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Spotwelder To The Courtesy Telephone Please

Spotwelder To The Courtesy Telephone Please

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Old Aug 26, 07, 10:47 pm
  #1  
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Spotwelder To The Courtesy Telephone Please

I originally tried to do this over in another PPlace, but it ended up in spotters corner and the replies were less than authoritative. I should have tried FT first really!

Simple question - what are the language requirements to sit in an exit row? The question arises after I had a bit of a blitz on Chinese carriers last week.

China Eastern happily gave me the exit row without question (and on one of the flights without directing me to read the 'requirements for pax seated in exit row' card), but Hainan Airlines stated that I couldn't sit in the exit row as I wouldn't be able to communicate with the pax next to me in the event of an emergency. They thrust a card of Mandarin into my hand suggesting that I needed to be able to understand it to sit in the exit row. The Mandarin was a bit tough, but flipping it over gave an English translation that I had no problems with, and which (to my mind at least) suggested that non-Chinese speakers aren't prohibited from sitting in the exit row.

In any event a phone call was soon made and I was permitted to sit in the exit row - but what are the actual regulations?

In due course we can head on a tangent about the generally lack safety standards of the various carriers - the seatbelts for the crew are marked along the lines of 'fasten tight and low', which doesn't really equate with the buckle being positioned mid-cleavage!
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Old Aug 26, 07, 10:50 pm
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Although I don't know the actual regulation in China [or if this thread belongs in the BA forum], i don't believe you should've sat in the exit row.
I have to agree that you need to know the language of the destination (in the case Cantonese). After all, we'd have an outrage if here in the US, a non-English speaker got the exit row (although it does happen)
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Old Aug 26, 07, 11:18 pm
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We tend to be fairly flexible as to what makes it into the BA forum.

I'm in broad agreement with what you say (the language is Mandarin rather than Cantonese BTW), but I'd have thought the issue is whether the pax and the crew share a common language (as in my case we did, namely English). I've certainly never had a problem getting an exit row on LH, AY, etc despite not speaking either German or Finnish. The crew obviously spoke English.

And the idea of having to speak the language of the destination is stupid - that implies that on a BA flight to, say, Sofia only Bulgarian speakers can sit in the exit row - with it being a fair bet that none of the crew can speak Bulgarian!

Last edited by phillipas; Aug 26, 07 at 11:30 pm
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Old Aug 26, 07, 11:18 pm
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Originally Posted by JBLUA320 View Post
Although I don't know the actual regulation in China [or if this thread belongs in the BA forum], i don't believe you should've sat in the exit row.
I have to agree that you need to know the language of the destination (in the case Cantonese). After all, we'd have an outrage if here in the US, a non-English speaker got the exit row (although it does happen)
-a
Hmmm never had a problem with this anywhere across the world. Normally there is an English translation also available.
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Old Aug 27, 07, 5:08 am
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I had a problem a couple of years ago with AF not letting me sit in an exit seat because my French wasn't fluent.

I always argued that

a) the instructions on the door were actually written in English (my mother tongue),

b) during the emergency demo the crew would always announce that in the case of any emergency "the crew would open the exit door" and

c) As a trained aircraft engineer I probably knew more about the aircraft than any of the cabin crew.

Sometimes they would give in to me sometimes not.
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Old Aug 27, 07, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by IFE Wizard View Post
c) As a trained aircraft engineer I probably knew more about the aircraft than any of the cabin crew.
I bet that sort of argument endears you to the crew no end ...
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Old Aug 27, 07, 5:55 am
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On many airlines I have flown, they asked whether I can understand English when I wanted to sit in the exit row. This includes Lufthansa, when I was speaking in German with the phone check-in or counter check-in people, or the FAs.

As I was asked consistently whether I understand English (and not the local language), this leads me to believe that this must be a regulation.

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Old Aug 27, 07, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by IFE Wizard View Post
I had a problem a couple of years ago with AF not letting me sit in an exit seat because my French wasn't fluent.
.
I wonder what sort of training the FA's on the various carriers get in trying to determine someone's language level anyway.

On a recent US domestic flight - the FA fired off the question at two non-native english speakers sitting opposite me in the exit row. The question was at breakneck speed but I understood it. They both looked bemused and the FA had to repeat it again quite slowly whilst one explained to the other in their own language.

After this they both smiled and said yes..... and they were deemed suitable...

Asking a question that one is expecting to be asked from experience and one that can be answered by a simple "Yes" seems a little too easy -

Surely the ability to string a few words together could be tested just as quickly.....

Last edited by Scillybear; Aug 27, 07 at 6:14 am
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Old Aug 27, 07, 7:49 am
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On yesterday's LX ZRH-DUS flight two Japanese gentlemen were removed from the exit row as the flight attendant deemed their English language skills to be insufficient for them to understand what's going on.
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Old Aug 27, 07, 10:16 am
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Not sure what happens in China but we have to ensure that whoever is sat in an exit row is fully able to understand instructions given in English.

Can see that this wouldn't be of great help to those only speaking Cantonese or Mandarin though.
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Old Aug 27, 07, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by mad_rich View Post
I bet that sort of argument endears you to the crew no end ...
Actually it was at check in that I was refused the emergency exit.

I was working on the flight, helping the crew with the AVOD system. Normally the crew would move me to a better seat (ie business) but on the rare occassion that business was full then the emergency exit was a very good "second best".
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Old Aug 28, 07, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by phillipas View Post
We tend to be fairly flexible as to what makes it into the BA forum.

I'm in broad agreement with what you say (the language is Mandarin rather than Cantonese BTW), but I'd have thought the issue is whether the pax and the crew share a common language
I'm going to sound like a pedant (), but the OPost mentioned the language written on the card as Mandarin. I'll stand corrected but I think written Chinese is just that, ie. one language. So, for example, a Mandarin speaker will look at the Chinese character for 'exit row' and pronounce the Mandarin word for it, whereas a Cantonese speaker will look at the same character, and pronounce a Cantonese word, also meaning 'exit row'.

So is the understanding that the exit row passenger needs to understand what is written on the card, or the spoken language?
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