2 of the Best Public Bathrooms in America Are Apparently in Airports

Aug 14, 2019

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In this week’s weird news about airports, not one but two different airport bathrooms are up for a very prestigious award.

According to View From the Wing, a new restroom at Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) and a bathroom at New York-LGA’s Terminal B have been nominated as finalists in the 2019 America’s Best Restroom contest, which is hosted by the business-support company, Cintas Corporation. The contest is now in its 18th year.

Yes, seriously.

The two domestic airports (well, specifically, their bathrooms) are going head-to-head with eight other restrooms in the US that have been selected for their cleanliness and design.

“… Each of this year’s finalists offer cleanliness and unique design elements worthy of any Instagram selfie,” said Sean Mulcahey, marketing manager at Cintas, in a statement. “These finalists understand the importance of ensuring patrons leave the restroom with a positive, lasting impression.”

The sparkly new bathroom in Seattle was built as part of the Seattle Terminal Modernization Project, the same one that brought you Alaska Airlines’ fancy new lounge. It has quartz multistation stalls; environmentally-friendly flush fixtures that use rainwater; separate sinks in the ADA-compliant stalls; and, of course, automatic soap dispensers.

(Photo courtesy of The Port of Seattle)

As far as the bathroom that shines like the top of the Chrysler building at LaGuardia, you’ll find it in the new Terminal B. Speaking from experience here, it’s actually very pleasant and clean — it felt closer to a hotel bathroom than one you’d find at one of the worst airports in the nation.

And Cintas agrees. They said, “The stalls are deeper and wider to allow passengers to easily bring in luggage and close the door behind them … They’re designed to be as hands-free as possible.” They even have live orchids and custom mosaic tiles.

Courtesy of Max Prosperi/The Points Guy
Courtesy of Max Prosperi/The Points Guy

Competitors include the Nashville Zoo, where one men’s restroom has floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking a python exhibit; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, where restrooms are covered in a pixilated, orange-and-turquoise print of cherry blossoms.

You can vote for your favorite here, but hurry! Voting closes on Sept. 13. The lucky winner will be announced this fall and will win $2,500 in facility services “to help maintain their award-winning washrooms,” according to a statement.

Oh, and a coveted spot in the America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame, of course.

Featured photo by Daniel Garzn Herazo / EyeEm / Getty Images.

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