Captain Becker, How do pilots keep fit on long-haul flights?
There’s not enough room in the cockpit to do any exercises. We get up out of our seats now and again and walk around a little. That’s about it, really. The important thing for a pilot is to be in good shape at the start of the flight. On extremely long flights, there’s also an extra pilot to boost the team. That means a pilot can retire to a small compartment behind the cockpit for a few hours. It isn’t always possible to sleep at will, but the opportunity to switch off is helpful, as well as being a legal safety requirement.
What do pilots get to eat during a long flight?
Many airlines allow pilots to order themselves a bite to eat for their next flight from a selection of crew meals. Depending on the airline, the meal may even be provided free of charge. Otherwise, crew members pay for their own meals. We are not entitled to passenger meals of any class, but since they would otherwise be destroyed at the end of the flight, untouched in-flight meals that are still in their wrapping are occasionally distributed among the crew.
Are you allowed to take your own food on board?
All crew members are, of course, welcome to bring their own packed lunch with them, but we cannot prepare our own meals on a regular passenger flight. On cargo flights, it’s different. Pilots are allowed to use the galley facilities to heat up food or make themselves a cup of coffee. Except for alcohol, of course, all beverages are allowed in principle.