Ever Wonder Where Flight Attendants Really Sleep On Planes?

Flight attendants seem to have a very glamorous job, jet-setting around the world. However, there are some not so nice parts of being a flight attendant, including trouble with keeping a regular sleep schedule. For those flight attendants on long haul flights, part of that schedule involves sleeping onboard. They get a bit more space than those of us in economy, hoping that our favorite travel accessories like a sleep mask and ear plugs can somehow help make up for trying to sleep in an upright position, and newer planes that are made to fly long distances, more than eight hours at a time, are required to have areas for the crew to rest.


There are three classifications of rest areas on board a plane, and it depends on the length of flights. Class one crew rest areas for long flights are tucked away behind a locked door via a narrow, steep set of stairs that lead to a private area below or above the main passenger compartment. It's furnished in a way to give flight attendants the best chance to actually sleep on their break with things like lie-flat beds and privacy curtains. Class two rest areas have lie-flat seats that can be curtained off for privacy, and class three gets reclining seats.

The bunks allow flight attendants to lie down but not necessarily sit

On her YouTube channel DayswithKath, flight attendant Katherine Alano-Sicat said these areas are called "crew rest compartments." Along with their being different classes of compartments, the setup seems to depend on the type of airplane. Alano-Sicat's favorite for long-haul flights is the Boeing 777 compartment, "Because you have enough space to sit inside the bunk beds," via YouTube. It's an area that has enough room for eight bunks with curtains that you can pull to give yourself some privacy — something that might be welcome during a flight with full of passengers where there might be parents not controlling their kids or travelers hitting on them (a couple of the things flight attendants would wish you'd stop doing).


Not all crew rest compartments have enough headspace for people to sit up in them, like the "double bunkers” in the A380 that Alano-Sicat discussed on her YouTube channel. She noted that there's a place to change, but once you're in your bunk on the A380, you're pretty much limited to just lying down. The compartments may have emergency equipment, like fire extinguishers, at hand, and crew are able to strap themselves in case of turbulence.

Flight attendants get their linens and their own crew pajamas

The crew will rotate through their breaks, depending on how long the flight is, and they're required to keep the rest area quiet. As for the comfort? It could depend on if you're claustrophobic or not and how tall you are. "[The compartments] have a padded mattress, an air vent to keep the air circulating and temperature controls so you can keep it cooler or warmer," United Airlines flight attendant Susannah Carr told CNN, "and we're provided with linens, usually similar to the ones used in business class on our international flights. I like them."


As the flight attendants head off for their longer break, they'll likely change from their uniform into pajamas of some kind — it's the same way you wouldn't want to wear your work clothes to bed and then work in them the next day. Typically those are assigned by the airline — yep, even when they're out of uniform, flight attendants have on a uniform. It makes sense when you think about it — if there was an emergency and the crew on break didn't have time to change, you don't want them blending in with the rest of the passengers. One Emirates flight attendant posted a video on TikTok that showed her crew pajamas, which was a matching set with a red long-sleeve shirt that said "crew" on it and a pair of striped pants. We'll admit, they look cute.