View of Shelby's crashpad in New York

View of a crashpad in New York

A lot of people in the in the business will know what a “crashpad” is, but most on the outside might have no idea. If you envision flight attendants and pilots travelling around the world staying at the best hotels, you would might be surprised to learn that most of the time they are staying at a crashpad.

So what is an airline crashpad? As it might sound, it is a place where airline employees can stay cheaply. A lot of crew do not live where they are based. For example, in this interview, Shelby lives in Texas, but it based out of New York. This means she must make the commute from DFW to LGA and have a cheap place to “crash” while waiting for her next flight. Depending on the type of crashpad, people can have their own bed and space. Others  share a bed and having almost no private space.

To learn more, I interviewed Shelby (be sure to check out her blog), who works for a major US airlines. She has been working as a flight attendant since 2001. Here is our interview:

AirlineReporter: Who stays at crashpads?
Shelby:Our Crashpad is not only shared by pilots from all airlines, flight attendants from all airlines, but also with air marshals,& maintenance folks that have been displaced by their airlines. Thank goodness we are NOT all here at the same time!

AR: How big is your crashpad?
S:My crashpad has 6 Bedrooms & four bathrooms for approximately 25 people.  I’m lucky, in the “Girls Room” (we call

Picture of the laptops. "Seriously, we can't live without them"

Picture of the laptops. "Seriously, we can't live without them"

it the “Presidential Suite”) there are only two of us & we have our own bathroom.  I share with a First Officer. She and I both work for the same airline, which is nice, we speak the same airline language. We are  rarely here at the same time, which means 90% of the time, I have the place to myself.

AR: Do you have to pay to use them?
S:Oh yes, you have to pay, the “Owners” of the crashpads actually prefer it! I pay $250.00 for my crashpad and this is considered a high amount to most folks I speak to. For this price I get, my own bed, Wi-Fi, Cable, maid service, and use of all the common areas (living room, kitchen, deck, back yard & grill)

AR: Do you like your crashpad?
S:I like my CrashPad, I am within walking distance to LGA,;it takes approximately 11 minutes from my front door to my airline operations.   There are way better neighborhoods for crashpads here in New York, like Kew Gardens, which is pretty much like crew crashpad headquarters; it’s half way between LGA & JFK and a preferred area, however this means every time you fly in or out, it is a bus or taxi ride.

AR: For example, how much will you be at your crashpad this month?
S:This month I fly LGA to MIA  for 3 days straight returning to the crashpad every night, so for August, I will stay in my crashpad 12 days.  It is nice to know, when I return I know that my bed will be waiting for me!

AR: Are there any short-term type crashpads?
S: Yes, they are called ’œhot beds’, meaning, they are 1st come 1st serve. They can run anywhere from $20.00 per night to $175.00 per month!  When they arrive they have to find a bed, make up their bed, and crawl in, all the while trying not to wake up the others sleeping around them. This is one reason I pay more.  After a long day, I like knowing that I have my bed, with my sheets, in my room to crawl into.

The nicely kept shared kitchen needs to stay clean!

The nicely kept shared kitchen needs to stay clean!

AR: Which was your favorite crashpad?
S: When I was based in Chicago, we stayed at the DoubleTree Suites. We had seven flight attendants that shared one suite! The hotel had a nice Gym, Pool, Happy Hour, Free Breakfast ’¦oh and the Double Tree COOKIES!!! (which is why we needed the gym).

AR:  Which was your least favorite?
S: Was when I was a new hire, all the classmates that I graduated with piled into a cheap nasty hotel… 10 of us 2 beds. ’œ Are you Serious??’  I stayed 4 hours & left!

AR: With all those people sharing a shower, how do you work it out?
S:Since I’m lucky now & only share with one, it is not an issue.  Most crash pads have signup sheets for “Shower Time”, based on what time you fly the next day. Trust me, you know your fellow crashpad
buddies. You do a lot of things in the dark & a lot of tip-toeing is going on in the wee hours of the morning.

Some other questions that some fine followers of Shelby on Twitter asked:

Who does the dishes?
If you want to make your fellow crashpaders angry, don’t clean up after yourself. You will be asked to leave ASAP! You do your own dishes!!

Who washes your sheets?
Well, If you stay at a hotel crashpad, they are usually done for you.  If you live in a single family home, hopefully the owner of the crashpad has a washer & dryer and they let you use it.  We don’t have
one here at our crashpad. Thank goodness we have lots of Laundromats, in our neighborhood.

