Kuwait Airways Forces Interviewees To Strip Down To Underwear

Kuwait Airways Forces Interviewees To Strip Down To Underwear

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Kuwait Airways is in hot water with Spanish authorities, after details of a recruitment event held on behalf of the carrier have gone public. This shouldn’t actually come as a surprise, but…

Kuwait Airways’ problematic interview process

Gulf carriers are known for having cabin crew recruitment events around the globe. While the exact policies vary by airline, in general Gulf carrier interviews aren’t quite as “politically correct” (to put it mildly) as you might see at airlines in the United States.

As noted by Paddle Your Own Kanoo, El Diario has an exposé on a flight attendant recruitment event that was held in Spain on November 5, 2022. Specifically, the event took place at the Meliá Barajas Hotel, near Madrid Airport (MAD). The interview was conducted by Meccti, a company that is contracted to do flight crew recruiting for Kuwait Airways. The recruiting company and airline are now being investigated for some of the tactics used during the interview, which violate Spain’s labor laws.

So, what exactly was the interview process like? Before the interview it was made clear that prospective employees needed to have a proportional height and weight, be at least 160cm, be in good health, and must have “excellent appearance.”

However, the requirements went way beyond that. According to three people who attended and were interviewed for the story, roughly 60 people had showed up for the interview, and here’s what happened:

  • First the recruiters had prospective employees talk to one another in English; if they didn’t speak English well, if they weren’t young, and/or if they weren’t female, they were immediately eliminated; the recruiters outright said that they don’t hire men from outside Kuwait
  • The people interviewing made offensive comments, including “we don’t like your smile,” “you have a body like a roller coaster,” and they asked someone “if we asked you to eat more, would you eat more?”
  • Once prospective candidates were narrowed down, those still in the running were brought into a room one-by-one and had to strip down to their underwear to be examined

Here’s what one person being recruited had to say:

“The first girl that came in came out crying and she told us that they had made her take off almost all of her clothes, except her undergarment. It was her first interview. The others came out telling the same thing, it was hard for me to believe it, I was freaking out. But they were not exaggerating.”

Then here’s what happened when it was this person’s turn, as she was first asked her date of birth, her weight, her height, and if she had any visible tattoos:

“It was the second time they asked me that. She then asked me to pull up my dress. I pulled it up a little bit, it came down to just below my knees, and she pulled it up to me panties. The dress had a zipper down the back and she asked me to pull it down to my waist and stay in a bra. She said it was to see that we didn’t have scars, birthmarks, tattoos. He was turning around to look exaggeratedly at my body.”

Apparently applicants were then informed that if they were approved, they’d have to pay 1,900 Euro as a guarantee to accept the job:

“He explained that they were going to invest a lot of money in us and they needed that to know that we would go if we were chosen. The money was destined to cover part of the training expenses, the transfer to Kuwait and initial accommodation. But he also told us that if we went ahead and started working there we wouldn’t spend anything, that we would only gain.”

Kuwait Airways’ Boeing 777 business class

This is not surprising, unfortunately

It goes without saying that Gulf carriers in general have more discriminatory hiring practices than many airlines in the United States, Europe, etc. Discrimination based on age and appearance is the norm.

That being said, not all Gulf carriers are created equal. For example, while Emirates has restrictions on visible tattoos and scars, and other appearance standards, this doesn’t get to the point where the airline forces you to take off your clothes and present yourself in underwear. What matters is how you would look in your uniform, which shouldn’t require taking off clothes.

Now, while I’ve heard some things about another major Gulf carrier, it’s still not nearly as bad as what seems to happen at Kuwait Airways. This certainly presents a major problem — if the airline is going to recruit internationally, local labor laws have to be observed.

Forcing flight attendants to literally strip down to their underwear (without warning, no less) completely crosses the line, and then some. I’m curious to see if Spanish labor authorities end up doing anything about this, or if it’s all talk.

Kuwait Airways’ A330 first class

Bottom line

Kuwait Airways is under fire for its interview process in Spain, whereby recruiters allegedly required employees to strip down to their underwear. While Gulf carriers have strict rules around appearance, this takes is to the extreme. Hopefully the recruiting company and airline are banned from recruiting in the European Union in the future.

What do you make of this Kuwait Airways recruitment situation?

Conversations (57)
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  1. Jayceegee New Member

    Fascinating to see the wall of comments from unregistered guests defending both companies, particularly the one nothing that "Kuwait Airways never carried a single interview in decades!!!". It's almost as if someone was coordinating their response?

  2. John Harries Guest

    The Whole article is a lie! Kuwait Airways never carried a single interview in decades, If there is any wrong doing its the international recruitment company used by many International airlines, I genuinely hope KAC sues you for spreading lies.

  3. Fili Guest

    This flight attendant recruitment process looks more like an escort service than anything else.

  4. Ahmed Guest

    Being asked to pay for being recruited is a major red flag and I hope applicants refuse to pay for this ruse. The local agent is trying to make a fast buck and I would highlight this to Kuwait Airways for them to investigate.
    If your future employer wants you to bear their costs, then look elsewhere as it is not worth.

  5. Sharon petite Guest

    I wish American Airlines would be more selective in their hiring but not so strict to look over your entire body. I am a little old fashioned. I believe flight attendants and crew should have a very professional look in their uniform and tattoos should NOT be seen and also No metal accessories in the nose or on the face.

  6. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib Guest

    This sort of perversions are not unique to Kuwait Airways, many Government services and agencies and MNCs across the developed and First worlds are also long afflicted with similar or worst perversions. In my case I recall having to run totally naked within the Singapore National Service enlistment premises with another equally naked fellow interviewee running quite close behind me and then have a Sikh military officer fingering my dick to check for its bounce;...

    This sort of perversions are not unique to Kuwait Airways, many Government services and agencies and MNCs across the developed and First worlds are also long afflicted with similar or worst perversions. In my case I recall having to run totally naked within the Singapore National Service enlistment premises with another equally naked fellow interviewee running quite close behind me and then have a Sikh military officer fingering my dick to check for its bounce; perhaps Sikhs are good at checking missile orientations !

  7. Salem Ali Guest

    It’s an interview. If you didn’t like what you have been asked just walk away. No one is forcing anybody to do what they don’t want.

  8. Maria Guest

    Such a misleading reportage regarding Mecti which is such a profesional recruitment agency which i was recruited personally and i never heard or seen such things mentioned there! No need to ditch other agencies so you get better with yours !
    In kuwait people don’t walk out stripping in bikinis or showing off their body by wearing transparent things like in Europe ! Why would they do that to an interview ? Any normal...

    Such a misleading reportage regarding Mecti which is such a profesional recruitment agency which i was recruited personally and i never heard or seen such things mentioned there! No need to ditch other agencies so you get better with yours !
    In kuwait people don’t walk out stripping in bikinis or showing off their body by wearing transparent things like in Europe ! Why would they do that to an interview ? Any normal minded person will not get fooled that easily by reading this interview ! You are trying to spoil our image by slandering us in this way ? You better have proofs for what you are saying otherwise we can easily sue you for slandering and bringing offenses ! I am working in kuwait airways since 7 years now , these things cannot even be connected to this cheap reportage! Working in kuwait airways is the best thing that i did in my life , the company treats me good and the agency Mecti was profesional in recruiting a lots of people ! Regarding the amount of money 1900$ dollars yes you have to pay the agency because they give you a job and you were selected like any other private agency in this world ! You pay little amount in comparison with the big wage that you get in here !

  9. Arthea Guest

    This was a scam company doing interviews under big companies unfortunately this is common .

  10. Mohammad S. Bajaba Guest

    Was there an airline representative in the team? Couldn't this be a contractor mistake? I don't think any company in the Gulf would dare to require such an interview process not in the Gulf and not any where.

