2000 Emirates flight attendants resigned in September this year?

I remember my little chat with HR manager Mr.Maktoom Mohd. Hassan after the Open forum for ground staff (when he also told me that I am “finished”). When I asked him to tell us his opinion on huge resignation rate in Emirates Airline (specifically in Airport Services) he told my friend and me that staff turnover in Emirates Airline is “usual for every big company”.

DSVP of Airport Services Mr.Mohammed Mattar, on the other hand, admitted that he is short of staff. “I don’t have enough staff so I am forcing you to come to work” he said. I guess that this logic is very simple and makes managing of huge department very easy. I was hoping, though, that managers don’t use this logic on cabin crew, since there is more to gamble with on board by forcing tired staff to fly, than when you force people to come and seat at the counters for hours without a break.

There are couple of ways to force cabin crew to work more. One is to make them fly more than certain, prescribed by law and healthy, number of hours per month and another one is to make their layovers very short. Both are illegal and both are used by Emirates Airline as ways of compensating a serious lack of trained flight attendants.

My former colleagues boarding agents (still working) tell me that there is a visible lack of cabin crew, that flights are delayed because of it and there is even a widespread story that two flights were recently cancelled due to this lack of flight crew.

I have received several e-mails from members of EK cabin crew recently, mentioning some of the reasons why they resign in number that even endangers safe flying and operation, but one information left me speechless. One of those e-mails claims that 2000 flight attendants left the company just in September this year.

Whenever I read people’s stories and decide whether to publish them or not, I always wonder about their motives to write to me and their perception of reality. In this case, even if this number is not plausible, it proves the devastated state of flight crew morale. And who would like to fly with indifferent, tired and unhappy crew?

Of course, nobody from EK management cares about staff’s morale. Nobody thinks it’s important. Managers have huge salaries and bonuses and they keep themselves motivated. Flight crew, ground staff and passengers are there to ensure their bonuses. Once these managers are done with Emirates Airline they will return to their western homes. They will never consider themselves responsible for their employees’ misery and devastation of company’s image, they will never think that somebody is lying sick somewhere because of their exploit policies, they will never remember all those people who came to contribute to “making the history” and who became history instead.

Here are just some of the problems of cabin crew in Emirates Airline.

  1. “Lousy shoes that cause many industrial injuries that the company tries not to accept blame for. A cheap quality uniform that doesn’t wear or wash well. Staff have to buy replacements for parts of the uniform. Yes, they have to buy new shoes or wear them for one year exactly before they can get new ones for free of charge.”
  2. “There is a staff shortage as many experienced crew left and sometimes managers put resignation processing on hold as they can’t process them quick enough. Resignations run around 250 plus staffs a month. Now going to over 350.”
  3. “Some crew is doing over 120 hours a month flying and are exhausted and falling sick regularly. Some fly sick as they are told no upgrade if they are sick.”
  4. “They opened a walk in clinic in HQ which is full and crew waits for hours after a flight to be seen. Before cabin crew could self certify sickness for up to seven days. Now they are bringing new system to make crew come to see the nurse every two days so they can’t recover properly and just go to work like machines.”
  5. “If crew is even 1 minute late they get into serious problems and marked absent. But if plane and flight is delayed they are expected to work for nothing.”
  6. “Cabin crew is bullied, exploit, tired and fatigued.”
  7. More on cabin crew’s problems here.

Here is one particularly interesting e-mail from one cabin crew:

Cabin crew's e-mail. 2000 crew resigned in September.

Cabin crew’s e-mail. 2000 crew resigned in September.

they have reduced some allowances (like 120 eur to 90eur in Nice which I think is stollen a lot if mobey for 24hrs). I think way bigger problem are the illegal short layovers where ek pays fines rather than giving the crew longer stopover time but this is another topic. Oh, and there’s waaaaaay more crew resigning than 250 per month.  Only in sept it was around 2000.
Can I pls add one thing. Im currently in the xxx and I have some very new girls on my flight who haven’t finished their 6month probation yet. They told me they get weighed now before the start of the training, after the training, before getting a uniform AND after probation on their graduation day.  When i joined 2012 theree was no scales whatsoever.I think this says a lot about the values of this company. Some of the newbys look anorectic to me. They cannot close any overhead locker and god forbid I have no clue how would these 21year old 178cm and  48kg girls evacuate 500ppl in 90 sec with jammed doors, injured pax, heavy equipment etc
For ek its all about image and not evaluation of real situations. Everyones fatigued, scared and demotivated.i truely dont know when was the last time I saw someone who is happy with ek as an employer. People have to know how this system is rottening!!!
All the best Dragana,

And if someone has to say something in Emirates Airline’s defence, I would politely ask them to explain first the fact that Kevin Griffiths, Senior Vice President of Cabin Crew was demoted recently with a serious remuneration cut.

