ANA Is Testing Hands-Free Lavatory Doors - Simple Flying


Airline passengers are becoming hyper-aware of everything they come into contact with onboard amid the coronavirus pandemic. This awareness has resulted in one airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), testing out a new way to minimize contact with the one amenity no one has ever wanted their hands on – lavatory doors.

ANA All Nippon Airways Japan Getty Images
Star Alliance airline ANA trials a new hands-free bathroom door at its lounge. Photo: Getty Images

At the moment, the prototype lavatory door is at the airline’s lounge in Tokyo Haneda Airport.

An ANA spokesperson told Simple Flying the prototype was invented in collaboration with JAMCO Corporation, a Japanese aircraft-component manufacturer. She added,

“While this product is still in its testing phase, it is one of the many ways ANA is improving the flight experience to reassure passengers of our commitment and efforts to cleanliness.”

But how exactly is ANA ensuring these lavatory doors are completely hands-free? Let’s find out.

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Elbows are the new hands

Instead of the silver latch on the bathroom door, ANA’s prototype adds a spring contraption to it. Passengers will use their elbows to press on the handle, opening the door. For a standard airline lavatory door, we use hands to toggle to slide and lock. Here, ANA has replaced the tiny toggle with a bigger-sized button that elbows can easily maneuver around.


ANA Hands-free Lavatory door inside
The inside