Who puts the CrashPads together?
My CrashPad is run by a New York Cop! A lot of pilots & flight attendants run their own crashpads, I believe, out of years of frustration! There is this one crashpad here in New York that is affectionately called the “Sticky-Note” crashpad, because the owner is constantly putting up Sticky Notes on what NOT to do, I mean they are everywhere!

Thank you Shelby for the interview and if any of you have any additional questions, let me know and I will ask her!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
A Loose Crocodile on an Egyptair Flight Frightens Passengers

Sounds like a good one! When I was living in crash pads, one of them was literally a hotel room…w/ 2 bunk beds and a pull out couch.(Anyone, remember The Robert Treat in Newark?) I was on reserve and spent way too much time there! My worst night was arriving late and meeting the person I would be sharing the pull out w/ in the hallway before we went in…everyone else was already sleeping and it was a full house! Luckily, we had an all female CP;-)

Great interview Shelby! I live in a condo complex with a lot of crashpads and found this a very interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

Wow, I was one of the people that imagined flight attendants living in nice hotel rooms that the airlines paid for. You always see the flight attendants and the pilots leaving in small groups and always thought to myself, “there they go, on to their nice hotels”. This is a great story and interview. Thanks for posting!

I just replied to your comment! Your Comment made for yet another great Blog~ @

Thank You, Temo

@ Temo :

When we work and are doing a flight lets say to London, and have a 24 h layover, we do NOT stay in crash pads, we stay in hotels which the conmpany pays for.
Where ever you go, and have to sleep in that location, the company provides you with your own hotel room for the amount of days your stay duration is for. Never do you share your room or stay in a crash pad while working!! (Well with my airline that is)..It is considered a health and safety issue at work if you are obliged to share your private space with your collegues.

What a crashpad is refurring to in this article is if for example, I live in Montreal, Quebec, but my job bases me out of Toronto, Ontario. Which means i must report for work, check in, and fly out (first flight of the day) from Toronto. Lets say i have a house in Montreal and do not want to move my entire family out to Toronto, i find myself a crashpad. Which allows me to sleep there for a cheap price per month only when i have work days.
when i am done work and have 5 days off, i go back home and spend those 5 days at home in montreal. Once my work days restart, i head back to toronto and stay in my crash pad until im done with it again.

Most are stuck commuting until they a senior enough to be based out of the location they wish, so for me, it took 2 years to be based in montreal so that i no longer need a crashpad in a different city than my own.

i hope this clears it up a bit 🙂

Very good explanation!


Doesn’t the airline pay for stay overs? Are the employees trying to save money or are the airlines just being cheap?

Most US Airlines do not pay for ”CrashPads” this is an expense we have to cover, If we are on a Layover, This is when the Airline will pick up the Tab.
I live in Fort Worth, Texas, I am based in New York City, All my trips start & stop in New York,,, therefore I must be located in New York part time & must have some place to stay rather than wondering the corridors of the airport,,


Airlines only pay for days you spend away from your assigned city. For instance..If the airline stations you in Houston, that’s where you live everyday. You pay for that. But…if you are on a trip where you stay overnight in, lets say, Los Angeles, the airline pays for THAT.

Hello dude, I thought I’d post and let you undergo that your blog doesn’t look so enthusiastic on the Shielia browser. But it doesn’t have many users so it’s no big deal 😉

Yeah I thought airlines were supposed to pay for these types of things. I’m surprised to learn that they make their crew pay for them.

Dear Futons,

Most US Airlines do not pay for “CrashPads” this is an expense we have to cover, If we are on a Layover, This is when the Airline will pick up the Tab.
I live in Fort Worth, Texas, I am based in New York City, All my trips start & stop in New York,,, therefore I must be located in New York part time & must have some place to stay rather than wondering the corridors of the airport,,

Does anyone know of an all female crash pad in Chicago??? I can’t find the ph# to the one listed in this article anywhere. Thank you!

AAA, The was a CrashPad I had used in the past, As in 2001,, I am not based in ORD any more, Nor am I aware if this crash pad is still around!
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

I have a crashpad in Howard Beach that has openings if anyone is interested!

Hi Kelly: I’m based at JFK, where is the crashpad and what are the terms. Thanks

Is this crash pad still available? Thank you.


I have a crashpad in Kansas City. Monthly or nightly rates available. email hy********@ya***.com for more info.


Have a crash pad open in Newark NJ–Society Hill. If interested please let me know.