  11. Ebraheem Guest

    Bull shit and not ture, Kuwait airways is one of the respected companies out there and would never do such a thing!
    It's either the recruitment company who is doing this or some other company, carrier or someone trying to sabotage or ruin the airlines reputation.

  12. Karen Wilcox Guest

    First off, as ridiculous as Kuwait Airlines' interview process is, they didn't force anybody to do anything. People could have declined and left the interview. Why would you want to work for a company like that to begin with? Hello, it's not like those jobs are lacking with other airlines. It's disgusting in this day and age that any company employs hiring practices like that, legal or not!

  13. Bader Guest

    You’re exaggerating.
    They have the right. If she didn’t like it just leave. No need to take your clothes off. And then cry.
    And what you call them women is ambiguous now days in your area. I must be sure she is a women not feeling like a woman.

  14. Roula Guest

    That recruitment agency should be sued by the girls as well as by Kuwait Airways.
    Kuwait airways would never allow that!
    I worked for Kuwait Airways as a flight attendant and did not go through anything like that, I am sure the airlines has nothing to do with that..
    yes Kuwait airways policy would rather go for Kuwaiti males as the Kuwaiti ladies would not work as flight attendant ( at least...

    That recruitment agency should be sued by the girls as well as by Kuwait Airways.
    Kuwait airways would never allow that!
    I worked for Kuwait Airways as a flight attendant and did not go through anything like that, I am sure the airlines has nothing to do with that..
    yes Kuwait airways policy would rather go for Kuwaiti males as the Kuwaiti ladies would not work as flight attendant ( at least very few) but they still have males expats mostly Arabs. It always depends on the quota as maybe during this period they require female.. and yes you need to speak good English and yes you need to wear skirts and short sleeve to check for scars , tattoo.…
    these are at least the requirements to most of the airlines.. so no harm in that…

    1. Ak Guest

      I agree with you. I feel there is some misunderstanding. KU is an very reputed Air carrier. They wouldn't do something like this.

    2. Fiona Ferris Guest

      I never believe this on KU Airlines. I feel these are deliberate acts to sabotage anything arabic. Don't hire US or European best.

  15. Dj Guest

    disgusting
    Disappointing
    Disgraceful
    Im glad some one brought this to attention

  16. Lmao Guest

    Clearly its the agency fault and it should be stopped, and its a bit rough that the even took place under KA logo, which i know its not part of KA hiring process

    1. Dude Guest

      I tend to agree with you. KA had made an official statement regarding the accusations on their tweeter account. In times of work and cancel culture , it makes no sense that an international company like them would have such policies, yet alone make such practices in an European country.

  17. FlyerDon New Member

    What do they do if you’re not wearing any underwear?

  18. Nader Fakhrou Guest

    If it is done through the airline personnel , which I doubt

    I Really regret what

    Really sorry for everyone

    It’s against humanity laws

    Further more Islamic restrictions law

  19. H-T Member

    I’m not sure why you are writing this story in a specific manner that says the airline has done this. Firstly, it wasn’t the airline that undertook the interviews but a contractor has done so on behalf of the airline. Secondly, what proof do we have that the airline was aware that this practice will be undertaken? And thirdly, how do we know the airline’s management has indeed sanctioned this practice once the recruiter told...

    I’m not sure why you are writing this story in a specific manner that says the airline has done this. Firstly, it wasn’t the airline that undertook the interviews but a contractor has done so on behalf of the airline. Secondly, what proof do we have that the airline was aware that this practice will be undertaken? And thirdly, how do we know the airline’s management has indeed sanctioned this practice once the recruiter told it of its intent to do so?

    Ben stick to reporting in a manner that is consistent with has happened but oh wait.. it’s sensationalism that’s keeps your blog bringing in the advertising cash. I forgot. Silly me.

    1. Kelley P Gold

      He did say that it was a recruiting agency, not the airline

    2. Austin Guest

      The airline hired this agency, so it is partially their fault. If KA did their due diligence this may have not happened. However to say Ben is blaming the airline is incorrect.

