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Reasons not to apply for emirates airlines

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Reasons not to apply for emirates airlines

Old 25th Oct 2011, 22:00
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Reasons not to apply for emirates airlines

I do not feel safe in this kind of operation. We are working way too many hours and under the worst kind of working environment. Most of our operation is night flights. We always do the approach to land when we are the most tired. I have seen an increased tendency for colleagues to fall asleep during flights. Normally people who work night shifts are working fewer hours than normal. Normally people on long haul flights are working fewer hours than short haul because itís considered extremely fatiguing.

In Emirates we are doing the opposite. When we are trying to tell management we get the answer that it is ok according to the computer model. A computer only has a certain amount of variables and does not know real life. We make fatigue reports that do not go in to the GCAA, so whatís the point in writing them? When Emirates have the big crash with lots of lives lost, all those reports are of course going to be lost. The hours at work does not correspond to the real hours. How can duty start one hour before departure when we are required to sit in the bus taking us to the plane 70 min before departure?

I am usually at work 2 hours before departure. We are allocated 30 minutes post duties time yet even 30 min after landing, passengers are still disembarking. On our rest days that we really need, time is spent doing Pelesys. Online courses, attending requisite medical and dental appointments, gaining visas, studies of new airplane installations, company emails, gabi, id cards and lots of other work related events are expected to be completed during our days off. When we are in for an uprade to Captain everything is done on our off days, eg the interview, psychometrics and so on. On top off that we have to pay for the parking. Some time ago we got a new headquarters. When this was done the chance to check your company mail and your mailbox was taken away. It is a requirement from the company to check your mail, the question is, then, when are we going to do this? On our days off, of course! Does the company provide you with a computer to do this? Of course NOT!

Emirates management does not care about anything that would make our lives easier. One of the reasons that we do not get adequate rest is because of a total lack of understanding about the environment onboard. On the Boeing we have extremely bad seats. Many guys I know have back problems directly as a result of the onboard ergonomics.

One reason for this is that we are not allowed to leave the cockpit to stretch out and relax in the galley for a while. We were not even allowed to get pillows and blankets to get a reasonably good controlled rest.

On long flights, when we have augmenting crew they are forcing us to stay in the crew bunk even though there are available seats onboard. If you are rested at that time and want to watch a movie you will end up with extreme neck pain because there are not even enough pillows to make a cushion.

The entire operation onboard is controlled in the slightest detail from office people who have no clue about how it is to actually do the operation. We have gradually had everything taken away from us in a most greedy manner. The company is making billions and yet they remove the access to the lounge at the training college where we could get a sandwich. The fact is, there is no other way to get a hold of anything to eat in the building at night. Thank you Emirates. Since I started 5 years ago we are working at least 50% more for no extra money. As a matter of fact with the high inflation in Dubai and the increase of the overtime pay threshold, we got a massive pay cut. Emirates even wanted us to pay for water and electricity, despite issuing us with a contract that clearly states it will be paid in total by Emirates. When we complained we were told that this was not a contractual breach but a change in conditions allowed for by the company. The contract is only really a contract when it suits Emirates.

We have flight time limitations to follow to protect us from being too tired. When the rules do not fit the production, you just change the rules.

Emirates just call it Annex 1,2 and so on.

I, and many of my colleagues didnít come to live in a desert to work 100 flight hours a month and spend more time at work than an office worker. And this is even though we work night shifts and have to deal with jetlag. If you work in an office you get to come home every day. We spend more than half our life away from home.

The culture in the company is one of the worst I have ever seen. There are anonymous reports submitted against work colleagues. There is a backstabbing culture in the company that is detrimental for the safety of the flight.

Everybody is scared at work and there is no joy until people get back home again.

The cabin crew is treated as though they are mentally disabled. Indeed in a way even the Captain is. When deadheading as flight crew on a business class ticket we are not entitled to use the lounge. I feel ashamed to work for an airline like that. The passengers are looking at us with concern when we are denied access. This is a bit ironic when the biggest concern for the company is our appearance, rather than our skills. Itís a big scam. We are all extremely tired just do not show it and it is ok.

