We all know that women live harder lives. Their rate of unemployment is higher and they are less paid than their male colleagues globally. In some parts of the world they are still treated like second-class citizens without many basic human rights. This article is dedicated to all the women throughout the world who suffer just for being women.
This is the story about an Emirates cabin crew who found herself pregnant while working for Emirates Airline (EK). Apparently, EK management tried to force her to do an illegal abortion and searched for her in her apartment when she refused to do it.
I’ve just discovered your blog and I’ve found it very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to share this. As a former Ek cabin crew I can testify of what you are describing and I’d like to share my personal experience as well as asking your help on a matter I’m really concerned about..
I’ve been hired by Emirates airlines on xxx 20xx and everything went well at first, no paperwork to do, they basically convice you that you are in the best place on earth, that you have to advertise and show that Emirates crew is living the best life, enjoying, partying, discounts everywhere and so on… I’ve found it quite superficial and not as professional as a cabin crew position would be somewhere else with the importance of safety, security and you’re real role on board. I was disturbed by the company accomodation system, the curfew, having to ask before receiving family but I loved the job and didn’t think more about it at first. I’ve been dating another crew that I met right after I got in Dubai and in xxx 20xx (a year after I joined) I discovered I got pregnant… Please don’t judge me, I know how it works, I was careful and I never thought this could happen to me. I was actually very judgemental on this matter before it happened to me.
The nightmare started at this point. As you know it’s illegal to be pregnant without being married in the UAE so besides having to take the toughest decisions of my life regarding keeping it or not, I had to deal with what happened. I had 2 days of duty then 3 days off, I swapped the 2 days in order to have 5 days off in a row to go back to France and deal with the situation properly, without affecting my work. I’ve been even told that they give emergency leave on this type of situation, I guess I got the wrong doctor, wrong manager and bad luck.. I went to see the company doctor, big mistake since the information went straight away to my manager. The doctor told me that I shouldn’t go to france and got me in touch with a doctor who was illegally doing abortion in Dubai outside the hospital he worked in… That scared me and I kept telling her that there was no reason for me not going to France and coming back to work but she insisted and that seemed crazy to me, I felt like an outlaw (which I was as crazy as it seems…) and I was scared to undergo and abortion, by a doctor I don’t know, hidden god knows where and how.. Having to take the decision of aborting was hard enough for me. By the time I almost reached my accomodation my roomate called me to tell me that security entered my appartment and my room and seemed to be looking for something… I got even more scared, I was on a day off, it was supposed to be my home but it was never mine but the company’s.. I even thought they might have been looking for my passport maybe, I have no idea but my feelings were a mix between depression, hormones, fear and anger. All I wanted was to go home in France and deal with the diffucult thing I had to to.
I packed my suitcase, 2 of my batchmates and best friends were with me and one of them thought that security might have had the order to keep and eye on me and it might not have been a good idea to pass by them with my luggage. So she put on her uniform and passed on the lobby with my suitcase and I left the building after her. I was scared that my staff tickets could be blocked, to end up in jail or some crazy things that seem straight out of a movie, except it was real. Everything went well, I arrived in France and I exploded in tears and depression, as much as I loved the job I just couldn’t go back to Dubai. When I landed my flatmate called me to tell me that security went through my appartment again and asked her several time aggressively where I was and if I left the country. That was enough, I sent and email to my manager saying I resigned without the notice periode, that the uniform and most of the documents would be given to them by my flatmate and that I would pay for the rest. He responded that they decided to terminate my contract so officially, I’ve been fired.
It felt blurry and like a bad dream in my head, I had a breakdown, I still live it as a major failure, I feel guilty about everything and and it took me time not to blame me hardly about the pregnancy and all it caused. In a normal country and normal company you deal with your personnal issues on your days off, outside of your work environment, and it’s no one’s concern but yours. One is not supposed to have his appartment checked on request of his manager. I’m not entirely to blame on this and I decided not to give up on my passion of flying, I was good at it, I had great feedbacks from SFSs, and passengers, and I won’t let them take this from me.
I’ve just obtained the european Cabin Crew Attestation and I’m medically fit to fly so I’m really happy but now that it’s time to apply I’m afraid of mentioning I worked for Emirates. I don’t want to lie, pretend I’ve never flown and make up another job to fill the blank but I don’t know if Ek give feedback on former employees, if they’re in relation with other airlines for references checks etc.. so I’m asking for your advice on this.
It’s a long email, thanks again for your work and for taking the time, it means a lot to me and a lot of people I’m sure.
Have a wonderful year !