I went inside the secret room where flight attendants sleep on Qatar’s Boeing 777 and was shocked at how big it was

Taylor Rains/Insider

  • Qatar Airways operates several long-haul flights between Doha and the US, with some journeying a whopping 16 hours.

  • One of the planes used is a Boeing 777-200LR equipped with luxurious QSuites and a comfortable economy cabin.

  • While most passengers don’t have access to a lie-flat bed, flight attendants have bunks reserved just for them.

Post-pandemic travel is booming and people are more eager than ever to get out of the house and explore the world once again.

Airline pilot walking through an airport.

Airline pilot walking through an airport.Taylor Rains/Insider

With surging demand, airlines have brought back dozens of long-haul routes, with some flying further than ever before.

Singapore Airlines A350-900.

Singapore Airlines flies the world’s longest route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Singapore, journeying nearly 19 hours.KITTIKUN YOKSAP/Shutterstock

The 10 longest routes in the world flown by airlines, ranked by distance

Air New Zealand, for example, added a new nonstop route from New York to Auckland in September, becoming the world’s new fourth-longest flight at nearly 18 hours.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.

I flew on Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight from New York to Auckland in business class.Taylor Rains/Insid

I flew on the world’s new 4th longest flight from New York to Auckland and Air New Zealand’s business class made the over 17-hour journey easily bearable

Meanwhile, United Airlines is launching a new 13-and-a-half-hour flight from New Jersey to Dubai in March…

United 777-300ER.

United Boeing 777 hovers.Ryken Martin/Shutterstock

United just announced a landmark nonstop route to Dubai in new partnership with Emirates

…while Delta Air Lines has added a 15-hour flight from Atlanta to Cape Town coming in December.

Delta 767-300.

Delta 767-300.Angel DiBilio/Shutterstock

Delta is adding 3 all-new international routes to its network, 2 of which have never been flown before by the carrier — see the list

These ultra-long-haul journeys can be treacherous for passengers, but how do flight attendants sleep or kill time onboard?

An Air New Zealand business class flight attendant.

An Air New Zealand business class flight attendant.Taylor Rains/Insider

It’s no secret that flight attendant rest is crucial to the safety of aircraft and passengers as they need to remain alert in the case of emergency situations.

Flight attendant at Denver International Airport.

Flight attendant at Denver International Airport.Robert Alexander/Getty Images

In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration recently just upped the required rest period for flight attendants in the US from nine hours to 10 in an effort to minimize fatigue.

Flying internationally on an Air Canada 787.

An Air Canada flight attendant.Taylor Rains/Insider

The FAA’s new rule mandating flight attendants get more rest between flights could mean less flexibility and additional costs for airlines

Because of the importance of crew rest, many widebody aircraft have a secret room reserved for crew members so they can sleep between shifts.

A350 flight attendant rest area.

A350 flight attendant rest area.Taylor Rains/Insider

Unbeknownst to many travelers, the space — known as the crew rest area — is hidden in the back of the plane above the economy cabin.

Touring the flight attendant rest area on ITA's A350.

Touring the flight attendant rest area on ITA’s A350.Taylor Rains/Insider

The room is only accessible to flight attendants and is where they can relax, sleep, or just escape the cabin during their breaks.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines'  Airbus A350-900 XWB —  SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour

Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.Thomas Pallini/Insider

See inside the tiny hidden bedrooms above economy where flight attendants sleep on an Airbus A350-900XWB jet

The pilots also have their own room at the front of the cabin, which typically has bunks and loungers with TVs.

The pilot sleeping area on a Boeing 787-9

The pilot sleeping area on a Boeing 787-9.Stephen Jones / Insider

See inside the secret Boeing 787 Dreamliner cabin where pilots sleep during long-haul flights

Having toured multiple crew rest areas, they come in all shapes and sizes, with some being smaller than others.

Touring the flight attendant rest area on ITA's A350.

Touring the flight attendant rest area on ITA’s A350.Taylor Rains/Insider

See inside the secret aircraft cabin where flight attendants sleep on long-haul journeys on an Airbus A350

Moreover, some aircraft instead have reserved rows of seats in economy or business that flight attendants can use to sleep, like on United’s Boeing 767 and JetBlue’s Airbus A321neoLR.

Flying on United's 767-300ER.

The crew rest seats on one of United’s Boeing 767 aircraft.Taylor Rains/Insider

I flew on United’s aging Boeing 767-300ER from Boston to London in economy and the updated cabin made the plane feel like new

However, I recently came across the largest crew rest area I’d ever seen on Qatar’s Boeing 777-200LR, which journeys upwards of 16 hours between Doha and the US — take a look inside.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

Like many widebody planes, the crew rest area is located in the back by the aft galley, so we had to trek past the luxurious QSuites and economy sections to get to the room.

Lie-flat Qatar QSuite.

Taylor Rains/Insider

I toured the ‘world’s best’ business class on Qatar’s Boeing 777-200LR and I see why people fork out thousands of dollars to experience it

To enter, a staff member had to enter a code to unlock the door, and then we had to climb a set of stairs.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

While the stairwell was cramped and narrow, the inside of the room was actually quite large.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

There was an open space in the front with places to charge electronic devices and hang out.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

Beyond that was a line of 10 single beds — five on each side of the fuselage.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

Each bunk cam with a privacy curtain…

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

…storage underneath…

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

…plush bed linens…

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

…and a reading light.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

The beds were long and easily comfortable enough to sleep on long flights…

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

…and had a seatbelt for safety.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

Also inside the hidden cabin is a phone to communicate with working crew members and a flashlight…

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

…as well as an AC unit, closets, and mirrors.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

I was thoroughly impressed with the size of the room, which gives flight attendants plenty of space to spread out and get some alone time during their much-needed breaks.

Qatar's Boeing 777-200LR flight attendant crew rest area.

Taylor Rains/Insider

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