1 Button in a Boeing’s Airplane Cockpit That Can Cause it to Crash?

Yes. The pilot’s belly button, while he/ she is in a Boeing cockpit.

(Image: A representation of a belly button)

Pressing the pilot’s belly button can result in him/ her being very enraged, distracted, humiliated, scared, shocked, hurt, disappointed or confused. As a result, the pilot can then go insane, accidentally or purposely alter the flight control systems, cause chaos and eventually cause the plane to crash.

That can happen. But it wouldn’t.

No pilot will ever let anyone touch his/ her belly button in a Boeing cockpit. Similarly, no pilot will ever let you touch any button in the cockpit that will jeopardise the safety of the airplane.

But seriously, it would be extremely dangerous if Boeing placed a button in the cockpit that could down the plane. Its like having a self destruct button.

On second thought, there could be a dial and not a button that could directly cause the plane to crash.

By turning a dial and setting the altitude on the autopilot to a ridiculously low one, the plane, regardless of Boeing or Airbus, could crash. That’s how Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed. Do check it out.

Also, please correct me if I’m wrong.

I listed some buttons that may cause the plane to have some serious problem and I am thinking while writing it.

  1. Fuel control switch – This is the switch to cut the fuel to the engine. If you cut the fuel, the engine will stop running. However, you have 2 engines on a Boeing, 1 is enough for the plane to land safely to an alternate airport.
  2. Fuel jettison button – Not every Boeing aircraft have this button but unfortunately, if you want to dump all the fuel, you need to press the ARM button before you push the jettison button.
  3. IRS (Inertial Reference System) – This is a navigation system that is more precise than a GPS. First you insert your Longitude and Latitude and let the system to align (it takes about 7 minutes). This system will track all the movement from the aircraft itself to calculate the offset from your initial position to return your current position. But the alignment must be done on ground (because you can’t move). And you can turn the IRS off in the sky. Without IRS, your navigation display can’t show any information about your flight status. But, you can contact the ATC that your navigation system has a problem (well you did shut it down on purpose). But other systems are still normal, you can still fly the airplane and use VOR frequencies to navigate.
  4. Probe heat – A pitot tube is used for measuring air flow to indicate your speed of sound, air speed and altitude. If you turn this off, the pitot tube may freeze and can’t display correct information to the pilots. However, there are two switches, one for the pilot, one for the first officer. Actually probe heat caused 3 crashes because its failure.

Looks like probe heat could be your answer. But as you see, none of them can really cause a crash. Except IRS, they have 2 switches so you have to press at least 2 of them to cause a crash (without correct the situation).

The Truth about what Airline Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and Flight Attendants earn

Which is the highest paid job in air travel? Telegraph Travel spoke to pilots, flight attendants and baggage handlers to find out.


Air traffic controller – £91,000

Many of us would assume airline pilot is the most lucrative career in travel, but according to the website Career Cast, air traffic controllers take home a bigger pay packet. Indeed, it is one of the 10 most highly paid jobs on the planet, according to its 2017 ranking, published this month – only health professionals and petroleum engineers earn more.

How much are we talking about? Career Cast lists the average air traffic controller salary as $122,410, or around £

91,000. That figure corresponds with what UK air traffic controllers have told Telegraph Travel in the past.

“The ballpark figure is £80,000,” Fran Slater, a NATS Holdings employee, said in 2015. “It varies, depending on whether you are based at a busy tower, or in a key position working with one of the major London airports.”

Given that the job is synonymous with pressure, and a false move could be fatal, this seems pretty fair. But the air traffic controllers we’ve spoken to downplayed the stresses involved.

It's really not so bad
It’s really not so bad CREDIT: PA/MONTY RAKUSEN/NATS

“It’s definitely a job which keeps you on your toes, and you can’t afford not to pay attention. But it isn’t stressful,” Carlos Beneto Turner, who works at Heathrow, said earlier this year.

“People are always surprised when they come to the tower and see how calm it is. They imagine this really hectic place where people are screaming and throwing things at each other. That’s an image that has perpetuated itself over the years. But it’s a serene space, the control tower.”

So nothing like Pushing Tin, the comedy/drama starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton?

“It’s a fun film to watch – but I’ve always thought that the image it sends out is unhelpful,” says Turner. “I think this probably dissuades potential applicants; people who would otherwise be good controllers.”

One thing that should not dissuade them is that £91,000 salary.

Pilots – £79,000

So how much can a pilot earn? Career Cast puts the median average salary at $105,720 (£79,000). But that’s not to say that pilots can’t earn much more.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) told us last year that, while a typical starting salary is around £36,000, that has the potential to rise to a whopping £140,000.

Engage flaps, take home £140k
Engage flaps, take home £140k CREDIT: VLADIMIR MARAVIC

“The starting salary for a captain with a medium-sized airline may range from £57,000 to £78,000,” says the UK website Prospects. “Those employed by major operators can earn from £97,000 to more than £140,000.”

Given that aspiring aviators must cough up around £80,000 to attend flying school, and that they’re responsible for the lives of hundreds of people every day, we think that’s reasonable.

Flight Attendant – £25,000

Who’d be a flight attendant? They must maintain a mask of pleasantness while dealing with rude, irritable fliers, and – according to Prospects – earn a fraction of what their colleagues in the cockpit do.

“The base pay can vary greatly depending on the airline, as some pay better than others, but you can expect a starting salary between £12,000 to £14,000,” it says.  “To this base rate, you can add an hourly payment you will receive while flying, as well as bonuses for performance and commission for in-flight sales. This can boost your take-home salary to around £20,000 to £25,000 a

Who’d be a flight attendant?
Who’d be a flight attendant?

Telegraph Travel has spoken to a few disgruntled flight attendants, but also many who adore their job. The free travel perk certainly helps. “Normally, all full-time workers and their immediate family are entitled to complimentary, space-available transportation throughout their carrier’s network, with upgrades to first or business class if empty seats permit,” says Patrick Smith, a US pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential.

“In addition, reciprocal agreements between carriers allow employees of one airline, plus their eligible family members, to fly on another subject to what are called ‘ZED fares’. It’s a fantastic deal. If I want to fly from Bangkok to Seoul on Korean Air or Thai Airways, it’ll cost around $70. New York to Amsterdam on KLM, about $100.”

A flight attendant’s salary will also rise once they’ve had a few years in the sky. “Base pay at senior cabin crew level, which can be reached after a few years of experience, is around £20,000,” notes Prospects.

Baggage handler – £22,000

Earlier this year we spoke to James Collins, Head of Airside Operations at Red Handling, Norwegian’s in-house ground handling agency.

“I left college without any tangible qualifications and for a largely unskilled job it’s fairly well paid,” he said. “You start as a ramp agent (baggage handler) on around £22,000, plus overtime, but there’s plenty of opportunities for promotions. A senior ramp agent gets £24,000, dispatchers get £25,000. I started as a baggage handler, then went to senior baggage handler, dispatcher, allocator, supervisor, duty manager, and am now head of airside operations. You can also move into training, or safety and compliance. There are lots of steps up, with increases in salary each time.”

Norwegian’s baggage handlers, unlike most, also enjoy the same perks as the airline’s cabin crew.

Baggage handlers earn about the same as flight attendantsBaggage handlers earn about the same as flight attendants CREDIT: ©CHALOEMPHAN – STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Aerospace engineer – £81,000

Career Cast puts the median average salary of an aerospace engineer (designing and developing aircraft) at $108,234 (£81,000). Prospects puts it slightly lower. “With experience, salaries can rise to £28,000 to £40,000 depending on the level of your expertise,” it says. “At senior levels, particularly if you gain chartered status, salaries of £45,000 to £60,000+ can be reached.”

Aircraft mechanic – £45,000

The job of maintaining an aircraft can earn you $60,270 (£45,000), according to Career Cast. The website ranks it the 160th best job out of 200 listed. And the worst? Newspaper reporter, apparently, due to the bad work environment, high stress, poor future prospects and average salary of $37,820 (£28,000).

