Emirates Airline’s staff speak out (anonymously) after UAE records heaviest rainfall in 75 years

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In the wake of Dubai’s worst flooding in history, Emirates Airlines faced unprecedented challenges, with reports emerging of inhumane conditions for its staff. As floodwaters wreaked havoc across the city, leaving infrastructure strained and thousands stranded, the airline maintained its operations, prompting outcry from frontline workers, as reported by Facebook page Fly Guy’s Cabin Crew Lounge (see at the bottom of the article). 

Emirates faced criticism for its decision to keep business as usual during the natural disaster. While other airlines suspended operations, the Dubai based airline continued to encourage staff to report for duty, even as conditions deteriorated.

@aflyguytravels Even in a flood, Emirates crew grooming is fierce ??!!! Proof nothing will stand between crew and sleep, Emirates crew wade flood waters in Dubai in efforts to get home after long flights. The emirate of Dubai was forecasted to get as much as 128mm (5 inches) of rain today. Several Emirates crew wrote in to say this is the worst flooding they’ve seen in the city in nearly 20 years. Stay safe crew! #emiratescabincrew #emirates #dubai #dubaiflood #UAE #crewlife ? Rain On Me – emily blue & Thair


Staffers, desperate for guidance and support, found themselves in dire situations. Calls for assistance went unanswered, and attempts to navigate flooded roads to reach work became perilous endeavours. Some crew members reported being stranded for hours without access to food or shelter, while others faced exhausting shifts lasting over 24 hours with no breaks.

Despite mounting pressure and plummeting morale, Emirates initially showed little acknowledgement of the challenges its staff faced. It wasn’t until later in the week that gestures of understanding were extended, such as leniency on attendance policies and promises to address concerns.

Flydubai, Emirates’ sister airline, suspended operations early in the crisis, recognising the severity of the situation. However, reports indicate that Emirates persisted, prioritising operational continuity over staff safety.

As the floodwaters receded and operations returned to normal, Emirates faced scrutiny for its handling of the crisis. The airline’s failure to prioritise staff safety and well-being during a natural disaster raises questions about its emergency preparedness and commitment to its employees.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The unpreparedness of the Emirates to react to the emergency situation extends beyond only what happened in Dubai. Myself and a colleague were stuck at the airport in Moscow without money or accommodation. Any questions regarding the emergency situation was met with deafening silence. No emails, even though I received such before the emergency. The ground staff abandoned their posts to avoid angry passengers. The Emirate’s focus on the continuation of operations framed their response and their staff AND PASSENGERS experience. Passengers were told they can book.on other airlines but will loose their money and as such we were just booked on every next available flight. As there was no communication, we had to SLEEP at the airport to know what was going on, without food or water.

  2. Since Covid, I quit flying Emirates. It’s a shame. On the surface, wonderful service, beautiful people, wonderful safety, etc., but when it comes to results at the end, plenty of carriers throughout Europe and the US actually care about their customers in the end more than Enirates. After reading this, everyone should think twice about doing business with such a company

  3. Emirates is my favorite company. Food and everything is the best. Sorry about crue members if they get in this bad situation. I think they should complain in their professional union. This article wouldn’t change my wish to fly Emirates.

  4. Very unfortunate that Dubai was ill-prepared for such a calamity. The authorities there should preempt the occurrence of such untoward incidences when they do the planning. There is no blame in building all the world’s firsts and the bests but more should have been done to the simple basics.

  5. For all having a real suffering just gives you a message that there is only one who disrupt your plans and even abolish your entity.
    Don’t blame authorities neither compare with European standards, it was your fate.
    Be grateful not to have more complex situation.

  6. There is no union @ Michael, also Solomon that’s bad but how can you not travel without money?

  7. As a worker, we realize Emirates’s poor human resources management skill. Not only from this incident, but also from many other things. They never try to protect their workers. They are completely focus on only customers and their profits. What a shame. We call Emirates, huge company small mind. By the way because of this climate disaster in Dubai the crew accomodations which are provided by Emirates got so many troubles as well. Got fire, elevators were stopped, no power,,,, etc but still Emirates insisted crews to come to work. Imagine with all those heels and big luggages going down and climbing up to over 25th floors. If crews managed to report for the flight then they had to stuck inside of the aircraft without water and foods for over 10hours but still they make crews to work for over 10hours of the flight after that. It’s quite dangerous not only for crews but also for passengers. Do you think this is safe letting crews to operate the flight even though the crews were well trained, with this kind of exhausted condition? I doubt it.