Before you continue to question everything that is said here, please explain first why some high levelled EK Human Resources managers were fired recently without a chance to even clean their desks before exiting the company?

Please explain why you didn’t publish results of the survey on employees’ satisfaction yet as you have promised?

Mr. Abdulaziz's (Head of EK HR) promise to publish result of a long gone survey on employees' satisfaction

Mr. Abdulaziz’s (Head of EK HR) promise to publish the results of a long gone survey on employees’ satisfaction

Dear managers, you can not keep denying things written on this blog and yet keep the reasons for firing and demoting big name managers as a secret. Something is obviously very wrong as people on this blog are pointing out for 4 months now.

But be careful in your answers though as you must write your comments online in the way your company has instructed you recently. I guess many managers do not follow these rules in their every day work (respecting people, differences and cultures), therefore they do not feel obliged to follow them online. And I guess that threats became usual and desirable way of making employees behave like managers want them to behave, so remember those of you, regular employees who want to write an honest comment here: you are tracked and observed by your company when writing online (at least this is how this first “rule” tries to scare you):

Mr.Jon Conway's (DSVP-UAE Airport Operations) instruction on how to behave online

Mr.Jon Conway’s (DSVP-UAE Airport Operations) instruction on how to behave online

I guess we just need time to see how much exactly is current Emirates staff turnover “usual” for big companies.

Happy New Year.


21 responses to “2000 Emirates flight attendants resigned in September this year?

  • Sodwee

    Staff turnover has been a major problem over the years for Emirates Airline. It’s a way bigger problem than they seem to realize or try to ‘push under the carpet outta-sight’. I left halfway through year 2010 and it was already a problem. Accentuated now obviously by the sheer size of their fleet and the flying/working conditions worsening. Last I was told about are premium cabin crew nearly begged not to resign… stay on… until things got better…..

    And indeed, by the sound of the premium cabin crew I talk to, things are in bad, bad shape for Emirates Airline. Fast becoming a safety hazard for the flying public and not healthy AT ALL for themselves. Obviously flying way too much and not getting proper rest between flights. Compare flying hours between a legacy western airline, or even low-cost as they are flying under the same rules/regulations and any of the middle-eastern flying sweat-shops currently operating and you’ll quickly understand the huge difference in work patterns

    When you are marked absent for reporting even a minute late or even 10 seconds depends when you badge-in obviously (from my experience) you are fined 150dhs (deducted from your salary) and put to standby ‘lounge’… It’s all automated with the IDs/e-gate and the fully automated state-of-the-art “Crew Briefing Center”… It’s very Big Brotheresque.

    They’ve been monitoring employees on social media and general use of internet since the time I was there. They have dedicated teams to block/report/ and finally banish people from their own Official Facebook Profile page (I’m one of those who cannot write, publish nor comment on their official profile page). I can ONLY LIKE their page. VERY disturbing way of communicating from a brand towards a potential customer (although I have stopped flying with them the day I left, as a principle, and as a safety precaution too).

    Liked by 1 person

  • Demoralised CC

    From Adil Al Ridha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Emirates Airlines responsible for engineering, flight operations, service delivery and airport services. from his end of year review – “349 Ab Initio courses to train 4,052 new cabin crew”.

    Please re-read that. Over 4,000 new crew. Why? Even accounting for new deliveries and retired aircraft. Because they treat CC like dirt.

    Hardly something to brag about. Perhaps if some effort went into retaining people, rather than pissing them off – the training load / cost might be well and truly reduced. Hell, we might even have some experience (instead of a kindergarten) in the cabins…

    Liked by 1 person


    Hi Dragana,

    Happy New Year to you and all the readers.

