Tiny rest areas where airline cabin crew sleep and take breaks during a long haul flight

Passengers travelling on long-haul flights find numerous ways to try and get comfortable, dealing with everything from crying babies to body odour.

But we sometimes forget that the cabin crew are pulling extra-long shifts to ensure we get to our destination.

Take for example the flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles. At 15 hours, this route is classed as "ultra long-haul", with cabin crews working up to 11 hours.

To help us understand what flight attendants and pilots do on these long flights, Virgin Australia has released official images of the crew sleeping quarters on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

With two rest areas on board, the crew sleep in small spaces located above the business class and economy cabins at either end of the airplane.

It isn't until after the main meal service that they retire to the rest areas in shifts of four hours. 

"For pilots who are resting, they can get some sleep in two beds above the Business Class cabin, or relax and enjoy our in-flight entertainment system," the airline said.

Meanwhile, the flight attendants sleep in the area above economy class that has eight single beds with sheets, blankets and pillows.

Cabin crew change into pyjamas, hang their uniforms (so other staff know who is where) and draw the curtain. They are also given alarms to ensure they're back on deck at the right time.


"By being able to rest during the flight, our crew are always able to provide the best service in the sky," Virgin Australia wrote on its blog.

Similarly, flight attendants on the world's longest flight - Qatar Airways' Auckland to Doha route - sleep for up to five hours of the 17-hour journey. 

Cabin services director Jhoanna Marie said the crew resting area on the Boeing 777 was one of the best she's ever slept in.

"The pilots have a similar resting area, up the front of the plane, before the business class cabin," she says.

With four pilots on board – two captains and two first officers - they split their time between flying the plane and resting, as the cabin crew do.


See also: Plane secrets: 10 things on an aircraft you never knew about

See also: The truth about being a flight attendant

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