Has an Airline Pilot Ever Quit and Left Passengers Stranded?

There was a Eastern Airline Captain many years ago who was not having a very good day. He also was only six months away from retirement.

On this particular flight out of Atlanta (ATL) while taxiing out for takeoff, he learned that he was 33rd in line for departure and that there would be many delays due to weather. It was the straw that broke his camel’s back! He announced to the passengers the situation, stated he decided that he would return to the gate and retire six months early, and he apologized for their inconvenience.

He returned to the gate and never flew again. His passengers were significantly inconvenienced, and his action cost him many thousands of dollars in lost pay. However it should also be noted that if a captain is that upset, he has no business flying, and perhaps the captain in question did the right thing.


Flight AF007 between New-York and Paris (operated by Air France), in January 2015! So yeah first of all the flight was 6h late because of the snow, but that wasn’t a problem for the pilots as the flight took off normally after that delay.

Then, the flight stopped at an airport in Manchester and the captain simply told the passengers that he was going to exceed his flight time limits for the month and decided to stop there and take another flight (as a passenger) to go home !
I guess he could have make an effort there, especially as there was only like 2h left or so until Paris, but that’s only my opinion.
The plane arrived in Paris with something like 12h of delay if I’m not mistaken.

So what next? Well, Air France sent 3 planes to Manchester to bring the many passengers of the A380 to Paris, and they also gave a refund of 600 euros to every passenger. The CEO of Air France defended the captain’s decision and said he was right to do what he did, for the security of everyone involved in that flight.

You can search for this story on internet and find it in many news websites if you want to have more informations about it !


Back around 1996 with the now defunct Turkish Holiday Airlines in Berlin Tegel (Germany). During a turnaround with their A300B4 the FO had an argument with the captain. While the captain was out of the cockpit (maybe doing his walkaround), the FO took a screwdriver and removed the panel with the engine start switches from the overhead panel and disappeared. Some hours later he walked into the airport police station, dumped the aircraft part on the counter and left. Around 250 passengers had to be put into hotels, as they first had somebody re-install the panel in the cockpit (lesser problem, as then Lufthansa still had engineers with a A300B4 licence in TXL) and to get another FO to Berlin from Turkey.

Holiday Airlines was btw. the first airline to be blacklisted a few months later by the German authorities for massive dangerous issues with operational and maintenance procedures. It was one of many Turkish low cost airlines, which sprang up after the Yugoslav civil war closed the motorway through the Balkans (before the Turkish immigrants in Germany used to drive to Turkey in vans to visit their families).

Plane Nearly Falls into Black Sea with 168 People on Board Before Getting Stuck in Mud

A passenger jet carrying 168 people came within metres of plunging into the sea after it skidded off an icy runway as it landed at a Turkish airport.

Panic spread through the Boeing 737-800 as it stopped at the edge of the Black Sea – with its nose dangling precariously off a cliff edge.

Luckily, flight PC8622’s wheels became stuck in icy mud as it left the runway at Trabzon Airport, which may have preventing it from entering the sea.

Pegasus Airlines confirmed in a statement there were no injuries among the 162 passengers onboard as well as two pilots and four cabin crew after they were evacuated.

A passenger jet carrying 168 people came within metres of plunging into the Black Sea after it skidded off a icy runway as it landed at Trabzon airport in Turkey 

Shocking footage from inside the Pegasus plane taken just moments after the crash shows passengers evacuating as women and children are heard crying out in fear.

The aircraft’s left jet engine was also ripped from its wing during the crash.

Bodies fill the central aisle of the aircraft and stewards can are heard addressing passengers over a loud speaker system.

The dramatic footage appears to show smoke billowing from the cabin.

Another clip taken from outside the aircraft shows fire services dousing the plane with jets of water.

Panic spread through the Boeing 737-800 as it stopped at the edge of the Black Sea on the north coast of Turkey

However, from the video there is no suggestion of there having been a fire. More footage shows passengers gathering under the wing of the plane on the steep slope down to the water.

