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Cabin crew struggle to unwind on Planes with no rest areas

In order to build crew rest seats, several passenger seats must be obstructed and draped.

The cockpit and cabin crew keep busy with their flight-long activities and procedures on short-haul flights. While the cabin crew makes their way between the cabin and galleys to attend to passenger demands and guarantee safe operations, the cockpit crew remains in their work area, running through checklists and monitoring equipment.

But how do crew members get some rest on lengthier trips when there might not be a designated space as on some widebodies?

Needs for crew rest

Rest areas for crew are a requirement on long-haul flights, which presents a dilemma. If the flight is longer than eight hours, a third pilot is typically needed on board. For flights longer than seven hours, some companies need a third pilot, while others may allow for flights up to ten hours long.

There must be a fourth pilot for flights that last more than 12 hours. Long-haul flight crews (primary and backup) are required to take the allotted time off for rest. Cabin personnel must likewise abdicate their tasks during the designated rest period.

A relief pilot takes over the controls in addition to the two principal pilots during a typical 10-hour transatlantic flight. Some airlines mandate that all three pilots be present during the takeoff, climb, and final phases of the flight (approach and landing). With at least two pilots in the cockpit at all times during the cruise, the three pilots alternate their rest periods.

The majority of contemporary airplanes have designated rest spaces (bunkers, pods, etc.) for the crew, which are occasionally positioned above the passenger cabin. For maximum comfort, rest spaces typically have pillows and duvets.

Widebody aircraft planned to fly shorter itineraries as well as smaller or more highly configured aircraft could not have designated crew rest spaces.

Aerial vehicles without specified rest spots

A curtained row of business or economy seats is set aside by the operator for staff relaxation, depending on how long the journey will be. For instance, KLM’s long-haul Airbus A330-200 flights do not have any designated rest spaces.

The cockpit crew sleeps on two of the 18 business class seats, as most trips take around 10 hours. A first officer of KLM claims that

“For rest during our break, we reserve the last row’s two business class seats. We get two breaks for recuperation throughout the nine-hour flight. The seats are comfy, however the constant switching between the crew and privacy is really annoying.”

Additionally, there are no designated seats in economy for flight crew. Depending on the length of the trip, cabin personnel must sleep in their jump seats for the entirety of their break, which can be anywhere between two and four hours. With a curtain draped around them, they remain alive in their jump seats.

There isn’t much room to move around, and it is rather noisy. KLM’s senior purser states,

“The cabin crew on our Airbus A330s finds them to be fairly unpleasant. During rest periods, we must cram into our jump seats. The needy passengers frequently interrupt us even with the curtains drawn.

The airline permits us to stay at the destination for up to 72 hours before flying the subsequent leg as compensation for the taxing flights.”

Non-designated rest spaces just allow one to sit and unwind briefly. Napping is nearly impossible because of the discomfort and lack of space. To balance the pain, airlines reshuffle certified cabin personnel on other planes with dedicated rest places on occasion.

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