How many flight attendants does a 787 have?

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of the most popular and advanced wide-body jet airliners in service today. But beyond its impressive capabilities and fuel-efficient design, many airline passengers are curious – how many flight attendants actually work on a typical 787 flight?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at 787 crew requirements, standard staffing, and regulations. We’ll also explore how the 787’s cabin environment and layout impacts the number of flight attendants needed.

After reading, you’ll have a clear understanding of just how many crew members are working hard to ensure passenger safety and comfort on every 787 flight.

A Brief Overview of 787 Flight Attendant Staffing

The short answer is that most airlines staff their 787s with 9 to 11 cabin crew members for long-haul international flights. This number can vary based on the airline’s policies and regulations.

On shorter domestic 787 flights, the minimum FAA requirement is 7 flight attendants. But some airlines may opt to have 8-10 crew for service standards.

In general, larger 787s seating 300+ passengers require 10 or 11 flight attendants, while smaller models between 200-300 seats only need around 9 crew members.

So in most cases, you can expect to see around 10 friendly faces in the 787 cabin! But many factors impact the exact flight attendant staffing requirements.

Key Takeaways on 787 Flight Attendant Numbers:

  • Standard staffing is 9-11 for long haul, 7-10 for domestic
  • Larger 300+ seat 787s need 10-11 crew
  • Smaller 200-300 seat models only require around 9
  • FAA minimum for domestic US flights is 7 flight attendants
  • International regulations require 1 flight attendant per 50 seats
  • 787’s highcabin ceilings require more crew for coverage
  • Number can vary based on airline policies and service model
  • All focus on safety with enhanced customer service skills

Now let’s explore 787 cabin crew staffing considerations in more detail.

Domestic 787 Crew Requirements and Staffing

For flights within the United States, the FAA minimum legal requirement is 7 flight attendants on any 787 aircraft.

However, some US carriers opt to have additional staff for service reasons. For example:

  • American Airlines domestic 787-8s seat 234 passengers. They staff these flights with 9 flight attendants for better coverage.
  • United’s 787-8 holds 219 passengers but has crews of 8 flight attendants on domestic routes.
  • Delta’s domestic 787-9 configuration is 306 seats. They exceed the FAA minimum by having 10 cabin crew members on these flights.

So while 7 is the legal minimum on US domestic 787 flights, airlines often have 8-10 flight attendants to provide better service on board.

International 787 Staffing and Regulations

For international long haul 787 flights, regulations require a minimum of 1 flight attendant per 50 passenger seats. This results in larger cabin crews than domestic US 787 flights.

Here are some examples of international 787 flight attendant staffing:

  • An Air Canada 787-9 holds 298 seats. With a 1:50 crew ratio, it has 10 flight attendants for international routes.
  • All Nippon Airways uses a 1:50 ratio, so its 787-8 fleet with 186 seats has 9 cabin crew members.
  • For British Airways’ 787-9 with 216 seats, the 1:50 rule means having minimum 9 flight attendants.

Based on the 1:50 international requirement, most standard 300 seat 787s need 10 or 11 flight attendants. Smaller 787s around 200 seats only require 9 crew to meet the 1:50 regulation.

How 787 Layout and Design Impacts Staffing

Beyond basic domestic and international flight attendant requirements, the 787’s modern cabin layout and interior design characteristics also influence crew staffing levels needed:

High Ceilings

The 787’s ceilings are taller than other wide-body jets, so the cabin feels more spacious. But the higher ceilings make it more challenging for flight attendants to reach overhead bins and provide service. As a result, airlines need to account for the taller interior by having more cabin crew members to ensure proper coverage.

Number of Galleys

Galleys are the onboard kitchen areas where flight attendants prepare food and drinks. The 787 has fewer total galleys than older planes. This reduced galley space means more flight attendants are needed to provide adequate service levels throughout the cabin.

Two Aisles vs Three

Most 787 models have two aisles, compared to three on larger jets like the 777 or A380. Having one less aisle allows airlines to get by with fewer flight attendants while still maintaining good coverage.

Higher Passenger Capacity

In most configurations, the 787 holds more passengers than older wide-body planes it replaced. More seats means more passengers to serve, so additional flight attendants are needed to handle the workload while maintaining high service standards.

Enhanced Technology

The 787 relies heavily on advanced technology, with sophisticated sensors and electronics reducing workload for pilots. This allows airlines to have leaner flight crews focused just on cabin service rather than any cockpit duties.

So in summary, while the 787’s layout does enable efficient service, some unique characteristics like higher ceilings and passenger capacity still require larger cabin crew sizes. Airlines optimize their staffing to account for both the advanced technology and interior environment.

Typical 787 Long Haul Flight Attendant Staffing

Taking into account all the considerations we’ve covered, here are some examples of typical cabin crew staffing on popular long haul 787 configurations:

  • 787-8 with 218 seats – This smaller 787 model seating around 200 passengers is commonly staffed with 9 flight attendants for international long haul routes.
  • 787-9 with 280 seats – A midsize 300 seat 3-class 787-9 usually has 10 cabin crew members. This provides one flight attendant per 28 passengers.
  • 787-10 over 300 seats – On the largest 787 variant seating over 300, airlines typically have 11 flight attendants to staff these larger aircraft.

