourish. Couples who are caught red-handed in Austrian airspace can be punished with a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine according to ยง 218 StGB. In addition, airlines have already banned particularly loving couples from flying for life. So this myth is correct.

Toilet myth 3: danger from above due to frozen faeces

Falling lumps of fecal ice pose a constant threat to life and limb because planes simply release the contents of the toilets into the air.

No, that is wrong! Everything that ends up in the aircraft toilets during a flight is collected in a special sewage tank, the so-called "Dark Water Tank". After landing, this tank is emptied with the help of a special emergency vehicle and the contents properly disposed of.

While this story is a false myth, there is also a grain of truth in it. Tap water, which is used to wash hands during the flight, for example, is directed to the outside through a heated nozzle at the rear of the aircraft and sprayed into the air, where it evaporates.

Toilet myth 4: ashtrays have been abolished on airplanes

Since there was an absolute smoking ban on board, there are no more ashtrays - especially in the airplane toilet.

This is wrong! Although smoking has been officially banned on airplanes for more than 15 years, all airplane toilets are equipped with an ashtray. The reason for this: In 1973, a passenger with a cigarette thrown in the on-board toilet started a serious fire. Since then, all aircraft have had to have an ashtray in the toilet to prevent such accidents from happening - despite the current smoking ban. This myth is wrong.

Toilet myth 5: Other passengers can open the toilet from the outside

A secret mechanism that allows the toilet door to be opened from the outside worries many air travelers. But is this rumor true?

The myth is correct! Air travelers generally know that airplane toilets offer little luxury and are rarely inviting. So far, only very few people know that aircraft toilets can be opened from the outside with the help of a hidden lever. Jokes and particularly impatient toilet visitors can lift the "LAVATORY" sign on the toilet door and unlock the toilet door from the outside with the lever underneath. This myth is a fact - try it at your own risk. (red, November 19, 2015)