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

Mirror logo Mirror 19/4/2017 Nigel Thompson

Qantas Dreamliner. © AAP Image/Qantas Qantas Dreamliner. 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.

The secret bedroom for Dreamliner aircraft crew is at the rear above the main cabin

The secret bedroom for Dreamliner aircraft crew is at the rear above the main cabin
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited
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.

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 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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