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Has EK been the worst decision ever?

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Has EK been the worst decision ever?

Old 21st Jan 2017, 20:18
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dubai
Posts: 46
Has EK been the worst decision ever?

I have a "kid" that I mentor who is now 24 years old. I've been mentoring him since he was 16 years old.

Anyhow, he's obsessed with Dubai and Emirates. Even has made a playlist of songs he's heard on ICE enroute to DXB to visit and plays them over and over. Calls then "Emirates music" and envisions being over the ocean on a ULR listening to them (lol). He wants to come fly here for 5-10 years, build up his experience, and then go back to the USA and get a job.

He hears my stories, but isn't turned off by them. He says this would be a good career move for him and "anyone can do that job for five or ten years, as long as there's an end in sight, and the aircraft experience is worth it."

So we all know the conditions here. But do you REGRET coming here, or are you just pissed off about the conditions, but don't regret it? Just curious if I'm jaded or if my "don't come here!" is the consensus for someone in the shoes this kid is in?
A6EchoEchoUniform is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2017, 21:56
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Oh FFS sake... get over yourself! It's still a good job and the conditions really aren't that bad, you earn good money and can easily support your family, these threads are just getting rediculous...
Dildobaggins is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2017, 22:38
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 452
I guess one of the important considerations (especially relevant for persons from western democracies) is if he will likely feel 'trapped' by rank and/or money down the track.

I know many pilots in the ME who would desperately love to return home to America/Canada/UK/Ireland/Australia/NZ/Sweden/Germany etc but feel they can't possibly do that because they couldn't tolerate the large take-home pay reduction and lower rank that will accompany a move to the bottom of a seniority list back in their home country.

Popgun is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 01:11
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: not in Dubai anymore
Age: 90
Posts: 714
I left because I thought its better to be unemployed than to work for them
GoreTex is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 01:20
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Attic
Age: 56
Posts: 107
I have made lots of mistakes in my life but the best decision I made by far was leaving Emirates. As many pilots have said before I only wished I could have left earlier.
Everything about me feels so much better. I can't believe what a fog my head was in while slaving for EK. I was only there for three years so I can't imagine what one feels like after a decade.
My best recommendation for all pilots currently flying in Dubai is to get out as quick as you can. Do you really think it's going to get better there? For the Big Shinny Airplane wannabes stay away. You have no idea how bad it is there and what it will do to your health.
Neptune Spear is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 02:34
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Dusty West
Age: 49
Posts: 623
Great post Neptune but the robot-I'll-pay-to-fly wank jobs will keep coming. Big shiney jets to boy pilots is like lemmings to a cliff, they just can't help themselves.

The crime is always easy to commit, it's the prison sentence that's the bitch!

Anyway, back to the question at hand: 12 years. Coming here was the biggest career mistake and I think about it daily. It has killed my love for flying like piss on a campfire.
The Outlaw is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 04:23
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: uganda
Posts: 15
Love your post Outlaw, couldn't be said more eloquently haha!
desertbob is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 05:26
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Posts: 79
mumble mumble

it's not EK unfortunately.
EK it's not out of this world,
and in this world the pilot job is getting worse every day everywhere.
having said that, it seems to me that the EK management just hates us, and tries to make our life more miserable every day.
with a certain amount of success it must be said.
like the Outlaw says, young inexperienced pilots, but also desperate pilots from bankrupting airlines will always come, regardless of the amount of s#!t they read on these pages. and that's simply because EK is still better than their present condition.
and EK knows it. that's why they seem to be illogically oblivious to the "retention issue".
this is from someone who is not a young pilot, belongs to the second category, hates this job, but still needs it.
my advice? forget EK, forget flying, look for a different job....
pilots are going to disappear sooner than we think anyway.

KippaLippa is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 09:12
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: NZ
Posts: 75
I agree with Kippa. Don't get me wrong, from what I've read on here, Emirates truly does sound like an awful awful airline to work for. You have good reason to be upset. But the proglem is that pilot conditions all around the world are crumbling, it's not just happening in the ME. Go have a look at the threads in Fragrant Harbour and read about the guys at Cathay who are leaving in droves just like they are at EK.

I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, earn less than what I used to earn selling TVs, work right on the legal limit every month, am perpetually fatigued and see bullying and harassment by management every day. There is really nothing about my job that I would miss if I left it.

