Airstud
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The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Wed May 17, 2017 9:10 pm

Scanned the forums and didn't find anything on this yet. United did a gate change for an EWR-CDG flight but made the announcement only in English. (That wasn't even the whole problem; a series of characteristically United-esque instances of incompetence and negligence fell in line, allowing this poor woman to be transported yet farther from home, 3,000 miles in the wrong direction.)

United obviously thinks taking French people's money doesn't obligate them to ever speak a word of French.

Of the dozen or so questions raised by this, my main one is: Did United break a law when they neglected to do the gate change announcement in French?

http://abc7ny.com/travel/united-passeng ... e/1949824/
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LTU932
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Thu May 18, 2017 9:08 am

When I was in EWR, I don't remember hearing any announcement in a language other than English. In Germany, you have bilingual announcements in German and English, same here in Costa Rica but it's Spanish and English here. Why would there be a law/regulation in New Jersey (e.g. by the NYNJ Port Authority) or on a federal level (e.g. an FAA regulation) that requires an airline to make announcement in different languages? I'd say this would probably be a bigger issue in France or in Canada (particularly in Québec).
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
Airstud
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Thu May 18, 2017 10:27 am

LTU932 wrote:
Why would there be a law/regulation in New Jersey (e.g. by the NYNJ Port Authority) or on a federal level (e.g. an FAA regulation) that requires an airline to make announcement in different languages?


To ensure that vital information is disseminated to all passengers in need of it?
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fbgdavidson
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Thu May 18, 2017 2:13 pm

Announcements aren't necessary. Check FIDS....if the screen at your gate doesn't show your destination then check FIDS.

I've been to plenty of countries where English isn't the primary (or secondary/tertiary language!) and am yet to miss a flight yet because an announcement was not made in my native language.

"With everything going on this country people have to be more careful," Miantsoko said. "They didn't pay attention. My aunt could have been anyone. She could have been a terrorist and killed people on that flight and they didn't know they didn't catch it."


THIS IS NOT A SECURITY ISSUE! She still went through security, she incorrectly boarded a domestic flight, this is just ridiculous hyperbole.

This is just another person looking to jump on the bandwagon of crapping on the airlines post-Dao in hope for publicity/compensation, etc.
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PI4EVER
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Thu May 18, 2017 5:31 pm

Flight crews have destination specific language speakers to advise and inform passengers of safety features and service.
Can you imagine the logistics of staffing gates with fluent speaking agents to every destination UA serves from EWR for Europe, South and Central America and Asia? Now move that language requirement to ORD, IAH, SFO and IAD and multiply it per flight per day.
Think of the language differences for cities and airlines they serve internationally every single day. JFK, LAX and SFO would be a staffing challenge every day of the week when you think of the countries, language differences and culture flights operate to.
English is the universal travel language to speak and read. It is not this lady's fault she never learned to speak English, but traveling in the USA she had obviously been exposed to it along her journey.
The problem is she was boarded on the wrong plane, for whatever reason, and UA is charged with determining where things went awry and insure it doesn't happen again. Will it and can it happen again? Yes, because we're humans, but Murphy's Law kicked in that day and UA and Ms. B were the recipients of it. The chain was broken at several points and UA will find a way to prevent or minimize this situation happening again.
It was not a breach of security. She was no more a potential terrorist on the SFO flight than if she had boarded the CDG flight to begin with. She was in the gate, and boarded just like any one of us sitting beside her would have done. She had cleared security like all the rest of the passengers and crew who flew with her to SFO.
Keep in mind. There was a non-procedure error that occurred at least twice to board this lady on the wrong plane. If someone is not paying attention, this error could have been applied to an English-speaking passenger who did not pay attention to announcements, being on a phone or device distracted and simply walked up and boarded the SFO flight when they may have been going to who-knows-where. The F/A would have re-seated them, and off they go. Or maybe they would have heard "This is UA flight xxx and we're departing for xxx. If you're not going to xxx you'll need to get off now."
That regrettably, if UA does such announcements, would have not helped this lady in the end but point made.
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LTU932
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Fri May 19, 2017 12:27 am

Airstud wrote:
LTU932 wrote:
Why would there be a law/regulation in New Jersey (e.g. by the NYNJ Port Authority) or on a federal level (e.g. an FAA regulation) that requires an airline to make announcement in different languages?


To ensure that vital information is disseminated to all passengers in need of it?
By that logic, German airports would have to make announcements in English, German, Turkish, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, etc. You just can't please everyone. English is the most important international language. Outside English speaking countries, you find bilingual, in few instances trilingual signage. In Germany, the signage is German and English, in Costa Rica and Panama Spanish and English, in France it's French and English, etc. Some airports in the US do have signage in Spanish as well (I don't remember if DFW was one of them though) but that's probably because the regions they cater to have a large Spanish speaking population and maybe for historical reasons.

My point is: It will suffice to make the airport PA announcements in the local language and English. You can't cater to everyone by offering many languages, that's probably hard enough as it is with FAs (on my flight to PTY with KL, the crew spoke Dutch, English and Spanish).

And if the flight doesn't appear in the FIDS, ask the airport/airline staff or else you may miss your flight. I speak from experience.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
Airstud
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Fri May 19, 2017 2:41 am

LTU932 wrote:
Airstud wrote:
LTU932 wrote:
Why would there be a law/regulation in New Jersey (e.g. by the NYNJ Port Authority) or on a federal level (e.g. an FAA regulation) that requires an airline to make announcement in different languages?


To ensure that vital information is disseminated to all passengers in need of it?
By that logic, German airports would have to make announcements in English, German, Turkish, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, etc.


Well no, the airport wouldn't have any onus to do any of those things.

The airline operating a flight to an English speaking country would have to make the announcement in German and in English.

The airline operating a flight to Turkey would have to make the announcement in German and in Turkish.

The airline operating a flight to a Spanish-speaking country... etc.


We're not talking about United not employing a sufficient number of Tocharian B speakers.

We're talking about French, for dieu's sake.

On - you know - a flight to France. :banghead:
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AirAfreak
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Re: The ordeal of Lucie Bahetoukilae

Sun May 28, 2017 10:36 pm

In ATL and EWR, I have seen boarding/gate-announcements done by an AF Cabin Crew member. At LAX, I have seen a French-speaking Swissport and/or AF-employee doing the announcements in French and English. Basically, it's not impossible for United to not have a qualified speaker at the gate doing announcements. There are LOD's on those flights to France, so someone dropped the ball somewhere at the gate.
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