SQ25J
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Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:29 am

Hi Everyone......Hopefully this topic not currently under discussion.

While I am glad to see Delta's expansion into Africa and Asia......I can't help but wonder if they will be able to crew language qualified FA's on these flights. In particular the DKR and NBO flights......I would imagine there will always be a good handful of PAX speaking Swahili, Mandika, Wolof, etc.......will Delta be able to address this need?

Also their AMM and CAI will need a good contingent of Arabic speakers

CPT will require some Afrikaans

Any thoughts?
 
doug_or
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:40 am

from http://www.delta.com/about_delta/car...tunities/index.jsp#flightattendant

We accept résumés for admission to the Initial Flight Attendant Training Course only when opportunities are available. Currently, we are seeking candidates who are fluent in the following languages: Arabic, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
HBJZA
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:27 am

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 1):
we are seeking candidates who are fluent in the following languages: Arabic, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.

It's funny that DL wrote "in the following language" instead of "in ONE of the following languages" !! Good luck DL if you're looking for people speaking fluently all of them. I noticed that english is not required !!!
Sorry, no mean to hurt, just for fun.......
 
L1011Lover
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:17 am

Quoting HBJZA (Reply 2):
Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 1):
we are seeking candidates who are fluent in the following languages: Arabic, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.

It's funny that DL wrote "in the following language" instead of "in ONE of the following languages" !! Good luck DL if you're looking for people speaking fluently all of them. I noticed that english is not required !!!
Sorry, no mean to hurt, just for fun.......

Why shouldn't´t they be seeking FA´s who are fluent in more than one foreign language. So in order to be 100% correct they should have written:

"Currently we are seeking candidates who are fluent in ONE or MORE than ONE of the following languages"

But oh well, seeking FA´s fluent in the following languages sounds perfectly fine to me. Plus, they are seeking for candidates, not ONE candidate fluent in all of the languages. PLURAL is what makes the difference...  Wink

Just give them a break... lol

I think DL is one US carrier always trying to be offering the best possible customer service and language assistance on their flights. I remember a flight from CVG to FRA on which 100% of the FA´s were native German speakers. DL used to have Hindi speaking FA´s based in BOM for their daily FRA/CDG-BOM service. They had the Warsaw base inherited from PA with FA´s fluent in Polish, Russian and many other Eastern European languages back in the days when FRA was a hub, there was a TLV base with Hebrew speaking FA´s... on almost every transatlantic flight to a non-English language country they have language qualified FA´s able to assist in the respective language. Now they start service to more exotic places it would be interesting to see if they´ll be able to find enough candidates qualified in the desired languages. Anyhow DL is doing a good job at caring for their non-English speaking customers... next in line is probably UA with their international FA bases in LHR, FRA, NRT, HKG...

Best regards

L1011Lover
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:48 am

Also, remember that Delta did inherit many of Pan Am's well traveled F/As, many of whom are language qualified.

Delta already has alot of language qualified F/As so finding a few more shouldn't be too hard, especially since the US is always attracting immigrants from all over the world. They also have many asian language speakers left over from the PDX hub days (I've flown with a few of them on SFO-HNL).

There is a member on this site who is Language Qualified at DL in Arabic and a few other languages I think.

DL has become quite the international airline in the last 20 years!

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
yulguy
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:18 am

On a JFK-DUB flight last month, DL even had some Gaelic announcements! An unnecessary but welcome gesture of respect to its Irish clientele. I know they don't purposely staff Gaelic speakers on this flight and it was a one-off. I was nonetheless impressed. I don't think DL will provide service in Swahili on its NBO flights as English is one of the official languages of Kenya, same thing probably goes for CPT service and Afrikaans. DL will surely have French speakers on its DKR flights as it will have Arabic speakers on its flights to the Arab world.

Quoting SQ25J (Thread starter):
Swahili, Mandika, Wolof, etc.......will Delta be able to address this need?

In an ideal world, yeah sure. Likely? Don't think so. But I'm sure you were expecting that response.
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry
 
LH423
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:24 am

Well, out of the African cities served/to be served by DL, really only NBO I think would need any additional language speakers. Most Senegalese speak French and most South Africans (at least those most likely to travel outside South Africa) speak English at some level, especially white South Africans. Though if they were able to find some who speak Xhosa, that might be beneficial.

A lot of Kenyans speak English, especially the younger generations though, through experience working with African travellers, between Senegal, South Africa and Kenya, the latter would have the most need for language-specific FAs (since any French-speaking FA can fly to Dakar).

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
MAH4546
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:25 am

Quoting SQ25J (Thread starter):
..I can't help but wonder if they will be able to crew language qualified FA's on these flights. In particular the DKR and NBO flights......I would imagine there will always be a good handful of PAX speaking Swahili, Mandika, Wolof, etc......

