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JAL Hopes to Make Headway With Luxury Loo

May 08, 1996|From Associated Press

TOKYO — Forget the smoked salmon and the complimentary champagne. Japan Airlines is planning something really special for its first-class passengers: a $95,000 luxury bathroom.

Japan's largest international carrier announced Tuesday that selected first-class cabins on its route between Tokyo and New York will soon be outfitted with lavatories on a grand scale.

"Especially on long-distance flights, the toilet is something that leaves a deep impression," JAL spokesman Yoshihiko Kozu said.

The bathrooms will be about 1 1/2 times the usual size of airline bathrooms. The sinks will have faucets that stay turned on, allowing passengers to wash both hands at once. There will be piped-in music, soft lighting, a three-sided mirror--and even a window.

As with most luxuries, this bathroom won't come cheap. A first-class round-trip JAL ticket from Tokyo to New York costs $9,300. Tokyo-London round trip costs $12,200.

The airline has to pay, too. Two toilets will be installed on four Boeing 747-400 jets at a cost of $95,000 apiece. A regular airplane toilet costs $57,000.

JAL isn't the first airline to lure customers with better bathrooms. In March, Japan Air System, a mostly domestic carrier, introduced a "women only" lavatory on each plane with a floral design, potpourri scent and toiletries.

JAS says its "floral room" toilets have received rave reviews and were much cheaper, at around $380 apiece.

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