Fort Smith Regional Airport

Good restrooms; bad airports

Sometimes the yin/yang of the inbox is entertaining.

yin/yang symbol

Today, for example, I received an urgent reminder to vote for America’s Best Restroom and a warning about staying away from the World’s Scariest Airports.

Let’s do both.

Each year Cintas takes nominations for the Best Restrooms in Canada and in the United States.

You can see all the past winners in the Hall of Fame, but here at we’re still celebrating 2005, when Fort Smith Regional Airport in Arkansas took home the potty-prize.

Award winning bathroom room Fort Smith Regional Airport

Winning bathroom at Fort Smith Regional Airport

This year, no airports are on the list of ten finalists, but the restrooms at Santa Monica Pier are on the list as are those at New York City’s Muse Hotel and Bryant Park, where the amenities include attendants, flowers, scented oils and electronic seat covers  – amenities we’d be happy to see at all airports..

Take a look at the best-loo finalists and cast your vote for America’s Best Room by August 31st.

Once you’ve voted for the best restroom in the U.S., take a look at the airports has put on its list of World’s Scariest Airports.

old airport photo

In my book, scary airports are those with icky bathrooms, overpriced food or pay-to-use-WiFi. But this list defines scary airports as those where geography and/or weather make take-offs and landings dicey.  Which airports are on the list? In the U.S. the authors list New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Yeager Airport in West Virginia, John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, CA. – and the airport in Nantucket, MA.  International airports that make the list are in Guatemala, Scotland, New Zealand, Bhutan, Gibralter and Honduras.

What makes an airport scary for you?

Have you seen an award-winning airport bathroom?

Been in any great airport bathrooms lately?

If so, then take a moment nominate it for the 2010 America’s Best Restroom Award.

This is the ninth year the Cintas Corporation has been running this wacky contest and there have been some pretty swanky loos among the contestants.  But back in 2005, the grand prize winner was none other than the Fort Smith Regional Airport (FSM) in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Here’s a description of their winning restrooms:

Fort Smith Regional Airport prides itself on the Southern hospitality that it displays for its visitors. The restrooms are always clean, with sanitation being of utmost importance. Beautiful décor and comfortable seating, both inside and outside the stalls, compliment the restrooms’ cleanliness. Dried flower arrangements are always on display. And you’ll never have to manually flush a toilet or turn on a sink here—everything is automated.

Sounds like a lovely spot for a traveler to take a tinkle, doesn’t it?

Nominations for the best restroom – airport or not, in the United States and in Canada – are being accepted through through April 26, 2010. 10 finalists will be announced in July and the public will get to vote for the favorites, with the winner announced in  September.

Besides the Fort Smith Airport, other winners have included the University of Notre Dame; The Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi; Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, Ohio; Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee; and in 2009, Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

You can see the winners and the runners up in the America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame.