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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1  
User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7388 posts, RR: 51
Posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7405 times:
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Well Delta is doing away with the IFSR programme for good, beginning May 1st. With the Language of Destination, the concept is pretty redundant, but, the interpreter's are very good workers and are very knowledgable when it comes to specific questions about assisting Japanese passengers, something that US-based FAs may have a difficult time with. The LODs are going to have a lot of work on their hands now, announcements, forms, actually having to engage non-English-speaking passengers with more than just "chicken or beef".

[Edited 2012-01-05 09:44:43]


Made from jets!
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetimf From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 966 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7312 times:
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I'm not entirely familiar with the IFSR program. What does this stand for? How much training/overlap did they have compared to flight attendants?

User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7388 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7187 times:
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In-flight Service Representative, they're based overseas in Asia, Japan and China. And their job is to assist passengers in and out of Japan/China, to the US. It was a NWA thing, and like almost all thing NW, we're doing away with it.


Made from jets!
User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6973 times:

UA used to also have ISRs - Inflight Service Representatives many moons ago. Due to a strict union SCOPE clause, they were prohibited from doing Flight Attendant duties. e.g. They could not pick up an empty glass or meal tray. They mainly were PR representatives who would assist with completing documentation and providing information. That job was eliminated many years ago, and several of the ISRs became F/As.

On NRT-HNL trips they had an interesting duty: they carried a Polaroid camera and carried souvenir cards into which to insert the photo, saying something like "Aloha, and thank you for flying United," with the date. It was a big hit with the Japanese passengers, esepcially honeymoon couples. ISRs were accountable for the film cartridges, and to make it look like they were being highly productive on the flight, they would offer all the working crew as many snapshots as they wanted. LOL!


User currently offlineSR117 From Mexico, joined Jun 2000, 793 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6810 times:

Quoting jetjack74 (Thread starter):
Well Delta is doing away with the IFSR programme for good, beginning May 1st.

Does this mean that the workers are being let go? Or will they be offered other positions in the company? I've seen them on flights and they really do seem to be very good workers. I remember chatting with FA's and they've always commented that they're glad the IFSR's are there.

Flights like HNL-KIX are pretty much Japanese only so it really sounds useful to have Japanese staff on board. Will IFSR's be replaced with other Asia based staff?


User currently offlineLH417AF025 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6718 times:

AF used to have something like this on flights to Asia, I believe.

In the old uniform, I remember females wearing a yellow version

Does anyone know if they have done away with it?


User currently offlinepanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4793 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6645 times:
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Quoting SR117 (Reply 4):
Flights like HNL-KIX are pretty much Japanese only so it really sounds useful to have Japanese staff on board. Will IFSR's be replaced with other Asia based staff?

The IFSR program is being replaced by Delta's LOD (Language-of-Destination) program. Delta has traditionally hired US-based FAs with language skills and puts them on these international flights. So for example, JFK-NRT, PDX-NRT, and ATL-NRT, which are all currently crewed by PMDL FAs, all have 2-3 Japanese speakers aboard. The only difference is that they are US-based instead of NRT-based, so these FAs are either US citizens (Japanese-Americans or Chinese Americans or Korean-Americans), or Asian nationals with work visas/permits for the US.
It's not just Japan that DL does this for, they have Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Turkish, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Hindi, Ukranian, Hungarian, Romanian, etc., speaking FAs . Depending on the aircraft type and destination, there are usually 2 or 3 LOD speakers on each flight; for example, JFK-BRU on the 763ER has 1 Flemish and 1 French speaker; JFK-NCE has 2 French speakers on the 763ER, but 3 speakers on the 764.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 4):
Does this mean that the workers are being let go? Or will they be offered other positions in the company?

The interport flying by non-US-based FAs will remain so I would assume that these folks will move to interport flying instead; perhaps jetjack74 would have more information....


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6605 times:

Quoting panamair (Reply 6):
The IFSR program is being replaced by Delta's LOD (Language-of-Destination) program

At least pre-merger, the trouble was that LOD flight attendants may have spoken the language, but they frequently could not help with anything cultural because they had no clue. This was, for whatever reason, particularly true of LOD Spanish folks on deep South America flights.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinesxf24 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1250 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6590 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 7):
At least pre-merger, the trouble was that LOD flight attendants may have spoken the language, but they frequently could not help with anything cultural because they had no clue. This was, for whatever reason, particularly true of LOD Spanish folks on deep South America flights.

What type of cultural assistance could possibly be required inflight that a normal human could not deal with?


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6556 times:

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 8):
What type of cultural assistance could possibly be required inflight that a normal human could not
deal with?