Chances are that somebody from Kenya or Senegal flying Delta speaks fluent English or French, respectively. No need to provide FA's speaking Mandika.
a.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:34 am

Quoting SQ25J (Thread starter):
CPT will require some Afrikaans

I doubt there are many people whose primary language is Afrikaans who don't speak or at least understand enough English to cope with English announcements on a flight. And if they can't cope with English on the flight, how would they ever cope when then arrive in the USA?
 
L1011Lover
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:56 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 8):
And if they can't cope with English on the flight, how would they ever cope when then arrive in the USA?

You'd be surprised how many people we have on our US bound flights who don't speak a word of English!!! And who expect us to help them fill out the customs and immigration forms even though we´re not even able to communicate with them. What I find most frustrating and what bothers me most are those people who have US passports or green cards and still don´t speak ANY English!

Evil me, I once told a passenger who really didn't speak a single word of English -except for: "US citizen"-... "How dare you... you have a US passport, you´re supposed to speak the language..." at least to a certain extend... I don´t expect foreigners to be fluent... but at least show the willingness to learn... especially when you´re a citizen or have the legal right to work and live in a country...

Well he didn't understand me anyway... but he quickly realized that I was NOT going to help him filling out the forms... which I´m also not even allowed to... at least not when I can´t communicate. We must assist unaccompanied minors for instance or handicapped... but not anybody not speaking the language... I usually call ahead for an interpreter then...

GOSH... some people expect too much without willing to give anything themselves... and they´re not an exception... we have them on every single flight... they become a norm!

Best regards

L1011Lover
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:22 am

DL has a long history of having not only plenty of language trained flight attendants but also having more than other carriers have, partly because unions at other airlines try to limit the number of language FAs because they are generally lower seniority but get better trips than they could get with their seniority. DL doesn't have that problem and thus is able to give superior customer service.

I would like to see DL do more language announcements at the airport at JFK. It is common in ATL and CVG.

You will probably be surprised by the language abilities DL will pull together on its African flights where there are alot more diverse languages.

Remember also that people are attracted to flying for an airline that flies to their home country, thus they will attract plenty of native speakers in addition to their current employees who are from those countries. I know a DL employee who is from Kenya.... and I don't know a whole lot of DL employees out of their 50K or so.
 
airnewzealand
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:28 am

Quoting L1011Lover (Reply 9):
Evil me, I once told a passenger who really didn't speak a single word of English -except for: "US citizen"-... "How dare you... you have a US passport, you´re supposed to speak the language..." at least to a certain extend... I don´t expect foreigners to be fluent... but at least show the willingness to learn... especially when you´re a citizen or have the legal right to work and live in a country...

The same can be said for people that live in Hong Kong, France, Germany to name afew. It s amazing how many people go to these countries whom cannot even say hello in the local language. The amount of Americans i see in Japan who YELL at the store clerk because they cant understand English is beyond me...

So its a World wide problem...not just foreigners to the States.

Cheers
 
pfletch1228
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:42 am

Quoting Yulguy (Reply 5):
I don't think SA)">DL will provide service in Swahili on its NBO flights as English is one of the official languages of Kenya, same thing probably goes for CPT service and Afrikaans.

Afrikaans is one of 11 official languages in South Africa, but the most common form of communication is still English. All airline safety announcements are made in English (I seem to think this is a South African CAA requirement) with some airlines doing them in 1 or 2 of the other languages as well. Emergency exits are all marked in English. There is absolutely no need for Delta to have Afrikaans speaking FAs on SA bound flights. English will do just fine thanks  Wink
War does not determine who is right. War determines who is left.
 
georgiaame
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:12 am

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of flying DL 70 (I think), from Atlanta into Rome FCO. I lived in Italy for about 7 years, and at best, my spoken Italian is pathetic, but I am fully conversant, and while my grammar and syntax may be a tad off, I have no problem communicating at any level, social or professional. As we were leaving American airspace, safety instructions were provided in English, Delta's politically correct Spanish, and I think "Italian". The poor FA was reading from a card, doing her best to improvise an Italian accent. Unfortunately, every one of her vowels was standard American English. As were her syllables. It was most painful to listen to. Those of you out there in cyber land who speak Italian know that one of the worst sounds that can ever assault a human ear is Italian spoken with a strong American accent. Think of fingernails on a blackboard, only worse. It was obvious that the airline simply had no Italian speakers available for the Italian flight. And fortunately, no one got into any trouble, safety wise, on the very long trip.

I am probably one of 5 people out there who recognises that THE function of a flight attendant is to get my butt out of my seat, and onto the emergency slide after the plane has gone splat. Serving me my gourmet meal and a half way decent glass of wine is secondary. I still shudder to think what would have happened on that flight had there been a real, life threatening emergency.

