A few days ago, we published a post that shone a light on what it’s like to work as cabin crew at the worlds largest airline by passenger numbers, the Dubai-based Emirates. Agnieszka described her working life as a “nightmare” and made a number of allegations about how conditions were rapidly deteriorating at the airline.
The post has proved incredibly popular and appears to have struck a chord with both the airline’s 24,000 cabin crew and frequent flyers. Passengers and crew alike have linked a perceived decline in service standards with plummeting staff morale.
As the article spread, our site suffered a sustained a Denial of Service attack, forcing our servers offline for nearly five hours as our hosting provider fought to resume normal operations. Since then, the article has continued to spark the interest of readers worldwide.
But while our aim is to give a voice to cabin crew, we also feel its incredibly important to provide balanced coverage that is fair to all sides. At the earliest opportunity, we told Emirates about the article and asked them to provide a public response – to give the airline an opportunity to address the accusations and ensure our coverage wasn’t biased.
Instead, Emirates chose to ignore our request and instead has stonewalled us since. So while our original article only portrays the opinion of one member of cabin crew, we have no idea what Emirates is thinking because they are refusing to talk to us.
Or do we? In fact, Emirates has in part responded to the allegations – and a growing chorus of staff discord. The airline’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Adel Al Redha allegedly sent a memo to staff yesterday, saying he had listened to staff feedback and was making “changes” to improve conditions.
Redha was keen to reassure cabin crew that onboard surveillance cameras were only present onboard its aircraft for safety and security purposes – not to snoop on cabin crew. Redha also addressed concerns about shrinking allowances and hotel accommodation although was surprisingly silent on the plight of Cabin Service Attendants.
There has also been much confusion about restrictions on the importation of cigarettes and alcohol into the UAE for personal use. We still don’t know whether a recently implemented ban (now, suddenly lifted) was led by the Dubai Customs authorities or by Emirates.
At the same time, the airline’s Vice President of Cabin Crew has suddenly “resigned” – apparently for “personal reasons”. We are also led to believe that a number of other longtime senior cabin crew managers have suddenly left the company without notice.
Sources tell us that the managers were forced out for perceived failures, despite attempts to change the culture at the airline for the better. Instead, senior leaders believe the relationship between cabin crew and management has now got so bad that a newcomer will be needed who can restore trust.
We have again reached out to Emirates and will update this article should a response be provided.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.