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RIVALS TOUT `FLYING POWDER ROOMS'

Rival Japanese airlines, vying to attract more business, may have reached the ultimate in pampering their finicky passengers - a luxury "flying powder room" featuring piped music and gold taps on the wash basin.

Japan's largest international carrier, Japan Airlines Co. Ltd., said Wednesday it would introduce in July a larger aircraft toilet that besides piped music would have a window for the occupant to enjoy the scene outside the plane.The new toilets will cost the airline $95,200 each, compared with the usual $57,100. "We would like to make it like a powder room," a JAL spokesman said.

The toilet will be half again as big as current aircraft rest rooms, with gold-plated taps and mirrors on three walls.

Initially, JAL is planning to remodel toilets of four of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft to serve first-class passengers on its key international routes.

It may later upgrade toilets for business-class and economy-class passengers as well.

Rival All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. and Japan Air System Co. Ltd. said JAL is not the only one to have luxury toilets.

ANA, which has the largest domestic flight network, said its new Boeing 777 aircraft's first-class cabin has a toilet with a large mirror and a marble-look sink.