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Category Archives: Customer Service

Scandalous data breach in EK

I’ve promised not to post new stories unless something really big or serious happens and it just did.

I’ve found out about a serious data breach in Emirates Airline. Namely, a whole list of crew, with their personal data, became available online!

I will not say where this list was uploaded, but I’ve got a confirmation that it’s legit and authentic.

Now imagine the quality of EK’s IT and data security experts when anyone with the access to the EKHQ’s computer can download and e-mail this crucial business data which supposed to be a strictly guarded secret for many reasons, especially in one airline company.

I guess that nepotism, wastas and corruption in EK are starting to leave deep and irreversible consequences for EK. Shame for Emirates Airline. I really wanted to love that place and I really wanted it to heal itself from devastating business politics as a proof that people are capable to think ahead and to take care for each other more than they care about money and power.

I am curious to read Mr. Tom Burgess’s comment on this news.

 

22016557_10155194447380958_437454487_nA person who posted the crew list on Facebook

 

Screenshot (714)Excel file with crew’s data (I’ve covered crucial data)

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5 Emirates dark secrets revealed – from a perspective of a former EK cabin crew

 


Passengers win compensation from Emirates on the court of law

I’ve got this Press Release yesterday. I don’t usually publish passenger-related stories. Nevertheless, I found this story interesting and very informative.

Passengers win compensation from Emirates for marathon flight delay following two-year battle

 

  • Passengers on Emirates flight endured 23-hour flight delay
  • Airline tried to exploit ‘extraordinary circumstance’ loophole
  • Two-year battle for compensation
  • Case study in how airlines try to avoid compensation pay-outs

 

POTSDAM, Germany and PALO ALTO, Calif. – 28 April, 2016 – The process of claiming compensation for flight delays is not for the faint-hearted, as two Australian passengers have discovered. When Brett and Lisa Smith’s flight from Milan to New York was delayed more than 23 hours, they thought that their case for compensation under European Union legislation would be a simple matter. They were wrong.

 

Under EU 261/2004 compensation rules, passengers whose flight is cancelled or arrives more than three hours late can claim up to €600 (£473) depending on the distance of the flight. The compensation rules apply to flights departing from any EU airport (including Iceland, Norway or Switzerland) or arriving in the EU with an EU carrier.

 

The couple, booked on flight EK 205 from Milan Malpensa to New York (JFK) in April, 2014 experienced a long ‘creeping delay’. After check-in, they were advised the flight would be delayed by three hours or so. After finally boarding, passengers were told that the engine technical issue could not be fixed after all, and a part needed to be flown in from Dubai the following day.

 

Passengers were deplaned, returned through immigration, collected their bags, and transported to a hotel. Nearly 24 hours later, the exhausted passengers were finally on their way to New York.                         

 

The couple lost a day of their holiday, along with the cost of one night’s hotel accommodation, theatre tickets and dinner reservation, all of which was pre-booked, pre-paid, and non-refundable.

 

Ignoring the rules

 

Airlines are expected to inform passengers of their right to compensation in the event of lengthy delays. An estimated 11 million people per year in Europe alone are eligible to claim for €6 billion in compensation for flight disruptions under European Union (EC) 261 legislation. At no point during the 23-hour saga were the Smiths advised that they were eligible for compensation.

 

When Mr Smith, a frequent Emirates flyer, later contacted the airline, Emirates rejected the claim. The airline stated that the matter had been investigated by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, and ENAC had ruled that the delay was due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and Emirates was therefore not obliged to pay compensation.

 

When Emirates provided no evidence of either the investigation or ruling, Mr Smith decided to contact the air passenger rights company (name of the company is known to the administrator of this blog) that advocates for travellers.

 

Mr Smith says: “I’m pretty relaxed about delays due to safety issues; these things happen. But I’m surprised and annoyed that the airline claimed there was an investigation and ruling to justify not paying out, when there doesn’t appear to have been either.”

 

‘Extraordinary circumstances’ – what counts?

 

Airlines can only legally sidestep compensation claims if a flight disruption is due to extraordinary circumstances beyond an airline’s control; events that ‘could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken’. These include bad weather, security issues, industrial action, and hidden manufacturing defects.

 

Airlines often try to avoid compensation pay-outs for aircraft technical failures, arguing that this also falls under extraordinary circumstances, but a recent European Court of Justice ruling (Corina van der Lans v KLM) rejected this argument.