The Captain is not even in charge of the jump seats onboard. Jump seat access is not allowed and was told to me the very first day of work from the fleet manager along with a sarcastic smile on her face.

Final warning letters are given out randomly for reasons that are unbelievable. I recently flew with a guy that got a final warning for something that happened on a day off. Some person called the company and reported him. The companyís policy is, if you are called to the office you are guilty. A final warning means no bonus and no upgrade for at east 2 years. Another person on the same flight got a warning for a joke that was misinterpreted by one person. It is not allowed to make jokes In Emirates by policy. Do you think that a person who lost his bonus for some reason cares about saving fuel or anything else for Emirates? I think not. Quite the opposite! Verbal warnings are issued from an idiot, who is an assistant to an assistant. He canít even get upgraded and still he is authorized to give these warnings. There are many examples of people who got sick while on vacation in their hometown. This is not acceptable according to Emirates. Even if you have a doctorís certificate not to fly because of letís say an ear infection, you will still get ordered back to Dubai. If you pop your ears and get permanent damage, they donít care. Because of this punishment culture, there is a tendency to refrain from calling sick after a vacation, and to actually operate ill.

After the Melbourne incident, we could really see the support the company gives to us. Before even an investigation was complete the pilots were forced to resign. The management still denies this fact. They answer, are you calling us a liar? The answer is of course Yes, but if you say that you are fired.

When we fly these extremely long flights some people keep the Emirateís pyjamas on when returning to the flight deck. This is because you feel a bit cold after sleeping and there is absolutely nobody that can see us in the flight deck. Some cabin crew reported this and it is now strictly forbidden, like everything else that improves our comfort.

We have one contractual annual leave ticket per year that is supposed to take you home. The flight routing home is entirely up to Emirates to choose the way to do it. I was booked on a flight to sit and wait in Frankfurt For 7 hours in transit. Why? It was the cheapest way! Try to email the staff travel a question and you will get a response based only on the first sentence you wrote.

The accommodation: In nice cities like London, Paris, and Rome, Emirates accommodates us at airport hotels. They want us to stay in the hotel all the time and they make deals with the hotel about big discounts on food and water, which doesnít cost Emirates anything. Then they base the allowance on that discount. The allowance we get at certain places is a joke. In Dhaka the whole allowance is enough for 3 beers. I want to choose were to go and eat. I do not want to sit in a hotel. When I wake up in the morning and look out of the windows, I do not want to see an airport. We are supposed to get some relaxation.

The Bidding System. Thanks to the non-functioning bidding system you get what you like 2 months out of 5 if you are lucky. If you actually get the days off that you want there is always a manual insertion, right in the middle of those days off. Itís not a rocket science to create a system that would give people what they want. There is just no interest from the company.

Now the company is also attacking our crew bags. We do 9 days trips and we are allowed bring less weight than a passenger is entitled to. Economy pax can bring 30 kg and we can only bring 23 kg. Why is that? To keep us miserable! We are all expats and around Christmas when people want to bring some presents, 23 kg is nothing. Uniforms: The hat we wear is the most ridiculous I have ever seen.

Retirement: One captain just left Emirates after 20 years of duty, and his last flight was a night turnaround to India!!!! In serious airlines you could at least choose your last flight. In Emirates you cannot fly if your hat or tie would break. One first officerís tie broke on the way to the airplane. He asked the duty manager to get a new one and then he proceeded to the airplane in order not to delay the flight. He was later called on the radio and was told that he was taken off the flight because his uniform was not correct. The flight was delayed one hour and he was warned.

We have a fleet VP who is obsessed with the uniform. At the same time they are asking us pilots to think out of the box. What a joke. He has been standing outside the customs to check peopleís uniforms. He was complaining about one captain who came with a bag that had the wrong colour.This would be ok if Emirates actually gave us flight bags. I think all pilots should have pink or purple bags until the airline give us bags. Then again, poor Emirates only made 1.6 billion dollars this year. We have a nasty little man who is the chief of HR whose only job is to get you fired. Be aware!

