[lg policy] English-only in the exit row

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Sun Apr 24 04:49:15 UTC 2011

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

English-only in the exit row,

The USAir emergency exit row seating card reads, “Please contact a USAir Express crewmember if you are not able to read, speak, or understand English.” That’s because the airline won’t let non-English-speaking passengers sit in the emergency exit row, and it requires all passengers who want to sit there to acknowledge that they’re qualified to do so verbally, in English.

Whether USAir’s English-only rule for exit row seating is a safety precaution or an attempt to get travelers to embrace English as the language of upward mobility and extra leg room, that first sentence on the seating card is useless: anyone who can’t read English won’t know they have to report this handicap to the flight attendant.

It also turns out the USAir's English-only requirement goes beyond federal rules for exit-row seating. The Federal Aviation Administration mandates English as the language of flight control, but English for exit rows is not a federal mandate . . . 

read the whole post on the Web of Language:

Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English                    
University of Illinois 
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801                                               

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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