Tag Archives: Open letter

News from Emirates Illuminati website – An Open Letter to Emirates Senior Management

Why is it that Emirates management increases the pressure and makes more wrong choices and procedures when discontent of their employees continues to rise?



H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman
Tim Clark, CEO
Adel Al Redha, EVP & COO
Abdulaziz Al Ali, EVP HR

Within the past few months, through a somewhat jestful approach, we have brought to your attention (and the world’s attention) the ambient turmoil that inhabits most Emirates employees. We have, as well as many others, raised a much necessary red flag, denouncing the poor welfare culture (or lack thereof) in this airline.

While we deplore the insufficient response, we have no doubt that, by now, our message reached the top management, as we can see some encouraging embryos of insight here and there: timid signs of awakening to our cause start to transpire…

Yet, this long-awaited epiphany is still way too diffident. Demotivation and bitterness are rife. Morale has never been so low. Emirates is not only struggling to retain their own people, a novel phenomenon has begun: they are now struggling to attract new people, leading to serious understaffing and potentially grounded aircraft.
People are mentally worn and physically fatigued, adding to the prevalent resentment toward management.

The wonted arrogance of Emirates management is unfathomable, belittling the magnitude of the malaise, and attributing it to

‘a vocal minority’.

Surveys, forums, management reshuffling… all this is not enough. People are expecting from you a much more tangible commitment to a concrete and significant change.

God forbid, for lack of an in-depth systemic reform of the Company culture, a catastrophe is latent and impending.

It is high time you tackle this issue once and for all, in the most unequivocal manner.

We resent to say that we “demand”; rather, we strongly invite you to announce and implement a more radical change in the way employess are treated within our Company. The mere announcements that you now (allegedly) pledge to listen to employee feedback and of an oustanding bonus will not be enough to quiet the deep-seated despondency.

We resent to blackmail; rather, we forebode that failure to comply to our subtle invitation would lead to very undesired consequences.

You can no longer afford to feign ignorance. You have been (very gently) warned. Do not make the mistake to compel us to resort to less subdued actions.

Make Emirates the role model it should be in terms of employee welfare and happiness; the world’s best brand not only loved by its customers, but also by its employees. Improve their quality of life, their pleasure and pride to work for this airline.
And you will enjoy harvesting the fruit of this no longer optional investment in your valuable and talented (yet too undermined) people.

Be seeing you,

Original news on:


His Highness is back online

After a pause of around 4 months, His Highness and the Chairman of Emirates Airline Ahmed Bin Saeed AlMaktoum is back online, with his usual social media profiles.

This pause started around the time I wrote him the Open letter about wrongdoings in Emirates Airline, so I am not sure if His Highness had the chance to see it.

Nevertheless, since it is very hard to reach His Highness in person (I tried to reach him several times in his office unsuccessfully) now you have a chance to write to him about everything that makes you disappointed, unhappy, hurt or sad in your work for Emirates Airline. After all, this is one of the purposes of social media – to reach important persons and celebrities easier.

You can find His Highness on Facebook under his full name: Ahmed Bin Saeed AlMaktoum.


His Highness the Chairman of Emirates Airline


Emirates Airline supports animal cruelty?

This is too sad for me to write any deeper introduction.

Emirates Airline participates in transport of elephants from their natural habitat to the places of their extreme sufferings and torture.

It seems that profit has no mercy. While Emirates Airline advertises itself as a “life style brand” they are participating in destruction of wild life of our planet.

Maybe Emirate Airline addresses to wealthy individuals only when branding itself as a “life style” brand, but I see no life in it. Just a barbarous, disastrous and heartless style.

Sad elephant

Sad elephant

The e-mail I’ve got today:

Hello Dragana
This is xxx, a crew at EK.
I have been reading your blog – good luck with all – and I thought this might be interesting for you? (however, it is not dealing with employees, but with animals)
It contains a letter (a petition) that has been written to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Ccd to Mr Tim Clark, President of the Emirates Airline.
Written by David Neale, Animal Welfare Director, Animals Asia Foundation and sent on behalf of 152 organisations.
Maybe you have seen it already?
I wish you all the best!