    I have just read the letter you have displayed from Jon Conway.

    Please publish my reply to him. Thank you.

    Dear Jon,

    Happy New Year to you and all the Senior Management Team at Dnata.

    Thank you for the letter and please forgive me for using this OPEN FORUM to as we both know you will brook no “descent” (pun intended) from those using Open House.

    “It is a matter of concern” Does that mean “Shut your mouths as my bonus might get effected?”

    Let me re-write the letter for you, please? By all means get it cleared by Corporate Cons (sic)

    Dear underlings that must be seen and not heard,

    We clearly screwed an innocent man who is now gathering the evidence to take us to court and show us up for what we did. You guys drawing attention to this is incredibly unhelpful and makes me have to do some work to dictate this drivel to my secretary from the golf course. Bastards, the lot of you.

    As underlings ALL of you must write nothing but sycophantic rants praising your Dnata leaders at all times on Open Hole. Like North Korea. You MUST protect MY bonus.

    The Golden rule is “Praise me and thank me for the attrocious salary I give you, the lack of respect I lavish on you, the fact that you live to serve Dnata and its talented leadership team.” Or else…….

    Remember, nothing is private. Don’t let other minions tell the truth or have integrity. Never!

    Never publish the truth about Edgar, deaths at work, bullying or racism.

    Protect yourself by never questioning. Your managers are the most talented people in the history of aviation. Never question why they can’t find jobs in the real world.

    Since you are all third world crap, let me explain the word ethics to you. You WILL do as I say. If you don’t I will seize your passport and leave you on the street and report you for adsconding from work.

    Respect our honour our differences mean respect me as I am different as I have a developed world passport and honour me at all times.

    Emirates group will not tolerate any discrimination (except to people from the third world) blind people, non-muslim airport staff made to work two hours exta per day during Ramadan against UAE Labour Law that EK doesn’t follow.

    If in doubt, leave as you are clearly too stupid to understand how talented I am.

    If you have any questions, you better have left already as we know how to treat you.

    Jon Conway

    Jon, Please explain this one to us as I will be forwarding this article to some Guide Dog charities. Falcons are allowed in the Cabin to go to go to Pakistan. At least this poor person, couldn’t see the discrimination you guys practice…. We both know it is EK Jon, try doing this in the UK or Ireland. It wouldn’t be the guide dog giving your balls a licking if it was…..


    Dubai airline refuses to allow blind passenger’s guide dog in cabin
    By Staff Writer
    Friday, 26 December 2014

    A Dubai-based airline refused to allow a blind passenger’s guide dog on board in the cabin earlier this month, according to a report by Gulf News.
    The visually impaired passenger was travelling from Barcelona to Dubai when she was told that while she could bring the dog on the flight from Spain to the UAE, in accordance with EU regulations. The airline’s policy meant she would not be allowed bring the animal into the cabin for the return journey and was told it could only fly as cargo.
    “Two days before flying, I was told that I could bring my dog from Barcelona on board with no problem, but when coming back from Dubai, my dog had to fly as cargo. It makes no sense to allow a service dog to go on board, but not to come back with the blind user. As you must know, a guide dog can never be separated from his or her user,” Daniela Rubio T, a digital media consultant, who flew to the UAE on December 8 for a conference on accessibility, was quoted as saying.
    The Dubai airline, which was not named in the report, was not available to comment on the story

    Liked by 1 person

    • admindragana

      Witty letter! For all of us who did work or still working in EK this interpretation of yours is exactly what this letter means.

      Guiding animals are allowed on board on EK flights from Europe (EU rules). When departing from Dubai, these animals are forbidden on board (Emirates rules).


