Qatar Airways CEO Insults US Airlines and Their Flight Attendants During Gala Speech

Qatar Airways CEO Insults US Airlines and Their Flight Attendants During Gala Speech

Airline CEO Calls US Flight Attendants “grandmothers”

The CEO of Qatar Airways has taken another swipe at female flight attendants and this time he’s zoning in on those who fly at US carriers; poking fun at their age and appearance. During a July 5th gala event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, to celebrate the airline’s new Dublin-Doha route, Mr. Al Baker made multiple, tasteless remarks about US airlines and their flight attendants. It must be noted that Qatar Airways employs their flight attendants using short-term contracts which it has the option to renew or not based on anything it chooses, including age.

Association of Flight Attendants Responds:

Remarks by Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker, posted online, exposed the airline’s discriminatory practices and war on women as he called American carriers “crap,” U.S. Flight Attendants “grandmothers,” and boasted “his” Qatar cabin crew were an average age of 26. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson stated the following on behalf of the union’s 50,000 Flight Attendant members at 20 airlines:

“Straight from Akbar Al Baker lips, he confirms what AFA has said all along: Qatar Airways thrives on misogyny and discrimination. Qatar is not only seeking to choke out U.S. Aviation, but also the 300,000 good jobs built through opportunity created on the principle of equality. There is no room for a separation of humanity in air travel or in an emergency. Flight Attendants are onboard to save lives and every life counts. If you prop up Qatar Airways, you are supporting sexism, racism, and ageism. Period.

“When there’s an emergency onboard, a Flight Attendant’s gender, age, weight, height, race, or sexuality simply do not matter. What matters is effective safety and security training, along with experience on the job. The women of US Airways Flight 1549, who served as aviation’s first responders with decades of seniority, successfully contributed their part to every life saved on the Hudson. An experienced United Airlines crew of women and men delivered a baby over the Atlantic earlier this year. Flight Attendants serving as aviation’s last line of defense battled and restrained aggressors on both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines in recent weeks to ensure the safety of every passenger in their care. There are hundreds of stories like these, and millions of examples every day where the heart of a Flight Attendant is what matters – not how she or he is judged by cheaters who think everyone is for sale. 

“Aviation connects all of humanity, our customs, every creed and each of our communities. We condemn the comments of Akbar Al Baker that tear apart the industry we built. We call on all of aviation, every American business and anyone who believes in equality to stand with us.”


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