This seems a bit sensationalist but the comments from supposed former Qatar Airways crew seem to confirm the truthfulness of the article.
Qatar Airways is regarded as one of the most luxurious airlines in the world, and has received numerous awards for their on-board service. However, flight attendants Saga and Gina testify about the other side of the glamour and how employees are forced to sign contracts that prevent them from governing their own choices. Johanna Karlsson from Swedish newspaper Expressen reports on the conditions in the full article. Check it out for an interesting read…some selected passages below:
The guard is there to monitor her. To ensure that Gina never sleeps anywhere but the staff housing. Never gets home later than mandated by the company. Never allows an unregistered guest into her room, never leaves during her leisure times or has anyone sleep over.
The airline holds recruitment events every weekend. There are often about six recruitment days a week globally. At the tryouts, information is shared about what the employees are signing up for. A pledge to stay single for five years, that permission from CEO Akbar Al Baker is required to marry as a flight attendant, and if you become pregnant, you must inform the company immediately. Also, Qatar Airways reserves the right to fire an employee without having to give a reason.
Gina boils some eggs. She has only just arrived home from a flight. She is tired and removes her makeup slowly. The saucepan overheats when the water evaporates and suddenly the fire alarm goes off. Gina switches it off quickly and tells the security guards that it was a false alarm. Too late. Three different managers from Qatar Airways arrive at the guarded staff building. Question her in detail about what happened and ask her to prove her story. “You were boiling an egg? Show us the egg.” Gina rummages through the garbage and finds the egg. The managers arenít satisfied. They decide that she should be removed from flights for the next few days and she is summoned to the office the following morning. As there is a twelve hour resting rule before any work event, whether it is a meeting or a long haul flight, Gina is grounded until the time of the meeting. At the office at Qatar Airways Tower, she is once more asked to give an account of the event. The fact that she was boiling an egg, how could she be so careless, how can they be certain that she will never do anything like that again? Gina is given a severe warning. Then she is given a pen and paper. Qatar Airways now wants Gina to explain the egg incident in writing and to conclude by saying how sorry she is and that it will not happen again. They dictate and she writes. “I am very sorry, it will never happen again.”
When you get through the article you might find some of the accounts unbelievable, but here are a few of the comments from supposed former staff:
Sophia – I’m ex QR crew, worked 6 years ago, article is 1000% real and there’s worse stuff missing in here. When I joined these “rules” we’re not included in the contract, in fact not even the recruiters warned anyone just to realize once you were in Doha that something was totally wrong. Your accommodation is surrounded by CCTV cameras, lobby and elevators entries got more high tech cameras with face recognition, security guards are working 12hrs shift with ZERO days off for their 2 years contract. This company is even abusing of their sub contract staff. I survived for a year in Qatar and is true you can get ride of some stupid curfew rules but is just a matter of time and bad luck, QR will find out that you’re tying to have a “normal” life and you will get sacked.
Leandro – Reading this article comes as no surprise to me. Being an ex-QR crew I can assure this is the way it is and there are plenty of things left unsaid. I managed to survive that place for 1 year and resigned after being treated like the worst living creature on earth while I was giving 200% of myself to serve the passengers and make them have a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, this will continue like this as long as AKBAR AL BAKER and SALIYA KARUNANAYAKE remain there, but not limited to, as a great percentage of the management and other sectors’ staff are contaminated with this “i-am-god” attitude. When I see my colleagues in the uniform I used to wear in a hotel lobby, I feel sorry for them and wish all this get sorted out somehow and soon. I know is easy for some to state “If you don’t like it, just resign” but you won’t imagine how tough it is until oneself goes through that experience. This company does not depict the conditions as they are during the interview and in a contract they cannot reflect the inhumane treatment to their employees, otherwise who would be so silly to go to a place knowing the way they work? I doubt anybody would do it, no matter how much the money is, whatsoever. On the other hand, I’m glad that all this is being exposed, this is a second article revealing Qatar Airways’ ruling with fear and threatening their staff constantly with being sacked, sending them to prison and even restricting them to get out of the country. I am sure not everybody feels this way in Qatar Airways, as for some of the staff who come from worse conditions in their home countries feel this like a good opportunity, but under no circumstances this is a normal way of living compared to ANY other country in the world. I’ve traveled a lot around the world and never seen a mindset in a nation like in Qatar and Qatar Airways. So a piece of advise to sum this up, if you wish to be a cabin crew and plan to go for this airline, think it more than twice. There are plenty of options out there, but if you still are adventurous and courageous enough to go for it, be sure you are tough and mentally strong for any challenge you’ll face because trust me it will be VERY tough. And forget about your Freedom, cause nobody here can discuss this matter, you have no freedom there.
UPDATE October 2015 – Unbelievable Working Conditions at Qatar Changing…a tiny bit for the better?
- Qatar Airways Flight Attendants Must Seek Permission for Marriage & Inform of Pregnancy
- Emirates Crew – Truth of Being a Flight Attendant
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- Say What? Overheard on the Plane Edition 28 – Crazy Things Passengers Say to Flight Attendants
- …and I thought some of my seatmates were gross
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