REPORT: Emirates Cutting Flight Attendant Staffing and Service

Emirates still offers angled business class seats on most of its Boeing 777s (and they have more 777s than A380s). They’re cutting back flying to many destinations based on demand. They’ve cut many service elements of their inflight product and sought to monetize things like lounge access.

And now just like American Airlines reduced flight attendant staffing on its Boeing 777-200s, treating premium economy as just a part of regular economy, Emirates too is reducing onboard staffing.

Emirates might be in the midst of a massive cabin crew recruitment drive but sources have now revealed the airline plans to cut the number of onboard crew on certain flights. Along with cutting crew numbers, the airline also plans to introduce changes to the service delivery in order to manage the crew complement reduction.

Here are the expected changes:

  • Some ultra long haul flights will see one fewer flight attendant in first class (“three flight attendants will be available to serve up to 14 First Class passengers on flights like the 15-hour marathon Dubai to Los Angeles route.”)

  • Ultra high density two-cabin A380s will lose a flight attendant in economy.

  • Two-cabin Boeing 777-300s will lose an onboard supervisor.

Naturally some flight attendants are unhappy with the move, suggesting they won’t be able to get their crew rest and that service will suffer. However the airline suggests that changes to their service will compensate, perhaps giving up the idea of dine on demand in business class and moving to more efficient trolley service for business class meals.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. One would suppose it was bound to happen after all the service was over the top in First as well as Biz. Having flown a number of flights I have always enjoyed the service and yes the shower is welcome on long haul.

    I am looking forward to the new configuration in the 777 two class and trying the new suites as well next year.

    It’s too bad there isn’t an airline “in between” EK and other main stream flags, sadly there just isn’t at least ones that I have flown in the past five years. Last flight on BA was horrible just plain horrible.

  2. Did Emirates have more flight attendants than standard? So maybe this isn’t really a net cut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *