A video shows inside the secret airplane bedrooms where flight attendants sleep on long-haul flights

Crew rest area sleeping room

  • Flight attendants take turns sleeping or resting on long-haul flights to keep their energy up.
  • They usually do this in secret bedrooms that are off-limits to passengers.
  • These bedrooms are usually also hidden from sight: they can be tucked behind a secret stairway or accessed through a hatch that looks like an overhead bin.
  • Zach Griff, a travel analyst for The Points Guy, recently got to tour the crew rest area on an American Airlines 787 Dreamliner, located above the passenger deck and featuring six beds. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ever wondered what flight attendants do on long-haul flights while everyone is sleeping or binge-watching movies?

Most of the time, they're sleeping, too. But you haven't seen them napping because the crew rest areas are cleverly tucked away.

On most planes, these secret sleeping quarters are hidden behind the cockpit, either above first class or underneath passengers. Entrances can vary from secret stairwells in what looks like a closet to secret hatches that look like overhead bins. Some have bunk beds, others are single rooms.

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

"On long flights, there's most likely flight attendants who are sleeping below you or above you," Kat Kamalani, 30, who has been a flight attendant for five years, previously told Insider

Zach Griff, a travel analyst for The Points Guy, recently got to tour the crew rest area on an American Airlines 787 Dreamliner, located above the passenger deck and featuring six beds. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHfvg86BKdU

Kamalani previously described crew rest areas as "comfortable, but very tight and very small," adding that flight attendants have keys that let them in and describing their entrances as a "little hole" they must crawl through.

Rest areas generally have curtains for privacy, reading lights, hooks, and mirrors, as well as some personal storage space. Usually, they come with blankets and pillows, occasionally even pajamas.

According to Kamalani, they also all feature "a little light emergency equipment" and an escape route that leads into the main area of the aircraft in case of an emergency.

She explained that, on long-haul flights, the crew gets split in half, so that one half works while the other half rests. Who gets what shift depends on seniority.

She said that many flight attendants learn to sleep on command and use an alarm clock to wake up in time, but that most "don't even sleep, they just sit on social media and hang out on their phone."

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