Some of us who sit in business and first class can get very comfortable and sleep our way through, while the rest of us are stuck in a small seat, struggling to get comfortable and catch some zzz’s.
But have you ever wondered what flight attendants do on a long-haul flight, even “ultra long-haul” flights where they have to work eleven or more hours? They are human, after all, and they need to rest up in order to help us until we reach our final destination. Once the main meal service is complete, the flight attendants make their way up (or down) to the small rest areas to relax for several hours.
On larger aircrafts such as the Boeing 777s and 787s, secret air cabins are built above the passenger cabin, and for most of the A380s, these are hidden below deck—accessible only by the flight crew. These secret rooms are usually located at the front and back of the plane, and depending on the type of aircraft, they vary in size and design. Let’s take a peek inside:
(Video source: PatrynWorldLatestNews / YouTube)
Once it’s time to make their way into the secret air cabins, the flight crew can change into pajamas (some airlines provide them while others bring their own), and hang their uniforms outside of the curtain so that other crew members know that someone is there.
But don’t be fooled, these spaces, regardless of which airline, are usually about six feet long and two and a half feet wide. Most of the time, as a few flight attendants have attested, they feel claustrophobic.
Each bed is equipped with a pillow and blanket, but some flight attendants bring their own or take any extras that may not be in use from first or business class seats. Some of the larger planes like that of an A380, the secret air cabin may be equipped with an entertainment system. But even those are quite small (think smaller than a mini iPad).
Not all airlines have the same layout. Some have beds stacked like bunk beds, others have beds on the left and right-hand side, separated between a middle aisle, and some even have beds surrounding each other side-by-side (almost like a circle).
Pilots, on the other hand, usually have a separate resting spot that’s a bit more luxurious than what the crew is entitled to. For instance, on the Boeing 777, the pilot’s resting room has two business class seats, two beds and some planes even have a sink and lavatory. Must be nice to be a pilot!
Since many airlines have four pilots on board, two of which are captains and the other two are first officers, they divide their time between relaxing and flying, just like the cabin crew.
So where are these secret spots? Flight attendants have to either climb up via a ladder that comes down from the overhead compartments. Or, they use a staircase hidden behind a door and out of sight that either leads to a room above or one below the main cabin. We may never know where these secret rooms truly are!