I am looking for a crash pad as soon as possible. I am a flight attendant with commutair if you can contact me as soon as possible ththat would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Hi Tiffani

I wanted to know if you still work for Commutair?


Located In:

Society Hill
Newark, NJ

Two story town house in a gated community with 24 hour security. Fully furnished. Dining room, eat in kitchen, half a bath on first floor. Second floor two full bathrooms, washer and dryer, and two bedrooms. Cable ready. All utilities included. Assigned parking space and visitor parking spots.

Located right in the heart of Newark Business District. Walking distance from shopping centers, restaurants, movies, post office, and transportation (NJ Penn Station). Ten minute drive to EWR Airport, 30-45 minute drive to JFK and LGA. Very secure property. Asking $300.00 per a month with the occupancy of 10 individuals.

If interested please email: DL********@ya***.com


I have a crash pad in DFW 10 minutes from airport and 5 from Training center. 4 bedroom, 3.5 baths.

Do you still have the crashpad?

Shera Threet

I am looking for a crashpad near SFO for VA for 5 week training, then for 6-9 months for the expected reserve. I will commute from Seattle.

valerie watts

I have an apartment NYC. Interested in started a crashpad.

(718) 399-3320

Jeannine Ceferin

I am a Flight Attendant on Furlough by American Airlines. I will be recalled to New York December 17, 2010. I live in Chicago and have always been based in Chicago. I am terrified of New York and commuting! I will have a lot of Reserve and will be flying out of LGA, JFK, and EWR. Any ideas about a centrally located crash pad? I definitely will need one! Thanks

Hi Jeannine, How are you? Haven’t seen you for over a year and a half. I am recalled, but I am in the second class. My old crashpad was in Forest Hill’s with 6 other F/A’s from TWA/AA and Jet Blue. I am sure you would know them all. Most stay out by Kew Gardens, because it’s in between JFK and LGA. This ad is about 4 months old. If you need any other help let me know. You can find my email and phone number on My Family website. Ellie W.

Flight Attendants, Pilots, Merchanics, Ramp, Agents!
Newly renovated GD Commuter House 10 mins walking distance,
3 min Public Transportation, #72 and #33 Bus
Clean, quiet, friendly neighborhood.
Walgreens Pharmacy, Laundromat, Cleaners, 24-hr Supermarket
$250 Cold BunkBeds, Monthly rental,
$150 Security Deposit,
Non smokers preferred, Utilities, Wireless, Maid Service
Please contact
787-671-6466 or


Hello Fellow Flight Attendants:

Great Interview!!!

I am a former Flight Attendant in the process of returning to flying!!! I have an interview with an airline on Dec 08, 2010 IAD near Washington Dulles Airport and was wondering if anyone knows of a CrashPad that I could stay on DEC.07,2010 ????

If I am hired I would then be able to pay for each month and wouldn’t need many nights to stay as it is International flying and I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA.

Also, if anyone out there is willing to sell me a companion/buddy pass from Los Angeles to Washington Dulles roundtrip I would glady return the favor???

Please feel free to contact me @ pi************@gm***.com

Thanks and All the Best

I am strongly considering having a crashpad that could sleep 4-6 (I’m guessing)…Living Room, Full Kitchen, 1 Full Bath …3miles from Albany Airport in New York…could do monthly …very quite place. Pet free and smoke free very clean. includes everything. Wireless internet, and Cable

Where do I advertise crashpad service or how do I get tenants? I have couple three family houses near boston airport. one of my tenant who is a flight Attendant suggests me to get into crashpad business

gloria brown

Kevin when you find this out…email me back…I am in a crashed up state right now…Starting one up…getting into foreclosure so need the income…anyone you know give them my number at 718 276-9196…I am located by JFK Queens, Kennedy Airport….Help me out…I will pay you I am desperate at this point.

Jody Erickson

Hi there…I am looking for a crash pad in SEA….starting in March 2011 near airport….Let me know if anyone knows of anything….would love to live DT in a loft?

Does anyone know of any crashpads in orlando

I am turning a wing of my appartment complex into a crash pad it is located in Houston near IAH airport the building is a brand new with 25 rooms
…very nice place. Pet free and smoke free very clean. includes everything. Wireless internet, and Cable, gym…great rates
any one interested please send me an email at jm******@ho*****.com and i will send you pics and details information. make sure to type crashpad on subject line…

Your site is pretty cool to me and your subject matter is very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of website owners are guilty of these 5 mistakes”. You will be suprised how simple they are to fix.