Accommodation: If or when you move out of the company accommodation there is no coordination between people moving in and out. The people moving out must clear their garden completely and years of planting and growing of the trees goes to waste. The next occupants have to start all over again and buy a very expensive irrigation system.
Is this Job protection or just more stupidity? I donít know.

More to follow-
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 00:54
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Failed the upgrade?
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 03:36
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Make the best of it.

Thexman I have to agree with what you've written. Most of us are stuck here. It's just a job. When I go to work it makes me smile to hear all the reasons people express to self comfort themselves. Everybody I work with is "Happy". We all have to work to feed our families. No choice. The work environment is difficult and not improving. At the end of the day everybody is here for themselves and don't really care about others. That's one face of the expat world. You have to make the best out of it. Sadly I'm seeing many people struggling more and more around me. I can feel the frustration every day around me. Some blame the Middle East. Others blame EK. But overall It is a new world reality. It's tough out there.

I think it will even get worst. They have put the bar so high. They are proud of how many airplanes they have and profits they make. Unfortunately you can't put all the blame on Emirates. After all the success of Emirates is based on a model of globalization. All about image, low costs and big margins. Many people are proud of it. In a way, you have to give them credit. It still pays salaries and feed 50000+ people. We can't deny this fact. It's everywhere these days and not just here at EK. Everybody is tightly competing to have a piece of the pie. The new world reality. You have to work, not because you like it but because you have to. Hope they can pay me more and give me more bonuses because i work hard and i think i deserve it. That's all I can hope for because i'm greedy

In the mean time, keep discovering
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 03:49
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From what I recall, Thexman's comments are quite accurate are they not?

Why assume that he failed an upgrade? Unless, of course, all present EK Captains share none of his opinions?

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Old 26th Oct 2011, 05:57
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Thexman - you could always go back to Alitalia or the tin pot outfit you left and wonder whether your job was going to be there the next day. Please feel free to visit the 3rd floor of the ivory towers with your resignation if life is so unbearable in the sandpit. Like the rest of us, YOU signed the contract and YOU agreed to the terms at that moment in time. We all know things in this part of the World can be less than ideal and that we get sh***ed with new management models/ideas, but this should have been part of your homework before committing to come to EK. Believe me things are worse outside. I suggest you go down to the training college and see how many guys from good airlines are coming through from reasonably good airlines unlike a few years ago, you might then get the picture.

Thank Allah you are on the 'cripple 7', as I would hate to be sat next to you for 7 hours or worse be on layover with the constant whinging. Small suggestion - look at the things that have been good to you and your family in DXB and EK and if things are worse than when you left your previous carrier then resign and go to grass that is greener. If you find it please tell the other 2900 pilots in EK so we can join you, as in the current climate I doubt you will, but you never know.

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Old 26th Oct 2011, 08:09
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So very true. A place for idiotic losers!!
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 09:25
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could be worse...flying in a light trainer airplane in the desert, middle of summer with no airconditioning looking at the shiny jets and wishing to fly them
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 10:23
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Give me the light trainer ! Sounds a million miles better than the picture Thexman paints. All credit to the latter. Splendid post but what a miserable life it seems to have become. If you really have resigned, you have demonstrated great courage. Years ago, as an anti-union person, I used to tell people, 'If you don't like it, leave !' That was when there were lots of jobs around. I tried to change things from within but got slapped around, quite a bit. I HAD to join the bloody Union but they did not change the things that really matter to us. Things that Thexman articulates so well. Glad I am about to hang up my boots. I can boast 40 years of it and have seen a once glorious career disintegrate into this mess that we endure daily. My own company is going the same way. Cabin crew reporting pilots, huge restrictions on Staff Travel, daft uniform hats (Once observed a foreign crew, immaculate in trendy uniforms, no hats, which really suited the younger, good looking Dudes with, yes, wait for it, very tidy but LONG hair). The trend, downwards, in T&C's, does go back , some twenty odd years. Joined a new Company where the Fleet Manager, in a private rant, claimed that his last year in Airline Piloting was, clearly, his unhappiest. Hey, buddy, in the Big Hangar, it has got a lot worse & I share Thexman's fear that it could lead to a terrible disaster. I cannot choose my last flight either but I am damned if I am going to wear my bloody hat & I WILL take to work my PINK flight bag with that lovely BIG sticker on the side that says " Pilots dot it in the cockpit".
Good luck Thex,. You are going to do just fine. Safe flying out there.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 10:28
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Alpha 6, most of us have done exactly what you are doing...we have paid our dues, sorry, no sympathy from me.

