Inside the Secret Places On Planes Where Passengers Are Banned

The next time you take to the skies, keep your eyes peeled for the secret compartments hidden away on planes. These cabins, known as “crew rest compartments,” are where pilots and flight attendants can get some much-needed downtime on long-haul flights, but they’re strictly off limits to passengers. On newer aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, these compartments are typically located above the main cabin in the upper fuselage. Some passengers may mistake the entrance for a restroom door or storage space, but behind the door is a secret ladder leading up to these little-known areas. There are typically two sets of rest quarters. One is for the pilots — complete with two bunks and a recliner seat — that sits above the cockpit. Then there’s the cabin crew's space, which is typically located above the back galley where the food and drinks are housed. On older planes, these compartments may be in the cargo hold or just a curtained-off section of the main cabin. The bunks have padded mattresses, an air vent to keep the air circulating, and temperature controls. The FAA regulates these sleeping quarters, specifying that each bed needs to be at least 6½ feet long and 2½ feet wide, and that the sleeping quarters be in a location where intrusive noise, odors, and vibration are at a minimum.