The flight departed from Ankara, Turkey’s capital, on Saturday evening. But on landing at Trabzon Airport, just under 90 minutes later, the plane left the runway.

Pegasus Airlines is a Turkish budget airline based in the Kurtköy area of Pendik, Istanbul.

One of the passengers, Fatma Gordu, said panic erupted onboard during the landing.

‘We tilted to the side, the front was down while the plane’s rear was up. There was panic. People shouting, screaming,’ she told state-run news agency Anadolu.

The airport was temporarily shut before reopening on Sunday morning

Fire services attended the crash site at Trabzon Airport, dousing the aircraft in water

The private flight departed from Ankara, Turkey's capital, on Saturday evening and skidded as it landed less than 90 minutes laterprivate flight departed from Ankara, Turkey’s capital, on Saturday evening and skidded as it landed less than 90 minutes later

Trabzon Airport shut and flights were delayed and cancelled as passengers from the flight were evacuated.

Trabzon governor Yucel Yavuz confirmed that all of the passengers and crew on board escaped uninjured, saying: ‘We’ve taken all necessary measures. We will reopen the airport to air traffic as soon as possible’.

He added that a crisis desk had been set up at the airport. Flights have now resumed in and out of Trabzon.

Flights in and out of Trabzon Airport were halted while the passengers were evacuated from the crashed commercial jetFlights in and out of Trabzon Airport were halted while the passengers were evacuated from the crashed commercial jet

Emergency services rushed to the scene and began to douse the aircraft with jets of water 

Trabzon governor Yucel Yavuz said that all of the passengers and crew on board escaped uninjured

How are Plane Photos/Videos of Flying in the sky taken?

How are Plane Photos Videos of Flying in the sky takenIt’s almost always photographs taken from another airplane or a helicopter. And if the airplane is not flying too high then you can capture it in your camera from the ground too. Some photographers in this field use special aircraft that have an open door at the side or back giving an unrestricted view of a large part of the surrounding sky. The photographers and their equipment are strapped in and they photograph the target aircraft directly, without any intervening window to mess things up.

Clay Lacy Aviation (Van Nuys, California) does 90% of all air to air photography and filming of airplanes – for the movie industry (famous pictures such as Air Force One or Top Gun) – for airlines (new airplanes or livery and air to air TV commercials) – aircraft manufacturers (Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Canadair, Lockheed-Martin).

With selfie sticks, of course!

Just kidding. (Really. Not possible. See Could this pilot selfie be real?)

They are taken from another aircraft. A few months ago, they were filming a movie in my town, and one of the scenes involved a small private jet. They must have made 20 passes over my house:

It’s hard to see here, but the side door on the helicopter is open, and a camera crew is filming out the side. Here’s another photo of filming in action:

Plane-to-plane filming is a fairly specialized service. The higher-budget providers will often have gyro-stabilized cameras mounted directly on the chase aircraft.

Private Airline itineraries: Paparazzi steal celebrities’ flight details

The competitive and cutthroat world of celebrity news coverage, media outlets are employing ever more daring techniques to get ahead.

But some Australian paparazzi have crossed to the line by illegally obtaining personal information from airlines carrying famous passengers, according to the Weekend Australian.

Private Airline itineraries Paparazzi steal celebrities' flight detailsPaparazzi are reportedly gaining access to the private flight itineraries of celebrities, in what has been described as a security threat to airlines.

The Australian reports the Virgin Australia travel itineraries of Naomi Watts, Rebel Wilson and Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban have been accessed.

The itineraries are believed to have been sourced from global booking system Sabre, which is used by Virgin, though a competing system, Armadeus, used by Qantas, is also said to be vulnerable to being hacked.

With exclusive celebrity shots often fetching tens of thousands of dollars, private travel itineraries is an extremely valuable tool for paparazzi.

In a statement, Qantas said the safety of its passengers was paramount.

“If breaches are reported to us, we will immediately act upon them including referring them to the authorities,” it said in a statement.

Virgin Australia has been contacted for comment.

The paper claims that it was given screenshots of travel itnieraries for Margot Robbie, Naomi Watts, Rebel Wilson, Keith Urban and one of Urban and Nicole Kidman‘s young daughters.

