After Malaysia Airlines lost two Boeing-777 via MH370 and MH17 in less than six months, the impact on the aviation industry was tremendous. The lost of lives are not limited only to the passengers, but also the crew on board the planes. Regardless whether the plane was missing due to unknown reasons or shot down by missiles, the cabin crew members were as innocent as the passengers.
Ever since the twin disasters, a whopping 200 cabin crew had resigned from Malaysia Airlines, not that the top management really cares as they have a much bigger problem – continuous financial losses and a need for a massive bailout. Most of the time, we take for granted about the welfare or the stressful job of a crew member. Most of us know very little about cabin crew. For example, do you know where do they rest or sleep during long haul flights?
Yes, most of us have not given that a thought and assumed the crew members are robots working 24 hours like house maid. And nope, they don’t sleep on their own seat just like passengers, nor they have a mini penthouse hidden behind the end of the plane. They have their own secret sleeping quarters or compartments. For 777-200, it’s called LCRC (Lower Crew Rest Compartment) which normally contain 6 bunks – one of the ugliest crew rest area.
Then you have OFAR (Overhead Flight Attendant Rest Area) for 777-300 with 8 bunks. Needless to say, this is one of the most luxury and beautiful rest area for crew members. Nevertheless, all crew rest compartments are locked and not accessible by any Tom, Dick and his hamster. Let’s take a look how the crew rest area looks like, shall we?
To access the crew rest area, you need special keys to unlock an unmarked tiny security-locked door, which is found at the very end of the plane.
Rest area for cockpit and cabin crew are separately located – front and rear.
Once the door is unlocked, you’ve to climb up the steep narrow staircase.
The cockpit crew rest area is located right above first class passengers, a tiny slot just enough to fit two pilots. It looks more premium than first class, huh?
As tiny as it looks, Boeing 777-200ER, 777-200LR and 777-300ER provides rest area which seems quite comfortable.
Pilots have their own separate sleeping compartment and it’s more private and luxury than cabin crew, such as this one on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Welcome to Crew Rest Area or Compartments or simply Crew Bunks. Depending on type of plane model, a Boeing 777’s secret bunk beds are the best seats – better than First Class passengers (*ouch*).
This crew bunks on Boeing 787 are so luxury that you should try ask for an upgrade from your first class. We know kids are going to love this.
Even crew bunks on 777-240LR look fabulously nice. And the heavy and thick curtains are used for maximum privacy.
Emirates, the 6-Stars airline has its crew rest area at the right block, if viewed from the rear of its jumbo jet.
Inside the crew rest area, Emirate’s Boeing 777s long haul flight such as this has a long corridor housing up to 8 crew bunks.
Crew rest area on Singapore Airlines – each measuring two metres long and 75cm wide.
Crew bunks on Etihad 777, another 6-Stars airline …
A cabin crew member happily taking her rest …
A very satisfied crew member taking her rest, beating those in the First Class.
This is Boeing’s solution for 787 Dreamliner for crew rest area, a relaxing space above the main cabin, accessible by a small ladder.
Alert – Security Breach!! Eating and drinking are not allowed in the crew rest compartments, perhaps?
The bunks come with features such as sound-proof curtains, a small mirror and hooks for light items hanging.
Of course, adjustable reading lamps are fitted, just like all the passengers.
There’s a temperature control for crew members to prevent them from getting frozen or toasted.
What if the main entrance where the staircase you used to climb up is somehow blocked? No worry as there’s emergency exit under one of the bunks.
Crew member just need to lift up the bunk’s mattress and voila, the escape hatch.
And where does the emergency exit send the crew members to? Right to the seat 65G (in this 787 Dreamliner example) through the overhead luggage compartment (*ouch*). Stay cool, this is not a “real luggage” compartment. Can you notice the missing latch in the photo? Apparently, this special compartment can only be opened from “inside”. So next time you can’t open certain luggage compartment, you know what is that for (*grin*).
This is how crew bunks look like on a Boeing B747, less luxury as compared to 777 or 787, but easily more comfortable than economy class.
But not all crew members are lucky to get their rest on a luxury bed. Some airlines such as this Royal Dutch Airlines’ Boeing 747 crew bunks look like a run down motel.
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