B/E Aerospace, a Florida-based manufacturer of aircraft cabin products, has designed the new lavatories for Boeing's 737. It has reduced the standard 3 x 3 foot size of the economy class lavatory, allowing more space for the plane's cabin.
The lay-out will shave off so much space that airlines will be able add more seats to their economy class sections, reports The Age.
Delta Airlines - the first airlines to use the new design - insists that passengers will not notice the difference, saying that the new design uses space that is currently wasted behind the sink. Those sitting in front of the lavatories will also still be able to recline due to sculpted exterior walls.
The smaller-proportioned rooms will be in use later this year, but only in economy class.
It is likely to precipitate a battle among rival manufacturers to make similar space savings in their own designs.
Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air were among the first to charge for hand luggage, a move that was followed shortly afterwards by the European airlines Wizzair.
Ryanair's Michael O'Leary has previously threatened to charge passengers to go to the toilet as well as to cut the number of toilets on an aircraft to one.