Qatar Airways’ Strict New Cabin Crew Curfew

Filed Under: Qatar

Qatar Airways cabin crew are facing a strict new curfew while in their accommodations in Doha.

Qatar Airways’ new 10-hour curfew

At the major Gulf carriers, a majority of cabin crew live in company accommodations. This is a benefit in the sense that they don’t have to pay for housing, but it also means that the company can have more control over employees.

In the case of Qatar Airways, the airline has long had a curfew of 4AM to 7AM for cabin crew. In light of the current circumstances, that has been extended this week, with immediate effect and until further notice. Qatar Airways cabin crew now have a 10-hour curfew, from 9PM until 7AM.

Furthermore, cabin crew are asked to “refrain from participating in any gatherings or social events of any kind either within, or outside of, company accommodation whilst government-imposed COVID-19 precautionary measures are in place.”

The company notes that “the government is monitoring the situation regularly and reporting any breaches of regulations to our attention for appropriate HR disciplinary action.”

These changes come after the airline reports issues with cabin crew adhering to restrictions:

“It is disheartening to learn that there have been several instances of failure to adhere to the government regulations and MoPH guidelines among our Cabin Crew team. This is not only irresponsible with respect to your own health and wellbeing, and that of your friends and colleagues; but it also poses a serious threat to the continued efforts of both the State of Qatar and Qatar Airways to contain the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a second wave of this disease.”

All of this was communicated to cabin crew in a letter signed by the company’s SVP of Cabin Services, and Acting Chief People Officer.

Qatar Airways cabin crew have a new 10-hour curfew

Qatar, curfews, and coronavirus

First of all, I’d like to welcome Qatar Airways cabin crew to the overnight curfew club. 😉 Here in Miami we have a curfew from 10PM until 6AM daily for everyone. It’s not adhered to particularly well, because when I go on a run at 6AM I sometimes see gatherings outside with people still drinking, and I’m guessing they didn’t just get there.

The concept of a curfew as such isn’t unique, though interestingly Qatar hasn’t had a country-wide curfew, but rather it has only been limited to cabin crew.

I get the challenge for cabin crew — Qatar Airways operates at all hours of the day, and plenty of flights leave in the middle of the night.

Qatar Airways has flights departing all hours of the night

Cabin crew understandably have varying schedules, and many are up at night. If they want to go on a run at 3AM, it seems like that shouldn’t be an issue. At the same time I see the merit to curfews in general.

As far as Qatar’s coronavirus situation goes, the country has seen a total of 114,000 cases, with 119 deaths. The country saw peak cases in late May, when there were at one point 2,355 cases in a single day. Now the country is back down to a couple of hundred cases per day.

While Qatar has been open to transit passengers, the country has otherwise remained closed to visitors.

Bottom line

Qatar Airways cabin crew are facing a new 10-hour overnight curfew, and they’re not happy about it, with some comparing it to being imprisoned. This comes as the country has seen a steady decline in coronavirus cases without any sort of additional curfew.

The company is also claiming that there have been many instances of cabin crew failing to adhere to government regulations, and that cabin crew are told to avoid all kinds of social gatherings.

What do you think — is a new 10-hour overnight curfew for Qatar Airways cabin crew reasonable?

Comments
  1. They have 12hrs minimum rest prior to pickup time and now they just like living in prison. Lets see how many from them will resign soon

  2. regarding going for a run at 3am, that is probably the only time you could go for a run in Doha and even then it will be hot

  3. Why are you outside running? Shouldn’t you be quarantined since you just came back from traveling all over? Can you really not exercise in your room? I dont understand why you keep trying to spread diseases.

  4. @ Robin — I’m running outside because there’s virtually no risk to that when you’re doing so in an area with no other people? And yes, I lift weights in my apartment, but I don’t really find it very practical to run in place in my apartment, nope.

  5. First of all, These people have been staying at home since march when this pandemic started since they had very few flights. And many people are wondering that their country too has curfew and its nothing special, you’re wrong. If anyone goes outside after the curfew time, they are terminated and thrown out of the company. Not even ordering food is allowed during curfew time. And on top of that. Qatar Airways has stopped allowing visitors into the accomodation since march. Which means. You cannot even go and visit your friends, or even FAMILY. And they have been living like that since march. 6 months away from friends and close ones when you’re already away from Family in a foreign country with such restrictions. Now you know what they’re going through. And recently the government of Qatar eased regulations and allowed social gatherings of upto 10 people. But Qatar airways has their own rules . And Mind you these rules are only applicable for Cabin Crew. Such measures are being implemented because there is no Union for Cabin Crew in Qatar. Who ever goes against them, goes home. Its as simple as that.

