When flight attendants and pilots have early flights, they sometimes spend the night in a crash pad.
A flight attendant told Insider that these hostel-like accommodations are affordable and often packed with strangers.
The flight attendant showed Insider her NYC crash pad, where she sleeps in a twin-sized bunk bed.
"People make this job out to seem like it's the most glamorous job ever," Cierra, 27, told Insider, of being a flight attendant. "It's not all glamorous." Cierra would not disclose her last name for privacy reasons, but Insider has verified her employment.
One of the less-glamorous sides is her living situation. Cierra's home is in Florida, but since her job is based in New York City, she told Insider she often finds herself needing a place to stay there when she's scheduled for an early flight.
So, Cierra said she pays rent to The Hotel Crash Pad Network - a company that arranges accommodation for airline staff - to stay in a crash pad, essentially a hostel for flight attendants and pilots. According to Cierra, her pad is a cross between a frat house and the home from "Big Brother."
A crash pad's appeal is its cost, Cierra said. While the price depends on the location and how frequently a flight attendant or pilot plans to stay, she said it's typically much cheaper than nearby hotels and Airbnbs.
For $350 a month, Cierra said she spends about 11 nights in her New York City crash pad. Most cities with major airports have crash pads, which can be located in homes, hotels (like Cierra's), and apartment complexes.
For Cierra's crash pad, The Hotel Crash Pad Network turned two hotel rooms into a singular accommodation. The resemblance of a hotel room is hard to miss when you step inside.
Source: The Hotel Crash Pad Network
As in most hotel rooms, the bathroom is conveniently stocked with miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
But when you get to the bedroom area, it's clear why Cierra's rent is so low. Instead of a king-sized bed, there's a set of bunk beds and three twin-sized mattresses.
There's also an adjoining room with a similar setup. Together, 10 people can share the two rooms and two bathrooms, Cierra said.
While the main allure is the price, Cierra added that there's a handful of other benefits that come with living in her crash pad.
For example, she's close to the airport, gets free airport transportation, and her crash pad includes housekeeping, which means there are never arguments over tidiness, she said.
But there are challenges. "You know what you're getting yourself into when you decide to sign up for a crash pad," Cierra said. That typically includes snoring, alarms constantly going off, a lack of privacy, and people partying late into the night, according to the flight attendant.
Ultimately, Cierra told Insider she loves staying in a crash pad for the people and the adventures.
Over the last few months, she says she's gotten to know other flight attendants, pilots, and the hotel staff. "I can come into this hotel and it feels like a family," she said. "It really is like the 'Suite Life of Zach and Cody.' I love being here."
Read the original article on Insider