Cabin Crew Dox Passenger After He Complains About Onboard Service, Get Flight Attendant Fired

An Italian customer wrote to Emirates customer service to complain about a flight attendant who was texting using her phone while sitting in the jump seat. He said he’s a Skywards Platinum member, and he was going to complain broadly in social media unless he received compensation. Emirates fired the flight attendant.

Cabin crew, though, doxed the guy and also have been gossiping about him claiming he steals salt and pepper shakers from aircraft and tries to scam ‘to go’ bottles of wine. They want flight attendants to be on the lookout for the guy, looking out for him taking phtoos inflight (since he took a photo of the flight attendant he complained about) because UAE law places restrictions on photography of others.

They want revenge against the customer and also to deter others from reporting flight attendants for minor infractions.

Four reactions:

  1. This is one side of the story, and we don’t know how service actually was during the flight
  2. Emirates is really the one responsible for its policies, and for employee discipline – not the passenger
  3. The complaint does seem petty, and certainly is by U.S. standards, but standards very much vary across the world.
  4. While this may seem too extreme, but the U.S. model where there are virtually no consequences for failing to carry out on board duties is extreme too.

Though the story is making the rounds now, the incident took place before the pandemic. I’d advice any cabin crew member now to adhere to service standards to the letter, because airlines are looking for excuses to fire staff.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. FA aren’t supposed to be using their cell phones while in the jumpseat, period.

    That said, the complaint is nasty and very obviously gimmie gimmie gimmie, looking for one thing and one thing only: compensation.

  2. Smells like how under Stalin when people were encouraged to inform on each other. In today’s universe, that’s the standard now set by Mayor deBlasio of NYC.

    In the USA, we would only hope the FAs in FC would be prompt and efficient with the cocktail service as consistently experienced with DL.

  3. I think some flight attendants have gotten away with bad behaviour and poor service for a long time. We’ve seen FA’s boot people off flights for using their mobile phones.

    Hope this action puts them on notice that they can be fired! It’s about time!

  4. Clearly this guy has never flown American intl biz. Otherwise, I think he would probably die from a heart attack. Texting while in the jump seat is probably one of the most minor “violations” I’ve seen AA FAs commit. Their usual job is to gossip in the galley the entire flight.

  5. @KimmiA — your second sentence/paragraph describes all recent US protests and riots to a T

  6. I’m always sympathetic when someone loses their livelihood, over something stupid. Not everyone can just get a new job in that same pay range, and it could mean them losing their house, car, etc….

    It’s why I’m pretty hesitant over complaining about things that aren’t legit serious.

  7. @ Paolo / @ Jason /@IV

    One never knows the FA she/ he may have a last minute thing about texting family that they are about to take off / land and will available in X hours – safety for the FA

    While I do not support doxxing anyone … we are all entitled to a level of privacy.

    The complainant has a history of manipulating the system.

    What was likely 20-30 seconds cost someone their job. Since ME airlines tend to hire from less well off countries it likely harmed this person and their ENTIRE familial substructure.

    The texting had no affect on service, since the person in question was in a jump seat… which means they were either taking off or landing…

    I can shift my attention from texting to fight or flight in a second .. so its not a safety issue either and I am 67.

    You are all terrible for not giving the benefit of the doubt to the FA in the matter. You should all be IDB’d in your future

  8. @Geoff, I should be IDB’d in my future? I’m a medical doctor and my IDB might mean I won’t be able to save your 67 year old ass from all the bullshit you inflict on yourself.

  9. Most FAs know better than to look on their phone screen during taxi, takeoff and landing. The news article didn’t mention if the FA was buckled in for taxi, takeoff or landing. I’m going to give the FA the benefit of doubt and assume s/he is probably looking up passenger manifest or reading onboard rules dealing with the passenger midflight.

    As for the other FAs on that flight, teamwork is at the core of this lesson. They should have each other’s backs and it’s clearly shows they are all working as a team. The tattle-tale environments (esp among Asian carriers) can lead to toxic working conditions. Even if that specific FA wasn’t fired immediately upon that incident, the blemish would be sufficient grounds for termination due to COVID downsizing.

  10. @Jason – you especially – since you need to call out the MD. / and or insult. You will note I have an MD , JD and Phd. I didn’t quit after “only” an MD.

    I have worked with people like you who think they are “gods” and or arbitrators of all that is correct.

    How very Trumpian / American of you.

    Be Best as your 1st err 4th or was it 3rd lady would say…

  11. @Geoff – Damn right I am American. Where is the insult in my post? I can’t see it, maybe I’m just not as soft as you are.

  12. @jason
    You should be glad that the US allows protests – the people who you perceive as being gimmee gimmee gimmee are people who have been unfairly kept down.

    By police, by government and dare I say it their physician who doesn’t think “they” need as much pain killer in any situation.