The Weekend Australian claims it received flight details for one of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's young daughters. From left: Keith Urban, Sunday Rose, 9, Nicole Kidman and Faith, 7

‘This is an issue that affects airlines around the world and Virgin Australia is currently working attractive with a number of other airlines to advocate for our system provider to improve its audit controls,’ said a Virgin spokesperson on Saturday.

Wendy Day, who represents Nicole Kidman, said that is was ‘extremely disturbing that clients and families were being tracked, especially considering ‘the world we live in today’.

‘It is absolutely horrific for anyone to have their children’s safety endangered,’ Ms Day added.

Paparazzi have allegedly illegally accessed the  travel details of Aussie celebs like Rebel Wilson

Air travel: How can you distinguish Airplane in the sky?

The things you can see from the ground are pretty limited, but there’s a few things you can use.

First and foremost, number of engines.  The following aircraft have four engines:

Boeing 747

Airbus A380

Airbus A340

As you can see, the 747 has a distincting hump and tapered wingtips, whereas the A380 has two levels throughout its fuselage and an unchanging sweepback angle throughout the length of its wings.  The A340 has a comparatively slender and long fuselage.

The following aircraft have three engines:

McDonnell-Douglas DC-10

Boeing 727

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

The DC-10’s tail-mounted engine extends beyond the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer.  The 727’s three engines are all mounted at the rear of the aircraft, and its tail-mounted engine has an intake above the fuselage and an exhaust inline with the fuselage.  Its wings are also flush with the bottom of its fuselage, giving it a distinctive flat-bottomed appearance.  The TriStar’s tail-mounted engine is larger and blends more with the fuselage.  It also exhausts out the rear of the fuselage, like the 727 (but has wing-mounted engines like the DC-10).

The following mid-body aircraft have two engines:

Boeing 737

Airbus A319/A320/A321

Telling the difference between a 737 and an A320 is a challenge for plane-spotters everywhere.  There are a couple of telltale signs, but they are small: The 737 has Boeing’s angled side windows in the cockpit; the A320 cockpit’s side windows are straight.  The 737 has either no winglets or large, sweeping winglets; the A320 has those little chevron-shaped winglets.  The tail end of the fuselage extends further out and tapers to a finer point on the A320.  The 737 has exposed landing gear under the underbelly; the A320’s landing gear recedes behind a door.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the length of the fuselage can be a distinguisher — these aircraft come in a number of variations, both “squat” and “stretched.”  The 737-100 is 93 feet long, whereas the intercontinental 737-900ER is 138 feet long.

McDonnell-Douglas MD-80

The “Mad Dog” has a T-tail and its two engines are mounted at the rear of the aircraft.  This makes it similar in appearance to many regional airliners, except it is as large as a mid-body airliner.

Airbus A330

The A330 has the same tapered fuselage as the A320, and the same cockpit windows, but a much longer body, and small, highly angled winglets.

Boeing 757

Boeing 767

Both the 757 and 767 share the distinctive bulges on the fuselage at the wing roots, but the 757 has a flattened underbelly.

Boeing 777

The 777 “Triple Sticks” has one large bulge at the wing root, instead of two separate bulges, and enormous underwing engines compared to other planes.  It also has three pairs of tires on the mains, instead of two.

Boeing 787

The Dreamliner has wings that gracefully curve upward and backwards, and taper to a point, like those of a majestic soaring hawk.  The rear of its engine sports a distinctive “sawtooth” noise reduction pattern.

Airline Crew Reveal New Shocking Secrets in an anonymous Interview with Vice

A flight attendant said that ‘nobody cares’ if you actually turn off your phone on a plane – and revealed the disgusting reason why you should never drink coffee in the airBetty doesn't always bother wearing her seatbelt

There’s something intriguing about the life of airline crew. Maybe it’s the pristine uniform, the jet-setting lifestyle, or the secret codes and signs. But people in the industry often claim that the job is nowhere near as glamorous as it might appear.