None, but doesn't soft product matter?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinesxf24 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1250 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6400 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9):
None, but doesn't soft product matter?

Then why did you complain about cultural assistance?

In addition, I didn't realize inflight staff was part of the soft product. Further, provided there are LOD speakers on-board, why should you (or anyone else) care about the speakers' nationality or job classification?


User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7388 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6366 times:
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Quoting panamair (Reply 6):
The interport flying by non-US-based FAs will remain so I would assume that these folks will move to interport flying instead; perhaps jetjack74 would have more information....

The Japan-based employees were doing double duties as an Interport FA and Transpac IFSR during their monthly schedule, but now they will convert strictly to being an Interport FA. The PVG, PEK, ICN, HKG IFSRs were already FAs before they became interpreters. The NRT,KIX and NGO IFSRs knew their contracts were not being renewed, they just didn't know when they would actually expire. But any head overages, will be reduced through severance packages/buy-outs etc, etc.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 7):
At least pre-merger, the trouble was that LOD flight attendants may have spoken the language, but they frequently could not help with anything cultural because they had no clue. This was, for whatever reason, particularly true of LOD Spanish folks on deep South America flights.

Well, most of our Japanese language speakers were born and educated in Japan, so they know the answers to questions they're going to be asked, especially the ones who flew out of gateways/hubs that served Japan for many, many years. Some LODs have had it VERY easy on the PMNW side. The JP and MD speakers didn't have any real language responsibilities other than just a few off-hand questions during a flight. When someone had a question, some would simply defer the question to the IFSR(the flights that had them). And this was pissing off quite a few people, to the point where we were questioning the reason of having them on Transpac flights. Now, they're going to be required to make announcements, pass out forms on flights to and from Asia,



Made from jets!
User currently offlinepanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4793 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6312 times:
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Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 11):
Some LODs have had it VERY easy on the PMNW side. The JP and MD speakers didn't have any real language responsibilities other than just a few off-hand questions during a flight. When someone had a question, some would simply defer the question to the IFSR(the flights that had them). And this was pissing off quite a few people, to the point where we were questioning the reason of having them on Transpac flights. Now, they're going to be required to make announcements, pass out forms on flights to and from Asia,

Thanks for the info...Interesting, I didn't know that there were both LODs AND IFSRs on the PMNW side on each transpac flight...

Also, do you know whether there will still be two US-based FAs on the interport flights, as is currently done on the PMNW side? Or will all interport flights be handled by the non-US-based FAs?


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6203 times:

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 10):
In addition, I didn't realize inflight staff was part of the soft product.

When you're with them for 10 or 12 or 14 hours, staff can make an enormous difference.

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 10):
Further, provided there are LOD speakers on-board, why should you (or anyone else) care about the speakers' nationality or job classification?

I don't care about nationality or job classification (heck, I don't know if a given DL f/a is "officially" LOD or not, as many flights to the Spanish speaking world have more than the minimum complement of Spanish speakers). I care about customer service, and the customer service from foreign language speaking f/as on DL sometimes isn't so good.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinesxf24 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1250 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):

I don't care about nationality or job classification (heck, I don't know if a given DL f/a is "officially" LOD or not, as many flights to the Spanish speaking world have more than the minimum complement of Spanish speakers). I care about customer service, and the customer service from foreign language speaking f/as on DL sometimes isn't so good.

Making blanket insinuations that an individuals' nationality or country of origin impacts their ability to provide an acceptable level of service is disgusting and in many situations, illegal.

Your comments really have no business or relevance to this thread.


User currently offlinen7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1645 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6059 times:
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Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 2):
It was a NWA thing, and like almost all thing NW, we're doing away with it.

I know your comment and my confirmation of it is open to wide debate...but I've felt that's been the attitude since the merger. Certainly as an extreme frequent flier I find that to be the case. And with many friends inside the airline I sense that too from them. Funny thing is...NWA never looked better than it does now.


User currently offlinedelimit From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1486 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6027 times:

Where did you get that from what he typed? That can easily be read as, officially LOD, or just an American FA who happens to speak some Spanish.

That said Cubs, language doesn't really make a difference. Service levels between individual FAs vary just as greatly in English.

[Edited 2012-01-05 17:31:11]

User currently offlineAA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2300 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5964 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 7):
At least pre-merger, the trouble was that LOD flight attendants may have spoken the language, but they frequently could not help with anything cultural because they had no clue. This was, for whatever reason, particularly true of LOD Spanish folks on deep South America flights.

I'm really not getting what you're saying here. They speak the language, but could not understand the culture? Or they were not fluent in Spanish? I've seen Spanish speakers from a variety of countries on flights to various places in Latin America, and have never seen cultural issues. Many Latin American countries have different cultures, and sayings, but it's not enough to really make a difference.



"The low fares airline."
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5965 times:

Quoting delimit (Reply 16):
That said Cubs, language doesn't really make a difference. Service levels between individual FAs vary just as greatly in English.

I think that's right. My point, maybe not so well expressed, was that I've had plenty of bad DL LODs, but it's quite rare to find a really lousy ISFR. I'm not sure if that's a function of the ISFR program or the fact that, at least in my experience, NW had both fewer really good f/as and fewer really lousy f/as than DL.

The issues I've seen may be more pronounced with Spanish speakers because they are a much larger group than most LODs - how many Flemish speakers does DL have, for instance?

Quoting delimit (Reply 16):
That can easily be read as, officially LOD, or just an American FA who happens to speak some Spanish.

The worst LOD experience that sticks out in my mind was a Spanish LOD who seemed to be Korean-American. I don't know quite how you'd pigeonhole her.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineGoBoeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2679 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5722 times:

This is sad.

Their service and manners are superior.


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5682 times:

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 11):
Well, most of our Japanese language speakers were born and educated in Japan, so they know the answers to questions they're going to be asked, especially the ones who flew out of gateways/hubs that served Japan for many, many years. Some LODs have had it VERY easy on the PMNW side. The JP and MD speakers didn't have any real language responsibilities other than just a few off-hand questions during a flight. When someone had a question, some would simply defer the question to the IFSR(the flights that had them). And this was pissing off quite a few people, to the point where we were questioning the reason of having them on Transpac flights. Now, they're going to be required to make announcements, pass out forms on flights to and from Asia,

Very good ptoi

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 19):

Just o be clear, the interport F/A base will remain intact. If there was anytime to dismantle it and have US based F/As do all the flying it would have been now.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7388 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5548 times:
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Quoting n7371f (Reply 15):
I know your comment and my confirmation of it is open to wide debate...but I've felt that's been the attitude since the merger. Certainly as an extreme frequent flier I find that to be the case. And with many friends inside the airline I sense that too from them. Funny thing is...NWA never looked better than it does now.

Well, it kind of goes like this, Most of the safety-related procedures were adopted from NWA's safety programme, while most of the service-related procedures carried over from pre-merger Delta.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 20):
Just o be clear, the interport F/A base will remain intact. If there was anytime to dismantle it and have US based F/As do all the flying it would have been now.

There are rumors spreading like wild-fire that the Interport bases will be closing, which is not true. The Pacific Division is in a mad panic since the letter from Sandy Gordon showed up on the portal, coinciding with people spreading these rumors without checking the facts.



Made from jets!
User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5448 times:

There are substantial cultural differences, especially between Asian countries and the west, especially America. Speaking Japanese words with correct vocabulary and syntax as learned in a language school to a native Japanese passenger does not always "cut the mustard." e.g. Respect and restraint are an important part of Japanese communication. Body language is highly important. Saving face rules supreme! (How many westerners even know what saving face is?) We Americans are pretty much sold on the caste-leveling idea of equality and clear, precise communication. That needs serious adjustment if you really want to not only communicate with, but earn the respect and patronage of Japanese customers.

Just one example of the difference in communications/culture: In a polite, formal environment, when one receives a gift, it is traditional to say "I'm sorry." Sounds odd, no? But, the reason (or, so I've been educated to believe) is that the recipient is sorry that they have nothing as nice to give in return. Does that concept have a direct counterpart in English? Would you learn that in Japanese 101, or as the second-generation Japanese child born in a family obsessed with blending into western pop culture?

All of that long-windedness to say, there was great value in having native speaking, locally raised Japanese (Mandarin, Korean, Thai, etc) speakers on the plane. But, especially with American carriers, if there is no quantifiable dollar sign attributable to their presence clearly visible to the bean counters, it's "Buh-bye, ISFR!"

UA opened their NRT F/A domicile not because of the benefit of having a large number of Japanese local hires, but because of the layover cost savings by having crews stay at cheaper USA hotels than having USA crews stay at expensive Japanese layover hotels. If that balance changes, you can bet the NRT domicile will close and those Japanese F/As without Green Cards or US Passports and who cannot transfer to another non-US domicile will get their walking papers. "Too bad, so sad, don't let the door hit you on the way out," management at its finest.

</end of editorial rant>


User currently offlinepanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4793 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5062 times:
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Quoting n7371f (Reply 15):
I know your comment and my confirmation of it is open to wide debate...but I've felt that's been the attitude since the merger. Certainly as an extreme frequent flier I find that to be the case. And with many friends inside the airline I sense that too from them.

