QR Exec Publicly Shames Drunken (Off-Duty) Flight Attendant

Open Jaw

The public shaming of a Qatar Airways flight attendant who had a few too many drinks is drawing public criticism.

A female flight attendant was apparently highly intoxicated when she was dropped off at her accommodations in Qatar. She didn’t make it to her apartment, passing out fully clothed just short of the entrance doors. She was later found by other crew members and carried to her apartment.

She likely wouldn’t have felt good in the morning in any circumstances, but it got worse when she learned that a superior had e-mailed a photo of her passed out in the apartment lobby to other staff, apparently as a cautionary tale.

Rossen Dimitrov, the airline’s Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, sent an angry e-mail to all QR cabin crew. In the message, marked as “high importance,” Dimitrov wrote: “I am so ashamed and disturbed by this behaviour displayed by a tenured member of our team, an adult who has been with the company for over 9 years. How can we change rules when we do not behave as mature individuals? I am very disappointed.”

Disappointed? Sure. But did you really need to e-mail a compromising photo to address the issue?

QR Senior Manager Brian Ashby believes it was necessary, as he told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper. “It was sent to urge our cabin crew to do their work environment as well as it can be while respecting the norms and values of Qatari society in which we work […] We quickly wanted to highlight this type of problem that could cause behaviour that offends the local culture.”

Ashby noted that citizens in Qatar do not consume alcohol and that it would be “disrespectful” for foreigners to be seen in an intoxicated state. Hmmm. Just wait ‘til the World Cup.

USAToday reports that last month, the International Transport Workers Union acquired a QR hiring contract which allegedly stated that a female crew member could be fired if she did not ask for permission before getting pregnant or getting married. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker called the union’s claims of sexism “a load of bullshit.”

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