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Tag Archives: Customer Service

The glamorous life of Emirates cabin crew: sleeping on the airport floor

This is an e-mail I’ve got a few days ago. I will let you draw the conclusion about safety, EK’s organizational culture and fatigue. I will also let you wonder where the pilot and co-pilot slept that night.

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Hello,

Thank you for your blog. Emiarets is a terrible companyy to work for.
Please, do not display my email address or my name…..
This is a picture of Emirates Airline Crew sleeping on the floor. The JFK airport was closed and the company asked us to leave our hotel and go to the airport anyway and wait on the airbridge until they open the airport…..
The fact was that the airport was closed because of the heavy snow and we had to wait on the floor for several hours, more than 6hours…… We could not even use the
emirates lounge at the jfk airport. They told us to wait at the airbridge.
.
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Emirates’ flight attendants are starving?

In some of the previous stories on this blog we have seen that EK cabin crew work in inhumane conditions, but this e-mail I’ve got from one former member of EK cabin crew shows how Emirates’ flight attendants don’t even have a meal break on their flights.

This e-mail I am sending you shows how EK has removed the meal break on long flights and how the crew are not able to seat and eat on the flights:

The stations (only) were given a revision in their policies manual which removed the need to soft block seats (therefore depriving the crew from having adequate seating to have their meal break. In April this year the company issued a revision to the outstation policies manual putting the soft block policy back. For 7 years the cabin crew manual still had the soft block policy in place and it was a requirement to have the meal break but of course we were never given it because we didn’t have the seats arranged. The  company don’t allow us to eat in the jump seats facing the passengers (95% of Jump seats).

That email shows how management have:

1. Removed a rest policy without informing the crew (and the crew are responsible for adhering to rest policies)
2. Have willfully changed a GCAA controlled document (the manual) without sanction from the regulator.
3. Known that this discrepancy between the two manuals is causing confusion.
4. Known that crew already have difficulty having a meal break due to the configuration of the A380 as most of the jump seats are in the cabin and not the galley and the company prioritising the image concern of crew eating versus allowing them to have a legally required meal break.
5. Introduced two services on a 5:30 flight so that there is no possibility for the crew to even have a meal break.
6. Placed the responsibility on the purser for giving the meal break and in the event that a safety incident occurred (like a crew being so fatigued that they open the cabin door with the escape slide armed or they give the wrong medication to a passenger having a heart attack) the management could always turn to the crew and say: there is a meal break in the manual… Why did you not take the meal break?

The same person has also sent me this e-mail:

I found out that EK did an illegal flight from Dubai to Munich, where the crew and pilots operated the flight and had a rest of 8 hours, when the minimum rest required is 11 hours. but because there was a technical problem on another airplane, they called another set of crew and pilots to do this flight and they gave them less than the minimum rest, and everything goes normal for EK, breaking the rules and even after the accident, they didn’t seem to learn that they were very very lucky for no passenger or crew to die on that one. They are pushing everyone to the limit till another one happens and with fatalities, because they have money and they simply don’t care for human lives.

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From EK’s internal cabin crew flight schedule system


“Emirates airline plane ‘crash lands at Dubai International Airport”

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An Emirates airline plane has crash landed at Dubai Airport after reportedly catching fire in mid-air.

The Dubai government confirmed the Boeing 777-300 jet crash-landed at the airport shortly after 1pm local time (9am UK time) with 300 passengers and crew on board.

The three-hour flight took off from Trivandrum International Airport in India at around 6am UK time before the captain is understood to have sent out and emergency signal shortly before the plane was due to land.

No-one is believed to have been seriously injured and passengers have been safely evacuated.

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Read more at: Mirror


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.

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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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