So why wouldn't I go to Emirates for a few years where I'll be treated just as badly, work just as hard but get paid far better?
LongLats is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 10:38
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Runcorn,Cheshire,England
Posts: 73
the problem is that they aren't "leaving in droves"; certainly not from Cathay.
I believe the attrition rate is circa 1% there, so nothing will change. Sadly, i see the same at EK as i do in BA, senior pilots whinging that people aren't leaving and bemoaning the drop in Ts and Cs, yet aren't willing to put their own cock on the block and go. They'd rather everyone else be the martyr so they alone can benefit from someone else bravery.
Pilots really are extremely selfish i have come to realise.
3Greens is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 10:54
  #11 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Wow... you guys are wrong about the world. Have any of you seen contracts... yes most of the civilised world HAS REAL CONTRACTS that the company MUST follow... in the US or major European legacy carriers????
Of course you all have.

So you can't say all over the world. Those guys still fly 20 hours less per month than the poor slaves at EK AND get paid way more pay per hour as well, as well as for holding at Desdi/Bubin, going to Sims, going to ground school and they do NOT get crammed with 75 hours in 2 weeks because you have the last 2 weeks of the month vacation

Even I get paid more "per hour" than EK having gone to a large long haul airline in Europe plus on average, 16-18 days off per month plus 9 days off in a row plus at ALT equivalent each MONTH. And believe it or not, there are airlines out there that are actually NICE to their employees and pilot group in particular. It really does exist!!

The reason EK will never change or only get worse.... is because there is no place for you all to go apparently!!

"Golden Handcuffs"
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 10:59
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: free Europe
Posts: 90
worst decision ever? Yes

Good money for a stepstone? No. On top of the bond you have to consider moving everything/everyone to and from the Middle East. It has skyscrapers but it really is the Middle East. Especially on Human Rights, Workers' Rights and Expatriates ' Rights. The cost of leaving may be overwhelming and probably comes at the least convenient time. They will dump you like a b**ch especially when you have health or family problems. Or you may be forced to take a huge financial loss to rescue what's left of your family or health.

Job outside aviation. Most definitely. Works much better for me.
in freedom is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 12:10
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Middle East...but not for much longer
Posts: 9
Worst decision ever...no...but...

I'm one of those who came here from a now defunct airline.
Jumped early to come here (luckily).
Been here 10 years.
EK was a breath of fresh air when I got here.
Flew all over the world with interesting people in a big shiny jet. (Two engine thingy).
Moved to the left seat in time (lucky again).
Enjoyed the journey.
Made me a better pilot (unbelievably, as I thought I was already sh!t hot!)
My family flourished..we were two, now we're four.
My kids spent their first decade of life running around barefoot, in shorts and tee shirts in the sunshine...that's pretty good coming from a wet and windy island we call home.
Had a lot of fun in Dubai, in the desert and exploring the world down route.
My wife had a great life here.
We made some lifelong friendships.
Life was good.

Three years ago, (for me), I could see things going downhill here and the industry as a whole.
But of course you focus on what's happening right infront of you.
First one wheel, then the next. How many wheels have they got to lose?
As the journey went on, there were things I discovered here, that quite honestly began to unsettle me.
Due to the type of flying, I hadn't slept properly for three years...fits of four hours only, either at home, in an aeroplane bunk or a hotel.
I'd been walking around in a "fug" or permanent state of fatigue for some years.
I had no idea this was happening.
Every time I opened my eyes...I was in an aeroplane again.
My older brother recently told me I didn't look well and I'd aged rapidly.
I lost my temper with my kids and shouted at them on several occasions due to a shortened fuse.
That part of it really hit home hard.
I'd been pretending that it doesn't get any better than this, job wise, so had better just keep going...
I didn't have a choice anyway...did I?
Keep taking the money...
Keep flying the roster...
Keep putting one foot in front of the other...
Sound familiar?
Then my wife turned to me one day recently and said simply "What are we waiting for? Can we just go? This isn't doing you any good."
Then I realised...

Of course I had a choice...(slow learner)
I quit.
I didn't have a job to go to but I'd work it out.
Did I want another flying job? Not sure.
Flying used to be a passion of mine.
They beat that out of me.
That's sad.
Then I found another passion.
My wife turned to me again recently one morning and said, "Since you resigned, you've been sleeping eight hours solid when you're at home."
Some of the wrinkles have left my face.
I felt a huge weight lift from me.
I felt more relaxed.
I'm going to take my little family home to our wet and windy island, with it's green fields, rivers and forests and spend six months as a Daddy and husband and just be.
I'm lucky that I can go back to my country, I know some can't. Very lucky not every one has the choice... I KNOW.
I can't afford it.
But I'm going to.
I thought I was doing the right thing, sticking it out for the foreseeable future, always telling myself,
"I'll leave when I've found something better."
There won't be anything "better" flying wise.
So you could be here a very long time...waiting.

I'm excited about the future again for the first time in years because I made a choice.

