I love looking through airline job boards from time to time. In amongst the usual boring roles for pricing analysts and revenue management specialists, I occasionally come across some right gems which give an insight into how much effort an airline is putting into its onboard service. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Qatar Airways is known for putting a lot of effort into its cabin service.
Which is why I wasn’t completely shocked to see several new vacancies being advertised on the Qatar Airways recruitment website which included a cabin crew Image & Style Officer, as well as a Welfare & Support Officer. But how about this vacancy for a Voice and Accent Trainer? That’s a new one to me but you might be pleased to know there are openings for both English and Arabic trainers.
According to the Doha-based airline, the trainer will be responsible for ensuring the “highest standards of in-flight service through the professional design and delivery of public announcement and service training courses”. It sounds like Qatar Airways is taking its cabin announcements a little too seriously but there is more to this than meets the eye…
Cabin crew receive the training not only to make clear public announcements but also to become effective communicators and team players – it’s especially important considering the fact that the airline employs crew from around the world. While they’ll be expected to speak and read English before joining the airline, the level of competency can vary greatly.
Meanwhile, the Image & Style Officer will be performing grooming checks on cabin crew to ensure everyone is groomed and dressed to the airline’s very exacting standards. Cabin crew can expect to have the length of their skirt measured and even their weight checked – non-conformance can easily result in dismissal.
All of these checks, rules and standards is one of the reasons why some flyers bemoan an apparent lack of personality shown by Qatar Airways cabin crew. That’s not always the case but many crew at the airline are afraid to go off script for fear of getting in trouble. In a bid to protect themselves, crew are known to report one another for minor indiscretions – again, quick dismissal is a real possibility.
It’s one of the main reasons why many cabin crew don’t last at the airline for all that long – a situation that has been criticised by major trade union groups as well as being called into question by members of the European Commission. Steps have been taken to improve overall workers rights in Qatar (even pushing standards ahead of the UAE) but the national airline’s quick and some might say unfair hire and fire policy still needs major improvement.