Confirming this fact is a flight attendant at a “major American airline” who revealed some fantastically funny – and disgusting – truths about life in the air in an anonymous interview with Vice.

Speaking under the pseudonym “Betty,” she gave an honest account of some of the unfortunate realities occurring behind the scenes.

Nobody turns off their phone

First off, if you’ve ever wondered if everybody really does abide by the “airplane mode” rule, the answer is not at all, according to Betty.

airplane mode


“Nobody turns off their phones. I don’t, even,” she told Vice.

“All of those commands are really just precautionary. You’re not allowed to get up when taxiing to the gate, but we’re going three miles an hour. What’s actually going to happen?”

She added: “I guess at some point, something had to have happened for them to have made the rule. At least, that’s the bulls*** excuse they gave us during training. Some time at some point someone did get hurt.

“I mean, I push it. I don’t always wear my seatbelt. Actually, one time I didn’t wear it, the landing was pretty rough and I jerked forward and hit my head so I felt like a bit of an a****** there.

“Yeah, but keep your phone on. No one cares.”

If you want to join the mile high club, do it during food or drink service

For passengers looking to have a little fun while aboard, Betty said there’s a specific time that’s best for attempting to join the mile high club, at least on small airplanes.

“Wait for service, when the attendants are all in the aisle,” she said. “Everyone’s busy and has a job at that point and I don’t care what’s going on behind me then. There could be ten people in the bathroom and I wouldn’t be aware of it.”

This probably wouldn’t work on a jumbo jet, though, where she says there are cabin crew dedicated to patrolling the toilets.

“[F]or shorter flights, the attendants aren’t watching you like you think we are. We’re on our phones in the back with the others or doing our jobs. We don’t want to be near that bathroom at any point in time and we’ll avoid it at all costs.

However, she added: “God speed if you’re gonna try and have sex in one. They’re disgusting and small, but it is possible.”

On the subject of loos, she’s also not impressed by the way passengers use them.

A plane bathroom is the ‘most disgusting place on the planet’…

“It’s crazy how dirty people are on planes,” she said “Those bathrooms are the most disgusting places on the planet. There’s no way these people act this way in their normal lives, but they get on a plane and go cool, I’ll just pee all over the floor and dump my peanuts right on the ground.”

…and the coffee could be swimming with E. coli

And according to Betty, there’s another disgusting aspect of flying, besides the toilets.

“Coffee. Don’t drink the coffee on airplanes,” she said. “It’s the same potable water that goes through the bathroom system.

“We recently had a test for E. coli in our water and it didn’t pass, and then maintenance came on and hit a couple buttons and it passed,” she went on. “So, avoid any hot water or tea. Bottled and ice is fine, of course.”

Annoying passengers get ignored

When it comes to passengers, if one really gets on her nerves, she has a few methods of dealing with them.

“Usually, I spend the majority of my time just ignoring them. You don’t really have much to work with so it becomes a power play.

“I try to assert myself as much as possible and let them know I’m the boss by not giving them their orange juice with ice or giving it to them with ice if they asked for no ice. Weak pours for drinks, stuff like that.”

She added that when it comes to killing time on a long, boring flight she’ll often play “who I would save first.”

“Like in the instance of an emergency landing. Obviously get the kids off first and all that.

“You spend a lot of time daydreaming, a lot of time staring at your passengers and mentally putting them in situations with you that would never happen.”

A free upgrade is can be as simple as giving the crew candy

And finally, it wouldn’t be an airline interview without asking that one burning question everyone wants to know: how to score a free upgrade.

Her answer? Just be extra nice to the crew once the doors have closed.

“Give me candy and I’ll give you whatever you want,” she said. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

“If there [are] seats open in business class, and it’s not going to affect me negatively, or there are first class seats open and I can still eat my first class meal if I put you up there, I’ll put you up there. As long as you’re nice to me, no problem.”

Oh – and they apparently “don’t keep count of those mini bottles of alcohol.”

Emirates Cabin Crew Lays Bare Life Working at the Airline: Morale Has Never Been Lower and Here’s Why

Just over ten years ago, Agnieszka donned the famous Emirates cabin crew hat for the very first time. She was proud to finally be wearing the iconic uniform after successfully becoming one of the airline’s glamorous flight attendants.

Just weeks earlier, she had been flown by Emirates to its home in Dubai – a cosmopolitan and glamorous oasis on the Arabian peninsula. Her life had been turned upside down but there was so much to look forward to.

Sure, the training had been tough – Emirates expected the very best of their cabin crew. Agnieszka was equipped to deal with in-flight emergencies, medical incidents, fire drills and of course the legendary Emirates service.

But even getting the chance to take part in the training course hadn’t been easy. The recruitment event took two full days and the competition was fierce. Held in a Five Star hotel in her European home city, Agnieszka (not her real name) and the many others who attended listened to presentations about the life that awaited them.

The Emirates recruiters promised the hopefuls a modern tax-free lifestyle with paid accommodation in luxury apartments. They were shown marketing photos of the famous Sheikh Zayed Road – it’s towering skyscrapers reaching up into clear blue skies.

The dream, however, isn’t looking quite so picture perfect for Agnieszka anymore. And nor is it for many of her colleagues – Idle galley chit chat about their resignation plans is a common way to bond nowadays. Times had been good, they agree, but now they would rather take their chances in their home countries.

Dubai's sleek and modern skyline may seem appealing but Emirates cabin crew don't get to enjoy views like this. Photo Credit: Emirates
Dubai’s sleek and modern skyline may seem appealing but Emirates cabin crew don’t get to enjoy views like this. Photo Credit: Emirates

Agnieszka says she still enjoys her job and describes her past experience at Emirates as “amazing.” But those days are have faded away – instead, she’s becoming increasingly dismayed at how Emirates is being run and how its many expat staff are being treated. Over the past 12-months, conditions have quickly deteriorated and moral is now lower than what she can ever remember.

Like so many other crew, Agnieszka doesn’t live in a luxury apartment in the centre of Dubai. She has no views of the Burj Khalifa and she’s not a stone’s throw away from the beach either. Just a few miles away from the world-famous sights of Dubai is the desert – scattered with identikit tower blocks, purpose-built for Emirates cabin crew.

She agree’s, they’re okay. Certainly a lot better than most workers in Dubai get but it’s not even close to what she was promised when she signed the contract. Not that she is allowed to express her dissatisfaction with management – there are no unions, so when a decision is made, it’s final.

When we discussed the situation, Agnieszka wrote that she felt like “our rights and benefits have been totally violated.” It’s a common feeling amongst the airline’s cabin crew community.  A new internal news service, nicknamed ‘Crew Pulse’ recently had the comments function disabled when cabin crew started to speak up against their superiors.

She points to a long list of recent changes that have been made by airline bosses – none of which seemingly benefit the cabin crew. A big concern for Agnieszka is Emirate’s medical insurance scheme – after all, without it, getting medical treatment in Dubai is horrendously expensive.

But now Emirates has changed its medical benefits – cabin crew will now be expected to cover up to 30% of the cost of hospital treatment. A sum that many simply can’t afford. The pressure for sick crew to return to work as quickly as possible is huge.  Salaries are quickly reduced to half pay after just 15 days sick leave.

The airline has made it perfectly clear they only want young cabin crew in their prime –  Even if staff have given Emirates many years of dedicated service. Injured cabin crew are forced to resign. Crew members who reach their 50th birthday will only have their contracts renewed for one year before being forced out the company.

It’s not just Agnieszka who has become dejected about the way Emirates is treating its own staff. Many cabin crew have taken to calling sick in order to get days off. The situation recently got so bad, Lynda Briody, the airline’s Cabin Crew Manager sent a memo to her staff saying “firm action” including dismissal would be taken against anyone who “abused” the sickness policy.

While Briody said she felt “compelled” to pen the warning to address “unacceptable” sickness levels, it seems to have backfired. A growing discord amongst the Emirates cabin crew ranks has seen sickness rates soar in the days following Briody’s stern telling-off.