You need native speakers on international flights. You don't need politically correct BS. I wish Delta the best, and also wish my Israeli nephew who is looking for a job would apply for one! I could use a buddy pass...
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:35 am

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
I still shudder to think what would have happened on that flight had there been a real, life threatening emergency.

In an emergency the commands would be shouted in English only. It would only confuse the matter to be shouting in another language.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:51 am

Georgia AME,
While I'm not doubting your experience, I have found that most of DL's language FAs are quite conversant. DL, like most airlines, has tests that have to be taken, including the ability to speak.

My guess is you either were on a flight where an eager beaver wanted to practice their language skills and the FA in charge let him/her or there was a sickout and a reserve was put on the flight.

I have never seen what you described in over 20 years of flying DL on international flights. Most DL FAs are quite capable in their stated language; many do read the announcements but they also do it in English.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:05 am

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
I still shudder to think what would have happened on that flight had there been a real, life threatening emergency.

I can assure you that your crew and any DL crew, regardless of destination, will get everyone out in an emergency. Regardless of language spoken.

Cut the flight attendant some slack. She tried her best, which I can also assume many appreciated. You said here

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
my spoken Italian is pathetic

Hard to chastise when you are not perfect.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
Those of you out there in cyber land who speak Italian know that one of the worst sounds that can ever assault a human ear is Italian spoken with a strong American accent.

Yet you say this

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
You don't need politically correct BS

 redflag  Glass houses.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
You need native speakers on international flights.

No, you need people who speak the language. Native or not.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
THE function of a flight attendant is to get my butt out of my seat, and onto the emergency slide after the plane has gone splat.

and

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
Serving me my gourmet meal and a half way decent glass of wine

among others. Our role is all encompassing.

DL hires, recruits and prefers flight attendants who speak another language. Just like we (CO) do. DL will try to staff destinations that need a foreign language with said crew. For those who are unaware of scheduling and staffing issues with airlines, that may not always be the case. Anyone who knows the airline industry will know: sh** happens (thankfully, not always).

If there is not a speaker of _____ (pick a language), sign language, pantomime and a myriad of other ways are effective in getting your point across.

As for an emergency, the FAA requires English to be spoken on all US carriers. Foreign languages are secondary and optional (example, I know my commands in English. I also know them in French and Spanish).Native speaker or not, commands are taught only in English. They are drilled into you. When push comes to shove, those English commands will shine through. Every time.

For those reading, rest assure that DL's crew are highly trained (as well and all other carrier's crews) in emergencies.
You can't cure stupid
 
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OA260
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:15 am

Quoting Yulguy (Reply 5):
On a JFK-DUB flight last month, DL even had some Gaelic announcements! An unnecessary but welcome gesture of respect to its Irish clientele. I know they don't purposely staff Gaelic speakers on this flight and it was a one-off.

Hmm probably the attendant was Irish American and had a few words anyway !!! I cant see them being fluent. Most Irish wouldnt have known what she was on about anway . Not a frequently used language in Ireland anymore. I know more Irish than most Irish people !!!
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:23 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
attendant was Irish American and had a few words anyway

Not Irish-American here (although I do have Irish roots), but Cead Mille Failte (that and pog mo thoin)!!!
You can't cure stupid
 
deltagator
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:27 am

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
I wish Delta the best

Based on your track record of posts you are flat out lying with that statement.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
also wish my Israeli nephew who is looking for a job would apply for one! I could use a buddy pass

Why? So you can fly for free or cheaply and still complain?

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
I still shudder to think what would have happened on that flight had there been a real, life threatening emergency.

If you don't understand to get out the emergency exit in event of an issue on a plane then you shouldn't be flying.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
jbmitt
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:29 am

Afrikaans is very similar to Dutch... Delta should have plenty of qualified Dutch speakers to get by... I agree though that English should be enough for JNB & CPT
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:31 am

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 13):
Israeli nephew who is looking for a job would apply for one!

If he were on reserve (which he will be for a while) and was sent to a destination other than TLV, would you shudder to think how he could get people off in emergency?
You can't cure stupid
 
DALelite
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting HBJZA (Reply 2):
I noticed that english is not required !!!

i even remember that on one of my flights with DL from ZRH-ATL there was a FA on bord who was a native swiss.
And she was from my hometown Basel.

cheers: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
Sukhoi
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:34 am

I´m a Swede living in Stockholm I do know Spanish + English + Swedish + Norwegian and Danish can I get a work at Delta Airlines without having a Green Card or a American Passport?
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:41 am

Quoting Sukhoi (Reply 23):
I get a work at Delta Airlines without having a Green Card or a American Passport?

Yes, as an agent at ARN, at least, but that is it.
You can't cure stupid
 
Sukhoi
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:50 am

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 24):
Yes, as an agent at ARN, at least, but that is it.