For full long haul service on flights up to 17 hours, larger staffs in the 10-11 range ensure top-notch assistance and comfort with a high crew-to-passenger ratio.

Domestic and short haul 787 flights have lower minimum requirements, but airlines still try to provide enhanced service with 8-10 flight attendants when possible.

How Airlines Select and Train 787 Flight Attendants

Airlines choose flight attendants for the 787 Dreamliner just as rigorously as they select pilots. Here’s an overview of the selection and training process:


  • Candidates undergo multiple interviews assessing customer service attitude, communication skills, and situational judgment.
  • Physical requirements include ability to lift heavy items and walk through cabin continuously.
  • Emergency training and evacuation procedures are evaluated.
  • Previous experience in hospitality or as cabin crew preferred.
  • Linguistic skills needed for global routes.
  • Background checks and security screening required.


  • 30+ days of initial airline instruction including safety, emergency protocols, medical assistance, and service policies.
  • Specific 787 systems and interior layout training.
  • Safety demonstrations and procedures unique to the 787.
  • Crew resource management and coordination instruction.
  • Extensive flight training including evacuation drills and cabin simulation.
  • Repeated training and evaluation required throughout career.

Airlines select flight attendants suited for the global, technology-focused 787 aircraft. They undergo weeks of training to master 787 safety and service. Proper crew selection and preparation ensures the highest standards on every 787 flight.

787 Flight Attendant Roles and Responsibilities

While primarily focused on safety and service, 787 flight attendants have a diverse range of duties and responsibilities throughout each flight:

  • Pre-Flight – Briefings on flight plan, weather, and any special situations. Safety check and cabin preparation.
  • Boarding – Greeting passengers, assisting with seating and luggage, security awareness.
  • Safety Briefings – Video presentation and demonstrations of safety protocols, oxygen masks, seat belts, etc.
  • Meal/Beverage Service – Coordinated distribution of food and drinks to all passengers.
  • Comfort and Assistance – Answering passenger requests, managing comfort needs, restocking lavatories.
  • Pre-Landing – Safety checks, cabin secure for landing, reminders for passengers.
  • Post-Flight – Deplaning assistance, cleaning duties, restocking and replenishment.
  • Irregular Operations – Implementing protocols and directing passengers during delays, diversions, emergencies.
  • Medical Assistance – Administering first aid and supporting ill passengers. Accessing medical professionals as needed.

On the 787 in particular, flight attendants play a crucial role in demonstrating and managing the plane’s technology-enhanced safety features. They must also coordinate closely across expansive cabins and shorter galleys.

Key Takeaways on 787 Flight Attendant Staffing:

  • 787 cabin crew size dictated by regulations, airline policies, and aircraft layout
  • Standard long haul staffing is 9-11 flight attendants
  • Domestic requirements minimum 7, airlines often have 8-10
  • International 1:50 ratio means larger crews for more seats
  • Tall 787 ceilings and reduced galleys require more attendants
  • Airlines select and train flight attendants rigorously for 787 specific duties
  • Safety and service are top priorities with customized responsibilities

So in summary, while actual numbers depend on specific configurations and routes, passengers aboard the revolutionary 787 Dreamliner can expect a large, well-trained crew dedicated to safety and inflight service.

Frequently Asked Questions on 787 Crew Staffing:

How many flight attendants are on a typical Boeing 787 flight?

Most airlines have between 9-11 flight attendants on a standard long haul 787 flight. Domestic 787 routes have an FAA minimum of 7 but carriers often staff 8-10 crew. Actual numbers depend on airplane specifics and airline policies.

Why are more flight attendants needed on a 787?

Factors like tall ceilings, reduced galleys, and higher passenger capacity mean more attendants are required for proper coverage and workload compared to older planes. International regulations also dictate 1 crew per 50 seats.

Do airlines need to have more crew for bigger 787 models?

Yes, larger 787 variants like the 787-9 or 787-10 seating over 300 passengers require larger cabin crews of 10-11 flight attendants. Smaller 787-8 models only seating around 200 may only need 9 crew.

How are 787 flight attendants trained?

787 flight attendants undergo weeks of training in safety, emergency procedures, cabin service, and aircraft-specific systems. Recurrent training continues throughout their career as flight crew members. Proper selection and preparation ensures the best crew performance.

What are the main jobs of a 787 flight attendant?

Safety is the primary duty, including briefings, checks, and emergency response. They also provide inflight service, passenger comfort, medical assistance, and operate all technology and equipment. Their training prepares them to handle any situation on the advanced 787.

So in summary, a typical Boeing 787 flight has 9-11 highly-trained flight attendants on board to manage safety, service, and the overall flight experience. Airlines optimize their cabin crew staffing to account for regulations, interior layout, and operational needs of this advanced widebody jet.