  6. There are no benefits to a curfew as people can congregate in an apartment or house.
    The virus is active 24/7..

  7. This is another example of using COVID as a handy all-purpose excuse for almost anything you can think of. I’ve seen businesses use it to cover up their employees’ mistakes, to justify reduced hours and service, and to explain items being difficult or impossible to obtain. And governments are using it to justify curtailing our freedoms and controlling our lives. Welcome to the new normal. Might as well get used to it.

  8. QR is infamous for its mistreatment of its cabin crew! QR cabin crew were fighting for PPE and were the last airline crew to be allowed to wear masks on flights, pretty terrible when you consider the crew have been operating to high risk destinations!
    This is just another example of them enforcing collect punishment, seems like their SVP is on the warpath. It is worth noting that all other residents in Qatar can have social gatherings and bars and restaurants are open shows the value QR give to their employees who have been risking their health throughout the pandemic!

  9. Saidah:-The cabin crew members should just thank the almighty for many reasons , coz first of all they are still working , many of their team members were laid off, secondly , as we other people we are leaving in the world were we are not protected regardless of our working environments or the society were we leave , you are in the roles where by you are in touch with many people on the flights and no one ☝️ can guarantee the safety of each other but even in your accommodations where you are at least protected bus curfew , you still think of running at 3 as an excuse , if you fall ill, will you be able to run again , coz on a serious note , you are lucky to be in a very corporate position unlucky like us who who studied airline ticketing and cabin crew courses but we are here in Qatar and working in very difficult conditions where we are not even cared for regardless of even getting face masks, l think the pain of curfew is not more than those people who lost their beloved ones during this pandemic coz now it’s increasing who knows what can come up in those excuses of running exercises

  10. Honestly, I’ve seen some posts on social media lately of the QR cabin crew “activities” that are being referred to and was very disappointed to see the irresponsible attitude and comments made by some of the crew there.

    The cabin crew are not flying as much as before, and this downtime gives them more time to exercise spectacularly bad judgement.

    Is a curfew the answer? Well, in AAB’s world it is, but any reasonable airline manager would need to take some level of action on seeing the stuff going on.

  11. Apparently even Cinderella couldn’t beat the curfew of them. It is unbeatable in term of freedom. Apart from stress and pressure, if it is really ‘happening’ than people seriously need to seek such a psychiatrist for the sake of mental health-being I swear to God.

  12. @Ben “@ Robin — I’m running outside because there’s virtually no risk to that when you’re doing so in an area with no other people?”
    Quarantine is STAY AT HOME AT ALL TIMES, period. No excuses, no strings attached. This is something that can get somebody jailed where there is mandatory two-week quarantine requirements (such as Singapore or South Korea). So Ben is not doing quarantine at all.
    Unless the article was super delayed and it is already two weeks past his trip to Bodrum, it was all lie when he told the readers he will quarantine for two weeks before and after he went to Bodrum.
    Calling out others for lax mask usage, blah blah blah, promising the readers to quarantine for two weeks, and running around just to exercise. Now that’s hypocrisy!

  13. As a 51 yr flight attendant with a major USA based carrier, now retired less than 2 weeks, I admit I have not ever lived in any property owned by my employer. In my younger yrs I did try running for exercise. Due to our strange work hours I had no regular exercise times. I would often run up-&-down the internal fire escape stairs. I was usually safer than on the streets during the wee hours, I was not subject to weather concerns and I had no concerns re becoming lost in unfamiliar cities. (No cell phones for me in the early to mid 1970s.) I was in hotels and as a safety backup I would stop by the front desk and advise them of my name and room #. I told the employee I would stop by the desk prior to returning to my room – just to insure my activity was known and if I did not return within a specific time frame they could ask the security guard to check the specific stairwell I intended to utilize. (A coworker had tripped and experienced broken bones while ‘running the stairs’, she spent hours waiting for someone to discover her. She had neglected to advise the front desk staff of her location.) The need to exercise can easily be addressed on‐site. The need to see family is understandable. That is easily handled – resign and accept a job that enables you to be home. That would be a no-brainer for me. No job (or anything else), would have ever kept me from my family. It is all about priorities. Being a flight attendant was ideal for me. I remain grateful I had such a terrific career. It certainly is not perfect but no job is. And it is not for everyone. If the stress of living in a company owned property is overwhelming it could be a sign it is time for a career change. Sadly I do not see such stressors related to the pandemic being eliminated in the foreseeable future. The reality may become more strict. Security guards and log-in/log-out procedures may be implemented this year. Pandemic life remains a constant.