  8. Watching that lively hostess wade thru the water with her suitcase speaks volumes about how awful Emirates treat their beautiful loyal staff.
    Emirates, I cannot accept appalling breakdown in staff relations, your HR are a shambolic mess shameless arrogant don’t care attitude, arrogance beyond belief.

    Iam finished with Emirates forever!!!
    I strong urge other Expats like me to boycott
    These slave Arab airlines this is shameful and unforgivable, horrified what that beautiful hostess must have been thinking.

    My heart goes out to all of Emirates cabin crews, nobody must ever be treated like this by their employers , horrible and heartbreaking to watch this, makes my blood boil Thinking they can treat their staff like this.

    I will boycott Emirates, and Fly Dubai forever,
    I will revert to European airlines like LH, KLM now as alternative options.

    I’ve even boycotted Qatar Airways also due to them banning a flight blogger who rightly gave them a bad report, sadly he got banned and kind Qatar Airways sacked all the crew!!
    The 5 Star Airline …. That like to muzzle you.

    No more Arab airlines for me iam done !!!!

    EG

  9. I can share my experience as well I’m working in very famous restaurants in downtown .my manager message us leave your house early dont be late be on time.there is too much water everywhere is flood.but GM still message be in time everyone, they dont care for staff .no any company will think for staff.

  10. Had a bad experience with Emirates. Delayed in Klia, was promised will be able to get the connecting flight. Denied at Dubai..there was still time to catch the flight. I missed my following flights because of the missed connection. Only given a meal voucher. Horrible experience. NEVER AGAIN. Emirates is the WORST!

  11. Such a shame that you are copying a report from an anonymous source. You are participating in slander without factchecking, thus spreading false news.
    1. The amount of precipitation in Dubai was approaching 200mm in about 18 hours. Go and have a look what the average rainfall is in London or Brussels to compare. This was not just heavy rain, this was the worst rain since recording started 75 years ago.
    2. Fly Dubai is a low cost airline with NO transfer passengers. It is easy for them to stop operations, they won’t have to put their passengers in hotels etc.. Emirates, being a hub and spoke airline, can not just stop operations. They always have passengers in transit to care for.
    3. Not a single person has been marked absent from work if they didn’t make it. The company asked for people to try to make it to work if they safely could.
    4. Funnily enough, those pictures are from the ARRIVALS floor at Emirates headquarters. These are crews going home after work.
    You are basically spinning a ‘thank you for your great support’ story into slander without accurate sources.
    My source: living and working in Dubai, eyewitness to the events.

  12. Emirates didn’t focus on customers. On 18 April we were stranded in Dubai without shelter nor food vouchers until our tour guide lined up to press for anything the airlines should provide for stranded passengers. We missed our connecting flights and then forced to stay in Dubai at the expense of the travel agency only after sleeping on floors of the airport for more than 24 hours. When we were allowed to fly out of Dubai our bags were missing, and we had to endure the trip without a change of clothes. Emirates needs to reimburse all who were affected by these, not just the staff. Now we know why the staff were so rude and unbecoming to its customers in Dubai. Heads must roll. This disaster showed the complete idiocy of the top staff of Emirates. As they say, a disaster brings out the incompetence of fools

  13. We arrived at Dubai from Male on the 18th April into share mayhem. We was supposed to board flight to Stanstead at 13.30 that day and leave at 14.55 the flight was eventually cancelled at 03.15am on the 19th April. The whole situation was sickening the way people were being treated was horrific. No food No drink apart from bottled water thrown from the back of a buggy. My medication was in my suitcase and i had to be checked in hospital there to get the right tablets as I have a widening of my Aorta we was taken to the hospital on a buggy to save fighting our way through the crowded airport after being given some support by an Emiratie called Kelvin. We queued for over 10 hours and eventually got to the front of the queue and managed to get a flight to Gatwick. The hospitality in the Airport was non existent and shameful. People talk of Dubai being this wonderful place but we would not go back if it was the last holiday destination on earth. Down with Emirates Airlines. No reimbursement. No care care. No human care and no good.

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