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Cabin crew announcements - is there a minimum standard?

Cabin crew announcements - is there a minimum standard?

Old Oct 7, 19, 3:55 am
  #1  
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Cabin crew announcements - is there a minimum standard?

Was on a BA flight last night where all of the cabin crew announcements were made by the same crew member. I know everyone can be a little tongue tied on occasion, but this person was utterly incapable of getting through a single sentence without getting her words mixed up, umming and ahing and leaving long pauses to gather her thoughts, to the point where it was seriously challenging for the listener to pick up and process the information.
I'm just wondering, seeing as some of the announcements are supposedly safety critical (there was a manual safety demonstration which was a dog's dinner), is there ever a point where another crew member might intervene and 'rescue' the script?
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:08 am
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All cabin crew announcements should follow a script, if the person making the announcements was not capable the SCCM, (Senior Cabin Crew Member) should have managed this.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:14 am
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I was on a BA flight 10 days ago whereby a CC member could not correctly pronounce a, "th" sound so every word containing, "th"had an "f" in place. As in "we will soon be landing at 'ea-ffrow Airport" and any other similar words

Maybe it is my age but I think it sounds a bit unprofessional in a formal PA announcement. Same as someone saying they are off to "Ports-muff" or "Bourne-muff" grates with me too
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:23 am
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
I was on a BA flight 10 days ago whereby a CC member could not correctly pronounce a, "th" sound so every word containing, "th"had an "f" in place. As in "we will soon be landing at 'ea-ffrow Airport" and any other similar words

Maybe it is my age but I think it sounds a bit unprofessional in a formal PA announcement. Same as someone saying they are off to "Ports-muff" or "Bourne-muff" grates with me too
...mmmm.... someone speaking English with a foreign accent is "unprofessional", even though what they say is perfectly understandable.... While not insist for 1950s-style received pronunciation while we are at it? That way, it will keep passengers safe from not just foreigners but also lower class riff-raff.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
every word containing, "th"had an "f" in place.
This is called Estuary English and is very widespread. You wouldn't expect all crew to be schooled in RP, and I find the mixture of accents quite charming, though occasionally when there is a delivery in Glaswegian at the speed of a machine gun I do wonder how easy it is for a non-native speaker to follow. But last night wasn't about the accent, more about the incoherent delivery.

Incidentally what happened to the taped announcements in the language of the country you are flying to/from? I'm sure this has been discussed here before but it only recently occurred to me that they used to be heard on all BA flights and are not anymore. I'm sure they were highly appreciated by passengers back in the day.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:29 am
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If this was short haul, the usual SOP seems to be that most announcements come from the rear galley crew member, with the exception of the one just after departure where the Senior Cabin Crew Member makes the "welcome on board" announcement. On shorter services it is sometimes made on the ground if there is a large CE cabin. It could be a relatively new member of staff, particularly if Mixed Fleet so I would cut them slack on this. EuroFleet crew members can easily do it all off by heart, but if they are using the new smartphones the word wrapping on a small screen can be difficult to make out.

The taped non English languages stopped being used because there was an increasing gap between that script and the current English language version. Plus some newer aircraft don't seem to have the tapes installed. So it's English only. Some services have either the flight or cabin crew demonstrating their prowess (the Dutch speaking captain is always a good one to check the reaction of the locals) and on MF to services like MAD there is often a native speaker on board anyway.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:39 am
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Originally Posted by nd100 View Post
Incidentally what happened to the taped announcements in the language of the country you are flying to/from? I'm sure this has been discussed here before but it only recently occurred to me that they used to be heard on all BA flights and are not anymore. I'm sure they were highly appreciated by passengers back in the day.
I suspect that a lot of passengers, even those who are native speakers of the relevant language, probably prefer fewer rather than more repeat announcements across several languages. It could be quite challenging if your destination is Luxembourg, Switzerland or Belgium. Even KLM do many announcements in English only and not in their own national language.