Yes but it´s good to know. I can work with American Aircrafts on the ground but never in the air
 
L1011Lover
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:12 am

Quoting Sukhoi (Reply 23):
I´m a Swede living in Stockholm I do know Spanish + English + Swedish + Norwegian and Danish can I get a work at Delta Airlines without having a Green Card or a American Passport?

Unfortunately not as a Flight Attendant. Not anymore. You need a US passport or a green card in order to apply. Years ago DL used to have foreign FA bases which were inherited from PA with non US/non-green card FA's based there... WAW, BOM, TLV come to mind... airlines like Pan Am and TWA were hiring big time in Europe and around the world throughout the 60's and 70's, sponsoring green cards... much like Emirates, Gulf Air etc. do it nowadays. Long gone times!!!

The only job available for non-green card holders with DL would be ground staff at an international destination (not in the US of course)... if the station is not outsourced. However I'd always think twice about applying to such a position. If the airline decides to abandon the route you'll most definitely be losing your job. It happened to hundreds of DL employees in FRA in the late 90´s when the hub there was closed. I remember DL having quite some issues with transferring former WAW based FA's to the US. It took them months to finally legalize them flying out of JFK.

There are still some US airlines with foreign FA bases and non-green card FA´s.

UA has international domiciles in LHR, FRA, NRT, HKG plus so called foreign FA bases in BKK and SIN (the FA's there are non AFA contract and exempt from flying to the US or co-work with any AFA contract FA's) and most of the FA's hired locally are non-green card... however they also have American citizens and green card holder based in international domiciles. International domiciles are limited to international flying only. They can´t staff a US domestic flight.

AA has FA´s based in South America inherited from Eastern which in turn took them over from the original Braniff. These FA's by union contracts are limited to South America flying in and out of MIA and are not allowed to operate anywhere beyond MIA.

As far as I know NW has FA's based in Asia and I'm sure that most of them are non-green card. They don´t have real FA contracts. They´re called Inflight Service Representatives. However they're FA qualified so thy can occupy jumpseats for take-off and landing.

These are the US carriers I can think of with foreign based FA's.

However none of these carriers are currently hiring outside of the US.

DL abandoned its last foreign FA base in December 2006 with the closure of the BOM base.

Best regards

L1011Lover
 
yulguy
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:59 am

Quoting Pfletch1228 (Reply 12):
There is absolutely no need for Delta to have Afrikaans speaking FAs on SA bound flights. English will do just fine thanks

Errrr....yeah, that's what I said. It looks like we agree.

Quoting L1011Lover (Reply 9):
"How dare you... you have a US passport, you´re supposed to speak the language..."

How dare you? That's a little "drama queen", don't you think? There are many things to get indignant about, but I don't think your passenger's weakness with English is one of them, even if he's just as American as you are.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 16):
No, you need people who speak the language. Native or not.

I agree with EWR. Native speakers are not necessary. Having service available in the route language from anyone is what's important. I really don't care about the accent.

It's important for international airlines to be able to communicate in the language(s) of the countries they serve. It's good PR and good customer service. Of course, we've got to be realistic; It will be a while before Mandika and Wolof are offered on DL. Hell, DL doesn't even have French service on its YUL-JFK flights.
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry
 
L1011Lover
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:48 pm

[quote=Yulguy,reply=27]How dare you? That's a little "drama queen", don't you think? There are many things to get indignant about, but I don't think your passenger's weakness with English is one of them, even if he's just as American as you are. [/quote

Well most of us in the airline business are "drama queens" more or less... sometimes I love being one... hahaha...

Just let it be my problem at what I wanna get indignant about... okay... and if you read through my entire post you can see that I wasn't talking about someone's weakness with English (I even stated that I would never expect a foreigner to be fluent) but rather about someone's total and complete unwillingness to learn the language of the country he'd become a naturalized citizen of... and if you don't have a problem with that that's fine... but I do!!! I find such a behavior very ignorant, arrogant and ungrateful! Not that I have sleepless nights over it, but it somehow bothers me that's all okay!!!

By the way: You obviously didn't realize it, but I'm not American... I'm GERMAN!!!  

Best regards

L1011Lover

[Edited 2007-09-28 06:49:03]
 
yulguy
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RE: Will Delta Have FA's Speaking Native Language

Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:42 pm

Quoting L1011Lover (Reply 28):
'm not American... I'm GERMAN!!!

Whoops! My bad. I should have noticed your flag. Your comments just sounded so....American. I hope I did not offend. I do see your point of view and get what you meant. I agree with you; DL seems to be taking pains to ensure service is provided to some extent in its destination languages. I am impressed with them and their recent push into become a "true" international airline.
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry

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