  14. I could understand back in April / May when the country was pretty much in lockdown. You could only go to the supermarket or work (if unable to work from home).
    But now lots of things are back to normal. You can have a gathering of up to ten indoors and thirty outdoors.
    You can only spend two hours in a restaurant or bar so the cabin crew wouldn’t have been able to fully enjoy their usual nights out with heavily discounted drinks!

  15. Having worked for QR, I would not be surprised if this new curfew timing is extended beyond coronavirus. They don’t want the crew to go to night clubs, drink, smoke or have a personal life. It’s questionable how it’s only being introduced in August when the pandemic was declared in March…

  16. Losing their job, not seeing their family, social life at hault, future uncertain, financial problems and now this. They want people to commit suicide. That what it is. I also know that people who are terminated haven’t received any information about the curfew. I don’t know what can happen to them if they disobey so called curfew. Double termination? They get terminated over again every time they break the curfew? I have no idea

  17. I certainly think too many aren’t following proper protocols but jogging outside is hardly something that would concern me unless the jogger came up next to me within a couple of feet. It is easy to maintain 6, 10, 20 feet separation in most cases.

    I used to go walking but moved my location because it got too crowded on the walking path. And now it is simply too hot to be outside (in AZ).

  18. Very good measure. Because a lot of them they have very powerfull boyfriends it’s the only way to make sure they rest before the flight. It’s not prison. They don’t work extra hours, they visit for free all the world, they visit their families almost for free and many times within a year. .. It is a dream job.

  19. Have you seen the luxury cars in front of their accomodations with boyfriends waiting forvthem? They earn much more (at least 3-4 times) than majority of people working in Qatar and “outside” for majority of them means party not jogging. Nobody walk on the street in Qatar. Staying in company accomodations they save a lot of money. Majority of workers in Qayar visit their families once every two years and in this time Q Air staff complains. Not to say that, when going home, as private individuals, they have arranged seats. On certain routes, as they get onboard, as private as I said, they goes in the back of the plane returning in their seats with whatever they like, before other passengers. Well, I hope their GM reads this

  20. @Assif Ala….. your comment makes one do a double take. Like what the hell are you saying here..” a lot of them they have very powerful boyfriends it’s the only way to make sure they rest before the flight. ” So you think after a night of love making with their boyfriend, then they are truly better rested for the next day of long hours of on your feet cabin service? Way to go Assif…not. I suppose you are one of those “powerful boyfriends”?

  21. Better than I have!!!

    Welcome to Melbourne Australia. 8pm to 5am curfew and only allowed 5km from home! Heavily policed too with large fines if caught.

    I head out the door for exercise at 5am to avoid others.

    30 days to go – hopefully!

  22. This is a lot to take for the employees, I mean the whole country is going through the crisis and I am pretty sure not only Qatar airways employees (cabin crew) are gethering but the rest of the people in Qatar arent just sitting at home as they should. Having a strict curfew only for cabin crew isnt fair, it should imply on everyone in Qatar or none.

  23. Actually, it’s worse than you have!!!

    Yours is only 9 hours – and yours is only temporary because cases were getting worse in Vic – which isn’t the case here, where others have fewer restrictions. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be singled out like this, when those around you have fewer restrictions.

  24. People who says they should be thankful… They should work in QR and see the treatment..
    As close friend to one that still works there for long.. They are always with the fear of termination, the reasons for it being beyond childish.
    Working despite the rules, despite the salary reduce, and not being allowed to have visitors since March.. Now a 9pm to 4am curfew.. Only for the cabin crew? Do they have leprosy that have to be separated from the world?
    Also they have to be home 12h before.. And now is summer.. So they can go out on the heat day only.. At 40degrees minimum? Yes, way to go to treat your employees. And whoever agrees definitely cares nothing for the life of others..

  25. @Stuart: I think what @Assif Ala is trying to say is that it’s good they aren’t allowed to visit their “powerful boyfriends” who presumably can go all night. This means by not having sex all night they will be able to work the next day. I could be wrong though … whichever way you take it, there’s not a lot of sense in his reasoning. And yep, bet he thinks he’s one of those “powerful boyfriends”.

  26. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but QR are in the process of letting a significant proportion of employees go. By having a longer curfew, chances are violations will go up and HR won’t have to use other criteria when picking names.

    On a related note, I don’t understand why responsible adults should be subject to a curfew at all bar exceptional circumstances like wars. I do not consider Covid on the same level.

  27. Hjb – Curfews absolutely do cut down on house gatherings. My flat mates breached the ban on gatherings multiple times a day, every single day. Since we were placed under curfew over a week ago, they’ve done it once.