I am 25 minutes south of MCO. I have a crash pad in my up stairs loft. It sleeps two with a shared bath. Full house access. Any one interested in the need of a crash pad in MCO. I am asking 200/month. You can reach me at je******@ho*****.com

I read your response and Email…Help me out. I live in a two-family apartment. My rent is late and so I tried a crash pad to help me not lose my house. I have been looking from Christmas…I am getting into foreclosure…Guess what? I am about a $7 ride via cab by taxi as I am really close to JFK –Kennedy Airport. Can you help me or if you know anyone looking and I will help you…Today is Saturday February 4th, 2012 at my wits end. I really need to fill this and it’s a small place…What the hell am I doing wrong?

gloria brown

I have a crashpad located near to Kennedy Airport, JFK Queens. Thinking of giving the first month free as of Now and It is February 4th 2012…You help me and I help you…Need to pay my bills contact me at 718-276-9196…Everyone needs help so one hand washes the other….give my name out and ask people to call me…I have about 8 bills and the place is clean and that’s all you can I ask and I ask that you keep it clean…call me…gloria 7182769196.

gloria brown

I have a crashpad I am starting near JFK…Kennedy Airport…Help me to help this filled. Anyone looking maybe I can make the first month free. Just help me fill this damn thing then show me how to set it up…I have the beds now just looking to fill them asap…call me or email me at gb*********@gm***.com or 718 276-9196…located near Kennedy Airport, Queens, NY…Need to get this done!!

I have a start-up crash pad in Chicago, 60614, Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Private rear 4-level unit with 2-decks, private rooftop & smaller deck off main level with grill.
Floor plan:
-lower level offers 1-bedroom, 2-twins, private full bath, laundry, large living space with leather sectional, pull out double bed, 72″ HD flat screen tv, fireplace.
-Main level offers fully equiped kitchen, dining area, TV room with 42″ HD flat screen TV & small deck with grill.
-2nd level offers 2-bedrooms, 1-full size bath, 1-half bath:
1st bedroom has 2-oversized twin bed, (motorized with massage options), large walk-in closet, 24″ flat screen tv.

2nd bedroom has 1-pull out couch, oversized twin, large walk-in closet, private half bath.
-3rd level has 1-jacuzzi spa bath, rooftop deck, (enclosed, very private with lounge area & garden)
Unit has Comcast Premium Bundle; HBO, Showtime, Encore, highspeed internet & land line, (included, as is all utilities).
There is 1-private parking space, additional $20, upon request.
Unit is 14 miles to Midway & 15 miles to O’hare. 2-blocks to “L”, (Brown & Blue line)
Walking distance to numerous restuarants, nightclubs, bars & shopping.

$350 monthly $150 deposit for key $20 per night private parking.
available March 1, 2012.

Elizabeth Sewell

I will be through with flight attendant training aprox. around the 2nd week of May and will need a crash pad. Please send me your contact # so I will be prepared. I reside in Burlington, Iowa, however my base will be ORD ( or IAD ) My # is 319-850-3269.

Thank You,


Do you have any space available? Just got my transfer into Chicago on August 1st.


Crashpad available in the jfk area call 347 614 8299


I am a flight attendant with Mesa Air Group. I am in DESPERATE need of a place to stay by April 1, 2012. Please contact me A.S.A.P.

Ron Lichtman

please contact me. Thanks


I need a crashpad in ewr.

I’m helping a friend who is a f/a and transferring to houston.
If you or you know a crash pad lete know so i can relay to her.

1 br crashpad avail in PHX, Az 85015. Separate entrance / 1 occupant only / New Home / Reply if interested.


Crash pad available in the LAX area. Interested ? Please contact me @ (213)925-3400

Debora Evans

Does anyone have a pad in Columbus Ohio

Chicago ORD crashpad is now available. Very close to the airport, gated community elevator in the building, close to everything. Full kitchen laundry on site. $200/month including utilities and WiFi internet, you own your bed. 801-505-927eight.


Hi there! Is your crashpad still available??


Looking for Crashpad in the DC area near DCA starting the end of september, does anyone have any ideas


Looking for crashpad in the YYZ area? Please, email me @ iz*****@gm***.com

Donnie young

I’m in need of a crash pad near LGA airport before the end of September. Please email me @ dy******@ya***.com

You can view and list flight attendant crashpads here:

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