- Flight attendants get breaks on long-haul flights to recharge and stay energised.
- They have their own bedrooms in which to take power naps.
- These bedrooms are hidden from passengers: they can be tucked behind a secret stairway or even accessed through a secret hatch that looks like a typical overhead bin.
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Flight attendants are humans too, and just like everyone else, they need to sleep on long-haul flights.
But where do they do it?
See what the secret cabins look like.
It depends on the plane, but usually crew rest areas are hidden behind the cockpit, above first class, like on this Boeing 777.
Secret stairs lead up to the bedrooms where the cabin crew sleeps.
Like a speakeasy but without the booze, steps are hidden behind an inconspicuous door. They can usually be found near the cockpit, and a code or key is needed to get to them.
But some cabins are entered through a secret hatch that looks like a typical overhead bin. This is on American Airline’s Boeing 773.
A sign divulges what’s behind these doors (eight crew member bunks), though you’ve probably never read it that closely.
Upstairs are cramped, windowless bedrooms with eight beds (or seven, depending on the airline). This is the cabin’s rest area on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The crew certainly seems to enjoy the overhead rest areas on Boeing 777s, which, depending on the airline, can fit six to 10 bunks, as well as personal storage space for each crew member.
On the Boeing 777, pilots have their own overhead sleeping compartments, which feature two roomy sleeping berths, as well as two business-class seats, and enough room for a closet, sink, or lavatory, depending on the airline.
The beds, which are generally around six feet long and two and a half feet wide, are partitioned by heavy curtains meant to muffle noise.
A strict “one per bunk” warning advises against any funny business.
Bunks generally have reading lights, hooks, and mirrors, as well as some personal storage space. Usually they come with blankets and pillows, occasionally even pajamas.
Though some — and this varies by airline — are a little more high end, and feature entertainment systems. Some aeroplanes, like Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, have flat, open sleeping areas.
Other planes, like this American Airlines Boeing 773, have partitioned-off beds along an aisle, reminiscent of a cruise ship. The aisle is so low that you have to duck to walk through it.
Others have bunk beds that are stacked on top of each other, like this Malaysian Air A380 plane.
While most rooms seem claustrophobic, this luxe cabin on Singapore’s Airbus A380 looks pretty comfortable.
There’s no room to stand up.
An earlier version of this story was written by Jim Edwards.
- Read more:
- Flight attendants reveal the first things they notice when travellers board a plane
- A flight attendant reveals what it takes to work on Emirates’ first class
- A former flight attendant says these are the 2 worst things passengers can do
- Flight attendants reveal the wildest things they have seen at work
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