Qantas flight attendants union shares photos of crew sleeping in blanket forts for long flights

Qantas attendants claim they are forced to make ‘forts’ with blankets and sleep in seats next to passengers on long-haul flights

  • Photos on board Qantas A330 planes show cabin crew building their beds
  • Flight attendants used blankets to create private rest areas between passengers
  • The airline has opted for New Zealand crews to avoid rest requirements
  • Qantas said it is working on a new curtain which will create a private sleeping area

Qantas flight attendants are taking a stand after photos emerged showing cabin crew creating blanket forts to sleep among passenger seats on long-haul flights.

Photos taken on board Qantas A330 planes show flight attendants were forced to create makeshift shelters from blankets to sleep in private during flights of up to 14 hours.

A photo of cabin crew aboard a flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles shows the conditions staff endured to rest.

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Cabin crew aboard a flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles were forced to create makeshift shelters from blankets among passengers to sleep in private

An anonymous Qantas employee told Nine News the airline was no longer meeting the needs of Australian crews.

“I feel like they hate us, I feel like they don’t understand what the stewardess role is,” he said.

A330 aircraft are used for flights of less than 14 hours and are not equipped with private sleeping cabins for the crew as on other long-haul aircraft.

To help exhausted attendants get adequate rest, the union has called for crew on these flights to receive a recovery day on either side of a long shift on the plane.

A330 aircraft are used for flights of less than 14 hours and are not equipped with private sleeping cabins for the crew

A330 aircraft are used for flights of less than 14 hours and are not equipped with private sleeping cabins for the crew

However, the iconic Australian carrier has instead opted to have a New Zealand crew on board its flights to resolve the issue.

New Zealand flight attendants are not protected by the same rest requirements as Australian crew. The move saw 55% of Australian personnel end up on a reserve list.

Teri O’Toole of the Flight Attendants Association of Australia told Nine that Kiwi crews are also entitled to adequate rest.

“The crew tried to get some privacy by making a fort like little kids with blankets to give themselves privacy, which is just a shame,” she said.

“It is not proper rest in the workplace. It is not a proper rest for anyone.

In response, Qantas Cabin Crew executive director Rachel Yangoyan told Daily Mail Australia the airline was working on a long-term solution that would create a private space for flight attendants to rest.

Qantas executive director of cabin crew, Rachel Yangoyan, said that in six weeks the airline will have installed a wrap-around curtain area for cabin crew to rest in order to troubleshoot issues on board. the A330 on long-haul flights.

Qantas executive director of cabin crew, Rachel Yangoyan, said that in six weeks the airline will have installed a wrap-around curtain area for cabin crew to rest in order to troubleshoot issues on board. the A330 on long-haul flights.

Inside the curtained private area, Qantas plans to add a bed to the aircraft for flight attendants to properly rest on

Inside the curtained private area, Qantas plans to add a bed to the aircraft for flight attendants to properly rest on

“It’s really important to note that what you’ve seen now is actually not what the long-term solution will be,” she said.

“What they will have installed in about six weeks is a full curtain that wraps around this elongated sleeping area.

“But in the meantime, while we were operating without this curtain, we have changed the schedule of these flights so that they operate during the day. [and] our crew don’t need as much sleep time as they normally would if we were to operate these flights in the evening.

“We also looked at the extra rest we give these crews in Los Angeles and also when they return home.

“Once we put that curtain up, we’re really confident it will be a private space with an extended flat bed, where our crew can really get enough rest from those longer tasks.”

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