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What are the social lives of Emirates Airlines crew in Dubai? Do they socialize mostly with people of similar nationalities to them? By focusing on the social lives of Emirates Airlines crew, these questions have raised concern on social and cultural issues in the UAE. Social life basically refers to the moments we spend outside our own lives, particularly with other people around our worlds. Social interactions are an integral part of human life, since they play a significant role in helping us develop in a number of ways. This in turn contributes to our happiness and wellbeing in life. For the purpose of resolving the subject matter, five important sections have been used in this paper, and these would include introduction, literature review, research design, data, analysis and interpretation, and the conclusion.
Little has been studied about the social lives of Emirates Airlines crew and the type of people they tend to socialize with. However, there are various similar studies from different societies and cultures that have been conducted on the subject, which could be of use here, since social science is comparative in the whole world. Other people may tend to see flight crew members as people with a glamorous life, but air cabin crew members have a different story to tell about their job (Rhoden, Ralston and Ineson, 2008). Even though this is a well-paying job, it is tiring and frustrating, since it calls for much time and commitment. The rare moments of social life for cabin crew is usually spend in clubs and other leisure zones near airports in events that would range from partying to gymnasium.
Airline cabin crews rarely have time for social life, owing to the nature of their job. Working as a cabin crew attendant could be fun, since it gives one the opportunity to traverse many regions in the world. However, this is arguably one of the hardest jobs in the world, for it limits a person’s freedom to interact with other people apart from the ones they serve and their colleagues whom they spend much time with. Even though cabin crew attendants can sometimes participate in setting their schedules, depending on their status and the companies they work for, many a times are those they operate on a set schedule (Rogers, 2006). In most cases, these schedules tend to affect their social life. In this regard, these people rarely get time to interact with people out of work.
This research was carried out using three data collection techniques which include survey, interview, and observation. These were the most appropriate methods to apply here, based on the nature of the environment under which the study subjects operate. Each of these methods played a crucial role in enabling us come up with reliable data for analysis of the subjects in regard with the study question. The survey approach entailed preparing survey questions that would be distributed to cabin crew members through the assistance of a third party. This first step didn’t bring enough feedback as far as this method was concerned, and therefore, we used someone from the inside to get the surveys to the crew members through email.
Interview was the second technique that was used here, and even though this had proved to be the most appropriate approach for this kind of study, it was also fraught by a number of challenges. One of the biggest challenges with the approach was that existing work place regulations restricted the cabin crew from taking questions from outsiders. Again, we had to rely on the help of someone from the inside, to be able to access the cabin crew and interview them. In this case, a total of four individuals were picked randomly for interviews that would be conducted at an arranged time and venue, away from the working premises. Interviews involving colleagues and friends of the selected persons were also conducted for credibility purposes. Observation was the last approach here, and it involved making a follow up of the actions of the study subjects with colleagues at work and with friends out of work.
The study was conducted on nine cabin crew members of different national identities as follows: – Lebanon, Russia, Brazil, Portugal, U.K., Canada, UAE, and US. Two of these came from Lebanon, while the others came from the other nations. The research subjects comprised of 3 males and 6 females. Each of these cabin crew members was taken through the necessary interventions using the given research approaches, and below are some of the findings observed at the end of the study.
On whether working as cabin crew members has affected their social life, 3 of these crew members gave a Yes while the rest offered a No as answer.
On whether their out of work social group interactions consisted mostly of their colleagues, 7 said Yes while 2 said No.
Partying, clubbing, gym, and dining were some of the events given by the subjects when asked about what they do in the course of the weekends. However, weekday events as given by the majority included sleeping, swimming, dining, and visiting gymnasiums.
When asked whether they have time to make plans, a good number of the subjects would assert that, it all went with the flow, since set schedules were an inherent part of the job.
Following are some extracts from interviews on some of the questions highlighted above.
Does your work affect your social life?
First answer: Yes, because it’s not easy to hang up with my friends since I don’t have a life rather than work.
Second answer: Yes, because am constantly travelling.
Third answer: Yes, because I don’t have time for out of work interactions, I spend most of my time on the air and so my colleagues are my friends.
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Analysis and interpretation
A number of findings have been observed out of this research in regard with the study question. First of all, it is apparent that Emirates Airlines crew comprises of a rich cultural diversity as many countries in the world are represented in the workforce. This varied nationality comes with immense benefits to both the employees and researchers. For instance, it places the employees on a better position to understand other cultures in the world. On the part of the researchers, this provides a good environment to carry out social studies such as this one.
The social life of Emirates Airlines crew members is largely affected by their work. This is because they run on busy schedules that have been set by their schedulers, thus hindering them from making special plans about social life out of work. Based on the observations of this study, the free times they get are normally short, and are sometimes interrupted by impromptu summons to fill positions that have been vacated by personnel calling in sick or ones facing serious situations which happens to interrupt their normal duties at work.
Even if they happen to get some time out of work, it could not be enough for everything they would like to do before they go back to work, considering the fact that the events list is too long, but the time provided is very short. In this regard, the Airlines crew would have little or no time for social life. Moreover, the cabin crew members are usually exhausted after long flight trips on the skies, and this makes them inactive for other affairs in their life, especially when they have a short time to take rest before the next flight journey.
It is also clear from the observations of this study that the social group interactions of Emirates Airlines crew mainly consists of colleagues, since there is less time to hang out with friends out of work. In their normal busy schedules, cabin crew members tend to interact with their colleagues at work more than anybody else. These interactions usually take place inside crew rooms, in hotels and clubs around airports, and inside the flights.
As it has been revealed in this study, the common things which the crew members tend to go for during the weekends would include, but are not limited to, partying, clubbing, dining with colleagues and friends, and attending gymnasiums for body building activities. However, weekdays are observed to have their own round of events and these would include activities such as swimming, sleeping, and going for dinner with lovers, friends, and colleagues.
It is also apparent from these observations that the life of an Emirate Airline Crew, just like that of any other Airline crew member, is organized around tight schedules, and for that reason, it would not be easy for one to make plans regarding their own personal life. In this respect, allocation of time for social life and other personal issues will have to go with the flow of events at work. However, the cabin crew members can always find some time to plan what they want before they going back to work, but this depends on the amount of time they have on their side before the next flight which has been allocated them.
As it is evident from this study, the most common social lives of Emirates Airlines crew in Dubai include partying, clubbing, dining, and gymnasium activities. The cabin crew comprises of people of different national identities. Moreover, it is also evident from this study that the only people whom the cabin crew members tend to socialize with away from work would be the people they meet in clubs and other social hubs in the course of their work. This, however, is a clear indication that the cabin crew members socialize mostly with people of different nationalities. Out of this study, I have learned that air crew job is basically for those who know that leisure and work don’t go hand in hand. Even though this study has provided justifiable answers to the study question, there is need for future studies on the subject to involve the families of the subjects in the research for better, credible answers.
Rhoden, S., Ralston, R., & Ineson, E. (2008). Cabin crew training to control disruptive airline passenger behavior: A cause for tourism concern? Tourism Management, 29(3), 538-547.
Rogers, C. (2006). The Complete Cabin Crew Interview Manual: The Ultimate Guide to Being Successful at a Flight Attendant Interview. Lincoln, NE: CE Publishing.