Can't Speak English? You're off the flight!

Old Nov 7, 18, 11:57 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Programs: UA Lifetime Gold, Marriott Rewards Platinum, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 1,207
Can't Speak English? You're off the flight!

Poor elderly Spanish couple who couldn't speak English (or Dutch!) booted from KLM flight AMS - MAD because they did not understand FA's threat: "Are we going to have a problem today??"
https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...speak-english/
I suppose it is hard for the tri-lingual Dutch to imagine that Spaniards might not be up to international standards in the King's English. Still, a bit of patience might be in order...
spainflyer is offline  
Old Nov 7, 18, 12:09 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Sweden
Programs: Flying Blue, EuroBonus
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by spainflyer View Post
I suppose it is hard for the tri-lingual Dutch to imagine that Spaniards might not be up to international standards in the King's English. Still, a bit of patience might be in order...
Even harder to understand why KLM doesn't have at least a member of the crew that speaks Spanish on flights to Madrid. The whole plane sided with the poor couple. I hope they all choose Iberia next time.
ticino is offline  
Old Nov 7, 18, 12:28 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: British Airways Gold
Posts: 2,553
Originally Posted by ticino View Post
Even harder to understand why KLM doesn't have at least a member of the crew that speaks Spanish on flights to Madrid. The whole plane sided with the poor couple. I hope they all choose Iberia next time.
The LCC efficiency model that has been replicated across legacies has effectively got rid of this now in Europe. The crew stays with the plane all day and the plane flies multiple segments all over the continent so no dedicated language crews for a specific flight
ajeleonard is offline  
Old Nov 7, 18, 3:07 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Netherlands
Programs: FB Platinum
Posts: 106
After seeing the video I have some doubts. I can't hear what he's saying but his body language and the famous "come here" finger-move tell me a different story than a poor elderly couple this story tries to paint them as. Add that to the fact that apparently no one on the entire flight was willing to translate for him and I'm pretty sure KLM will have a different story to tell about this incident.
brunos, KL714 and caliform like this.
Boturham is offline  
Old Nov 8, 18, 2:38 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: mostly not far from AMS, otherwise NUE
Programs: FB Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,951
I only expect cabin crew to speak two languages - the language of the airline's home country and English.
Wangja, KLflyerRalph, Xizm and 3 others like this.
mfkne is online now  
Old Nov 8, 18, 3:02 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Programs: FB Plat
Posts: 153
Originally Posted by Boturham View Post
After seeing the video I have some doubts. I can't hear what he's saying but his body language and the famous "come here" finger-move tell me a different story than a poor elderly couple this story tries to paint them as.
From what I could hear from the video, he was showing what one of the cabin crew did/motioned to him (the "come here" finger). The gist of it is that he had a bag in the overhead that he asked not to be moved because of he a computer in it. He then says how all the "commander" did was make that finger motion and say here while not even properly addressing him. They then say he's off the flight.

Surely there's more to it than just this though...I'm unsure how you'd be thrown off a plane for asking that they not move your bag.
NumbThumb is offline  
Old Nov 8, 18, 4:25 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: The Netherlands
Programs: Delta Silver, BA Bronze, Accor Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 5,122
I don't know where the expectancy comes from - judging from many comments on other fora and social media on this 'incident' - that KLM should have a Spanish speaking FA on the flight? How many Dutch speaking Vueling and Iberia FA's are there on flights to AMS?
Zembla, mfkne and glennhaak like this.
KLflyerRalph is offline  
Old Nov 8, 18, 5:19 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by ticino View Post
Even harder to understand why KLM doesn't have at least a member of the crew that speaks Spanish on flights to Madrid.
Does Iberia have Dutch speaking flight attendants on their flights to Amsterdam?
pepe C is offline  
Old Nov 8, 18, 1:19 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 82
Apparently a crewmember had posted his/her version of the incident on FB:

This was my flight, the man first insulted ground (crew), myself, the purser and the captain. He refused to follow our instructions, and became aggresive when his luggage was shifted. Of our passengers noone wanted/dared to translate.
...
This man refused to listen. Our Spanish was sufficient. Our captain was even fluent.
...

