I do not feel safe in this kind of operation. We are working way too many hours and under the worst kind of working environment. Most of our operation is night flights. We always do the approach to land when we are the most tired. I have seen an increased tendency for colleagues to fall asleep during flights. Normally people who work night shifts are working fewer hours than normal. Normally people on long haul flights are working fewer hours than short haul because it’s considered extremely fatiguing.
In Emirates we are doing the opposite. When we are trying to tell management we get the answer that it is ok according to the computer model. A computer only has a certain amount of variables and does not know real life. We make fatigue reports that do not go in to the GCAA, so what’s the point in writing them? When Emirates have the big crash with lots of lives lost, all those reports are of course going to be lost. The hours at work does not correspond to the real hours. How can duty start one hour before departure when we are required to sit in the bus taking us to the plane 70 min before departure?
I am usually at work 2 hours before departure. We are allocated 30 minutes post duties time yet even 30 min after landing, passengers are still disembarking. On our rest days that we really need, time is spent doing Pelesys. Online courses, attending requisite medical and dental appointments, gaining visas, studies of new airplane installations, company emails, gabi, id cards and lots of other work related events are expected to be completed during our days off. When we are in for an uprade to Captain everything is done on our off days, eg the interview, psychometrics and so on. On top off that we have to pay for the parking. Some time ago we got a new headquarters. When this was done the chance to check your company mail and your mailbox was taken away. It is a requirement from the company to check your mail, the question is, then, when are we going to do this? On our days off, of course! Does the company provide you with a computer to do this? Of course NOT!
Emirates management does not care about anything that would make our lives easier. One of the reasons that we do not get adequate rest is because of a total lack of understanding about the environment onboard. On the Boeing we have extremely bad seats. Many guys I know have back problems directly as a result of the onboard ergonomics.
One reason for this is that we are not allowed to leave the cockpit to stretch out and relax in the galley for a while. We were not even allowed to get pillows and blankets to get a reasonably good controlled rest.
On long flights, when we have augmenting crew they are forcing us to stay in the crew bunk even though there are available seats onboard. If you are rested at that time and want to watch a movie you will end up with extreme neck pain because there are not even enough pillows to make a cushion.
The entire operation onboard is controlled in the slightest detail from office people who have no clue about how it is to actually do the operation. We have gradually had everything taken away from us in a most greedy manner. The company is making billions and yet they remove the access to the lounge at the training college where we could get a sandwich. The fact is, there is no other way to get a hold of anything to eat in the building at night. Thank you Emirates. Since I started 5 years ago we are working at least 50% more for no extra money. As a matter of fact with the high inflation in Dubai and the increase of the overtime pay threshold, we got a massive pay cut. Emirates even wanted us to pay for water and electricity, despite issuing us with a contract that clearly states it will be paid in total by Emirates. When we complained we were told that this was not a contractual breach but a change in conditions allowed for by the company. The contract is only really a contract when it suits Emirates.
We have flight time limitations to follow to protect us from being too tired. When the rules do not fit the production, you just change the rules.
Emirates just call it Annex 1,2 and so on.
I, and many of my colleagues didn’t come to live in a desert to work 100 flight hours a month and spend more time at work than an office worker. And this is even though we work night shifts and have to deal with jetlag. If you work in an office you get to come home every day. We spend more than half our life away from home.
The culture in the company is one of the worst I have ever seen. There are anonymous reports submitted against work colleagues. There is a backstabbing culture in the company that is detrimental for the safety of the flight.
Everybody is scared at work and there is no joy until people get back home again.
The cabin crew is treated as though they are mentally disabled. Indeed in a way even the Captain is. When deadheading as flight crew on a business class ticket we are not entitled to use the lounge. I feel ashamed to work for an airline like that. The passengers are looking at us with concern when we are denied access. This is a bit ironic when the biggest concern for the company is our appearance, rather than our skills. It’s a big scam. We are all extremely tired just do not show it and it is ok.
The Captain is not even in charge of the jump seats onboard. Jump seat access is not allowed and was told to me the very first day of work from the fleet manager along with a sarcastic smile on her face.
Final warning letters are given out randomly for reasons that are unbelievable. I recently flew with a guy that got a final warning for something that happened on a day off. Some person called the company and reported him. The company’s policy is, if you are called to the office you are guilty. A final warning means no bonus and no upgrade for at east 2 years. Another person on the same flight got a warning for a joke that was misinterpreted by one person. It is not allowed to make jokes In Emirates by policy. Do you think that a person who lost his bonus for some reason cares about saving fuel or anything else for Emirates? I think not. Quite the opposite! Verbal warnings are issued from an idiot, who is an assistant to an assistant. He can’t even get upgraded and still he is authorized to give these warnings. There are many examples of people who got sick while on vacation in their hometown. This is not acceptable according to Emirates. Even if you have a doctor’s certificate not to fly because of let’s say an ear infection, you will still get ordered back to Dubai. If you pop your ears and get permanent damage, they don’t care. Because of this punishment culture, there is a tendency to refrain from calling sick after a vacation, and to actually operate ill.
After the Melbourne incident, we could really see the support the company gives to us. Before even an investigation was complete the pilots were forced to resign. The management still denies this fact. They answer, are you calling us a liar? The answer is of course Yes, but if you say that you are fired.
When we fly these extremely long flights some people keep the Emirate’s pyjamas on when returning to the flight deck. This is because you feel a bit cold after sleeping and there is absolutely nobody that can see us in the flight deck. Some cabin crew reported this and it is now strictly forbidden, like everything else that improves our comfort.
We have one contractual annual leave ticket per year that is supposed to take you home. The flight routing home is entirely up to Emirates to choose the way to do it. I was booked on a flight to sit and wait in Frankfurt For 7 hours in transit. Why? It was the cheapest way! Try to email the staff travel a question and you will get a response based only on the first sentence you wrote.
The accommodation: In nice cities like London, Paris, and Rome, Emirates accommodates us at airport hotels. They want us to stay in the hotel all the time and they make deals with the hotel about big discounts on food and water, which doesn’t cost Emirates anything. Then they base the allowance on that discount. The allowance we get at certain places is a joke. In Dhaka the whole allowance is enough for 3 beers. I want to choose were to go and eat. I do not want to sit in a hotel. When I wake up in the morning and look out of the windows, I do not want to see an airport. We are supposed to get some relaxation.
The Bidding System. Thanks to the non-functioning bidding system you get what you like 2 months out of 5 if you are lucky. If you actually get the days off that you want there is always a manual insertion, right in the middle of those days off. It’s not a rocket science to create a system that would give people what they want. There is just no interest from the company.
Now the company is also attacking our crew bags. We do 9 days trips and we are allowed bring less weight than a passenger is entitled to. Economy pax can bring 30 kg and we can only bring 23 kg. Why is that? To keep us miserable! We are all expats and around Christmas when people want to bring some presents, 23 kg is nothing. Uniforms: The hat we wear is the most ridiculous I have ever seen.
Retirement: One captain just left Emirates after 20 years of duty, and his last flight was a night turnaround to India!!!! In serious airlines you could at least choose your last flight. In Emirates you cannot fly if your hat or tie would break. One first officer’s tie broke on the way to the airplane. He asked the duty manager to get a new one and then he proceeded to the airplane in order not to delay the flight. He was later called on the radio and was told that he was taken off the flight because his uniform was not correct. The flight was delayed one hour and he was warned.
We have a fleet VP who is obsessed with the uniform. At the same time they are asking us pilots to think out of the box. What a joke. He has been standing outside the customs to check people’s uniforms. He was complaining about one captain who came with a bag that had the wrong colour.This would be ok if Emirates actually gave us flight bags. I think all pilots should have pink or purple bags until the airline give us bags. Then again, poor Emirates only made 1.6 billion dollars this year. We have a nasty little man who is the chief of HR whose only job is to get you fired. Be aware!
Accommodation: If or when you move out of the company accommodation there is no coordination between people moving in and out. The people moving out must clear their garden completely and years of planting and growing of the trees goes to waste. The next occupants have to start all over again and buy a very expensive irrigation system.
Is this Job protection or just more stupidity? I don’t know.