There is a specific list of rules you need to follow while working as cabin crew for Qatar Airways. Here are some of the most important ones:
You must get home before 4 am, even if you’re free the day after.
While I worked at Qatar Airways the time you could leave home wasn’t mentioned. I sometimes would arrive from a desert picnic at 3 am and go back to the camping two hours later; I would normally make pancakes for my friends during the two hours spent inside. It was thought that, after dawn,you could go out, especially since most of the crew thought that was the coolest period of the day and most suitable for running. And that was the time for the first prayer of the day (for our fellow Muslims) also.
During the 12 hours of rest before being transported by bus to the airport for duty (duty = flight or airport standby), you are allowed to leave the house for 90 minutes.
As I owned a car, I used to go and watch even only 2 basketball quarters, because it helped me disconnect, walk around the mall or visit acquaintances.
You are not allowed to wear jeans (the black, decent ones are accepted though) inside the office, technical building, aviation clinic or while travelling with Qatar Airways.
You must always dress business attire, and the girls’ skirt shouldn’t let their knees in sight. To these places you travel either by company taxi or by car that may be driven by your father, husband or brother.
Your father or brother cannot live in the same building with female flight attendants while on holiday.
I made a special request in the office so as, during my 4 consecutive days off, I could stay at the hotel with my family, and some other time I could go for a few days and live with my parents at some friends’ house. Of course I filled in all the details about the place I was staying in.
You cannot use the phone or use any electronic device when you’re on the bus to and from work.
The explanation is, while in uniform, you must maintain a professional image of the entire crew. Of course if you were last or first on the bus, you could send a message or make a call, provided you were not seen / heard by colleagues. The bus drivers were always very understanding.
You are not allowed to have alcohol, tobacco or pork products inside your home, and lately, candles have also been prohibited.
The explanation for alcohol, tobacco and pork products is obvious, and candles were banned because of a number of fire inside the houses.
You cannot distribute pictures of yourself in uniform on the internet.
You cannot distribute pictures of yourself in company of other crew members or friends where cigarettes or alcohol appear.
You cannot distribute pictures of yourself in a bathing suit.
It is believed that people know you’re a Qatar Airways flight attendant and the company’s image can be affected by how you display yourself on various social sites.
During flights you are not allowed to have religious or political debates with passengers or colleagues or gossip about your management team.
“I found out from another flight attendant that on flight XYZ, the Chief Cabin Crew reported a flight attendant for chewing gum.” – NO! There have been cases of the Chief Cabin Crew or even flight attendants who have reported episodes of “gossiping”.
A flight attendant is not allowed to chew gum!
When a flight attendant finds out she is pregnant, she must resign immediately.
To get married you need approval from the top management (the CEO) and you are given consent only if you have been with the company for at least five years.
You may receive visitors of the opposite sex in your apartment only between 7:00-22:00, and on entering the building they must identify by a residential certificate or passport with the security staff at the entrance.
The ID number is written in a register and the person must sign both for the entry and the exit of the building. At the same time, you, as the host, must open the door using your flight attendant identification (ID), so that the system knows if you receive visitors while at home. By having to do so, the office may spot if you break another rule that says you are not allowed to receive visitors during the 12-hour minimum rest before duty or home standby ( duty is considered not only flying, but also a course or standby duty at home or at the airport.)
Concerning the grooming (uniform + appearance) we had strict rules on colour shades that may be used for the make-up of the eyes and lips, varying on the colour of the uniform. Four products were a must for each flight: mascara, foundation, lipstick and nail polish coordinated to the colour of the lipstick. Before every flight, a grooming officer checks every flight attendant’s appearance.
You might think there are too many rules, but with time they become part of you. When I returned home, the first time I went out with my friends, at 2:30 in the morning I was checking my clock as I was used to being at home at 3:30. Arriving home at 5 am was a real event for me, I even posted that on Facebook.
Although having all these rules, I must say that cabin crew members find all sorts of ingenious methods to avoid them once in a while.