Emirates has seemingly stopped listening to its cabin crew. Turning off comments, deleting posts and censoring views on controversial issues.
Emirates has seemingly stopped listening to its cabin crew. Turning off comments, deleting posts and censoring views on controversial issues.

The cost of living is also causing consternation. Agnieszka tells us crew find deductions on their wage slips for seemingly no apparent reason. Wages at the airline haven’t risen in over a year and the company bonus scheme has been put on ice. At the same time, Dubai has just introduced Value Added Tax (VAT) at 5% – in an already famously expensive city.  Shoppers have already noticed

But while cabin crew might feel like they’ve got it bad, Agnieszka points to the airline’s Cabin Service Attendants (CSA’s) who have it even worse. Emirates employ these workers to take care of the shower spa’s on their luxury A380’s – and while they aren’t ‘cabin crew’ many were employed under the pretence that one day they would become one.

Agnieszka says she knows of just 50 CSA’s who eventually succeeded in their dream to become cabin crew. The rest are paid a measly basic monthly salary of €300 with a much lower hourly flying rate than the cabin crew they work alongside.

If they didn’t already feel like second-class citizens then a new policy for crew rest on ultra-long-haul flights should make it clear. According to Agnieszka, Emirates reconfigured their new A380’s with less room in the crew rest compartment as before – as a result, there’s no room for CSA’s to rest in a bunk. Instead, they have to sit on a jumpseat with a curtain closed.

When it comes to work conditions Agnieszka agree’s that Emirates has always been strict and has more than its fair share of rules.  But the pressure is now becoming unbearable for many crew.

“Working for Emirates was amazing years ago but nowadays nearly everyone is unhappy,” she explains, likening her working life to a “nightmare”.

She says it feels like she “has no freedom” and many of her colleagues spend their time on board fearful that the tiniest mistake could see them dismissed.  Emirates’ fleet of A380 aircraft have around 18 surveillance cameras throughout the cabins – staff are monitored and quickly reprimanded should they be seen to be acting incorrectly.

Of course, as long as passengers are getting a good service, why should they care how working and living conditions have changed for the airline’s cabin crew?  Yet Agnieszka claims they should be concerned – she tells of deep-rooted coverups and an emphasis on service that compromises safety.

Last summer, she points to an incident in which a purser attacked a Captain inside the cockpit of an Emirates aircraft.  It’s widely believed that the purser was involved in a love spat but Emirates claimed the purser was simply suffering a “seizure”.  Nonetheless, the staff involved were quickly repatriated to their home countries.  Media outlets in the UAE were forbidden from reporting on the incident.

Agnieszka doesn’t know how much longer she’ll be working for Emirates.  She expects to resign within months – although wants to continue doing the job she loves – if only conditions were different.  She’s not alone, many of her colleagues have openly spoken about leaving the company.

For now, the Emirates cabin crew community and the airline they work for remain at loggerheads.  In light of the economic woes that have beset the airline, Agnieszka is doubtful whether conditions will improve anytime soon.


Ever Wonder What Airplane you’re Flying on, and what features it has?

  • Make of the plane: Majority of passenger planes are either Airbus or Boeing Manufactured and you can differentiate just by looking at the nose of the planes:
    1. Blunt and round – Airbus
    2. Sharp and nosy – Boeing
  • Visual observation: If boarding via stairs, look at places near cockpit on airplane to get information about the type of aircraft.
  • Flightradar24.com – Live flight tracker!: Just key in your Flight number printed on the boarding pass, and you get all the information with live tracking including the altitude at which you fly and at what airspeed.
  • Safety card placed near your seat will tell you exactly which plane you are flying with its safety and evacuation features.

When we book the ticket or when we get the boarding passes we have the flight number for example- E779 (Emirates Airways CPT to DXB)

On Airline website they have already given the type of Aircraft going to use for individual destination.

Technically, 77W is the code for a Boeing 777-300 so we know that the aircraft is Boeing 777.

For Boeing 777 features please carry on—

So basically airline has all the information ready for passengers on their ticket-Boarding passes. – Faiz Ali,