Emirates flight attendant faced weight checks for 'being too heavy'
Duygu Karaman was just 63kgs
An Emirates flight attendant has claimed she was frequently weighed and put on a management programme by the airline after being labelled "too heavy" - she was 10 stone (63kgs).
Duygu Karaman, who had worked as cabin crew for the airline for a decade, told the Mirror that she quit in 2019 over the "upsetting" weight monitoring practice.
The 37-year-old told the newspaper she had her weight checked after a member of staff complained that she was "too heavy".
First, Karaman said, she was asked to lose weight, before being monitored for a year to check that she had kept the weight off.
"They didn’t tell me who reported me but they weighed me and said they track everything according to BMI,” she says.
"Because I was 2kg over I was put in a weight management programme.”
Karaman claimed that she would be pulled aside for random weigh-ins before flights.
"I had to go into the weight room and be checked. I tried to keep it at that weight, but sometimes I would gain 1 or 2 kg.
"I was so upset. When they caught me on the weight checks I had to go back to zero months, and you have to remain clear for a year to be let go."
While aviation blogs, such as Aerotime have been tipped off by anonymous staffers in the past about a secret “Appearance Management Programme” at Emirates, there is no evidence to suggest a policy exists.
Emirates' hiring guidelines only state that cabin crew should be “physically fit for this demanding role with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)”, as well as women having to wear heels and “a full face of make-up”.
"It’s definitely not okay,” says Karaman told the Mirror of the airline's fixation on her weight. “I was really upset for so long and then I lost my self-confidence.”
She also claimed that other colleagues were subjected to the practice, with one eventually resorting to a surgical tummy tuck against doctors’ advice.
An Emirates spokesperson told the Independent: “As a global airline, we treat the wellbeing of our employees with the highest priority, and we believe being fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, is an important aspect in them carrying out their duties safely and effectively.
“We’re proud of our colleagues who form Emirates’ cabin crew and are working in safety critical roles to maintain the quality of operations and service Emirates is known for.
“We do not comment on specific, confidential cases of existing or past employees.”