Thexman - I hear you brother!
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 11:18
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Glad I got out of this game 12 years ago. However, please guys could we have flight deck crews who are at least awake for the landings and take offs on the ATH-DXB-JNB a week on Friday
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 12:29
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If you're leaving, perhaps I don't blame you for offloading your frustrations.

However, whilst I certainly agree with one or two points in your post, in my view there is more emotion than cold facts. Whilst I'm certainly not defending EK for all their policies and procedures, judgement needs to be balanced.

Annex flights and variations are not unique to EK, far from it. Secondly, ASR's are legally required to be submitted to the regulatory authority and they are. If you feel that a report had been submitted and it's been doctored sufficiently to deflect the true problem, then speak to flight safety. If that fails, use the GCAA's confidential reporting system.

I have never in my entire time heard of anyone receiving a final warning for no reason. Unless I see it in writing or I know the individual concerned, I ignore rumour and hearsay. Just because we hear a story from 2 or 3 sources does not a true story make. It's just the same one going round and round being spiced up each day. Do you know the reason why the Melbourne guys resigned? If you do, regardless of the process, you might understand why they left and not stay to appeal. In all cases, our 'friends' accounts of events will naturally be heavily biased to their own viewpoint.

Not once have I ever been reported by any crew member. Treat people as you wish to be treated and you'll be surprised how often extra pillows are offered, along with cappucinos! I also make it very clear in all briefings that any personal issues should come through me first. That negates the back stabbing. Lounge access? Never a problem when on duty travel, staff travel is a different issue altogether.

So, looking at other aspects of your gripes. Is there any reason why you can't check your mail before a flight, especially if you're dropped off early? It takes 5 minutes.... if you can be bothered to leave your case by laundry and take the elevator down 1 floor. Training? I too detest Pelesys, which is why it has been reduced considerably as a result of pilot feedback and we now get several extra classroom days each year. Which would you prefer? You will have to study anyway, regardless of which airline you're employed by. Visa runs are a pain, sure, but part and parcel of life here. It's once every 3 years. Is it really that bad? Did you not have to do medicals with your last airline or pay car insurance or gas bills, all the same things that millions of people all over the World have to fit in between their working days. I don't know any airline that gives you time off for personal admin. My EK medicals are done on either standby days or R/D's.

Talking of bills, why do you think Emirates brought in the 'cap' on utility bills? Because, as usual, people were abusing the system, heating swimming pools, watering big grass filled gardens and putting air conditioner units into large garden sheds so their bicycles didn't rust. Despite this cap, there is not one pilot who has actually had to pay a single dirham. Did you?

I don't care about the suitcase limit because I'm rarely over it. If I am, it doesn't bother me because I know I don't take the piss. I'll be quite happy to stand up and defend it anyway. Overnight allowances have never not covered me for what they're designed for. If you want to go outside and eat in Dhaka, feel free. Yes, a poor example I know which is why i'm surprised you used it for your example. Is it not a muslim country where alcohol is prohibitively expensive for that very reason? If you're that desperate for a beer or three within 24 hours, stick a few stubbies in your case.