 

It took two years, countless emails, forms, document submissions, and ultimately an investigation and ruling from the appropriate local ENAC Directorate to secure full compensation of €600 each for the Smiths.

 

“This case illustrates just how far airlines will go in an attempt to fob off passengers,” says Eve Büchner, Founder and CEO of the air passenger rights company. “The majority of passengers either don’t know their rights, or do not have the time, nerve or money to jump through the endless hurdles airlines put up in an attempt to force passengers to abandon their case.”

 

“It’s absolutely impossible for an individual who has no knowledge of the law and no experience of dealing with the claim process to get compensation,” said Mr Smith­­. “Which, of course, is what the airlines want. The airlines are happy to brush off customers with an array of excuses and push passengers to the point where they are forced to go to court. An impossible situation if you have to travel to another country to do so.”


‘Emirates crews extremely fatigued’: Exhausted pilots tell RT of disturbing conditions

It’s so sad that Emirates Airline managers were warned in more than a year and a half ago that public will soon know about the bad treatment of their employees and the violation of labour rights and that their image and brand will be ruined. They’ve got that advice as a threat when they should have got it as an advice in a good will and do everything to improve working conditions.

 


Emirates management tried to force a pregnant crew to an illegal abortion

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.

Screenshot (339)

E-mail from the crew

Hi !
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 !


New Emirates commercial with Jenniffer Aniston is carefully designed manipulation

I am fully aware that every commercial, even a negative one, is still a commercial and that I am doing a great favour to Emirates by talking about their ad on my blog, but I am still going to do it just because I think that this ad represents a clear picture of EK management’s state of mind (to EK management: you don’t have to thank me!). It represents their values in life and their vision on how a working environment should look like. For all those looking to work and travel with EK, this ad is a good source of information. Watch it carefully.

This ad is like a dirty political campaign. A politician does not win elections thanks to their good programme and mission, but thanks to bashing on an opponent. If we know something about life, we would immediately recognize a dishonest man, a man incapable to create his own agenda, so he (or she) walks an easier way: he replaces lack of knowledge and skills with bashing on others. This is why the commercial is unethical and unprofessional – you don’t step over bodies (other airlines, in this case) to reach your personal goal. Or do you?

I am not a fan of snobbish attitude where someone is spoiled and unaware of other people’s misery so much that they miss a shower and a bar onboard to the point they pass out and have nightmares. Now every EK passenger in the world has the right to demand a bar and a shower, including economy class passengers, because I didn’t see a disclaimer that this ad discriminates them. Yes, you have a subtle notification which only says Emirates A380 First Class Shower Spa, First and Business Class Onboard Lounge, but it’s not a disclaimer, just a notification. Disclaimer like this, for example: Shower Spa available only to rich passengers and movie stars would not look good, would it now?

There is a hidden message for cabin and cockpit crew as well: they are subtly asked to fly one unpaid hour more (in addition to all the unpaid hours they already work). It’s just like in real life, where crew and ground staff are constantly asked and/or forced to work overtime. This is an EK management’s vision of their favourite line – “going an extra mile for our customers”: crew get to work more for free, just because someone who has money and power (at this point you can look at Jennifer as a symbol of EK management) asked or threatened them. Nevermind safety and crew’s constant fatigue. Money and pleasure of rich rule the world.

This is an e-mail I’ve got from one ex EK cabin crew:

Saw the commercial – what a kick in the face for the hard working. I flew to Europe on Delta and had a chance to talk to the crew. Service was professional, without the circus atmosphere of EK. The crew had a real sense of authority…something EK will never allow.


This ad is, actually, a carefully designed manipulation. It discriminates and divides people on rich and poor (clearly sending a message that EK wants only rich passengers, that it cares only for them), it tells you that you should work for free, it mocks and revenges USA airlines for EK’s recent problems with alleged subsidies and it promotes superficiality. All this through ad’s fake funny appearance.

The commercial of a neighbouring airline, with another famous actress in the main role, is really professional one in comparison with this one and a real example of an ethical ad.

Bottom line, when you scratch beyond Jen’s charm and funny acting, this is one vulgar and unethical ad on all levels. As I said at the beginning: a clear picture of management’s state of mind.

