“you are always being served by grandmothers at American carriers.”..Akbar Al-Baker
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker has had no shortage of words to make comments over the years, from saying Qatar Airways started flights to Atlanta to “rub salt in the wound of Delta,” to declaring “you will always be served by grandmothers” on U.S Carriers.
When Qatar started A350 flight to Frankfurt, he said “ to rub salt in the wound of Lufthansa,” and downplayed the Miami accident (Qatar Airways 777-300ER bound for Doha didn’t take off in time and struck some of the landing lights on the far end of the runway.) by saying “Qatar Airways’ near miss in Miami wasn’t a big deal”, and suggesting “Qatar Airways’ economy is as good as premium economy on other airlines”.
Now speaking at an event to celebrate new Dublin – Doha service Akbar al-Baker was videotaped declaring “there is no need for you to travel on these crap American carriers”, “Wide seats, plenty of legroom, as well as award winning service from our international cabin crew. By the way, the average age of my cabin crew is only 26 years, so there is no need for you to travel on this crap American carriers. You know you are always being served by grandmothers at American carriers.”
In response his remarks, American Airlines stepped up a verbal battle with Qatar Airways, assailing what the U.S. company said were “sexist and ageist” comments by the Mideast carrier’s chief executive officer.
The remarks were “incredibly offensive,” Jill Surdek, vice president of flight service for American Airlines Group, said in a message to employees. “It was both sexist and ageist at the same time.” “At American, our flight attendants are hired for their professionalism, dedication to safety, and commitment to our customers,” Surdek said. “The result is that we have the absolute best trained, most dedicated and friendliest flight attendants in the business.
and the website “one mile at a time” posted the following;
• The reason service on US carriers isn’t great has little to do with the age of the employees, but due to a variety of other factors; many of the best employees at US airlines are those who have been there for decades
• Should Al Baker really be proud of the fact that they don’t offer their employees long term career opportunities, but rather just short term contracts where they get fired when they age a bit? I mean, of course he’s proud of that because he’s a sexist you-know-what, but if you’re trying to make a compelling case for reasons to fly your airline, that won’t fly in many countries (no pun intended)
What do you make of Akbar’s comments about US carriers?