What to expect with a private jet bathroom? Features, amenities, and design elements.


Jan 26, 2024

15 min read

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    Some of the most frequently asked questions about onboard amenities revolve around private jet bathrooms. Do private jets have bathrooms, and if they do, what can you expect?

    In industry terms, it’s more accurate to say private jet lavatories (sometimes shortened to ‘lavs’). And these days, even on the smallest private jets including our fleet of HondaJets, you’ll frequently find a lavatory with upgraded features far beyond what’s expected, even in business class.

    In comparison to what’s available on commercial airlines, charters offer much more than just a functional space. But what does that look like in practice? From more spacious layouts, refined finishes, and upgraded technologies to improved cleanliness and hygiene, here is what you can expect to see in a private jet bathroom.

    Evolution of private jet bathrooms.

    Surprising as it may be, the very first aircraft fitted with a lavatory was back in 1919 in the Handley Page Type W. Over the next few decades, aircraft models like the British Supermarine Stranraer and the Short Sunderland Flying Boat also had various iterations of an onboard lavatory.

    At best, these early designs offered nothing more than an emergency option and certainly no privacy. In some configurations, the toilet was simply placed in the center of the plane. In other designs, the lid opened to open air — passengers at the time reported a deafening whistle when opened during flight.

    Slowly, airplane lavatories evolved away from open-air models to enclosed versions. However, these versions were still more akin to a glorified bucket than what we’ve come to expect onboard today. Generally, they were reserved for mid-flight emergencies.

    In the 1930s, as the commercial airline industry took off, so too did improvements to aircraft lavatories. Gradually, this meant fully enclosed and private spaces, flush technology, and sinks, as well as other hygienic upgrades.

    The next evolution: Private jets with bathrooms.

    Private jet bathrooms are a continuation of this technological progression. Private lavatories go above and beyond anything available on commercial flights to offer passengers an unprecedented level of discretion, cleanliness, and attention to detail.

    To start, private jets have noticeably larger lavatories than their commercial counterparts. Depending on the jet model, it’s not unusual to find a separate seat inside the lavatory for passengers to use along an expanded vanity where they can prepare for their next meeting or event.

    Then, you’ll also find elevated design features like an actual sink, running hot and cold water, a large vanity, and skylights. All of these elements stand in stark contrast to the cramped, windowless plastic box onboard commercial jets.

    Modern sink in private jet bathroom

    Finally, if you step onboard a larger jet model, finding a shower is increasingly common. Although this isn’t a guarantee (every model’s layout and design varies), if you find yourself on a newer Gulfstream G700, for example, a shower is locked into the interior lavatory design. Showers offer passengers the perfect mid-flight rejuvenation on long-haul international missions.

    Features of private jet bathrooms.

    Notably, the underlying difference between private and commercial jets is that lavatories in private aircraft are not just functional spaces. From the finishings to the technology, the space is designed around the needs of the passengers.

    High-end finishings

    Private jet bathrooms are often outfitted with luxurious design elements, like modern faucets, ceramic or glass sinks, real marble vanities, wood finishings, and comfortable seating. Many also incorporate touchless technology for enhanced hygiene and convenience.

    Elegant private jet bathroom seating

    Running hot and cold water

    Unlike the temperature- and time-controlled faucets on most commercial flights, bathrooms in private jets typically feature hot and cold running water. Combined with a flushable toilet, this means passengers get a more comfortable and hygienic restroom experience.

    Windows and skylights

    One of the most noticeable features within a private jet lav is the inclusion of windows or even skylights in the design. Windows create an open ambiance, allowing natural light to illuminate the space. It will immediately feel like a larger, more welcoming space than the typical cramped, poorly lit option on a commercial equivalent.

    Shower facilities

    There may be enough room to include shower facilities in larger, long-range private jets, like the Bombardier G7500. This feature is particularly valued on long-haul flights, allowing passengers to freshen up for landing.

    Smart technologies

    Today, private jet manufacturers are increasingly incorporating modern, smart technologies. From automated temperature control to digital faucets and intelligent lighting systems, these features enhance the space’s functionality and cleanliness.

