See the secret aeroplane bedrooms where flight attendants sleep on long-haul flights

Courtesy of BoeingFlight attendants need to take power naps to stay alert.
  • 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?

Most Boeing 777 and 787 airliners have a secret stairway that leads to a tiny set of windowless bedrooms for the cabin crew – including hidden bedrooms for pilots – that few people know exist.

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.

BoeingIn a Boeing 777, the rest area is above first class.

Secret stairs lead up to the bedrooms where the cabin crew sleeps.

Chris McGinnis / TravelSkills.comStairs can be hidden behind a nondescript door.

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.

Courtesy of David Parker Brown, AirlineReporter.comYou need a code or key to unlock the door.

But some cabins are entered through a secret hatch that looks like a typical overhead bin. This is on American Airline’s Boeing 773.

Chris Sloan, Airchive.comOverhead bins can also be hiding access to a rest area.

A sign divulges what’s behind these doors (eight crew member bunks), though you’ve probably never read it that closely.

Chris McGinnis / TravelSkills.com‘For Crew Use Only’ signs might be a giveaway to what lies behind.

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.

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/the-interior-of-the-crew-sleeping-quarters-on-the-boeing-news-photo/138786921?licenceBeds are separated by curtains.

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.

BoeingCrew members also have personal storage areas in these spaces.

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.

BoeingPilots have their own space to unwind.

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.

Martin Deutsch / Flickr, CCBlankets are a nice touch.

A strict “one per bunk” warning advises against any funny business.

Chris McGinnis / TravelSkills.comThese areas cannot be used during taxi, takeoff, or landing.

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.

Flickr/Sudarshan PThe areas are simple, but fully equipped.

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.

Reuters/Aaron HarrisSome rest areas have entertainment systems.

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.

Chris Sloan, Airchive.comThe rest area on the Boeing 773 looks like that of a ships.

Others have bunk beds that are stacked on top of each other, like this Malaysian Air A380 plane.

Courtesy of David Parker Brown, AirlineReporter.comBunk beds are also common.

While most rooms seem claustrophobic, this luxe cabin on Singapore’s Airbus A380 looks pretty comfortable.

Courtesy of David Parker Brown, AirlineReporter.comSilky pillows feel luxurious.

There’s no room to stand up.

Courtesy of BoeingThe rest areas are small, but comfortable.

An earlier version of this story was written by Jim Edwards.

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