Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Share your experiences about your latest flights: details and pictures are highly appreciated by our community. How do you rate airlines, in-flight meals, frequent flyer programs, etc... join this forum now!
Post Reply
Posts: 59
Joined: 31 Oct 2010, 22:21

Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by rix » 12 Jan 2011, 11:48

With the arrival of Qatar Airways to BRU in a few weeks, I would like to have your thoughts on the claim that Gulf airlines offer uneven quality of service depending on the market they are serving.
To those familiar with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar: have you noticed any difference between the Europe to Gulf hub flight, and the connecting flight to your Asian/African destination?
Looking forward to your thoughts :|

User avatar
Posts: 321
Joined: 12 Mar 2009, 19:30
Location: EBOS

Re: Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by fretn » 12 Jan 2011, 12:03

I flew Etihad from Brussels to Delhi in October, and I can confirm that there is a negative attitude towards people from the Indian subcontinent with the cabin attendants. I did not notice anything different about the plane (it was a 777W), EY's 777's are sardine cans btw. You could really notice that as a westerner you were priviliged, I got emergency exits without asking & was allowed to check in at MUM in the business class section, while the Indians had to wait in a hugeee cue!

Posts: 19
Joined: 12 Jan 2011, 12:53

Re: Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by sterling » 12 Jan 2011, 13:09

Unfortunately, this is very true.
I have flown with Emirates (Skywards Gold status), Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
For the international routes (excl. Middle-Eastern routes), people are generally well treated (regardless of nationality).
However, the shocker starts when it is a "Middle-East" route, you see the difference immediately:

-> Arabs, Europeans, Far East Asians (Japanese/Korean) and Americans are treated generally excellent.
-> Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankans, Indians who are wearing the traditional clothing (mostly labourers), they don't get a lot of attention. If they are well "dressed" then they get generally a treatment.

If you land for example in Karachi International Airport and you have to wait for a long queue (and it can be!) at the passport control then you often a security officer will pick out Westeners and (Far East) Asians and move you to the "fast lane" or the "diplomatic" line.

The same happens for example if you arrive at Riyadh's King Khalid Airport, if you are Western then you are kindly requested to get into the dedicated lane that is normally reserved for women and families!

User avatar
Posts: 2455
Joined: 12 May 2004, 00:00

Re: Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by tolipanebas » 12 Jan 2011, 13:28

Of course that's true and its not only valid for pax.

Gulf carriers often even have different pay scales for staff depending their origin too for instance;
white people (i.e. Europeans and Americans) as well as Asians from industrialized countries (Japan for instance) get paid the most, whereas Indian and south/east Asians get far less money for exactly the same job and also get housed in far less luxurious compounds and/or far less free travel gratitudes for instance.

It's a well known fact that Gulf countries (and also their state run airlines) are segregationists in many aspects.

Definitely not something to brag about and interestingly enough they manage to keep the lid on this explosive newsbite quite well.

I think it is discusting to see how these airlines get away with their 'de facto apartheid policies'; for South African, it used to be a valid reason to be banned from many skies...

Posts: 264
Joined: 02 May 2007, 14:31
Location: Brussels

Re: Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by capetown » 12 Jan 2011, 15:53

Nihil novi sub sole : very true. I flew gulf airlines 4 times to India (over the past 6 years) : twice GF (one time via Bahrain, the second time via Muscat), once EY (via Abu Dhabi) and once QR (via Doha). The double standards apply to all 3 airlines. I guess that my final destinations (Cochin and Thiravananthapuram in Kerala) would probably make this double standard experience more likely to happen, as Kerala is one of those Southern Indian states which sees a large (predominantly male) part its population go and work in the Gulf States. Quite a big difference between the Europe-Middle East leg and the ME-India leg, whereby GF was the most striking example as far as I recall.

User avatar
Posts: 824
Joined: 01 Sep 2005, 00:00
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Re: Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by BrightCedars » 12 Jan 2011, 16:03

capetown wrote:Nihil novi sub sole
Bart, nothing else to do? :D

Posts: 19
Joined: 12 Jan 2011, 12:53

Re: Gulf airlines - double standards ?

Post by sterling » 12 Jan 2011, 16:26

Bart in Luchtzak? Is est quispiam novus!

Post Reply