That said, I agree that it does change the ambience somewhat and makes BA feel less international/outward-looking than before
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
It could be quite challenging if your destination is Luxembourg, Switzerland or Belgium.
Switzerland was not challenging at all - it was French to GVA and Swiss German to ZRH and BSL, exactly as it should be. And I always found it very impressive that they actually had a separate tape in Swiss German which was different from the Hochdeutsch one that was played on flights to Germany and Austria.

But, clearly, there was a cost involved in updating the recordings whenever there was a change in the information, so I suspect they were simply enhanced away like so many other good things.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:54 am
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Originally Posted by nd100 View Post
Switzerland was not challenging at all - it was French to GVA and Swiss German to ZRH and BSL, exactly as it should be.
This was meant tongue-in-cheek, as the smiley purported to suggest. I don't think that there ever were quadrilingual announcements to Luxembourg or Belgium, or, for that matter, in 11 languages to South Africa either.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:05 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
...mmmm.... someone speaking English with a foreign accent is "unprofessional", even though what they say is perfectly understandable.... While not insist for 1950s-style received pronunciation while we are at it? That way, it will keep passengers safe from not just foreigners but also lower class riff-raff.
Ah but I didn't say there were foreign did I?
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
If this was short haul, the usual SOP seems to be that most announcements come from the rear galley crew member, with the exception of the one just after departure where the Senior Cabin Crew Member makes the "welcome on board" announcement. On shorter services it is sometimes made on the ground if there is a large CE cabin. It could be a relatively new member of staff, particularly if Mixed Fleet so I would cut them slack on this. EuroFleet crew members can easily do it all off by heart, but if they are using the new smartphones the word wrapping on a small screen can be difficult to make out.

The taped non English languages stopped being used because there was an increasing gap between that script and the current English language version. Plus some newer aircraft don't seem to have the tapes installed. So it's English only. Some services have either the flight or cabin crew demonstrating their prowess (the Dutch speaking captain is always a good one to check the reaction of the locals) and on MF to services like MAD there is often a native speaker on board anyway.
On my 2nd and last Air France trip Paris to London just before Eurostar was live, the senior crew member made announcements in French, English, Italian, German, Japanese and Arabic after going through the flight manifest and seeing what nationalities the passengers were. A very classy affair.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
Ah but I didn't say there were foreign did I?
No: you just made a general statement about it being in your view 'a bit unprofessional' for a formal announcement to be made by cabin crew who pronounce their 'th's as 'f's and their 'h's as silent 'h's.

I am surprised that you seem to fail to realise the implications of what you say with respect to crews whose native language is not British English and who may have a different pronunciation of English from your own personal expectations.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:26 am
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On a similar note regarding announcements, does anyone know why directions and/or information from the flight deck for the cabin crew (such as cabin crew doors to automatic) are made in such a brusque manner?

Is there a reason why the flight deck never use words like please or thank you?
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by Agent69 View Post
On a similar note regarding announcements, does anyone know why directions and/or information from the flight deck for the cabin crew (such as cabin crew doors to automatic) are made in such a brusque manner?

Is there a reason why the flight deck never use words like please or thank you?
That's why some people get in customer-facing roles and some don't Those announcements sound perfectly fine to me and they might not sound nice to others. Keep it short and factual and I'm happy.

Now you could argue that being a pilot is a customer-facing role but I would say that it's not my main worry about pilots. I don't think they waste a lot of time with please and thank you on the other and more sensitive communication channels either.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by Agent69 View Post
On a similar note regarding announcements, does anyone know why directions and/or information from the flight deck for the cabin crew (such as cabin crew doors to automatic) are made in such a brusque manner?

Is there a reason why the flight deck never use words like please or thank you?
Perhaps because those messages are not requests, but things that need to be done

If Please was used, Thank you wouldn't be appropriate to say until the request was completed
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