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Options for unaccompanied non-english speakers?

Options for unaccompanied non-english speakers?

Old Apr 27, 16, 5:26 am
  #1  
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Options for unaccompanied non-english speakers?

Just curious about this, will be sending the other halfs niece back to Moscow in a couple of months, shes 15, hasn't really travelled much and doesn't really speak any english.

Are there un-accompanied minor options at that age to get her onto the plane, or is it a case of 'hope for the best'?
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Old Apr 27, 16, 5:34 am
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The BA staff have iPads that they use to communicate with non-English speaking passengers. I am sure she will be fine. Just explain to her what signs to follow and how to read the monitors etc.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 5:44 am
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Well I'm less worried about the flight then the getting to the flight to be fair, wouldnt there be russian speaking crew on a flight to russia?
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Old Apr 27, 16, 5:45 am
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No, there won't be.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Well I'm less worried about the flight then the getting to the flight to be fair, wouldnt there be russian speaking crew on a flight to russia?
The staff (at LHR) are the ones with the iPads that have a translation tool. Many, many, many people go through airports on a daily basis where they do not speak the local language (or English) and 99.99999999% of the time all is well.

The other time it turns into a great movie.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 5:49 am
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I think there are three factors at play here - language, age and flying experience.

Any one of those probably occurs thousands of times a day at LHR.

Any two, well - that starts getting a bit more risky.

All three? That sounds high risk to me and not one I'd be comfortable taking for a member of my family.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Are there un-accompanied minor options at that age to get her onto the plane, or is it a case of 'hope for the best'?
BA has discontinued this: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...eme-close.html
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Old Apr 27, 16, 6:09 am
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How did she get here?
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Old Apr 27, 16, 6:24 am
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I'm sure she'll be fine, it's not really that complicated. Well, the liquids rules are probably tricky ones for some 15 year olds. You could book a domestic trip around it and chaperone her to the flight, but as someone who was flying on my own from 11 years old I would have been mortified at that prospect. My perception is that most Russian 15 year olds aren't bound in my Cyrillic thanks to smartphones, but even if she is unable to handle the Latin alphabet then you can get someone to text her the gate by watching the HAL website remotely, directing them to the B gates if necessary.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 7:58 am
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Does LHR not have 'helpers' wandering about departures? I've had to seek help from the ones in CDG in the past.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Just curious about this, will be sending the other halfs niece back to Moscow in a couple of months, shes 15, hasn't really travelled much and doesn't really speak any english.

Are there un-accompanied minor options at that age to get her onto the plane, or is it a case of 'hope for the best'?
You could try these, I have no idea what the cost is but there is a service that can assist.

http://www.heathrow.com/airport-guid...cierge-service
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Old Apr 27, 16, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
How did she get here?
She's coming with family and staying a little longer

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
My perception is that most Russian 15 year olds aren't bound in my Cyrillic thanks to smartphones, but even if she is unable to handle the Latin alphabet then you can get someone to text her the gate by watching the HAL website remotely, directing them to the B gates if necessary.
Very good point, I assume she knows the Latin alphabet at least a bit, because she texts "russian" using the latin alphabet. I think.

Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
You could try these, I have no idea what the cost is but there is a service that can assist.

http://www.heathrow.com/airport-guid...cierge-service
Interesting, I'll shoot them an email, thanks!
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Old Apr 27, 16, 10:48 am
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I don't know...I'm a bit of a fence-sitter on this (I have a daughter this age who is very well travelled). If language is a real barrier, I'd feel a lot more comfortable if there was someone trustworthy to take her from airport door to gate. She'd probably be mortified externally but secretly delighted, especially as LHR is a pretty big place (and can be confusing, as we have recently witnessed with the SFO T5/T3 fiasco). Maybe there's a friendly FTer willing to help? (or maybe that's just creepy)
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Old Apr 27, 16, 11:06 am
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This is what I would do because whilst it maintains her independence it also gives her the tools to be independent. It also works for anyone of any age whose English may not be so good.

1. Print of the terminal maps from the HAL website and giver her point to point directions as best you can - here is the check-in desk, visa check here then walk here to security etc

2. Explain to her the procedure for check-in and security - especially re liquids and emptying pockets etc etc If she is prepared she is much less likely to get it wrong and cause problems.

3. have some cards / or pages in a note pad with some of the questions she might need to ask - the first page / card being 'I speak little English'. Others might be 'Is this the right way to gate xx?'; or 'How much?' for the shops / cafe. Do something similar for onboard as well e.g for getting a drink

4. Most of the signs are pictograms so she should be ok in finding the toilets.

5. Tell her who to look out for to ask - so BA staff in uniform, the HAL staffers etc who are much more likely to be used to helping people navigate the terminal than some random stranger.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
5. Tell her who to look out for to ask - so BA staff in uniform, the HAL staffers etc who are much more likely to be used to helping people navigate the terminal than some random stranger.
They're called Passenger Ambassadors.
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