The best seats on a Boeing 777 might not be at the pointy end of the plane – they could in fact be the 'secret' bunk beds nestled upstairs above the economy section.
Welcome to the compact crew rest cabin in Boeing's long-range 777-300ER, where flight attendants can stretch out and sleep between shifts. (The pilots have their own upstairs beds rear of the cockpit.)
Passengers aren't normally allowed in this restricted area but Australian Business Traveller got a guided tour in Cathay Pacific's factory-fresh Boeing 777-300ERs on its delivery flight from Seattle to Hong Kong.
The crew need this nook for these 16 hour trans-Pacific treks, along with the journey from Hong Kong to London.
So while you're working, relaxing or snoozing in your seat, this is the retreat of Cathay's hard-working flight attendants. Check it out for yourself...
The unmarked but security-locked door to the crew rest area is found at the very rear of the plane.
Climb up the steep narrow staircase...
... and a cosy – some may say claustrophobic – den awaits.
There are eight berths, each about two metres long and 75cm wide.
Creature comforts include sound-reducing curtains, a small mirror, hooks for hanging loose items of clothing...
... and an adjustable reading lamp.
There's also a wardobe where all crew can stow their jackets...
... and a temperature control to keep this self-contained cabin from getting too toasty or chilly.
As you can see, it's a tight squeeze.
This space even has its own emergency exit under one of the bunks, in case the stairwell is blocked. You can just spy the 'exit' sign in the photo above, on the upper left side of the corridor.
Here's a close-up of that particular bunk.
Lift up the bunk's mattress and you'll see an escape hatch.
This drops down to seat 65G, through the overhead luggage compartment.
Of course, that's not a real luggage compartment: note the missing latch on 65G's overhead bin, compared to its neighbours.
That's because this compartment can only be opened from the inside, when the crew shimmy through escape hatch.
(Note to self: maybe seat 65G isn't the pick of the bunch for a Boeing 777!)
Mind you, we still think the funky loft in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner (shown below) is the coolest crew-only cabin... click here for a closer look.
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