Wearing the hat? It's been done to death here before. The Company provide me a uniform and pay me to wear it, so I do. Did you not notice the hats before you joined if you felt it so much of an issue? Which leads me to my final point. Pyjamas.

Your comment was actually the catalyst for my reply. To be honest, I found it rather pathetic. You obviously find it acceptable to wear them on the flight deck whilst you undertake your professional duties. I wonder if you'd ever thought if this would present a problem during a time critical emergency, conducting a NITS brief, diverting due to a medical problem or having to deal with an issue in the cabin? If i'd been your Captain, I would have ensured that the scenario of you being reported would not have materialised. When you are part of the operating crew, regardless of it being a ULR operation, you operate in uniform. Not only does it demostrate professional attitude, it forms the basic manners and courtesy that's required when we share our confined working environment with fellow colleagues.

I wish you well in your new airline and I hope it brings you the satisfaction that you desire. I suspect though, from reading your post, that wherever you end up, your unhappiness will follow.

Last edited by BYMONEK; 26th Oct 2011 at 13:18.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 13:58
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If all pilot's think & agree with your mentality, in today;s world the airline go bust in no time.

Before you joined, you've read the T&C's and signed it that means you agree to the T&C.

In other words, suck it up or else go somewhere else to find your preferred airline that would give you all the perks.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 14:27
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Xmen... very good post. The best ever read. So very true!!
I just want to add: if you are a western pilot with a brain and a job:


Stick to your job, stick to civilization, to democracy,don't become an accomplice of this bunch of fascist arabic arsholes unless you are desperate..but really reallly desperate.
Leave your place to geniuses like B737 -3-9... He's smart, he read the contract..ah ah ah ah!!!
Mate.. your contract is worth the paper you just cleaned your arse with ...and if tomorrow they decide you are camel... you will be a camel... or leave it ..fokker!
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 16:18
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Don't let the truth get in the way of a good rumour!

Those that really agree with Thex need to leave immediately for their own sanity. If I really believed it was that bad I'd be gone in a heartbeat.

Thex best of luck though I doubt anywhere will match up to your expectations.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 16:43
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Just a small point but not all ASR's are reportable to the GCAA and included in that are fatigue related ASR's.
Check out CAAP22 (Incident Reporting) on the GCAA website

Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP)
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 16:48
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Minor correction really... It's not called emirates airlines, it's Emirates Airline (singular).
People who claim that they actually work (or suffer) there should know, I think.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 17:09
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You're absolutely correct, thanks. MOR's are but all ASR's are kept and are available for review by the authority.

So, does that mean EK are guilty of hiding them if they're not required to submit them?
BYMONEK is offline  
Old 26th Oct 2011, 21:49
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F5 minor correction ... the name of the airline you were referring is Qatar Airways. Pilots who work in the Gulf know!
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 03:09
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How to make a pilot happy:
We need to be overpaid, underworked, and the most important of all oversex. And even though you can get all three of them ok, someone will still find something to complain about. There is far worse place than EK, aka the US regionals.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 13:58
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Danger Health hazards: why not to join Emirates

There are a lot of reasons, why not to join Emirates or any other Gulf Airline. Some of them are controversial like the pilots' nag-nag-nag, others are evident.

The absolute no go, however, which has never been explicitly mentioned in this forum so far, is the exposure to health risks. Yes, it depends on where you are coming from and it could be that you are coming from a place which is even less healthy.

But consider this:
Emirates is fully aware of all the serious health-problems which are related to air-conditioning ducts which are overgrown with fungi Ė they just sweep it under the carpet.

At one stage I had enough, when my central air-conditioning unit started to fail at decreasing intervals and the maintenance guys continued to tell me that I just have to shut it down for de-icing.
Completely fed-up, I took the ladder and climbed into the ceiling with a flashlight where the Indians used to crawl in. Before my eyes adapted to the dark, I realised that my arms and elbows immediately started to itch. When I could see something, I noted that the whole duct, the electric motor and the heat-exchanger were covered in mould and fungi. There was this huge whitish mushroom mixed with ice which blocked the airflow and, after the ice melted, the fungus was still there, alive and kicking.
So I got a spatula, scraped off a huge amount of all this skin-irritating crap and brought it to the clinic. The doctor was very helpful and sent it to the lab for analysis. You can imagine what this stuff does to your lungs if you get a skin-rash from it within half a minute.

