Emirates cabin crew face the weight police

Emirates cabin crew face the weight police: Staff are grounded and suffer pay cuts if they go up a dress size, ex-staff reveal

  • Former Emirates crew have claimed their weight would be monitored by airline 
  • They said some staff were enrolled into ‘Appearance Management Programme’ 
  • Karla Bayson said she had seen her colleagues receive warnings about weight
  • Former Emirates flight attendants have claimed they would be monitored and punished by the airline’s grooming officers if they were deemed overweight.

    The former employees have described how some staff were enrolled into an ‘Appearance Management Programme’ run by image and grooming officers in order to ensure they were putting on a ‘glamorous Emirates face’.

    The officers, who were known as the ‘weight police’, would routinely monitor the weight of staff on the programme and issue punishments such as pay cuts if they were not meeting the airline’s requirements. 

    Karla Bayson, 36, who worked for the airline for nine years before she left in 2021, said she had seen some of her colleagues receive warnings about their weight.

    Former Emirates flight attendant Karla Bayson, 36, who worked for the airline for nine years, said she her colleagues would receive warnings about their weight

    Former Emirates flight attendant Karla Bayson, 36, who worked for the airline for nine years, said she her colleagues would receive warnings about their weight

    Maya Dukaric claimed that 'weight police' would occasionally stop cabin crew at airports

     Maya Dukaric claimed that ‘weight police’ would occasionally stop cabin crew at airports

    She told the Insider that some staff were given a total of two weeks to lose the weight before they were ‘checked again’ by officers.

    Ms Bayson also described how the airline was strict with its uniform rules and no one with visible tattoos would get hired.   

    And Maya Dukaric, who previously worked as a flight attendant for the airline, claimed that ‘weight police’ would occasionally stop cabin crew at airports and say: ‘Hey, babe. You need to slow it down.’  

    One former HR business partner, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed those in the weight management programme were given diet and exercise plans and would meet with HR to assess their progress.

    The source, who worked for Emirates for more than five years, said that failure to meet weight goals set by the airline’s officers would lead to punishments such as pay cuts.

    They also estimated that ‘150 people out of 25,000’ cabin crew were on the programme at any given time.

    The latest claims come just months after one Emirates air hostess claimed she quit her 10-year career after having to spend three years on a weight management programme, which involved having random weight checks before flights.  

    Duygu Karaman, who lives in High Wycombe, said in the last three years of her time working for the airline she had her body size monitored because an anonymous colleague had complained that she was ‘too heavy’. 

    She explained that despite being a size 12, weighing 10st 7lbs, the airline began tracking her BMI and would be pulled aside at random for weight checks before flights.

    The air hostess claimed Emirates airline put her on a weight management programme because she was 2kg over its requirements.

    The former employees described how some staff were enrolled into an 'Appearance Management Programme'. (Stock image)

    The former employees described how some staff were enrolled into an ‘Appearance Management Programme’. (Stock image)

    The officers, who were known as the 'weight police', would routinely monitor the weight of staff on the programme. (Stock image)

    The officers, who were known as the ‘weight police’, would routinely monitor the weight of staff on the programme. (Stock image)

    Ms Duygu told The Mirror that the nutritional department didn’t give much advice, saying: ‘They give you an A4 piece of paper which just said: “Don’t eat rice, don’t eat bread”. Stuff like that.

    ‘It was stuff everybody knows like sleep regularly, which I can’t do because of the job.’  

    She also claimed that she knew of colleagues who had been ‘grounded’ due to issues with their weight, with officers cutting pay or suspending their flights. 

    The flight attendant explained that her weight would fluctuate and the random checks would leave her upset.

    She said employees were expected to go a year at the required weight before being removed from the weight management programme, however each time she gained one or two kilos she was placed back on zero months.

    Now studying at the University of Reading to become a dietician, Ms Duygu added that she thinks she had stayed too long in the job and was now happier since resigning.  

    MailOnline has approached Emirates for comment. 

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