The pilot of an Airbus A380 aircraft has revealed the “secret” hatch crew go down in order to rest beneath passenger seats on a long flight.
TikTok user @A380_pilot was asked by a follower if they could give a video tour of the area where pilots and crew can sleep during rest periods on long flights.
But few followers were prepared for the steep descent into claustrophobic quarters that the pilot captured on their tour of the A380’s Crew Rest Compartment (CRC).
The video shows an open trapdoor-style hatch with steep stairs leading down into a mysterious, dark cabin.
The pilot climbs gingerly down into a small, space-station-like compartment trimmed with several dark, square compartments fringed by a small curtain.
On closer inspection, these are narrow, body-sized bed compartments, much like the ones seen in Japan’s “capsule hotels”.
The video, which has already had 562,000 views on TikTok, prompted a spate of astonished comments and further questions.
“That looks awful,” remarked user Lionel, while Lindsay wrote: “Oh no, too claustrophobic for me”.
Nathan Moon commented: “How much would a crew member take as a bribe for me to sleep in there instead of paying for extra leg room?”
Meanwhile a user named Graeme wrote, “Love this!!! I’ve always wanted to know this – thanks for sharing.”
Many TikTok users commented on the scarily tight space and the “unsafe” steps down to the cabin, while others said they’d pay big bucks to have access to flat beds like these.
One user wrote: “I wish premium economy looked like this. I don’t need fancy food and service just a bed.”
However, the pilot behind the account hinted that it isn’t always the most peaceful setting.
“Located next to the toilets at the aft of the plane so all we hear is the toilet flushing,” they added in the comments.
@A380_pilot then posted seven follow-up videos answering follower questions about the Crew Rest Compartment on the A380.
One follower asked if the crew and pilots are given airline pyjamas – he wrote back “We do! They have CREW written on the back. This is so that if there is an emergency it is easy to tell who is crew and not.”
He also revealed that crew don’t have their own bathroom in the CRC, and that the compartment is only used on ULR (Ultra Long Range) Routes, rather than every flight.
“Definitely a struggle for tall crew and a little claustrophobic but when you’re jetlagged and exhausted a bed is a bed!” he summarised.
TikTok has become a popular place for airline staff to share their expert travel tips and insider aviation knowledge.
A former flight attendant recently posted her number one tip for finding cheap flight fares online in a video that has already garnered 2.4 million views.
Meanwhile, a British cargo pilot reassured passengers with a fear of flying by dispensing some no-nonsense tips and insider information from the cockpit.