50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Dreamliner jet's secret bedrooms where aircraft crew sleep above passengers' heads

Download: Printable PDF Date: 17 Apr 2017 10:07 category:
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Dreamliner jet's secret bedrooms where aircraft crew sleep above passengers' heads - Airlines publisher
Krista Kuznecova
Country: United Kingdom Aircraft: Airplanes Airline: British Airways
Source: Mirror

We go inside the hidden windowless compartments on a Boeing 787-9 where the flight crew rest on long journeys - right above the passengers' heads

If you ever get to fly on a Boeing Dreamliner jet, have a think what’s above your head. Passengers’ hand luggage in the overhead bins? Of course.

But there may be flight and cabin crew slumbering away right on top of you too.

The 787 can fly huge distances – Aussie carrier Qantas begins a direct 17hr, 9,061-mile London to Perth service in 2018.

And on these longer trips, the crew are required to take rest breaks.

Nigel Thompson in the Dreamliner main cabin - the secret bedroom door is at the rear by the loos

So where do they go to escape the hubbub of the passenger cabin? Welcome to the secret stairway to their sleeping sanctuary in the skies…

At the front of the Dreamliner, by the cockpit, and at the rear by the loos, are doors you’d hardly notice, secured with keypad locks.

The secret compartment on a Dreamliner where the pilots rest on long flights

Nigel Thompson in a bed in the flight deck crew's compartment

These open on stairs up to special compartments above the main cabin, with beds for the crews to snooze. When British Airways boss Alex Cruz held a press conference last week on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at 41,000ft over Scotland, I was given rare access to these fascinating hidden Crew Rest Compartments.

The rear one has three beds separated by heavy curtains, with two more in front – plus a business class seat for the pilots to relax in.

The cabin crew beds at the rear of a Dreamliner

The first impression is how low and cramped the windowless bedrooms are – it must be unnerving in turbulence. Each bed has a safety belt and emergency oxygen. And you’d have to remember not to sit upright when you wake or you’d crack your head. It's fairly spartan, but it’s still better than a seat back in row Z in economy!

Hatches under the mattresses let the crew drop into the main cabin in an emergency. So if you ever see a crew member come through the ceiling, it’s possibly not good news.

Oh, and BA’s policy is one crew member only per bed – so it’s very much smile high, not mile high…



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