  • Tortured@emirates

    The issue with cabin crew leaving could originate from an Emirates unwritten policy. In the earlier days, Emirates was ok with huge turnover of cabin crew as that way the crew were always young and fresh. VPs would openly make this statement in meetings and briefings that they were never worried about huge cabin crew turnover as that way they always have fresh faces on board. Sadly, they view staff as a piece of meat

    Another thing that is not brought out in the open is that the managers purposely delay in recruiting replacement staff when an existing staff resigns (atleast this is a common ploy in finance). By delaying recruitment of replacement staff, the existing safe are forced/threatened/coerced to work extra hours to complete the work. The managers show this as one of their achievements where they have saved costs by working with less resources. So while the managers take the credit for saving costs (ensuring better appraisals thereby better increments) the lower grade staff have to ruin their health by forcibly working extra hours as well as weekends to finish off the work.
    My earlier manager openly told me that as per the company policy staff cannot refuse to do overtime unless they have a valid explanation like medical issues or something of that sort. (I have never verified this statement with the HR manual though, primarily because it just wasn’t worth the effort as if I took this issue with HR I would only be harassed further as my manage was supported by the VP and in turn the SVP)

    Liked by 1 person

    • admindragana

      Very good observation and comment! I guess EK managers never heard of sustainable development. And while most of them will damage the company and go home, owners of the company will be left with all the damage that nobody is responsible for.

      Liked by 1 person

  • lola

    Just to clarify some facts about cabin crew. In 20 years I never ever had to buy a piece of uniform, they were always given by the company (unlike many other companies). Shoes we get are of brands as Hush Puppies, Clarks… not so “cheap” as you state. My monthly flying hours are between 90-100 hours which gives me around 15 days in Dubai when I haven obligation to go to work or do anything job related. We can still certify ourselves
    for 7 days, without going to the clinic….now tell me which company allows you to stay at home for 7 days without going to a doctor. The walk in clinic is there for emergencies, when all appointments for the day are taken and your example: ears are blocked and you want to see a doctor, then you can come without an appointment. Please do not post facts that are not true. You losing credibility……

    Liked by 1 person

    • admindragana

      Can you please introduce yourself? You have nothing to lose by giving us your name and designation as you are speaking in favour of the company and we will get to know about your credibility to talk about cabin crew working conditions.

      I also didn’t have to buy the uniform, but I had to wear it for one year before I could replace it for free. Including shoes. Have you ever wore same shoes for one year every working day? My shoes were devastated and I did fell once because they were all eaten up. Alternative for me was to buy another shoes from EK for around 180-200 aed.

      Dry cleaning left white and brown spots all over my uniform. If I didn’t want to look dirty I had to buy new one (because uniform was not one year old yet). I didn’t buy it, I wore it like it was – stained from dry cleaning. Shoes were hard for the feet and I had regular pain in my feet and my flatmate got varicose veins. Shoes for ground staff (they suppose to be the same for everyone including cabin crew) were not Hush Puppies or Clarks. I can’t even remember the brand.

      I also had to buy all of my make up and stockings (also part of the uniform) and I didn’t have make up allowance. It costed me around 100 euros every two or three months.

      When exactly did you stop flying? Company has changed. Cabin crews are under huge pressure now. Very tired and very exploited, flying more than legal hours limit.

      I also think that 7 days self certification rule changed recently into only few days of self certification, but I am sure someone who knows more about it will confirm it.


      • lola

        Im still flying and I can assure you the 7 days self certification did not change at all. When there were issues with the laundry, EK changed to a different brand. Dragon you worked for EK for such a short time and you seem to be such an expert. Yes, you have to wear the uniform for one year or maybe 18 month, but you forgot to mention you have 4 skirts, 4 blouses, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 jackets, 4 waistcoats. And as mentioned EK does laundry for you for free……i do not know of any other company that does that. As i said, most of the stuff you posted regarding cabin crew is non-sense. And again as I said, I’m sill flying, and very happy with my salary and package EK is offering. Funny, you very fighting for 2 months to keep your job after you were fired……


        • admindragana

          You are flying for 20 years? Still don’t want to give us at least your name or designation? Sorry then, I will have to consider you as a troll.

          I had 2 skirts, 2 trousers, 2 jackets and 5 blouses. Laundry was lousy and it didn’t matter it was for free when I still washed it at home sometimes, especially after laundry left stains on it. Shoes were in miserable condition after more than one year of wearing them. Awful.

          Again, you will have to accuse your colleagues of lying, I just copied their e-mails here.

          One and a half year is not a short period of time and it’s enough to know what is going on around you. I was fighting for two moths to stay simply because I wanted to know the whole system and how much of rights I have inside. If it turned out that system was working in the favour of employee I would stay, but it was rotten to the bones. This experience, however, made me an expert since now I know EK’s ways of functioning by heart, I’ve been through all circles of hell.


