We all know flight experiences can vary greatly, from traveling with basic economy EasyJet (a classic) to luxury first-class compartments with private rooms, showers and an in-flight bar experience (the lucky few).
Though what you might not know is that the cabin crew have their own private spaces too. They are the ones working after all, so it would make sense.
But we don’t just mean that chair behind the curtain where the food’s kept, we mean actual bedrooms that the public aren’t aware of, according to one flight attendant.
The cabin crew member, who does not wish to be named, revealed to Yahoo UK there are beds on aircrafts with “long flight times”.
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What is the ‘secret’ bedroom on long-haul flights?
The bedroom is known as the ‘crew rest area’, and has a number of either flat beds or bunk beds, depending on the airline.
“It is used solely for crew to rest in as there are regulations that crew must get a proper rest period on long haul flights over a certain length,” the source says.
Explaining the purposes of the bedrooms, she explained, “This is for safety reasons to keep crew alert,” adding that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) puts measures in place to make sure cabin crew get enough rest.
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So, are the bedrooms a strictly guarded secret? While crew can’t reveal too much about these beds for security reasons, and will not point them out during the flight, it is not classified information.
“Although we don’t specifically keep [the rest area] a secret, passengers just don’t notice it most of the time,” explained the source.
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How much rest do the cabin crew get?
Crew rest requirements are said to be ‘similar’ and ‘sometimes identical’ to those of a pilot.
So, for example, the 2016 EASA regulations state pilots require: “12 hours rest or the length of the preceding duty if it was more than 12 hours.”
This means a pilot gets a minimum of 12 hours rest after a flight of any length, but if they have flown, for instance, for a 16 hour flight, they require 16 hours rest.
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While on the flight, for a short-haul a member of the cabin crew might not take a proper break unless it’s very quiet, or a four-five hour flight. Usually, they’ll eat a meal on the ground before the flight returns on the same day.
For longer haul, depending on the flight time, they might get between an hour and three and a half hours of rest time in-flight.
The Flight Deck Friends website provides further information on rest requirements for pilots and cabin crew.
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