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Where do Flight Attendants Sleep on Long Haul Flights?

Flight Attendant Sleeping Area

Long-haul flights can be exhausting not just for passengers but for the cabin crew as well. Ensuring that the crew is well-rested is crucial for maintaining the safety and comfort of everyone on board. But have you ever wondered where the cabin crew sleeps during these lengthy journeys? Let’s explore the hidden world of the flight attendant sleeping area on long-haul flights.

Where do flight attendants sleep?

Flight Attendants have designated secret sleeping areas, mainly in the back section of the airplane. On long-haul flights, flight attendants get adequate rest not just for a matter of comfort but for safety and efficiency. The sleeping area for flight attendants is ingeniously integrated into the aircraft, often hidden from the view of passengers to maintain a seamless and professional appearance.

Location and Design

  • Hidden Entrances: The entrance to the flight attendant sleeping area is typically designed to be discreet, often resembling a door to a lavatory or an unmarked panel in the cabin. This design helps maintain the professional and tidy appearance of the airplane’s interior.
  • Access: Depending on the aircraft model, flight attendants access their rest area via a set of stairs or a ladder that leads to a small, isolated compartment away from the passenger areas. For example, on the Boeing 777-300ER, a set of stairs near the back of the economy section leads up to the rest area, while on the Airbus A350, ladder-style stairs are used.


  • Sleeping Bunks: Inside the rest area, flight attendants find multiple bunks or beds, which are equipped with comfortable mattresses and bedding to ensure restful sleep. These bunks are compact yet designed to maximize comfort.
  • Privacy Features: The area is typically equipped with curtains or partitions that separate each bunk, providing privacy for each crew member. This setup helps create a personal space for attendants to relax without disturbance.
  • Safety and Comfort: Each bunk is fitted with a seatbelt to secure the attendant during turbulence. Additionally, the environment is controlled for temperature and is equipped with soft lighting to promote a restful atmosphere.

What are Crew Rest Compartments?

On long or ultra-long-haul flights, the need for crew rest is carefully planned and regulated. Here’s what you need to know about these special areas:

  • Location and Access: Often hidden and not easily noticeable, the entrance to the crew rest area might look like a regular toilet door. Located typically above the economy section or below the main deck, these compartments are accessed via a staircase or ladder-style stairs.
  • Security and Safety: The door to the crew rest area is secured with a passkey, ensuring only authorized crew members can enter. Each bunk is equipped with a seatbelt and an emergency chime to alert the crew in case of turbulence or other emergencies.
  • Design and Layout: Inside the crew rest compartment, you’ll find several bunks, usually ranging from 5 to 10. These are arranged neatly, sometimes in rows separated by curtains or partition walls for privacy. On aircraft like the Boeing 777-300ER, there are typically eight bunks arranged in two rows of four.

Features of the Airplane Crew Rest Areas

The airplane crew rest area is a critical feature on long-haul flights, designed to provide the necessary comfort and privacy for the crew to recharge. These specialized compartments are tailored to meet the unique needs of the crew during extended periods in the air. Here’s a closer look at the key features that make these areas perfect to relax:

  • Each bunk is designed to maximize comfort, complete with bedding. The area is a no-noise zone to ensure that crew members can sleep without disturbances.
  • Beds are not officially assigned, but there is often an unspoken pecking order, with junior crew members taking the smaller bunks.
  • Crew members take turns to rest, usually after meal services. The timing and duration of rest are regulated, with a minimum of three hours required if the flight duty period exceeds 14 hours, and 4.5 hours for duties longer than 18 hours.

How Crew Members Manage Rest?

Just like the cabin crew, pilots also need to manage fatigue during long flights to ensure they remain alert and perform their duties safely. The provision for pilots to rest is not just a perk but a regulatory requirement on extended flights. Understanding how pilots manage their rest periods can provide passengers with greater assurance of their safety in the skies. Below we have discussed how pilots handle sleep on long journeys:

  • Quiet Protocol: Utmost care is taken to maintain silence. Even activities like opening plastic bedding are done quietly.
  • Waking Up: No alarm clocks are used. Instead, flight attendants set their phones to vibrate. The waking process is like a chain reaction, where one waking attendant will gently wake the others.
  • Post-Rest Protocol: After resting, crew members quickly freshen up, roll up their blankets, and prepare to return to duty, ensuring they are ready to assist passengers.

Do Pilots Sleep on Long Flights?

Yes, pilots also take rest breaks on long-haul flights. They use the same type of crew rest compartments as the cabin crew or have a separate pilot rest area, depending on the aircraft. This ensures that pilots are alert and refreshed, ready to handle the demands of flying the aircraft safely.

The hidden crew rest compartments on long-haul flights are essential for ensuring that both cabin crew and pilots are well-rested and able to perform their duties effectively. These specialized areas, equipped for comfort and privacy, play a crucial role in maintaining the safety, efficiency, and high service standards expected on modern aircraft, making long journeys smoother for everyone on board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pilots sleep on long flights?

Yes, pilots do sleep on long flights to ensure they are well-rested and alert for flying duties.

Where do pilots sleep?

Pilots sleep in designated crew rest compartments or pilot rest areas, which are separate from the cabin crew’s sleeping quarters.

How long are flight attendants away from home?

Flight attendants can be away from home for a few days to over a week, depending on their flight routes and schedules.

Where do flight attendants stay?

Flight attendants stay in hotels arranged by the airline when they are away from their home base.

Do flight attendants sleep on long flights?

Yes, flight attendants sleep on long flights in designated crew rest compartments, mainly in the back of the economy equipped with bunks and necessary amenities.

Where do flight attendants sleep?

Flight attendants sleep in crew rest compartments, often located above the main cabin or below the main deck, depending on the aircraft.

What do flight attendants do on long flights?

On long flights, flight attendants manage cabin service, ensure passenger safety and comfort, and take designated rest breaks.

What do flight attendants do after landing?

After landing, flight attendants complete post-flight duties, assist passengers in their arrival, and often prepare for their next flight or return to their accommodation.

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