    Their physician who would willing write ME a white CIS heterosexual presenting male a scrip for 20 325 /5mg vicodin because I have a stubbed toe would deny such to a person of colour dealing with gout. Would likely deny them a scrap for Alpurinol because we need to recheck the tests.

    Not to mention the absence of access to higher education because the schools are segregated in the US whether by demographics or poverty.

    I look forward to watching your President go down in flames and America finally getting its house in Order.

    Treating its people fairly.

    I have worked on both sides of the US / Canadian Border… I went to Med School in Canada. Took additional training in the US. Volunteer with causes in North America where my credentials allow.

    Mostly what I see / perceive from you is that everyone should be on bended knee before you – “Oh Hail the Healer” Flight attendant, person of colour, someone who isn’t privy to your education, be damned

    I hope in my remaining years that I am not a pt of yours.

    Don’t bother responding – you and your politic do not reflect that people have the right to be angry or concerned about being held in place given your gimmee gimmee gimmee views – they just want a fair unencumbered chance. Not your Lexus, Benz or whatever perversion you operate

  13. @Geoff – wait, you actually think I’m a medical doctor? Sounds like your 67 years of life haven’t given you much wisdom, eh buddy.

  14. @ Jason – well if you aren’t an MD then you’re a typical stupid american

    “Jason says:
    June 21, 2020 at 6:15 pm
    @Geoff, I should be IDB’d in my future? I’m a medical doctor and my IDB might mean I won’t be able to save your 67 year old ass from all the bullshit you inflict on yourself.”

    Lie as you will – I tried to engage honestly with you – You decided to be fake .Much like the American President.

    Enjoy your very sad life.

  15. @Geoff

    The people who commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime and disrupt safe and peaceful neighborhoods with bad culture are treated exactly how they deserve. When one groups commits the most violent crime everywhere they are I the world, stop blaming others for their own behavior. Police abuse is a separate issue that affects all citizens and millions of whites and blacks are abused every year by your nanny state laws (war on drugs and seat belt laws) which cops enforce. Your bureaucracy is who hires and trains cops.

  16. I couldn’t get over the flight attendant who calls herself the Queen with her loquacious narcissistic personality. I never saw the video as she gave me a migraine just listening talk endlessly…

  17. @Geoff +10
    Jason the doctor has nothing better to do than rant at people he doesn’t agree with every day on Gary’s blog. Kind of like chump’s Twitter nonsense, lies, half truths, no facts and conspiracy theories. What a man chump is, the a-hole of the world.

  18. @Roger

    I appreciate you reading and understanding … the “doctor” I agree with you is typical of the argument I see from people absent evidence to support their argument, so they devolve in to obfuscation and lies… much like their “Dear Leader”

    As a dual US / Canadian Citizen, I choose to live in Canada, where people are generally treated better.

    Yes we have issues, but outward racism as expressed by “Jackson Henderson” and others doesn’t seem to be a real issue here in Canada.

    We do have some culture shock as we transition from a largely white culture in to a multi cultural one.

    Yet I have never had to deal with so many avowed racists, and honestly so many self entitled dimwits, as I do when I go to back to the US for a conference.

    From other “professionals” in my specialty to the customs and border people.

    Best said as Mrs. Clinton did – “A basket of deplorables.”

  19. Give me a break! This guy is definitely a real jerk! Flight Attendants work very hard to accommodate their passengers! To me, this is such a trivial situation that has resulted in the termination of an airline employee. Granted, if this flight attendant had previous recommends, then they would obviously need to investigate that. If not, then they need to start the investigation right where it started! With this one flight! Look, everyone makes simple mistakes! No one is exempt from this. To literally fire a flight attendant just based on one passengers perception is totally wrong. This idiot obviously does not care at all about the well being of this flight attendant. Everyone needs to keep in mind that flight attendants have a lot on their plates! They constantly need to attend to the needs of their customers and sometimes( not always) they are always dealing with the safety of their passengers. Look. There is no way that you will satisfy everyone that boards your airplane, and assuming that there were no previous complaints, there will ALWAYS be something that will single people out. In short, my poliomyelitis is that this one flight attendant did NOT deserve to be let go. Everyone is human, we all make mistakes. She needs to be reinstated and the jerk?!!!!! Well, he simply needs to be banned from the airline! Who needs drama? Who needs someone that is obviously so full of themselves that they don’t care about the well being of their flight crew? Even if it means passive aggressive termination! To the airline…. hire this flight attendant back! You would be a fool not to. Ban this customer! He seems like a self absorbed idiot and a real narsisist! Love to everyone but most of all love to the flight attendant that was just doing their job!!!!!!

  20. The customer didn’t break any UAE Laws as the video recording he took was when the plane was in Italy.
    This is clearly stated in his written complaint to Emirates which the You Tuber conveniently failed to reveal.

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