This is an Open letter to the chairman of Emirates Airline His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and its president Mr.Tim Clark, asking them to stop supporting cruel treatment of animals and their extinction.
This is some of the content of this Open letter, which you can read in full here:
December 2014
Your Highness,
Re: Transport of elephants from Zimbabwe to the UAE / China by Emirates Airlines
This letter is sent on behalf of major international animal welfare organisations and elephant conservation and welfare charities and their many millions of supporters worldwide, signed below.
We are writing to most respectfully seek your personal support concerning a critical animal welfare issue.
In Zimbabwe elephants, lions and other endangered wild animals cruelly captured from their wild herds are currently awaiting export to foreign zoos and entertainment facilities.
A parallel case in November 2012, in which Emirates Airlines flew wild captured elephant calves from Zimbabwe to China, resulted in a global public outcry. The renewed captures of wildlife for export are already drawing much criticism in the media, and a robust and widespread response from the public.
The facilities of the zoos that imported these animals do not come anywhere close to meeting modern, international zoo standards and, given that even the most highly regarded modern zoos seriously struggle to keep elephants well, many zoos simply cannot provide for the psychological or physiological needs of elephants. Without question, it is our collective view that the elephants captured from their wild herds and transported to unnatural environments are suffering greatly, and that their removal from their natal herds will have had a damaging lasting impact on the remaining animals.

We urge Emirates Airlines to not support such actions which violate welfare standards and the conservation of endangered species. We kindly urge you to refuse to transport these wild caught animals to captive facilities, where their welfare will inevitably be severely compromised.
Emirates’ stated vision ‘to make the Emirates Group an environmental leader’ includes a commitment to several conservation programmes and the Emirates Environmental Policy clearly recognises that ‘customers, staff and regulators are increasingly conscious about the environment and greenhouse gas emissions’. We suggest that your staff and customers, along with our organisations’ many supporters, will also be conscious of, and concerned about, the welfare of those recently captured wild animals and would wish that no further elephants suffered in this way.
Emirates has an opportunity to demonstrate to its customers and the wider public that it will not compromise its environmental credentials by participating in the export of wild caught animals from Zimbabwe. The photo below of the one surviving solitary elephant at Taiyuan Zoo clearly shows that the conditions in this zoo do not provide the quality of physical, social and psychological care elephants require.
Your personal assurance that Emirates will play no further part in the transport of such wild caught animals would give us all the comfort we seek and we would subsequently be pleased to recognise that principled position in international press and media communications acknowledging Emirates’ decision.
We look forward most respectfully to your positive response.


Why HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum didn’t answer open letter?

It has been 17 days since I have posted the open letter to HH the Chairman of Emirates Airline.

No answer.

While I was in the process of fighting against my dismissal and for labour rights, me and couple of my colleagues went to Sheikh’s office twice and I’ve sent him couple of e-mails. He was never in his office and his staff answered only one of my e-mails, providing me with no other information than that HH “is away”. My Embassy forwarded my and my colleagues’s request for a meeting to Sheikh’s office. Still, there was no response.


I’ve heard almost only the best things about HH Sheikh Ahmed.

Also, this blog is attracting a considerable amount of public’s attention.

So, lets open a discussion.

What is the reason His Highness did not answer the open letter or request for a meeting?

Talking about lifestyle brand

Since HH the Chairman of Emirates Airline Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum did not reply to open letter (yet), here are some suggestions on how to improve conditions at the airport.

This e-mail was sent 5 months ago to HQ by couple of our colleagues from EKAS. Again, seems like nobody listened.

As you will see, salary was not mentioned at all. After sometime from this e-mail, when nothing was changed, salary issue became important. Why else should anyone work if they do not have decent working conditions and/or decent salary that doesn’t require “surviving” in Dubai, especially after prices in Dubai hit the sky?