        • Demoralised CC

          Lola. The seven days self certifcation is changing. Later this month. The 18th in fact. Let us meet back here then to see you defend the policy. The laundry is still terrible. Hospitals launder their employees’ uniforms. As does Etihad. And Dubai Taxi. You say you don’t know of any other companies. You have so many days off! Use them to get out! Most of the stuff you are posting is nonsense. Let us make this a regular meeting point for us to rebut your comments with facts and evidence. Keep Writing….


      • Anonymous

        Dear Dragana. I have read through your blog, it is a very interesting read, and many things about Emirates to relate to, as I am also a crew. Obviously, your blog is becoming quite famous among crew, as I heard about it from a crew friend. After going through the comments sections I wanted to share with you how weird it feels that people who post comments of a differing opinions are being asked to provide their identity. I havent seen yet a person who posted an agreeing comment being asked “Can you please introduce yourself?”. Thanks for pointing at certain working conditions at EK, keep up the writing. And please, I am sure objectiveness is what will keep readers coming back. Good luck!


        • admindragana

          Hello. 🙂 Actually, I only asked for identity of those who denied the story published on the blog. Since I know the identity of my source, if I want to discover the truth I have to challenge people to give me their names or at least positions or some other proof that they are telling the truth. Also, it’s understandable why it is easier for a supporter of the company to reveal something about themselves than it is for someone who speaks against EK.


    • Demoralised CC

      Lola. Hush Puppies? Clarks? Really? Please post a picture of the current shoes for all to see. With the label. I doubt you can….. Please comment about the number of industrial injuries due to the cheap and poor quality shoes?? Just beacause you haven’t had to buy items of clothing doesn’t mean others don’t have to. If you have been in Dubai for 20 years, you know how the quality of clothing has deteriorated. I love the 15 days in Dubai. Really. I doubt that. I can post numerous rosters which show layovers and days off. So you have no obligation to go to work? Really? I guess being called in for a chat with your manager on your day off to suit them, SEP studying, writing reports on your crew, and mandated rest days are not obligations.

      I think, deary, that you are the one loosing credibility. There are many companies that self certify for seven days. I’ll answer that point and more in other places to keep the thread. But, the reason that self certification is being changed to two days is very simple 4025 crew joined. About the same left. Net gain a few hundred with 27 additional planes delivered.

      Could it be that fewer crew per plane means shortages of crew so squeeze the ones you have harder? 20% crew attrition is. Shocking


      • Demoralised CC

        Lola. You talk about Dragana loosing credibility. That must mean that, in your opinion, she has credibility which indeed she does. Her credibility grows by the hour and by the day. She shows every post and displays the emails from EK. Why don’t you say EK is loosing credibility when they don’t follow their own HR protocol and don’t honour their words….. Unless, of course, you are a management troll. Where is your evidence re the shoes. Fifteen days off etc? Come on. Let us battle it out here in a polite way. Facts and figures. Let us do this…….


    • carl88

      I think you do not work at all for this airlines. Otherwise you would know abt the end of self certification. Btw: after 6 months my shoes have holes. And i will die rather than give a fucking penny to buy a pair of shoes. The one without credibility is you.


  • lola

    I apologize for the “Dragon”……meant to be Dragana, i think spell check 😀


    • Demoralised CC

      Dragons breath fire over those that attack them without reason. I guess that makes Dragana a dragon. EK attacked her. Threw her out on the street. Tried to take her passport. Illegally witholding her EOSB. Please comment on EKs credibility. If indeed they have any. More trolling, please?


      • admindragana

        Well, I was not willing to bring my passport for visa cancellation to the same people who threaten me with a prison, anyway. If they had my passport, possibilities of punishing me for sending an Open Letter to His Highness would be numerous and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.


  • Anonymous

    I worked as cabin crew with EK for 2 years between 2008-2010. My manager was a bitch and had very little respect towards others and their well-being and in the end I left because mainly of her. Too many Pursers and SFS on a power trip and expectations from passangers was unbelievable. I felt like a slave most of the time. Best thing I did was to leave the Dubai/EK hell-hole!



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