  28. In general, the way that Qatar Airways treats its staff is becoming not too far away from what is called “modern day slavery”. Some might argue that the employees have a choice and can leave, which is perfectly true, but that shouldn’t prevent their employers from treating their staff with respect and not treating them as serfs.

  29. For sure we have the same in Saudia Airlines. Same issues with cerfew in the compound. We are not even allowed to visit any other city inside the kingdom during our days off which is sad even though saudia is very open for the tourists visitors. I wish that will change in the future.

  30. This is a curfew set by the COMPANY not by the government moreover, only applying to cabin crew?? If curfew really helps to fight Corona like they wanted to believe, why don’t they apply it to all other departments like flight deck and mangers in the office.

    When there were more cases all over the world including Qatar, they were acting really slow on protection for crew – not allowing crew to wear the masks for the sake of ‘5 star airlines’..and 4 months later, now they forced crew to stay home from 9pm? For what? It would have much more made sense if this was done a lot long time before.

    For me, it just sounds like they just found a stupid way to make crew resign by themselves. If you can’t take it, resign. It seems like that. But at least everyone knows who reads this article, that resignation was half forced.

  31. Why is it a problem for people to adhere to rules/regulations – I’m surprised any crew working for QR would even risk it- it would no doubt be an immediate termination of employment and as far as you seeing people gathering in Miami not adhering – that’s no surprise – that country is ridiculous

  32. @ Steven E – I didn’t know that Miami is a country now. Sometimes it does feel different from the rest of Florida and the USA though

  33. Good – they can be glad to still have jobs with a great company; hundreds of millions sitting at home with little or no pay at all! and even before the virus, some of the Gulf carrier crews still continued their parties while IN flight – disturbing passengers during night flights! Thanks to Qatar, some long overdue discipline is being enforced. No cabin crew is forced to work for Qatar, there are tenthousands of jobappliancts waiting!

  34. First of all to understand that this has no clue to Covid19.. QR crew already having curfew from 4am to 7am saying that its for their safety here to show that Qatar is not safe specially for women.
    Second of all this curfew applies only to Cabin crew, flight deck crew and executive private jets crew are not included. And even the new curfew 9pm to 7am exludes flight deck crew.
    The thibg is Qatar airways and Qatar never was honest about it the islamic regulations in the country doesnt really match with modern life and most of the locals complains about seeing girls or having clubs and bars in the country.
    The thing is how a country like Qatar gonna host a world cup in less than 2 years .? With this mentality and strict rules applied on foreign men and women I dont think its gonna be a successful world cup.
    And to summarise the reason behind this curfew is that clubs opened back to public in the 1st of August and of course cabin crew as anyone who wanna release stress they go clubbing wich was never illegal by government. The company find the only solution is to blame tgem and put covid19 as a reason for that curfew.
    Now they are already fired more than 1000 cabin crew and they are stranded in Qatar for months.. those also are included in the curfew which also doesnt make sens.
    I hope the crew that they didnt meet their lived ones for more than 6 months leaving alone, not allowed to have visitors or even pets.. can survive mentally this period of time in a country where humans are just tools with no simplest rights.

  35. This exactly QR actions against ONLY CABIN CREW during Covid19 :
    1 no maks or gloves allowed until March.
    2 crew flying to China in the highest risk time of the pandemic without protection.
    3 in April they start using the masks to promote the airline after passengers complained.
    3 no visitors allowed at all even from the same building since March.
    4 reduction 25% of salary
    5 no over time payment done.
    6 all married couples who are living outside company accommodation have to be separated and now they live each one in different accomodation. ( some of them have babies )
    6 new curfew from 9pm to 7am only for cabin crew and tbh from 7am to 5pm its kind of impossible to leave house because of the 50 degrees temperature.

  36. It’s saddens me to hear such negative remarks as “they should be lucky they have a job” etc. The people that work as cabin crew are not singularly trained to serve you tea and coffee, their primary objective is to get you from A-B safely.
    These people are trained primarily in safety and first aid, they deliver babies on board, restrain abusive passengers, evacuate passengers in emergencies and actively stop human trafficking.
    The majority of the flight attendants for Qatar airways are from countries such as India, The Philippines and other developing countries, these young girls and boys have left their home land for a brighter future, a future where they can provide for their family, support their brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces through school or collage with no other option but to accept these conditions.
    Is it too much to ask for our support in this time? Are they not also frontline workers?
    Do not pass judgement on situations you don’t fully understand.