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Cabin crew’s job satisfaction in Emirates Airline – survey results

It has been two and a half months since Head of HR department, very much respected Mr.Abdulaziz Al Ali, sent an e-mail thanking employees for participating in the company’s survey on job satisfaction and promised to share results. This survey was conducted soon after this blog started with its first post – Open letter to His Highness the Chairman of Emirates Airline (EK). And whilst three vice-presidents of Human Resources department were thanked for the service in EK and escorted out, they never sent a goodbye email, so we don’t know the reasons why their services were terminated. There is an assumption that they were fired for the devastating survey results. Despite the promise of sharing these results, employees didn’t get to find out what is happening in their own company so far. So, due to the lack of company’s survey results, this article will offer some poll results from independent third parties, conducted among EK cabin crew.

EK Employees asking for survey results on PPRuNE.org forum

EK Employees asking for survey results on PPRuNE.org forum

Since there is a lack of communication between managers and employees, staff has no other way to find out about happenings in their own company than to use Internet websites such as, besides this blog, Emirates Illuminati (blocked in UAE), PPRuNE.org and few more.

Just in past 5 days 80,165 people came to this blog in search for the information on working conditions in EK: Some of these websites are used as a source of information on employees’ job satisfaction by third parties. I will not reveal my sources (it is enough to say that I can defend myself in the court of law with evidence if sued for publishing this data), but I am presenting some of the results of one such survey conducted on a representative sample of EK cabin crew.

Results of this research are not surprising for those who are working or who worked in Emirates Airline. So, what is the real state of the employees’ and customers’ satisfaction in Emirates Airline?

Mr. Abdulaziz's promise to share survey results

Mr. Abdulaziz’s promise to share survey results

The most vulnerable groups of employees in Emirates Airline are ground staff in Airport Services – check in and boarding agents and cabin crew, while pilot‘s dissatisfaction is in constant growth.

The biggest problem of EK in these departments is huge staff turnover. And while managers will always say that this turnover rate is “expected” in big companies, they don’t have an answer for how to deal with it. Their only solution is to pressurize already exhausted staff to work over their physical and mental capacities and law limitations, which is especially dangerous in the Airline Industry. Another threat to the airline safety is lack of experienced staff, which is, again, another consequence of huge staff turnover.

Emirates Airline recruits thousands of very young people to ground staff and cabin crew positions every year to replace employees who massively resign. These people can not be trained fast enough to meet all the criteria for safe flying. And while they have the physical appearance and smile necessary for customer service delivery (at least in the first couple of months of a honeymoon period within the company) their life and work experience is insufficient for more serious tasks in airline safety. And when they reach the satisfactory level of this experience, they are fed up with injustice and pressure inside the company and they resign.

Capture

I am not inclined to believe that disposable staff policy is an unofficial policy in EK because nobody is that unreasonable to cut the branch they are sitting on. Or are they?

Company, also, makes huge and unfair differences between ground staff and cabin crew. Ground staff (doing the same customer service job) are discriminated on every possible level compared to cabin crew, who have much better accommodation, salaries, medical care and benefits. Knowing this it is just a devastating fact that cabin crew resign in such huge number. It means that someone is not doing their job while getting huge salary for it. How bad is that for business?

According to mentioned research, the biggest dissatisfaction of cabin crew lies (not surprisingly!) in the way their managers treat them, while they are reasonably satisfied with their benefits, accommodation and salary. But when it comes to communication, superior – staff relations and personal contact between managers and crew, survey results are disappointing and poor.

This particular research was conducted on a representative sample of cabin crew using scientifically recognized statistical methods and tests. There were difficulties during the conduct of the survey as many employees are afraid that expression of their opinion on company will lead to the punishment or termination of their service.

80,165 visitors in 5 days

80,165 visitors in 5 days

These are some of the survey results:

A Cabin crew’s satisfaction with benefits and working conditions:

  • 68,12% of examinees are generally satisfied with the job of cabin crew in Emirates Airline. This is a solid result in Emirates Airline’s favour, although company should not underestimate dissatisfied percentage of crew.
  • Only 37,68% of examinees find working conditions on board satisfactory, while the majority – 62,32% find the them unsatisfactory or remained neutral.
  • 73,92% of cabin crew are satisfied with benefits (salary, accommodation, transport…). This is also a good result. It would be interesting to compare this number to the number of people satisfied with benefits but working in ground staff. I predict immense difference.
  • 69,57% of examinees are not satisfied or remained neutral in answering the question about their rostering and flight time limitations. This result proves that cabin crew are pushed to their limits and overworked.