    What to expect on board the smallest private jets with bathrooms.

    Yes, it’s true. Even some of the smallest private jets often come with a bathroom. In the light and very light jet classes (designed for missions under three hours carrying from four to 10 passengers), you’ll find that most of the newer models are equipped with an in-cabin lavatory.
    On the smaller jets, you’ll find two types of facilities: semi-enclosed and fully-enclosed.

    Semi-enclosed lavatories

    Onboard very light and light jets, space is at a premium. A semi-enclosed restroom offers less privacy than a fully enclosed space, typically using a curtain or a partial partition instead of a full door to separate it from the cabin.

    You can expect a basic setup with a chemical, non-flushing toilet and a small sink. In some cases, it may even be a hand sanitizer dispenser. Semi-enclosed lavatories are designed to be compact yet functional.

    Models with Semi-Enclosed Lavatories: Phenom 100, Cessna Citation Mustang, Learjet 35

    Fully-enclosed lavatories

    Fully-enclosed facilities are a substantial upgrade, designed for a higher level of privacy thanks to solid floor-to-ceiling doors, running water, and vanity mirrors. Some models even manage to incorporate storage space for toiletries.

    On board certain models, like in a HondaJet lavatory, you can also find a certified lav seat, which doubles as a legal passenger seat when needed. It’s usually cushioned similarly to the cabin seats and equipped with a safety belt.

    Compact lavatory in HondaJet

    Models with Fully-Enclosed Lavatories: HondaJet, Embraer Phenom 100, Cessna Citation Ultra

    Private jet bathroom FAQs.

    Which private jets have the most luxurious bathrooms?

    As a general rule, the larger the private jet, the more luxurious elements you can expect to see in the bathroom. Just look at the lavatory designs onboard the world’s most extravagant executive liners.

    The jets owned by royal families, billionaires, and A-listers have bathrooms more akin to those in hotels and palaces than onboard a plane. Think master bathrooms, bathtubs, and gold and crystal-encrusted sinks.

    But this doesn’t mean even smaller models don’t come with certain luxuries. Onboard our fleet of HondaJets, you’ll find unexpected elements inside the lavatory, including running water, skylights, and modern touches throughout. If you arrived expecting a dark, uninspired space, think again.

    Are showers common in private jet bathrooms?

    As a rule, showers are only incorporated into the design of the larger private jet class types. A few examples are the long-range Gulfstream 700 and the Embraer Legacy 600, both models with a range of over 7,000 nm.

    These models each incorporate a walk-in shower into the spacious lavatory layout, ensuring guests have the option to freshen up for landing during a long-range mission.

    What is the cost difference between a private jet with and without a bathroom?

    The price difference between a jet with a lavatory and one without doesn’t so much boil down to the amenity but the jet size. The larger the jet, the more cabin space and the greater the likelihood it has a bathroom, even just a functional option. Even with the smallest jets, most of the newer models have at least a lavatory option.

    Of course, you may still encounter older models with no bathroom, like the Eclipse 500 (production ended in 2008), but these are exceedingly rare.

    Can private jet bathrooms be customized according to passenger preferences?

    Customizations of any sort are reserved for owners. First, it’s possible to customize many elements during the ordering process. Whether that’s selecting the design aesthetic or choosing whether or not there is a bathroom in the first place, if you order a jet fresh off the production line, you have control over the final layout and design elements.

    Owners also have the option to send their aircraft to companies offering post-production interior designs and customizations. Whether you want an upgraded faucet, real wood finishes, or an entertainment system integrated into the space — in the world of private jet ownership, if you can dream it, you can make it a reality.

    Designed for in-flight comfort: Step inside private jet bathrooms.

    Private jet bathrooms go far beyond the basic functional facilities we’ve come to expect on commercial airlines to offer amenities and features that greatly enhance the travel experience. Whether it’s a touchless faucet, a bright skylight, or a backlit vanity, every element caters to the needs of the passengers.

    We’d love to introduce you to the future of private jet design. Fly Volato.

    Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. Volato is not responsible for omissions or inaccuracies in such information, or for data that is no longer accurate due to delay, change in law, rules, or regulations.