Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Just Upgraded Its Crazy Toilet Seats
The crazy auto-cleaning toilet seats at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport are finally catching up to American waistlines.
Sometime within the last few months, the toilets in American Airlines’ Terminal 3 got an upgrade, and the seats are now a few inches longer.
It no longer feels like you’re borrowing a toddler’s Fisher-Price potty chair. There is still, however, the weird feeling that you are squatting on a grocery bag.
According to this Knight News Service article, Chicago first installed the automatic plastic seat cover system in July, 1993, as a way to promote hygiene without clogging toilets with paper seat covers. (Side note: This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Google newspaper scan show up in search results like this. Cool.) Some 600 toilets cost the city $350,000 to install, or about $580 each.
The first system was by Swiss-founded Hygolet, which may explain the small size. But the one in my first picture is a Sani-Seat, made by New Jersey-based North American Hygiene. I didn’t get a chance to check out who makes the new ones — knowing Chicago, probably a distant cousin of Mayor Daley — but they seem to be better all-around.
Here’s a random guy’s YouTube video showing the newest toilet seats at work. There’s plenty of videos on YouTube of the old ones.