Three days later, the clinic received a report which stated that about a dozen types of fungi had been identified but that the lab would need another sample in order to be able to identify the rest of them. I also received a letter from the clinic for the accommodation department which strongly recommended to move me out of that villa.

At home I googled some of the scientific names and was flabbergasted to read about all the effects of continuous spore-inhalation. It read like a compilation of all the problems my family and friends in Dubai were complaining about, starting with chronic exhaustion, nota bene. These little cells, or should I say creatures, grow in your body, folks, and they cause anything from chronic respiratory problems over arthritis (feel the pain in the joints?) to cancer. They can grow in your alveoli, in your sinuses, on your cornea and in your blood.

You guys who are still there must know that mysterious cough which is being treated by the clinic with anti-biotics but does not go away for weeks.

I hear the guys who say that air-conditioning ducts can be cleaned by specialised companies, using robots and the lot. True, but these spores are of microscopic size and you are deceiving yourself if you think you have a clean duct after having spent from AED 5000 upwards. The fungi will start to re-grow immediately. Chemicals? Not really an option, is it? One should not try to exorcise the devil by engaging Belzebub. Or would you really want to inhale an aerosol of something which the maintenance guy brings in his filthy jerry-can (probably forbidden by the Geneva-convention )? Or trust something which says Ďecologically hazardlessĒ on it? Why would the fungi die then? On the long run, they will re-grow anyway Ė they love it in there.

If you are young and can afford to toss a couple of years of life-expectancy Ė go ahead and have fun on the big birds. Just bear in mind that first officers without children live in towers, some of which are already, and all of which will be covered in mould and you donít even have a chance to get the ducts cleaned with your own funds. It would be herculean, and, by the way, most windows cannot even be opened to get some Ďfreshí air into your flat.

Ever thought of the composition of the smog when you hit the shittopause at 10í000 feet? They make fuzz in my country over the elevated content of micro-particles and ozone of the air during summer.
You got that all year around in Dubai. Deduct the unfiltered diesel-exhaust from trucks, diggers and TATA-buses and still you inhale air containing an amount of sand and poisonous particles which exceeds x-fold the alarm level in countries with decent ecological awareness. Itís gonna take decades to get that out of your lungs again. Itís true that you have that in many other big cities, but it all adds up.

Certainly you donít want to expose your wife and kids to such health-hazards because, unlike you, they have to stay there all the time. I have been talking only about the fungi spores for now. Consider also the funny germs imported from Asia and Africa which rapidly spread and are evenly distributed 24/7 through the schoolsí air-conditioning system. Poor kids. Some strains were thought to be practically extinct in the West, like streptococcus type A who prospers in the UAE (yes, we contracted it). Start to think about it when you next inhale the foul and moist air of a duct while wandering about the fancy shopping malls.

Did you know they still have fresh-water pipes made from asbestos in use in Jumeirah?

And last but not least:
do you want to let your kids play in one of those germ-incubators aka Ďcooledí swimming pools? If they are ok from a bacteriological point of view, it means that they are full of heavy chemicals. Swim in the sea alternatively? Then check the dung which goes into Jumeirah beach, even when the sewage treatment plants are working - check out the pipe at the DOSC or have a look at the colour of the water after taking off from 30.
Oh no, itís not human faeces, itís red tide! Right! I just wonder what these interesting little cells are feeding on. Fertiliser, probably.

Not all people react the same, but there is no doubt that this problem is quite serious.

So, do your own and your familyís health a favour:

If you can, move out.
If you canít leave, move your family out.
If you donít need to, donít go to live there.
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