  • Shifts for check-in and boarding staff are designed just to cover the load at the airport busiest hours with total disregard for staff’s mental and physical health. This is due to lack of employees, so we are forced to replace and work for non-existing but much needed employees in ground staff.
  • New shifts at check-in area require waking up at 3:00 am and working  11 to 12 hours for 4 days per week, or working 4 days with 2 days off in which 1st  working day is morning and then the rest of the 3 days are night shifts. How would a human body adjust to waking up or having a sleeping pattern with these shifts? This is causing a lot of sick leaves and absenteeism. 4 by 4 pattern would be most effective if we would have the same shifts as supervisors and managers. This way shift changes would be in the least busy timings 5:00am, 5:00pm or 6:00 am and  6:00pm, and there will be more staff on the floor if you calculate it properly.
Seems like this did not turn out as expected. Same as ABC.

Seems like this did not turn out as expected. Same as ABC.

 “Standby” has a different meaning than forced overtime Ms Anoma. Unless you wanted us to be on standby at the airport, then it’s forced OT only.

  • We are forced to come to work on our days off. For four months now (8 until this moment) we have forced over-time. If we don’t come to work on the forced OT day, which is normally our day off, we are marked absent and money is deducted from our salaries due to “rostered off” absence. This is very humiliating, it takes away our freedom of choice and it seriously violates human and working rights.
  • These tiring shifts are catastrophic and they cause staff to be very tired, depressed, frustrated and unhappy. We do not get to sleep enough and we almost have no personal lives.
  • It is psychologically impossible to continuously work with a smile for up to 11 and 12 hours, with all kinds of people, some of them very difficult and aggressive. Staff became nervous, impatient and impolite towards customers due to long and very exhausting working hours.
  • In an 11-hours shift we have only 45 minutes break. To eat once in 14 hours (time to come and to go from the airport included) is very unhealthy for human body.
Forced overtime (or standby at the airport) for (almost) everyone

Forced overtime (or standby at the airport) for (almost) everyone

  • We are forced to seat for 5 or 6 hours at the counters, doing same, repetitive job, although we were promised to have training for another area of work after 6 months of working with Emirates Airline. These long hours at the same counter are another reason that causes staff’s nervousness and discomfort.
  • If we complain about short breaks the usual answer is that we can always ask supervisors for additional breaks, but the truth is that nowadays it’s so crowded most of the time that supervisors hesitate to give us any break at all when it’s busy, let alone another break for having a snack or meal.


  • Some of the supervisors and duty officers behave very repressive. When they don’t know how to deal with exhausted and stressed out staff they use some very old methods of controlling situation like punishments and threats with QMs. Sometimes they raise QMs and warnings against staff without even asking them for their side of the story, misusing and misunderstanding their power to take restrictive actions towards staff. As a result, most of the staffs have some undeserved QMs and warnings and this is very negative for staff’s motivation and working energy.
  • Since we have only one 45 minutes break, we have to ask supervisors for additional breaks. This feels very humiliating as we reached the point where we have to ask even to go to the toilet. It is like we are in the elementary school, and let’s not forget that most of the staff actually have BA and MBA degrees, so this causes huge revolt and dissatisfaction.
  • During rush hours (which is almost the whole day at the airport) supervisors and duty officers have no other choice but to keep their staff at the counters by forbidding them to leave them without asking, because exhausted and stressed staffs are seeking alternative ways to get rest from continuous check in and stressed passengers (which is called “missing staff” at the airport). This is closed circle of misunderstanding of each other’s needs and problems. It is understandable that superiors and duty officers are responsible for clearing the queue and since they have less available staff, they pressurize remaining exhausting staff, who, then, due to lack of breaks and food, have no choice but to miss from their counters without supervisor’s permission.
  • Instead of having trust between supervisors and staff, we have very repressive situation where supervisors are pressuring staff to clear the queue, which feels like we are slaves. All of this causes poor and non-motivating working environment where nobody respects anybody, and it is caused by higher management’s rule of fear and threats.
  • Due to lack of staff, it happens that same people do several tasks at once, for which they are not paid for. This especially happens at denied boarding counters, where staff is forced to do regular check in while dealing with very stressful situations that denied boarding causes. It also happens at skywards counters. It is important to underline the fact that no staff has an issue with helping with operational needs, but the problem here is the way we are treated. We are never asked to help, we are forced to help. Supervisors will simply call another check in area to “send some passengers to skywards or DB counters” without asking us if we feel capable to do additional tasks.
  • We were promised that we will have level two training in two months and gate training in six months when we have signed our contract. Staff at check in work there for more than one year before getting gates training, and even then they are withdrawn back to check in due to lack of check in staff. Mobility of the staff between departments, which is normally very important for staff’s working motivation and satisfaction, is almost non-existent.
  • Since we are educated and mature people, we can easily spot the difference that this company makes between us and members of cabin crew. Usual answer of our management is that cabin crew risk their lives and health by flying so it is normal that they have better conditions. This is just an excuse for discrimination because ground staff is the first point of contact between customers and company, so we are, actually, very important for company’s image. With all due respect to cabin crew who are working very hard also.