Funny thing is, many PMDL people feel the exact opposite, that Delta has become Northwest. The truth of course is, as always, somewhere in between (as illustrated by jetjack74's example of safety-related procedures versus inflight service). Rather typical merger stuff where many (employees, passengers, etc.) feel that unless their side's policies and procedures are adopted 100%, the company has somehow compromised its identity.

The fact is that new procedures/policies happen all the time at each company - some of these procedures may have been adopted regardless of whether there was a merger or not - but we will never know...

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
My point, maybe not so well expressed, was that I've had plenty of bad DL LODs, but it's quite rare to find a really lousy ISFR. I'm not sure if that's a function of the ISFR program or the fact that, at least in my experience, NW had both fewer really good f/as and fewer really lousy f/as than DL.

It's a little bit of comparing apples and oranges, since the IFSR program was, correct me if I'm wrong, trans-pac only, whereas the LOD program is worldwide. Your bad experience was with a Spanish speaker, and for a US airline (any US airline really), Spanish speakers are a dime a dozen, including many Americans who speak Spanish badly, and have no cultural reference or background with regard to the many Spanish-speaking countries they serve. On the other hand, many of the Japanese LODs I have flown with on DL, are almost all "native" Japanese, i.e., having been born or brought up in Japan before moving to America, who speak better Japanese than they do English, etc. With respect to Japanese (or Korean or Chinese), it is not common at all to find an American FA (who is not of Japanese or Korean or Chinese heritage) who works as an Asian-language LOD...


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4705 times:

Quoting panamair (Reply 23):
It's a little bit of comparing apples and oranges, since the IFSR program was, correct me if I'm wrong, trans-pac only, whereas the LOD program is worldwide.

Correct, which is why it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. It's unquestionably true, I think, that the customer service from LODs is, in general, inferior to the customer service from IFSRs. It'll be interesting to see if there's a difference in service TPAC after this change.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
25 B767300ER : When you mentioned the languages in the LOD program at DL you neglected Hebrew and Arabic, the two languages I am proficient in as a DL LOD. I am base
26 crj200faguy : Are LODs given extra chances to pass initial training? I was waiting for a flight and talked to a japanese LOD who just graduated from training. She s
27 jetjack74 : Maybe she did cumulatively. Given the need that DL is needing as many JP LOD FAs, they probably brought her back with little time to spare. Had that b
28 toobz : she was most likely referring to her LOD test, not the actual FA training....thats my guess
29 covert : Every formal language class that I have taken always outlines the honorifics and customs right off the bat. For example, my entry level Korean class
30 CYAsutomo : This is very sad news, as the ISFRs were wonderful. They were not only native Japanese accustomed to Japanese service culture, but they were also spec
31 n7371f : Pretty much. I know Delta's crews immediately had to learn new evacuation and emergency procedures (easy victor) and all that. I've known a lot of NW
32 toobz : These are tough economical times my friend. I think DL has proven they can fly over the years as well
33 sxf24 : It is disgusting that some people blatantly discriminate against individual's based on their nationality or country of origin. The ability to provide
34 SR117 : Being disgusted won't change the fact that service delivery is considerably different on Japanese carriers. I really could care less whether they wer
35 sxf24 : Saying an individual can provide better service because of the national origin is discrimination.
36 CYAsutomo : Whatever. If people want to remain blind to the fact that Japan and the US have vastly different service cultures, and call anyone who points that out
37 CYAsutomo : Anyway, getting back to the subject, I think DL is making a number of mistakes in Japan that will really hurt them here. Without any Japanese alliance
38 FlyASAGuy2005 : I guess you missed the part mentioned earlier by an actual DL F/A the a HUGE number of the Japanese LOD folks are originally from Japan or was brough
39 pqdtw : Also, do you know whether there will still be two US-based FAs on the interport flights, as is currently done on the PMNW side? Or will all interport
40 sxf24 : No one said they don't have different service cultures. As someone who has traveled and worked extensively in Japan, I completely understand that. Wh
41 CYAsutomo : Lots of folks complain about the outsourcing of American customer service to India -- for example, UA's Indian call center. Typical complaints are th
42 MaverickM11 : I can't think of one thing from the actual NW brand that was worth keeping at DL? The service? The IFE? Most of the fleet? The premium service? I'd a
43 L1011Lover : It was trans-pac only for the last few years, but NW used to have a similar IFSR program for trans-atlantic/European flights until shortly before or
44 777 : AFAIK also AZ uses since years Chinese and Japanese cabin crew for its flights from/to these countries. They are not trained on the safety procedures,
45 b727fa : How can you assume this? There are three levels of certification for the DL LOD program. The VAST majority are fluent, native speakers; most born and
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