Long-haul flights can be an exhausting and taxing journey for passengers desperate to reach their destination.
The cabin crew must make the same flight, but they are trained to remain professional, stay polite and keep their yawns hidden behind their smiles.
And Virgin Australia has released rarely seen photographs showing just where pilots and flight attendants sleep on international flights – and although it’s better than your cramped economy seat, the surroundings are hardly luxurious.
The airline classes flights from Australia to the US as ‘ultra-long haul’, and during these flights cabin crew and pilots need to rest in order to stay bright-eyed and on on their game.
Virgin shared images of crew sleeping quarters on board the Boeing 777-300ER which are on a secret level above the business and economy class cabins.
The images provide a rare insight into the secret lives of cabin crew members and reveals the restricted areas passengers never set foot in.
‘Given flights can be up to 15 hours in duration, it’s important for our flight and cabin crew to rest during the flight to be at their best when operating the aircraft and serving our guests,’ the airline says.
‘To achieve this, our crew will retire to two designated crew rest areas in shifts during the flight in order to rest for around four hours on a flight like Sydney to Los Angeles.’
Pilots can sleep in one of two beds located on either side of the plane, while the cabin crew rest area features eight single beds with sheets, blankets and comfortable pillows.
The beds appear to be around 6ft in length and are tucked into small, cramped corners of the aircraft.
Flight attendants and pilots can stretch out on the makeshift beds during their draining 15-hour shifts and can enjoy the same on-flight entertainment as passengers.
Crew are able to change into pyjamas to get some rest and will set an individual alarm to ensure they’re back on deck at the right time.
Before drawing the curtain, Virgin Australia crew also hang their uniform outside the bunk to let crew know who is where.