United Airlines: Where are basic courtesies for foreign fliers?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Jun 9 18:34:42 UTC 2008

Forwarded From: edling at lists.sis.utsa.edu

Des Moines Register

Where are basic courtesies for foreign fliers?

Who knew?

Who knew that an airlines flight from Shanghai, China, to Chicago
would include passengers who spoke only Chinese? What are the odds on
that? Who knew that a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Chicago would
include passengers who spoke only German? Who knew? Apparently not
United Airlines, because the treatment recently accorded Chinese and
German visitors to the United States was testimony to how insular and
unaccommodating Americans can be. The international flights were right
in step with Iowa's "English only" mentality.

A friend, Kit Spangler of West Des Moines, was on the Chinese flight;
my wife and I were on the Frankfurt flight. In both instances Kit and
I spoke to flight attendants: Um, don't you think some of the intercom
announcements should be in Chinese/German? On Kit's flight, they could
not because not a single member of the flight crew spoke Chinese. And
they did not have the foresight to have available, say, a recorded
announcement in Chinese or to enlist a bilingual passenger to ease the
stress of non-English speaking Chinese.

Full story:


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list