  37. The question is why it is applied only for cabin crew? This is discrimination compared to the employees of the other departments. The memo – Beautiful words, cover up with justification that would be acceptable to the media. How about pilots who fly the same destinations and stay at the same hotels? This is a way in which management wants to force people to resign by themselves. Obviously. And they do not need to fire them because of the covid – people resigned by themselves. It is good for the statistics.
    Also if somebody broke local law there are police and government officers who will establish that and deport the employee out of the country. Let us ask the question – why again this is happening in this crew department? The company would be silent for the number of the “cases” in which crew were involved. Doubt it? Ask! I think problems are more deep than they appear to be. And similar situations happened in Dubai and Kuwait. Have you heard of curfews placed on one particular department only of one particular company?? No.
    For flight safety this means nothing – crew will be depressed, they can’t have visitors at their apartments, not allowed to smoke and consume alcohol in their off days while inside. Which means people would be frustrated and unhappy. Since they have already lived through the country wide lock down that had happened back in April. talking about human rights in Qatar? This is good cover up for abuse that has been happening for years.

  38. It’s saddens me to hear such negative remarks as “they should be lucky they have a job” etc. The people that work as cabin crew are not singularly trained to serve you tea and coffee, their primary objective is to get you from A-B safely.
    These people are trained primarily in safety and first aid, they deliver babies on board, restrain abusive passengers, evacuate passengers in emergencies and actively stop human trafficking.
    The majority of the flight attendants for Qatar airways are from countries such as India, The Philippines and other developing countries, these young girls and boys have left their home land for a brighter future, a future where they can provide for their family, support their brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces through school or collage with no other option but to accept these conditions.
    Is it too much to ask for our support in this time? Are they not also frontline workers?
    Do not pass judgement on situations you don’t fully understand.

  39. I’ve got quite alot of friends and have worked closely with them for years and this does cause anxiety for many as they’re extroverts. But it remains a fact on layovers many go out and don’t really follow social distancing protocols. There is a greater risk of covid spread from crews than from people who have not travelled out and who on return have strict quarantine procedures that can’t be extended to crew since they’re always travelling. Sad an action of few caused a restriction for all but I don’t think this was meant to be “imposing” and “controlling” this time round. This is just a sucky time to be in anywhere in the world.

  40. Correct me if I am wrong, only cabin crew are forced to follow 9 to 7 curfew? But what is this 9 to 7 curfew has to do with covid 19? . such a shame to treat your employees like than in 2020. I have flown with Qatar airways so many times and the crew was really kind and helpfull. Knowing how poorly these employees are treated I think I will not fly with them again. I Don’t want to encourage this kind of behaviour…

  41. The company that treats employers like slaves…Even the word curfew is already humiliating. Do we live in the Middle Ages?
    They had the curfew before so they don’t have any personal life, you should be fully dedicated to work but unfortunately such Indian culture can’t be imposed on each and everyone people just get depressed and feel like in jail. It’s just the breach of human rights and not even COVID 19 related. And the question is why it’s only for poor bunch of cabin crew? The flight crew are saved from corona? Does COVID spread only between 9 pm-7 am? What a bullshit

  42. Same thing everywhere. There will be always some(I will give myself the freedom to say) IDIOT who will stay on side QR and keep telling ”Be blessed, you still have a job while lots of others were layoff”.Listen, MY FRIEND. A couple of years ago when I sign contact it was bad. But now they are falling apart from inside. Apparently bringing so many former Indians brought quality in stake. Official statistic shows that 1out of 4 crew is form India. By the time they are pushing them each other and now the office is full of the former crew who supposed to do an important job but they don’t know-how. Online course on iprsm doesn’t work in this case. Fun fact. Taxi driver in Doha has a bigger salary than the crew. Salia if you read this suck it .I.

  43. My opinion is likely to be very unpopular, but authoritarian governments seem to have achieved much better results than democracies in general. In places where people obey the government they are able to return to an almost normal life. In places where everyone wants to act like a 3 year old and refuse to follow simple guidance, this may last several years.

    If everyone would actually follow the rules for just 2 weeks we could bring the number of cases to nearly nothing relative to what we are doing. 2 weeks and we can rejoin the international community.

  44. I would definitely agree with @Nicholas, however in Qatar its cherry picking for companies. I’ve recently heard that the flight attendants have received their previous curfew of 4am-7am with Qatar entering phase 4.0. The flight attendants are all delighted I’m sure, but why do they need a 4am-7am curfew? Is Qatar really so dangerous?

  45. I have the option to book a 12 hour layover. Is Qatar airlines still offering the complimentary transit hotel for layovers longer then 12 hours? Thanks!

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