Video showing where pilots sleep on planes goes viral: “New fear unlocked”


Ever wonder where pilots sleep during a flight? One plane captain recently unveiled the “cozy” but “claustrophobic” space where pilots catch some shut-eye on an aircraft in a viral video on Instagram.

The video was shared by Tewodros Solomon (@captain_tewodros), who is a pilot instructor, according to his profile on Instagram. The clip has had 4.9 million views since it was posted on January 20.

In a caption shared with the clip, the poster said: “I can tell you that during those lengthy journeys, they do actually take some well-deserved rest. They have different options to choose from when it comes to getting some shut-eye, ranging from comfortable passenger seats to dedicated sleeping areas known as bunks.” The video shows the interior of a small closet-like space containing a passenger seat style chair and the bunk area.

Dan Bubb, professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who is also a historian and former airline pilot, previously told Newsweekthat pilots and flight attendants have “a secret compartment in the top of the aircraft that is inaccessible and invisible to passengers.”

Airline pilot Patrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential, previously told Newsweek that pilots retire in a bunk room “squirreled away” somewhere on, above or below the main passenger deck.

On aircraft that don’t have these bunks, a designated first- or business-class seat is used instead, often cordoned off with a curtain, Smith said.

Sufficient rest for pilots is crucial for various health and safety reasons.

In an April-June 2016 study published in Sleep Science, the prevalence of sleep complaints among airline pilots was reported by 34.9 percent of those surveyed. Daytime sleepiness was reported by 59.3 percent, while fatigue was cited by 90.6 percent.

A September 2020 study published in Safety Science noted that “pilot fatigue has been implicated as a contributory factor to aircraft crashes and serious incidents on a number of occasions.”

‘New Fear Unlocked’

The footage in the latest viral clip begins with a view of the cockpit of a plane before the camera pans to a door leading to a small cupboard-like room next to the cockpit. A hand is shown opening the door, which reveals an empty passenger seat style chair inside, with a couple of narrow sleeping pods just above it.

These sleeping areas allow pilots to “recharge their energy so they can continue to ensure the safety of our skies,” the caption shared with the post reads.

“It’s fascinating how they manage to balance their responsibilities with taking care of their own well-being! So next time you’re on a plane, you can rest assured that the pilots have had some quality rest to keep them alert and focused,” the caption added.

The latest footage has sparked debate among Instagram users, with some expressing fear and claustrophobia.

User zvoboks said: “What: so pilots actually sleep.”

User blacktooofy asked: “They sleep? new fear unlocked.”

User rogers.francie wrote: “I was kind of hoping they didn’t sleep as I would prefer they were flying the plane.”

User mmtemir simply wrote, “Claustrophobic,” and kalindadeogratias said, “Like in a tomb, thrilling.”

Others were less bothered, such as mikeyfriis, who said, “looks cozy!.”

User sissy1832 wrote, “Idk [I don’t know] this…cool.”

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment via Instagram. This video has not been independently verified.

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Pilot reveals their sleeping quarters on plane
A composite image showing a pilot sleeping with a hat over his eyes and a view of a cockpit on a plane. A video unveiling the space where pilots sleep on a plane has gone…

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