Where the flight crew sleeps

I must admit, I’d never really thought about the plight of flight crew sleeping on long-haul flights. I supposed I thought they’d sleep like the rest of us, sitting upright, eye mask plastered to face and earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones firmly planted in or over ears.

Turns out I was wrong (“No!” I hear you say …).

Flight crews have to be well-rested in order to maintain that endlessly diplomatic demeanour that enables them to deal with a plane-load of passengers.

So it should come as no surprise that their sleeping arrangements are way more civil than ours.

A Virgin Airlines blog gave us a sneak peek inside the flight crew’s sleeping quarters (above) and explained how the sleep shifts work.

Here’s what the airline had to say:

There are two rest areas on board our Boeing 777-300ER aircraft; located above the Business Class and Economy cabins at either end of the aircraft. And after main meal service, breaks are allocated to ensure that the right amount of crew always remain on deck to assist guests. There are four flight crew on board our Boeing 777 aircraft and at least two pilots on the flight deck at all times. 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 rest area for our cabin crew is above our economy cabin, and features eight single beds with sheets, blankets and comfortable pillows to ensure crew are well-rested once they return to the cabin.


Crew are able to change into pyjamas to get some sleep, and will set an individual alarm to ensure they’re back on deck at the right time. Before drawing the curtain, crew will hang their uniform outside their bunk to let crew know who is where, and the Flight Manager is always in the first bunk on the right.


By being able to rest during the flight, our crew are always able to provide the best service in the sky, which has seen them regularly be awarded ‘Best Cabin Crew’ by Australian Business Traveller and Airline Ratings to name a few.

Read more at www.virginaustralia.com

Did you know this is how the cabin crew slept? How do you sleep on a plane?

Related articles:
10 things cabin crew hate about you
How to bribe a flight attendant
Six surprising onboard requests

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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