B Crew’s satisfaction with management style, communication and working atmosphere:

  • This result is alarming56,52% of cabin crew find that their work is not acknowledged by the company. 27,54% of examinees remained neutral.
  • 66,67% of examinees are not satisfied or they remained neutral when asked about their satisfaction about the way the company communicates information to them.
  • 49,27% of cabin crew doesn’t feel that their company (managers) support them. 28,99% remained neutral, which makes the total number of 78,26% of cabin crew who are not satisfied or don’t know how to feel about the support they are getting from their superiors or they don’t want to tell. Very worrying number which demands immediate attention.
  • Another terrible result is acquired in answering the question whether employees feel that they can voice their opinion without the fear of being punished for it. Disastrous 71,01% answered that they feel afraid to express their opinion on work while 14,49% remained neutral.
  • Another destructive result: 66,66% of cabin crew feel maltreated by the company. 23,19% remained neutral.

C Cabin crew’s engagement in achieving company’s goals:

  • 81,16% are interested in the company’s affairs.
  • 85,51% of cabin crew are proud to work for the company (good result) and 72,45% would help the company to reach its goal of being among the most successful companies in the world (also very good result).

What can we learn from these results?

We can learn that cabin crew are fairly satisfied with their working benefits (salary, accommodation, medical care, face cards…). They feel pretty proud of working for such a big and known company. Most of them would help and are helping Emirates Airline to achieve its goals and vision. Most of them do care about the company’s image and are interested in internal happenings. So, what is the problem then?

Maybe this commenter described it in the best way:

Although my story in general was not sad, between 2006 and 2008 I witnessed many changes within EK, mainly the beginning of the “report” system, the increased workload, the switch from a personalized to a staff number relations and many more. I witnessed the jump to the new HQ, which contributed to the massive growth of overexcited managerial staff. All of them trying to prove themselves came with ideas, some were pure demonstration people’s servility with no positive benefits. I witnessed many of the qualified staff go, because they were fed up with the all growing number of restrictions, penalties, insane rosters, and last but not least the spreading fear. Many of these people were seniors who used to protect their staff. Eventually in 2008 I handed my resignation as well.

The comment about EK's decline

The comment about EK’s decline

Majority of cabin crew are not satisfied with their working conditions when it comes to the way management and superiors are treating them. The percentage of dissatisfied people is alarming and it is the reason why so many crew resign, despite their relative satisfaction with working benefits. This fact just proves the catastrophic state of human resources in Emirates Airline and rotten, bossy and authoritative organisational culture imposed by incompetent managers.

Rule of fear is evident and proved in the percentage of the crew who are afraid to express their opinion (around 70%!).

Majority of the crew doesn’t feel appreciated or supported by their managers, who are not capable to deal with the growth of the company and lack of staff in any other way than to exploit and overwork their crew, while not even appreciate or respect their efforts and hard work.

Even if nobody in Emirates Airline cares about humanity, they should understand that humanity and successful business are in direct relation. In Emirates Airline’s case it turned out that having so many disgruntled former employees willing to publicly provide their opinion on their ex employer was not a good idea. And it seems that it’s better that your employees do not leave the company hurt, angry and humiliated, because they are part of your image as well.

You should care about your staff. Even if they are staying in the company for just a couple of years and leave. Even if they are just in transit. Why? Because your customers’ dissatisfaction with demotivated crew attitude is growing in recent years. Just in EK business class negative feedback about your cabin crew makes 40% of all complaints. Because demotivated crew lead to lousy customer service and that leads to customers flying with another airlines. Because demotivated staff are not ready to go that extra mile that you need desperately to beat your strong competition. And unfortunately, a small piece of chocolate given during the forced training, which is Ms.Anoma Manuel’s idea of motivating her staff, will not work.

40% of complaints is a negative feedback

40% of complaints is a negative feedback

If you read this blog devoided of anger towards its author, you may be able to comprehend the extent of the human resources disaster in your company and to start with damage control and introducing some sustainable policies in order for your business to survive challenging airline industry conditions.

I will not write all of my ideas on how to improve your business, as it is an expensive knowledge and I worked hard to gain it. I trust you have enough money to employ some competent people to help you resolve the issues. And to help you even more, I hope that I will soon have survey results for the Airport Services ground staff, where are I expect a real tragedy.

Bottom line and the most important question for managers is: if your employees care for you and company’s image, how is it possible that you don’t care about them?

Emirates Airline was a nice place to be not so long ago. Even I feel proud for being a part of EK at some point of my life and was careful about its image while I was working there. But managers didn’t seem to understand the importance of respecting their loyal staff and dialogue, so in the same way they usually “push” people to resign, they pushed me in making this blog by forcing me to escape the country and by not paying me my EOSB.

 

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