Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Emirates Staff Travel. Standby & ZED Fares explained

When you work as a flight attendant, or cabin crew for Emirates you get ‘Staff Travel’.

This entitles you to one confirmed Annual Leave ticket per year.  For the first three years this has to be to your home base. After that you can choose your location. You also get staff travel for your family. You and your family are also entitled to standby tickets and ZED fares. Standby tickets with Emirates are just that Standby. You list yourself on the staff online system and in Dubai you go to the Staff Travel desk and look for your name on the electronic board.

Next to you name is a traffic light system.

Green is great as you go and get you boarding pass and you know you’re on the flight so you can act like a normal passenger.
Amber is not so good. You sit on the floor in staff travel and wait and hope the Amber will go Green. When it does, if it does, you go to the desk and wait, get your boarding pass and try to get through security, passport control and get to the gate in time. Sometimes the flight has gone by the time you get to the gate and you have to start again.
Red light is a no go!
ZED are Zonal Employee Discount Flights these are an agreement by airlines for reduced rate personal travel by airline employees and other travelers such as relatives. Emirates have agreements with lots of airlines. When seats are limited the selection of who gets on works on a seniority of how long you have been in the company. It is all about your staff number.
The staff who work in the staff travel lounge in Dubai must have been handpicked due to their rudeness and inability to communicate. They are dreadful, make no eye contact, just grunt at you and really try to be as unhelpful as they can be. The staff at Manchester are great, as have been all the staff I have met at many other locations.
So is all the above a ‘Perk’, yes and no.
The positives are;

  • You can go anywhere in the world for 10% of a full fare + the tax.
  • You can change dates and times with no penalty.
  • You get to know all the airline routes as you work out how to get places when you can’t get on.

The negatives and rules are;

  • You don’t get on the flight.
  • You have to be fit to run for flights last minute
  • Dealing with the rude staff travel people at Dubai Airport.
  • Having to adopt the airline dress code, no flip flops / shorts/ t shirts on and on.....
  • The stress of knowing your on standby.

What it basically means is that it is very difficult to make plans, like booking a hire car or hotels as you don’t know if you’re going to get there on the day you have planned.
I don’t mind standby, but my partner hates it. How we are getting home and checking the loads are almost the focus of a holiday from day one. But love it or hate it we have done it many times and now that we can no longer have it will probably miss it.