From the Forum:
Flight attendant Denise Grant has slept in crash pads near JFK for the last 16 years and managed one in Kew Gardens for the past three. She said “hot beds”—shared bunks—are a way of life for many in the airline industry, and that most attendants and pilots have lived in bad crash pads—loud, crowded and dirty apartments.
The home Grant runs is clean and quiet and everyone has his or her own bed, she said. “When the owner decided they didn’t want to maintain the house anymore I knew that I didn’t want to give it up, so I offered to run it,” she said.
She said that crash pads—even those with up to 12 tenants—are important for pilots and flight attendants who commute—living in one state and stationed in another.
“We’re here maybe six or seven days a month, sometimes the house is almost empty,” Grant said. “If we had to pay for a hotel—you can’t get a hotel near the airport for less than $250 a night in New York, and even then they’re probably all full.”
Her apartment is listed on a website hosting crash pads listings: It’s a three bedroom with six or more roommates; there is cable, Internet and a full kitchen. According to the listing, all a flight crewmember would need is twin sheets and a towel. The monthly rent is $240.
When asked about the possibility of new regulations restricting the use of crash pads near JFK, Grant hesitated before saying, “I’m not sure I understand; why would anyone want to do that?”
The legislation passed by Congress this month calls on the FAA to issue new regulations dealing with pilot fatigue. While the bill calls on measures that limit flight and duty time, the recent ABC News reports reflect similar stories in the past, which have led city officials to shut down crash pads.
According to a New York City Building Department spokesperson, any residential building must have 80-square feet of space per person and is allowed to house three non-related residents and an owner.
City Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) spokesperson Eric Bederman said he was not aware of any complaints about crash pads, but added that the complaint would likely have to come from a tenant to reach the HPD.