What is A Galley? And How Does it Work?

What is a Galley?

A galley in simple terms is the equivalent of a kitchen in an airliner. Full service airlines and low cost airlines obviously use their galleys in different ways. Full fare airlines take full advantage of these spaces as they need to serve every passenger in the aircraft. Low cost airlines don’t have this need, and these spaces are more areas where the crew hangs out while not busy in the cabin.

Aircraft From Terminal

About These Galleys

On smaller airliners, like the A320 or the 737, there are only 2 galleys. One at the back and one at the front of the aircraft, between the two sets of doors. On these smaller planes the back galley will serve the economy cabin and the front one the business class cabin and will also help the rear one.

Alitalia A320 Taxiing

On the larger planes, like the A330s and the 777s, there are usually 4 galleys. As you might have imagined, the largest galley is located in the rear of the aircraft between the last set of doors. In a Boeing 777 it is a very big space. If you’ve never seen it take a walk down there on your next flight.

Emirates 777-300 Taxiing

There is another galley in the economy cabin between the second last set of doors. This is a smaller galley which helps the back one during the service. Generally the larger kitchen at the back of the aircraft is operated by the economy cabin supervisor. A normal operates the smaller galley. So if the service takes extremely long on your flight it has mainly to do with the organizational skills of these two crew members. The other two galleys are in the Business class cabin and the First class cabin.

Working in The Galley

This is one of the most complicated tasks a single crew can have on a flight. You need to think about a lot of things and organize everything the other crew memebers might need. The galley operator has to prepare the welcome service and time the heating of the meals. Also he is responsible for checking that catering has loaded enough meals on the flight.

I must be honest it took me about a year of flying to master the skills needed to run the galley flawlessly. Also in the business and first class cabins the galley operator is responsable of plating the meals. Once I mastered these The appearance of a dish in these cabins will depend a lot on the cabin crew’s skills.


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