  • Organization of work at the airport is poor and it goes on the expense of check in agents. We do not have any control over our job. Passengers come to the counters from all sides (exits and entrances; there are no technical possibilities to announce to passengers when particular counter is available for check in). Marhaba, Dnata and Concierge staff feel the freedom to approach to the counters any time, even if the agent is busy. This causes chaos and nervousness, and many times even customer complaints and great dissatisfaction (both – from those who wait in queue and from those who come with Dnata, Marhaba and Concierge services).
  • Developed culture of punishments. No organizational culture whatsoever.
Written warning for having “negative impact on others”. Culture of punishments and rule of fear.

Written warning for having “negative impact on others”. Culture of punishments and rule of fear.

Suggestions for improvement:

We believe that it is in everyone interest to have some improvements of ground staff’s working and living conditions. Customer service is sensitive area of work and it influences the most company’s image and brand. We can all resign and find jobs somewhere else, but that is not the goal here. Our goal is to be proud of the company we are working for and to have dignity and respect on our working posts.

  • To introduce shifts which comply with the signed conditions from our contracts (42 hours per week – currently, we are working more than 42 hours per week in some shifts) and with respect to our mental and physical health.
  • To abolish forced overtime.
  • To abolish culture of constant punishments and rule of fear.
  • To make the system for equal and fair distribution and rotation of the shifts, so that everyone gets every shift in a given period of time.
  • To make our tasks at the same counter shorter (this includes standing tasks, which now lasts for 3 hours of standing on high heels).
  • To make our breaks more frequent and longer especially if we are working “over 7 hours up to 12 hours”.
  • To brief our superiors (supervisors, duty officers and managers) about fair usage of power to take restrictive actions against staff.
  • To brief superiors about respectful organizational culture and polite communication with staff.
  • To introduce the system of protection of the staff against unfair usage of superior’s power (many staff are afraid of losing their job if they express their disagreement with superiors and given QMs and warnings).
  • To ease the transport from company accommodation to the airport (at this point we have to change two buses and lose more than one hour minimum to get to the airport).
  • To make mobility of the staff between departments (check in, boarding gates, UM lounge, F/J, transfer desk, ramp…) more often.
  • To make our working and living conditions less discriminatory in comparison with the working and living conditions of cabin crew.
  • Introduce technical possibilities for check-in agents to announce their availability to the passengers.
  • Better Medical insurance.
  • Less discriminatory and wastas culture of promotion often under nationality key. Many managers are too young, too under qualified and too incapable to be good managers and leaders especially. This makes non existing organizational culture.
  • You have chosen some very educated and experienced staff for grade 4 posts. These staff came to work with you with normal expectations that they will learn and grow within the company. Do not deny them their right to advance in their careers by treating them as disposable working force.

Thank you very much for reading this e-mail, we all hope to hear from you soon, and we do see you as our final hope for improvement of our working conditions and, consequently, customer service experience.