Passengers aren’t the only ones who sleep during long flights, pilots and flight attendants get a chance to sleep too.
Normally, long-haul flights have four pilots and when two are in the cockpit, the other two stay in a special compartment where they can sleep or just sit.
For instance, in a Boeing 777 plane, the pilots’ resting area is found above the first class, just behind the cockpit.
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To access the resting area, pilots have to climb a hidden ladder that will lead them to the little compartment.
The room has two business class seats and lie-flat beds although they are comfortable enough and look wide.
However, the room’s design differs depending on the plane and airline.
For example, the Boeing 777 compartment design is different from other airlines such as a Lufthansa Airbus A380 which has a sink and a bathroom.
Also, the resting area on an American Airlines 777 has a TV while that of New Zealand 777 is designed in the standard layout, with two reclinable seats and beds at the back.
Airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Qantas operate the world’s longest flights, which stretch upwards of 19 hours nonstop.
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For such airlines, they must ensure that the crew are comfortable and have somewhere to rest on the ultra-long-haul flights.
The resting areas are also used by pilots to store their personal belongings.
In case of emergencies, each bunk has a phone that enables pilots to speak directly to the cockpit.
Pilots are not allowed to use the room during takeoff and landing for safety reasons and also because they are required to be in the cockpit during those critical phases of flight.
Rest time is split equally between the two crews during the flight.
Countries regulate the amount of sleep that flight crews must get between flights and the maximum amount of hours they can work per day.