Friday, April 19, 2024
Home Travel Qatar Airways Ends Employee Social Media Uniform Ban

Qatar Airways Ends Employee Social Media Uniform Ban

by Staff

Longtime Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker resigned several months ago, which caught many people off guard, given that he had been CEO of the airline for 27 years. Al Baker has been replaced by Badr Mohammed Al Meer, who shared a new vision for the airline as he took on his new role.

Specifically, he promised a new era at the airline, “in which a culture of trust and empowerment will be the building blocks of our shared success.” Many wondered if that was just an empty promise, or if we’d actually see changes at the airline.

Fortunately the latter seems to be the case. In late 2023, Al Meer ended the curfew for employees, and now he has also updated the social media policy at the airline, which will no doubt make a lot of employees happy.

Qatar Airways crews can now post on social media in uniform

Historically, Qatar Airways cabin crew haven’t been allowed to post pictures of themselves in uniform on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. This policy was different than what you’ll find at Gulf rivals like Emirates and Etihad, which encourage employees to post pictures on social media, within certain guidelines.

Under new leadership, Qatar Airways has evolved regarding this policy, and the airline now allows cabin crew to post pictures in uniform on social media.

It’s worth acknowledging that you may have seen pictures of Qatar Airways crews on social media prior to this change, but that was almost always from ex-cabin crew who posted old pictures. There were no rules against taking pictures in uniform, but rather just rules against posting pictures online in uniform.

If you suddenly see a big uptick in the number of Qatar Airways cabin crew in uniform on social media, now you know why.

Qatar Airways is ending its social media uniform ban

This is a sensible change that should help with morale

I’m happy to see this change at Qatar Airways, and I say that as someone who doesn’t really use or care for social media.

The truth is that there are many factors that contribute to people aspiring to be cabin crew at Gulf carriers. For some it’s to travel the world, for some it’s because the money is good (compared to average salaries in many countries), for some it’s to be able to show off an exciting lifestyle to friends and family, and for some it’s a combination of all of the above.

Now, as wild as it may sound to some of us, I’ve seen several cabin crew at Emirates and Etihad post videos sharing why they chose to work for that particular airline, and the non-restrictive social media policy was among those. I’m not saying that’s a good reason to choose to work somewhere, but my opinion on this doesn’t really matter.

Historically, those applying for jobs as cabin crew at Gulf carriers have first applied for Emirates, then Etihad, and then Qatar. One of the reasons that Qatar was frequently the third choice was due to all the restrictive policies in place, so I think this will slowly help to narrow the gap (though Doha still doesn’t have the same wide appeal as Dubai).

I also think it’s worth emphasizing that this change is probably good for passengers as well. In the past, Qatar Airways cabin crew sometimes acted strange when passengers would take pictures in the cabin, out of fear that they might accidentally appear in the picture, and get disciplined. That shouldn’t be an issue anymore (though of course you should never take pictures of airline crews without their permission).

Morale should improve at Qatar Airways

Bottom line

Qatar Airways has a new CEO who has promised to modernized the airline, and so far I’m impressed. A few months ago he ended the overnight curfew for cabin crew, and now he has ended the ban on posting on social media platforms while in uniform.

These are all changes that should help with morale, and it shows that Al Meer is taking a different approach than Al Baker did. Qatar Airways cabin crew work really hard, and I’m all for them being able to proudly show off the company they work for on social media, while following basic guidelines.

What do you make of Qatar Airways updating its social media policy?

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