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Some Random Items After a Long Chat with the ISM on My Last Flight

Some Random Items After a Long Chat with the ISM on My Last Flight

Old Aug 11, 19, 10:06 am
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Some Random Items After a Long Chat with the ISM on My Last Flight

Had a very nice and long chat with the ISM on a flight this afternoon. (I won't be providing any identifying information which QR could use to identify her in case any of this information was not supposed to be released.) Here's some random information I thought others might find interesting. This is what she told me. Take it for what it's worth.

● There are approximately 13,500 flight attendants (cabin crew). Roughly half are from the Philippines. Other well represented countries in this group include South Korea, Thailand and Eastern Europe. Western countries like Australia, New Zealand, U.K., are not well represented at all. EK, OTOH, has lots of "western" flight attendants. QR is hiring, and the 13,500 number is going up fast, as new destinations continue to be added and QR takes delivery of additional aircraft.

● In her opinion, cabin crew is pretty much a meritocracy. Promotions (from Y) to J or F, or beyond that to training, are based mostly on comments from passengers. Comments from cabin crew supervisors are much less valued because QR cabin crew management is aware (or feels) that there are friendships, and cabin crew managers could be commending/recommending their friends. In this ISM's estimate, each passenger comment is weighted something like 5 a similar comment from in-flight cabin crew management.

● Everyone is unhappy with the number of flights which require bus gates. This should be alleviated when the new terminal is finished. Cabin crew all think that allocating widebodies to bus gates is just plain silly. They should be for 32x aircraft.

● Management takes passenger comments (qatarairways.com/tellus) seriously. One recent visible result is that the same aircraft on the same route doesn't have the same AVOD selection on the outbound and the inbound. People wanted more variety. (But why not have ALL AVOD selections always available??) Also, frequent travelers complained that the selections didn't change often enough.

● There are no regular financial incentives. If the company has a good year, sometimes there will be a small end-of-year bonus for cabin crew. Otherwise, the only way to earn extra money is overtime. I didn't ask about the max number of hours that can be worked in a month.

I'm doing this from memory (obviously I wasn't taking notes during our informal and friendly chat). That's all I can recall right now. If I remember more, I'll add it to the thread.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
● Everyone is unhappy with the number of flights which require bus gates. This should be alleviated when the new terminal is finished. Cabin crew all think that allocating widebodies to bus gates is just plain silly. They should be for 32x aircraft.
Something I failed to understand is why gates are allocated so that planes have to taxi from the western side to the eastern runway and from the eastern side to the western runway at the same time. I would assume that flightpaths should not cross, but why are gates not swapped?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 6:36 pm
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Walked by AAB showing some people around Al Mourjan last evening, dressed in full traditional Arab outfit. Staff were all a-titter.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Schwann View Post
I hope they don't do recruitment in the US. After two flights on American today I don't think I could tolerate any more faces like smacked arses or any more passive aggressiveness!
Originally Posted by Schwann View Post
I hope they don't do recruitment in the US. After two flights on American today I don't think I could tolerate any more faces like smacked arses or any more passive aggressiveness!
​​​​​​I've never had a native English speaker in cabin crew on QR except to the extent that one considers India or Philippines English speaking countries.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Walked by AAB showing some people around Al Mourjan last evening, dressed in full traditional Arab outfit. Staff were all a-titter.
I've crossed paths with him twice over the years. He's unassuming and quiet enough when travelling alone, in my experience. Staff in BKK, when he was around, was on both occasions a right pain.

Also, regarding the weighting of comments above, I am glad that the cabin crew do get something back for being as understanding and superb as most of them are most of the time. Sadly it seems more focus should be given to how things work on the ground, in particular in Doha.

-A
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Old Aug 12, 19, 3:59 am
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Promotions (from Y) to J or F, or beyond that to training, are based mostly on comments from passengers. Comments from cabin crew supervisors are much less valued because QR cabin crew management is aware (or feels) that there are friendships, and cabin crew managers could be commending/recommending their friends. In this ISM's estimate, each passenger comment is weighted something like 5 a similar comment from in-flight cabin crew management.
Comments and recommendations are, of course, lovely to receive. But much more important to a career and wellbeing for cabin crew are complaints.

Whereas <thank you> messages take some time to filter through, complaints are investigated quite quickly and surprisingly thoroughly. Crew are called in to account for what went on.

Crew and management are of course aware that complaints can often be fuelled out of next to nothing, in the hope of compensation: but QR philosophy seems to be that it's better to err on the side of passenger righteousness.

Passengers really should think twice before firing off angry messages about delayed service, awkwardness over language or forgetful crew. It can blight career progress and lead to termination.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
​​​​​​I've never had a native English speaker in cabin crew on QR except to the extent that one considers India or Philippines English speaking countries.
I've met a male Asian American FA on one flight. He said himself, there are just a few Americans among QR staff. He was amazing, the whole crew was amazing, but what might have helped was that there were only 3 people in A350 business class (including someone on a staff ticket).
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Old Aug 13, 19, 4:45 am
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Has construction on the new terminal even started?
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Old Aug 13, 19, 6:57 am
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oops!

Last edited by IAN-UK; Aug 13, 19 at 7:00 am Reason: wrong forum
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:00 am
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I don't mind the bus gates. It's rare to have inclement weather at DOH and I get dropped right by arrivals or security transfer.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:11 am
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Originally Posted by ph-ndr View Post
Also, regarding the weighting of comments above, I am glad that the cabin crew do get something back for being as understanding and superb as most of them are most of the time. Sadly it seems more focus should be given to how things work on the ground, in particular in Doha.
-A
Now if only there were some way, given their ability to deliver superior service, to get some of the cabin-crew drafted across to run QRPC !
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Old Aug 14, 19, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by Richard Bell View Post
Now if only there were some way, given their ability to deliver superior service, to get some of the cabin-crew drafted across to run QRPC !
"Would you like another serving of upgrade, Sir?"
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:12 am
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"Thank-you for choosing to fly with us, which we'd like to reward,by NOT devaluing your Qmiles by 50% with NO warning" ?

"Thank-you for continuing to fly with us despite the blockade, we're now making your Qpoints eligible for upgrades, on ALL classes of ticket (when space is available)"

"We want to retain your business, so we're making your higher frequent-flyer status valid for 24/36-months, and we WILL send you a new card when you earn an upgrade !"

Superior service on-the-ground, not just in-the-air, please ?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by Top of climb View Post
I don't mind the bus gates. It's rare to have inclement weather at DOH and I get dropped right by arrivals or security transfer.
Agreed. After a long flight sometimes it's quite pleasing to breath in fresh air & avoid the long trek to security.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post

● Everyone is unhappy with the number of flights which require bus gates. This should be alleviated when the new terminal is finished. Cabin crew all think that allocating widebodies to bus gates is just plain silly. They should be for 32x aircraft.
Even if all the A32X aircraft are handled from remote gates exclusively, there are simply not enough gates to allow all widebody flights to not need bus gates. This is especially the case now and for the recent past due to several passenger boarding bridge equipped gates being out of service due to maintenance works in the apron.

Originally Posted by FlyingScientist View Post
Something I failed to understand is why gates are allocated so that planes have to taxi from the western side to the eastern runway and from the eastern side to the western runway at the same time. I would assume that flightpaths should not cross, but why are gates not swapped?
For the most part air traffic control try to accommodate aircraft to the more convenient runway for their gates, not both runways are open all the times though. There is regular scheduled maintenance where the airport reverts to single runway operations several times per week and there are also periods where the closures are more frequent e.g. later this month.
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