  20. gougoul Guest

    I might be a bit old-schoolish...
    but the way it's written, they weren't forced to undress, in the way that at any time they were free to say, sorry but no way (of course pressure of getting the job, being young etc all play against it but the same could be told about a simple salary negotiation). And then it's not like the interview was held in KSA or another country were modesty prevails......

    I might be a bit old-schoolish...
    but the way it's written, they weren't forced to undress, in the way that at any time they were free to say, sorry but no way (of course pressure of getting the job, being young etc all play against it but the same could be told about a simple salary negotiation). And then it's not like the interview was held in KSA or another country were modesty prevails... I mean we talk about people who more likely than not don't mind wearing a g-string on a beach (with no control on who's seeing or even filming you), crop tops at school etc...

  21. Hooters does not have Fat waitresses Guest

    And how do you apply for the job as a “ SELECTOR”.

  22. Lulwa Guest

    I worked for Kuwait airways for 32 years and once been part of the recruitment team. I worked in the department where the interviewing committee comes from n to interviews in other countries. However I have never heard of these accusations. Am sure that no one from my colleagues have done this. Yes it’s true the girls are required to wear skirt or dress for the interview to look for visible scars n tattoos on...

    I worked for Kuwait airways for 32 years and once been part of the recruitment team. I worked in the department where the interviewing committee comes from n to interviews in other countries. However I have never heard of these accusations. Am sure that no one from my colleagues have done this. Yes it’s true the girls are required to wear skirt or dress for the interview to look for visible scars n tattoos on their legs n arms only. They will be wearing uniform during work which covers their bodies so there’s no need to check. My theory is that maybe it’s the recruitment agency staff but as far as I know n am certain about this the interviewers sent from Kuwait never did such thing,

  23. Roastbeefdinner Guest

    Some American casinos still have waitresses change into swimwear for interviews.

  24. Ken Guest

    Qr is the same....stone age thinking

  25. CHRIS Guest

    They just wanted to make sure that the prospective flight attendants didn't have any fentanyl strapped to their body.

  26. Only Pretty Girls Guest

    Oh Singapore Airlines

    1. They eliminate old and none pretty/handsome people (in their taste) in the first round.
    2. For countries where there is no gender-related labor laws, males would be eliminated.
    3. At final round, they check your skin conditions. Needs to be perfect with no scars on the face/arms/legs, and offer a job on condition if you remove your moles on your face. Kind of ironic because once you start...

    Oh Singapore Airlines

    1. They eliminate old and none pretty/handsome people (in their taste) in the first round.
    2. For countries where there is no gender-related labor laws, males would be eliminated.
    3. At final round, they check your skin conditions. Needs to be perfect with no scars on the face/arms/legs, and offer a job on condition if you remove your moles on your face. Kind of ironic because once you start working, your hands and arms would be covered with burn scars.

    1. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib Guest

      Singapore Airlines ? Are you sure, there was no strip test ? So, my experience at the Singapore National Service interview, which I relate in a comment above, is a requirement of that entity alone ? Wow, so only the defense of the country rests on the bounce of interviewees' dicks !

  27. Henry Young Guest

    There's a lot of similar "interview" type videos on PornHub. I wonder if that was the inspiration ...

  28. Phlebotomy Now Guest

    This is horrifying.

  29. Airfarer Guest

    I knew soomeone who worked in personnel at a major airline back in the 70s. Girls would often send, unasked for, pics of themselves in bikinis and such along with their resumes.

  30. Fred Redmon Guest

    Wait, I thought ALL cultures were equal. Isn't this subtle way of saying western culture is superior?

    1. Bagoly Guest

      Within Kuwaiti culture this would be even less acceptable.
      If anything, it's a case of Kuwaitis claiming superiority.

  31. Hikili Guest

    Disgusting behaviour, certainly.
    This recruitment company Meccti needs to be fined in Spain.
    And Kuwait Airways should find another recruiting company that won't sully its name.
    Horrendous.

    Also OMAAT, wouldn't it be fair to clearly state in the title that it's the recruiting company that did this, and not KA?

