WHERE DO THE CABIN CREW AND PILOTS SLEEP?

By Nicoleta Gherman, Former Cabin Crew

As discussed in a previous article about the ultra long-haul flights, the flight deck and cabin crew do get a three to four hours rest when flying at 40,000 feet while on a long duty, as per international aviation safety rules. These flights can be exhausting for the crew members, so going to work and reclining on a bunk bed, to take a nap between shifts, is a necessity.

Aircrafts covering these distances are wide-body types of aircraft (with 2 aisles inside the cabin). The rest area may be located above, under or adjacent to the passenger cabin, being segregated with separate compartments. This place can never be used during taxi, takeoff or landing and cannot be sound nor light isolated. The tiny areas where the crew can get some rest are called Crew Rest Compartments. The flight deck area is located in front of the aircraft, while the cabin crew one is in the rear part. The captain and co-pilot bed area is concealed behind a door, going up a small staircase, and it is like a relaxation room with TV and reclining armchairs with foot support, plus two flat beds.The cabin crew can unwind in confined areas with 8 lie-flat beds, again going up or down a small staircase. All of the compartments are designed with small storage cupboards where the crew can put their belongings, but only during their rest. Passengers are restricted from accessing these areas, both rest compartments being behind closed doors, requiring the input of codes to enter them.

The cabin crew can unwind in confined areas with 8 lie-flat beds, again going up or down a small staircase. All of the compartments are designed with small storage cupboards where the crew can put their belongings, but only during their rest. Passengers are restricted from accessing these areas, both rest compartments being behind closed doors, requiring the input of codes to enter them.

A few years ago when I had these types of flights on my roster, I would always take the extra blankets and pillows, which were not requested by passengers, and offer them to the crew in order to have a good rest. When going to sleep, all crew members are requested to take off the uniform, to put on their pajamas (or sports clothes) and be well groomed once they are back in the cabin. The beds are quite comfortable and each bunk bed is around 1,85 m long and 80-90 cm wide accommodating one person. This small cramped area was never a problem for me to sleep in, but even so, I always had a casserole with water soaked towels as a sleep aid, in order to keep a moist climate.

*Photos: Google images

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