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The passengers-only areas of aircraft’s concealed cabins

The passengers-only areas of aircraft’s concealed cabins

The passengers-only areas of aircraft’s concealed cabins

the passengers-only areas of aircraft’s concealed cabins. (Credits: Google)

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  • United Airlines flight attendant claims Boeing 787, 777, and 767 bunks are comfy.
  • Long-haul cabin crew members relax for at least 10% of the trip.
  • Rest areas are closed during taxi, takeoff and landing and used in shifts.
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Long-haul pilots and cabin personnel rest in concealed places on widebody aircraft. They’re hidden and inaccessible to passengers.

Crew Rest Compartments vary each plane.

On newer planes, such the Boeing 787 or Airbus A350, they’re above the main cabin in the upper fuselage. Older planes may have them in the cargo hold or main cabin.

They come in pairs: one for the pilots above the cockpit with two bunks and a recliner seat, and one for the cabin crew with six bunks or more over the aft galley, where food and drinks are made and stored.

When airlines buy a plane, they can choose how the crew rest spaces are configured, but the FAA sets the main requirements. It requires that staff rest facilities be “located where invasive noise, smells, and vibration have minimal effect on sleep” and be temperature-controlled and light-adjustable.

The bunks must be 78 by 30 inches (198 by 76 centimetres) and have at least one cubic metre of space surrounding them. A 65-cubic-foot changing, entrance, and departing facility is also required.

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The result is a windowless, small, but comfy sleeping room with power outlets, a lamp, and safety devices including oxygen masks, seat belt lights, and an intercom.

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United Airlines flight attendant Susannah Carr claims Boeing 787, 777, and 767 are comfy.

“They feature a padded mattress, an air vent to circulate air, and temperature settings so you can keep it cooler or warmer. We’re furnished with sheets comparable to those used in business class on overseas flights. I like them, however I’m 5’8″, so a 6’4” person could find them snug “saying,

Do they beat business or first class?

“Somewhat,” says Carr. “First-class bunks can be broader, and I receive more legroom on some planes. It’s a bunk, so you don’t have the cabin’s head room or privacy. If you’re claustrophobic, you’ll feel it on a flight, with limited room. Every inch is used.”

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“A passenger walking by would probably think it’s a closet,” adds Carr.
“I won’t get into access details, but it’s secure. People sometimes think it’s a bathroom door and try to open it, but we show them the real one.”

Newer aeroplanes have a tiny landing and a ladder behind the door.
“You can crawl into the bunks, so I call them ‘the catacombs,'” explains Carr.

On older planes, like the Airbus A330, the crew rest compartment is in the cargo hold, hence a stairway leads down. Older jets like the Boeing 767 had reclining seats with curtains in the main cabin.

“Heavy curtains shut out light and sound, but not a rowdy crowd or a crying infant. Passengers have opened the curtains looking for anything or thought they were entering the galley, so it’s not the best rest.”

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Most flight attendants prefer overhead bunks over curtained seats, although the improvement helps airlines save cabin room for customer seats.

Long-haul cabin crew members relax for at least 10% of the trip.

“That’s around 1.5 hours each long-haul travel,” explains Finnair flight attendant Karoliina man. Depending on the airline and flight time, this can be several hours.

“Since we don’t have a private room on the plane for lunch or coffee breaks, this break is crucial,” she explains.

“During this time, we don’t answer phones or do anything else but relax our feet and minds. This slumber helps us stay alert and ready throughout the flight in case anything unexpected happens.”

Not everyone sleeps in bunks.

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“On outbound flights from Helsinki, I listen to an audiobook or read a book since I’m well rested. On an outbound trip from Helsinki, you may have had sleepless nights — I have difficulties sleeping in Asia — but you normally fall asleep during the rest. If your brain is in nighttime mode, waking up can be difficult “”Man,”

“Jet lag can be problematic, adds Carr. “Sometimes I can relax and sleep, but other times my body isn’t ready.” We can use our phones during breaks to view movies or read books.”

The cabin manager, or chief purser, is in charge of all the other cabin crew members and monitors activities on board. During taxi, takeoff, and landing, the rest areas are closed and used in shifts.
This person receives a dedicated bunk near the rest area entrance and an intercom to connect with the pilots and crew.
Everything in our sector is built on seniority, from schedules to routes to days off, says Carr. “The longer you’ve been there, the better the privileges, and one of those rewards is picking your crew break time — we go in seniority order, so the most senior person on the aircraft gets to choose between the first and second breaks, and so on.

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