You might be thinking that on those long-haul flights, flight attendants surely have to sleep, right?

Flight attendants absolutely do have to sleep, but have you ever wondered where they sleep and how comfortable their sleeping quarters are?

Flight attendants have their own sleeping compartments on airplanes.

These compartments have beds for sleeping during long flights for the flight crew and flight attendants.

Before or after flights, flight attendants normally sleep in either their own homes, hotels, or crash pads.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) legally require flight attendants to have the opportunity to get around 9 hours of sleep before going back to work, though most flight attendants probably receive less than adequate sleep.

Flight attendants also get to enjoy free hotel stays during layovers.

Many flight attendants also opt for crash pads when they work in different cities than where they live.

Where Flight Attendants Sleep on Planes

Flight attendants sleep in a plane’s crew rest compartment, which is usually above or adjacent to the passenger’s cabin.

Crew rest compartments usually have separate sections for the flight crew and cabin crews.

These compartments have bedrooms for flight attendants to sleep in. 

The Beds Aren’t That Comfortable

Flight attendants usually sleep in small beds with a pillow and blanket kit, so they usually don’t offer the most comfortable experience. 

Most airliners also usually have only 8 beds for the entire flight crew.

The beds also have seat belts to keep flight attendants safely in place.

These beds don’t have any entertainment features because they’re designed to only be used for periodic resting. 

Where Flight Attendants Sleep Between Flights

Flight attendants sleep in hotels, at crash pads, or even their own homes. 


Flight attendants are often allowed to sleep at home between flights if their schedule allows it.

But, they’re only able to sleep at home between shorter flights.

For longer flights they have to use one of the following options. 


Airlines cover costs for hotel stays for flight attendants working long-haul flights that involve layovers

Airlines consider both a flight attendant’s hotel stay and transportation costs as part of their expenses. 

Crash Pad

A crash pad is a temporary unofficial residence where pilots and flight attendants can stay before, during, or after flights.

Crash pads could include motels, apartments, houses, or rental properties.

When Flight Attendants Sleep When Flying

Flight attendants receive nap-breaks during long-haul flights, during which half of attendants sleep while the other half work.

These nap-breaks are normally between 2 and 3 hours. 

Flight Attendant Duty Period Limitations and Rest Requirements

Normally, flight attendants are legally entitled to a minimum 9-hour rest period after a 14-hour work shift before they can start the next shift.

In some circumstances, the FAA permits airlines to only provide flight attendants with an 8-hour rest period as long as the next rest period if at least 10 consecutive hours and begins within 24 hours of the 8-hour rest period. 

Flight Attendants Probably Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Flight attendants can have intense work schedules and arguably don’t get enough sleep – and there are studies to prove it.

Some studies estimate that flight attendants receive nearly 6.72 hours of sleep per night, which is below the 7 to 9 hours of minimum sleep for adults, and less than what the FAA recommends for flight attendants to be able to perform their duties safely and effectively.

Flight Attendants Can Stay in Hotels for Free

Flight attendants get to stay in hotels for free – but only during their layover.

The airlines choose which hotels flight attendants stay in, and the latter have no say in which hotel they stay in either.

But, individual flight attendants often sign up for hotel rewards programs and earn points over time, earning them private free stays a well. 

What is a Crash Pad?

A crash pad is an unofficial temporary resident where a group of flight attendants and pilots stay when between flights.

Crash pads could be houses or apartments if they have multiple beds.

Crash pads are sometimes divided into all-male, all-female, or all-flight attendant sections. 

Crash pads typically cost between $200 to $350 depending on the pad’s amenities and its distance from the airport.

Pilots and flight attendants most often use crash pads if they’re based in a different city than where they live.

For example, a flight attendant could live in San Francisco but be based in LA, so they could get a crash pad in LA instead of moving to LA.

In conclusion:

  • Flight attendants sleep in special crew rest compartments in airplanes.
  • These compartments are usually small, have no more than 8 beds, and are generally uncomfortable.
  • Crew rest compartment beds are normally very small and have seat belts to keep flight attendants safe during flights. 
  • Flight attendants typically don’t receive enough sleep, despite FAA regulations providing them mandatory breaks.
  • After flights, flight attendants stay in crash pads, their own homes, or in hotels, which are paid for by airlines.
  • Staying in a crash pad is popular among flight attendants who work in a different city than where they’re based.
Patricia is a senior flight attendant with over 20 years of experience working for a major U.S. airline, primarily on international long haul flights.
Patricia is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise about the unique lives flight attendants lead, offers valuable insights on what it takes to become a flight attendant and what the job entails.
Patricia has been quoted or mentioned in major publications, including Newsweek.