    1. shayla Guest

      You really think that this "recruiting " company isn't owned by KA? Pretty sure they're fully aware of what is being done in their name, down to asking for 1900 euros to stating that they don't hire men outside of Kuwait.

  32. betterbub Gold

    While the body discrimination thing is understandably horrible and takes the headline, having to pay that much money to take a job is also insane. Pyramid scheme vibes

  33. Alonzo Diamond

    Nobody says anything when this happens for cheerleading and modeling jobs in the US lol.

    1. Icarus Guest

      Except being cabin crew isn’t a modelling or cheerleading job. Duh

    2. brad Guest

      With all due respect, those jobs do not involve safety, the evacuation of a smoke filled aircraft, managing drunken pax, nor dealing with multiple languages and cultures 5 miles above the earth for 14 hours... among MANY other things...just sayin

    3. CHRIS Guest

      Neither does being a flight attendant however playing bejeweled on their phone for hours on end may potentially cause thumb soreness.

    4. Flyer1 Guest

      @CHRIS…we all know by now she divorced you. It’s getting really old CHRIS. Let’s see how many flight attendants you can bully this week. Yawn.

    5. ripty Guest

      Its completely different, a model and cheerleader is solely looked out for their looks. That's the entire job.

    6. shayla Guest

      Cheerleaders wear skimpy outfits and models have been known to wear bikinis and lingerie as part of their profession, so yeah, there's that.

  34. Dempseyzdad Diamond

    Very personal kinds of things can and did happen at US airline interviews as well. When I interviewed for FA at the airline based in ATL, the head of In-Flight Hiring, ("BN") threw a constant barrage of questions about my life, including, "Do you have a girlfriend, why not?", "Have you ever been to a gay bar, or participated in gay events?", "We want our male FA's to be masculine and either married or with...

    Very personal kinds of things can and did happen at US airline interviews as well. When I interviewed for FA at the airline based in ATL, the head of In-Flight Hiring, ("BN") threw a constant barrage of questions about my life, including, "Do you have a girlfriend, why not?", "Have you ever been to a gay bar, or participated in gay events?", "We want our male FA's to be masculine and either married or with lots of girlfriends". This was in the 90's...not that long ago. I got the job, but I never forgot him.

    1. george Guest

      LOL -Why does this remind me of "The Lumberjack" song as done by Monty Python comedy group some years ago. Listen to it and if you agree with my htought you will have a great laugh!

  35. Lee Guest

    And, one can find an application where?

  36. DaBluBoi Guest

    WTF? No wonder they’re regarded as one of the worst Middle East airlines.

  37. Bagoly Guest

    I know it's difficult when taken by surprise, but I do hope that we will soon read of this sort of situation when a woman would be assertive enough (having worked out that given this request, they don't want any such job) to say No.
    Then call the police and make an immediate complaint.

  38. Ole Guest

    Legal action doesn’t cut it. What we need is a real life Beth, to teach these recruiters a lesson.

  39. Bagoly Guest

    In Qatar (for a senior financial job) I was asked "Do you have any children?".
    "No".
    "Why not?" !

    (I was, and am, male and married.)

  40. Icarus Guest

    Absolutely illegal in Europe and hopefully legal action is taken. Did they add they won’t employ LGBTQ either ?

    And who wants to work for KU? Must be mad or desperate.

    1. Big AL Guest

      you all loved them enough to go and fight on their behalf!

    2. Icarus Guest

      You’re American I guess, making an absurd comment. And how would you know I’m not ?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Icarus Guest

Except being cabin crew isn’t a modelling or cheerleading job. Duh

4
betterbub Gold

While the body discrimination thing is understandably horrible and takes the headline, having to pay that much money to take a job is also insane. Pyramid scheme vibes

4
Bagoly Guest

I know it's difficult when taken by surprise, but I do hope that we will soon read of this sort of situation when a woman would be assertive enough (having worked out that given this request, they don't want any such job) to say No. Then call the police and make an immediate complaint.

4
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