Like many airlines, JetBlue is currently trying to add more seats to some of its planes so it can accommodate more passengers per flight, and make more money for its bottom line. But there’s something standing in the way of JetBlue’s “cabin restyling program”: Broken toilets.
JetBlue is planning to reconfigure its A320 jets to add an additional 12 seats to the current 150. As part of that, the airline is installing Space Flex lavatories made by a company called Zodiac Aerospace. But in an earnings call this week, CEO Stephen J. Priest admits that the makeover hasn’t been perfect, citing “design challenges” with lavatories already installed on many of its restyled A321 planes.
“The industry has experienced design failures with the space efficient lavatories that we have installed on our A321s, and we are planning to install on the A320s,” he explained.
This translates to non-working toilets, which is a major problem on any flight, prompting JetBlue to start pulling A321s for repairs.
“Equipment quality hasn’t been up to standard and we’ve seen alignment issues in the installation,” a JetBlue spokesman explained to Bloomberg. “These problems are leading to a high rate of inoperable parts and out-of-service lavatories.”
Instead of moving forward and installing the lavatories on A320 planes, JetBlue has been working with Zodiac and Airbus to make sure the repairs it’s making on the A321s are working before installing them on more planes. The company will have a formal review next month to do a check on the repairs being done, “because the last thing we want to do is to put this product on our A320 aircraft and then ultimately have to bring them back into do any repairs or servicing,” notes Priest.