Photos: the Airbus A380's secret hangout zone for cabin crew

By Chris Chamberlin , January 21 2015
Photos: the Airbus A380's secret hangout zone for cabin crew

Ever wondered how cabin crew pass the time on those 14-hour flights and look as refreshed on landing as they did before take-off?

Step below decks and into the ‘secret’ crew rest area of the Airbus A380 superjumbo – the world’s largest passenger aircraft – and see for yourself!

In this illustration provided by Airbus there are eight bunks beneath the lower deck of economy with handles and small steps to assist the crew, in what reminds us of a Japanese capsule hotel…

… while on selected Emirates’ A380s, the crew rest is on the same level as economy – tucked away at the rear of the cabin:

Inside there’s room for an impressive nine bunks...

Emirates' Airbus A380 crew rest bunks. Sergey Dolya
Emirates' Airbus A380 crew rest bunks
Sergey Dolya

... with each boasting a curtain for privacy and a personal entertainment system to help pass the time.

Inside the Qantas A380

All 12 of Qantas’ superjumbos have a downward staircase at row 66...

Head below decks on the Qantas Airbus A380. David Feldman
Head below decks on the Qantas Airbus A380
David Feldman

... hidden behind a discreet door that only the crew can open:

Down below, Qantas' bunks are a tad more traditional with just two per stack rather than Emirates' three:

The crew rest area on Qantas' Airbus A380s. David Feldman
The crew rest area on Qantas' Airbus A380s
David Feldman

You may have also spotted the missing seat in row 70, as seen here on Korean Air’s A380s which use the same type of crew rest...

The cabin crew's escape hatch on Korean Air's A380. Brian Sumers
The cabin crew's escape hatch on Korean Air's A380
Brian Sumers

That’s actually the somewhat-subtle home of an escape hatch, available for the crew in cases of emergency or when exiting via the normal door isn’t possible, as seen here on the Qantas A380:

Sitting in 71D on the Qantas A380? Mind the escape hatch!. 'eoinnz'
Sitting in 71D on the Qantas A380? Mind the escape hatch!
'eoinnz'

The pilots aren’t forgotten either, although their beds (and private bathroom facilities) are located at the very front of the aircraft in the same secure area as the cockpit:

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin had a rare sneak peek at the captain’s quarters on a visit to the Qantas A380 flight deck, and found there to be ample room to stretch out – even for pilots over six feet tall:

The aviators also have their own entertainment screen when they’re away from the cockpit, and unlike the tight-squeeze crew bunks, there’s extra headspace if they’d prefer to sit in bed and read a good book.

But if they’re guiding a Qantas A380 to Dallas on what is the world’s longest flight by distance, chances are they’d rather put the fully-flat bed to good use for some much-needed shuteye along the way.

More crew lofts revealed:

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 229

Lookin good Chris!

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 185

Any plans for EK to seek crew rest seats on n flight under 7 hours in length. Could be worth some revenue but for gods sake if they did dot t use the wood cladding material. EK cramming planes fuller and fuller 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I love to have one of those bunks instead of business seat! Looks like they actually take less space then even economy, so why not offer such "just sleep on board" service? I would give a flick to meal and entertainment in return to proper bed with proper mattress & pillow!

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 298

Serg is onto something.  An "all sleeper" service could be the way to go.  Even if some snacks were available, sleep is way more important.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I believe that such service would easy find plenty of followers on routes like SIN, BKK, HKK etc – where flight is 8-10 hours can be easy done overnight and there is not much time difference between original and destination.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Triple decker bunks, full on! 

You are looking very happy there Chris in the pilots bunk, have you found a new favourite spot? :-)

Hmm... there's certainly an appeal to having your own private bedroom on board, but at least on the Qantas A380, the drinks are better when you trod 'back' to first class!

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 49

haha, agreed.  First Class is my choice over all types of seats.  Etihad's First Residence would be favorite of all my favorites.  :-)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Feb 2014

Total posts 6

Oh golly, im having flashbacks to my old Navy days... :P

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 177

I thought the same daylan78, the only things missing are the piping hanging from the deckhead, and aluminium lockers..


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