True success is running your own race, staying on your own path, living by your values, moving towards your own dreams.

Don't let anyone steal your life.
Henrydog is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 12:41
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 43
The best post I've read on these forums for years. Fantastic advise HenryDog.

Enjoy the fresh air, greenery & quality sleep. I'm sure your physical and mental health will be so much better off.

Best of luck.
TCU LUX is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 14:59
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dubai
Posts: 46
Absolutely fantastic replies. I am going to pass this thread along for viewing. It turned out even better than expected.

For me, I don't know why he would come here. The USA airlines are hiring right now and it's a much better job. Starting in a B737, A320, or even an EMB190 is great. The A380 (and I'm sure B777) is not what it's made out to be.

I haven't a clue what one could find attractive about the hours we work, the politics that we put up with, and the lack of respect and appreciation that we receive. As for me, I must hit the rack. I've recently landed 7000 miles from home and need to fly 7000 miles the other way home in only a few short hours. Oh and in 96 hours, be back at DXB to fly 5300 miles again ... inshallah!
A6EchoEchoUniform is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 18:08
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dubai
Posts: 38
Best post I have seen in a while, Henry. Thanks for sharing.

I have been here a good 15 years, kids still running around barefoot ('cause I keep making them) and wife enjoys her life & work here so much she does not want to leave Dubai once I stop flying. And stop flying I will, at one point, especially with the insane rosters EK is giving us bi-motor chaps these days. Sooner rather than later. But, strangely enough, I still enjoy going to work, I fly with great FO's 95% of the time, enjoy the network and layovers.

Would I come to EK today?
Hell no.
Did I do the right thing back then, leaving my northern European flag carrier?
Hell yes.
Any regrets? None at all. Seriously. None. Best decision ever.

Looking at my fellow aviators back home today, hating going to work on a daily basis, all I envy them is the large pension they will earn once they stop flying.

Becoming a pilot these days is not something I will encourage friends or family. The glory days are well and truly gone.
EK-or-bust is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 21:50
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Prime Meridian
Posts: 49
I did my time. The first few years were fun and had lots of days off to travel. The pay was poor but I guess the money/lifestyle balance was OK. That all changed over time.

Like many others, I liked the idea of a quick command but the reality is that command time is only good if you want to chase contract jobs (I don't). If you join any half reasonable outfit you will be starting at the bottom again so the command time is almost irrelevant (good background but irrelevant to progression in a new company).

Having made a conscious decision to not piss money away in DXB, I left with enough to buy a house back home but that was about it.

I am glad I did not have to endure a bankruptcy at my pre-EK airline but with the benefit of hindsight better decisions could have been made.

As an aside, it always horrified me to see guys destroy their marriages just because they couldn't give up the left seat or being too arrogant to place family before job.

The airline industry is like the Titanic after it broke in half, ethics, manners and courtesy are long gone and it is all about positioning yourself on what you think will be the last bit of wreckage to go under while you wait for "rescue" whatever that may be (career change etc).
Exit Strategy is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 23:49
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 255
My two cents for what it's worth. If your buddy wants to get to a US major his best bet is to identify the quickest path and choose that one. Seniority is everything so any delay can hurt future earnings and quality of life. I know several senior FOs who make $270-330,000USD at US major airlines. As a captain you can obviously make much more.

That being said if his dream is to fly for EK then go for it. There is certainly more to life than just future earnings. The destinations, expat experience, cabin crew, equipment, and all around adventure at EK is hard to match anywhere. I don't see anything wrong with planning on spending 5 years at EK and then heading home to UAL, DAL, AAL, etc. It might slow him down a bit but he will make some good memories in the process. If he hates it a couple years of 777 or 380 time certainly won't hurt his CV.
Laker is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2017, 01:18
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wherever the moment takes me!
Posts: 52
Best post for ages!

Henrydog, excellent post!

I share a similar sentiment. Left after 8 years. Now I sleep well, feel well, live well, wifey & kids are positive and happy having done all of the DXB experiences.

Whereas I used to collapse into bed at a ridiculously early hour (DXB), now I relax, have a beer with my wife & say goodnight to my kids!

Now I'm out, my QOL is way, way, way up!
Rotaiva is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2017, 01:35
  #20 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dubai
Posts: 46
I pointed out this thread to the individual who I'm speaking to. His reply is "well, I really have no choice. The US carriers won't take me without a degree."

Not sure that I agree, I think the US carriers will soon be desperate enough to hire the experience that they want vs education.

Honestly I have no idea whether Emirates hires most people with their degrees or not. Any insight? I'm thinking that most of us have a college education?
A6EchoEchoUniform is offline  

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