Another FA posted:
These people still flew tuesday to Madrid. The lady certainly had a basic grasp of English. They were a bit moody, but otherwise I had no problems with them. Itís a pity these kind of movies are just thrown on the internet like that.
EricVdb is offline  
Old Nov 9, 18, 4:24 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,031
Until ground staff clamp down on the number of carry on bags, these incidents will continue to occur.

A recent feeder flight from Humberside to Amsterdam, a family of people (4 adults, 1 child) carried on no less than 11 bags, and boarded first, due to the small (aged about 9). They then proceeded to fill ALL of the Euro Business class lockers (and then some) with their luggage an act of complete selfishness.

As I was sat in 1A, I moved on of their bags back, so that I could use the locker above my head, and mindfully dared them to challenge me about it. I would have escalated it with the cabin crew about the number of bags they had carried on, if they had said anything to me.
tezzer is offline  
Old Nov 9, 18, 4:45 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 375
Originally Posted by ticino View Post
Even harder to understand why KLM doesn't have at least a member of the crew that speaks Spanish on flights to Madrid. The whole plane sided with the poor couple. I hope they all choose Iberia next time.
When they choose KLM they knew it's a Dutch airline? As posted above, multiple crew members even spoke Spanish. How many flight attendants from Vueling and Iberia speak Dutch on flights to AMS?
I find it always extremely interesting that people just assume one has to speak their language?
BobTL is offline  
Old Nov 9, 18, 5:10 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: CPT,AMS
Posts: 3,853
Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
Until ground staff clamp down on the number of carry on bags, these incidents will continue to occur.

A recent feeder flight from Humberside to Amsterdam, a family of people (4 adults, 1 child) carried on no less than 11 bags, and boarded first, due to the small (aged about 9). They then proceeded to fill ALL of the Euro Business class lockers (and then some) with their luggage an act of complete selfishness.

As I was sat in 1A, I moved on of their bags back, so that I could use the locker above my head, and mindfully dared them to challenge me about it. I would have escalated it with the cabin crew about the number of bags they had carried on, if they had said anything to me.
​​​​​​​Where were they seated? I fail to see the logic of them filling up the space above row 1 if they were seated further in the back and were the first to board.
Ditto is online now  
Old Nov 9, 18, 5:14 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 776
Originally Posted by spainflyer View Post
Poor elderly Spanish couple who couldn't speak English (or Dutch!) booted from KLM flight AMS - MAD because they did not understand FA's threat: "Are we going to have a problem today??"
https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...speak-english/
I suppose it is hard for the tri-lingual Dutch to imagine that Spaniards might not be up to international standards in the King's English. Still, a bit of patience might be in order...
That seems to be a very tabloidesque interpretation of what actually happened.
makrom is offline  
Old Nov 10, 18, 6:58 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,031
Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
​​​​​​​Where were they seated? I fail to see the logic of them filling up the space above row 1 if they were seated further in the back and were the first to board.
They were in rows 2 and 3. Grand parents (I think HE was platinum), their offspring and their child. I appreciate that the Platinum member could carry on a little more luggage, but not 11 bags between 5 of them, and they were NOT small bags, i.e each one filled a locker.
Silver Fox likes this.
tezzer is offline  
Old Nov 10, 18, 2:45 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: CPT,AMS
Posts: 3,853
Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
They were in rows 2 and 3. Grand parents (I think HE was platinum), their offspring and their child. I appreciate that the Platinum member could carry on a little more luggage, but not 11 bags between 5 of them, and they were NOT small bags, i.e each one filled a locker.
If they were flying in C then each is allowed 2 bags+a smaller one, otherwise 11 is too much indeed, and small bags should go under the seat
Ditto is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: