A former Emirates flight attendant claims scrutiny of her weight drove her to quit her job after 10 years with the carrier.
Duygu Karaman told The Mirror she lost her self-confidence after three years of allegedly being pulled aside for random weight checks and was subject to a weight management program that prohibited her from eating rice and bread.
The 37-year-old from Buckinghamshire in the UK said the airline decided she was “too heavy” after she was reported by a colleague, and claims other flight attendants had had their pay docked or were stood down if they gained weight.
“They didn’t tell me who reported me, but they weighed me and said they track everything according to BMI,” Karaman told The Mirror.
“Because I was two kilograms over, I was put in a weight management program.
“It’s definitely not okay. I was really upset for so long and then I lost my self-confidence.
“My two or three-kilo extra weight didn’t prevent me doing my job.”
Karaman claims she was required to keep the weight off for a year and was subjected to weight checks randomly before flights, despite not being told she would need to remain below a certain weight when she was hired.
“I had to go into the weight room and be checked. I tried to keep it at that weight, but sometimes I would gain one or two kilos,” she said.
“I was so upset. When they caught me on the weight checks, I had to go back to zero months, and you have to remain clear for a year to be let go.”
Karaman said she left the airline in 2019 and is now studying to be a dietician at the University of Reading.
A spokesperson for Emirates told Travel Weekly the carrier treated the wellbeing of its employees as the “highest priority”.
“We believe being fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, is an important aspect in them carrying out their duties safely and effectively,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re proud of our colleagues who form Emirates’ cabin crew and are working in safety-critical roles to maintain the quality of operations and service Emirates is known for.
“We do not comment on specific, confidential cases of existing or past employees.”
If you or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder, you can get help by calling The Butterfly Foundation’s helpline on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or visit its website HERE for more information.
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