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jetjack74
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:43 pm

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]
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timf
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:05 pm

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?
 
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jetjack74
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:30 pm

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.
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quiet1
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:44 pm

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!
 
sr117
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:46 pm

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?
 
LH417AF025
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:19 pm

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?
 
panamair
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:42 pm

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....
 
Cubsrule
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:52 pm

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.
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sxf24
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:56 pm

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?
 
Cubsrule
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:03 pm

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
 
sxf24
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:59 pm

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?
 
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jetjack74
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:11 pm

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!
 
panamair
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:32 pm

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?
 
Cubsrule
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:20 am

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
 
sxf24
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:23 am

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.
 
n7371f
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:20 am

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.
 
delimit
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:30 am

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]
 
AA767400
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:48 am

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.
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Cubsrule
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:49 am

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
 
goboeing
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:38 am

This is sad.

Their service and manners are superior.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:49 am

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.
 
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jetjack74
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:49 am

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!
 
quiet1
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:31 am

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>
 
panamair
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:07 am

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...
 
Cubsrule
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:14 pm

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
 
B767300ER
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:49 pm

When you mentioned the languages in the TLV / LLBG), Israel">LOD program at DL you neglected Hebrew and Arabic, the two languages
I am proficient in as a DL TLV / LLBG), Israel">LOD. I am based at JFK and regularly fly 268/269 to TLV and a full pax load keeps me
quite busy but atleast we have atleast two other TLV / LLBG), Israel">LOD's on board. When I was based in ATL and flew to DXB I was
the only TLV / LLBG), Israel">LOD on board and that was quite stressful on the westbound leg with a full 777 load. Being a TLV / LLBG), Israel">LOD we also
had regular F/A duties to perform so we would usually be assigned to the Y section as most of the PAX in need
of the TLV / LLBG), Israel">LOD were booked in Y.
 
crj200faguy
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:30 pm

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 said she passed on her 3rd try. She said she got 80%, 86% and finally 92%. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Delta's training 7 weeks? Did she really spend almost 5 1/2 months in ATL?
 
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jetjack74
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:50 pm

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 been a regular FA candidate, they would've sent you home, and your chances of getting another try is pretty slim. Asian languages are so hard to find, that are willing to do it for the amount of money offered, that they're willing to look beyond technicalities in order to satisfy the demand
Made from jets!
 
toobz
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:53 pm

she was most likely referring to her LOD test, not the actual FA training....thats my guess
 
covert
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Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:52 am

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 22):
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?

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 at university taught us the difference between the 3 levels of Korean from informal to to polite, to formal within the first week. We also learnt how to bow and how not to commit cultural faux-paus, because arguably that kind of stuff practically is part of the language itself.

IMO, any good language class will teach you that.
none
 
CYAsutomo
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Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:39 am

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 specially trained in Japan to provide the service that Japanese customers expect. They were always incredibly gracious, professional, and friendly. They were as good as the FAs on JAL and ANA.

Sorry, but the LOD folks are just not the same... not even close. Other US airlines do this, hiring only US citizen or US resident FAs with Japanese language skills. But often they are not native-level speakers, and they don't have the right command of honorific Japanese, and they receive no special training in Japanese service. Sometimes their pronunciation is so bad it can be difficult to understand their Japanese. They generally are no different from any typical American FA in terms of attitude and service delivery. In other words, the service they provide is often mediocre and sometimes even surly and indifferent.

Just one example (among many) of the difference between the ISFRs and a US FA: My wife and I were flying NW to HNL. My wife's blanket was filthy (covered with hair). When we mentioned it to a US FA, he laughed, said "Oh, there's nothing we can do," and walked away. When we mentioned it to a ISFR and asked her if we could have some tape to try to pull the hair off, she acknowledged (in Japanese) "This is terrible," took the blanket from us, and quickly brought back a clean one.
 
n7371f
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Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:02 pm

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 21):
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.

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 NWA crew members, mtx and trainers over the years and one thing they always were proud about: the red tail knew how to fly and had the history to back it up.

From my perspective, as a long-time NWA flier, the changes I've seen have been almost all away from NWA and to Delta. And since Delta's website, technology and frequent flier program were far inferior to begin, it's been disappointing to say the least. The single biggest reason why I'm not 1K in UA and Platinum in CO.
 
toobz
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Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting CYAsutomo (Reply 30):
Sorry, but the LOD folks are just not the same... not even close. Other US airlines do this, hiring only US citizen or US resident FAs with Japanese language skills. But often they are not native-level speakers, and they don't have the right command of honorific Japanese, and they receive no special training in Japanese service. Sometimes their pronunciation is so bad it can be difficult to understand their Japanese. They generally are no different from any typical American FA in terms of attitude and service delivery. In other words, the service they provide is often mediocre and sometimes even surly and indifferent.

These are tough economical times my friend.

Quoting n7371f (Reply 31):
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 NWA crew members, mtx and trainers over the years and one thing they always were proud about: the red tail knew how to fly and had the history to back it up.

I think DL has proven they can fly over the years as well
 
sxf24
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Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:04 pm

Quoting CYAsutomo (Reply 30):
Sorry, but the LOD folks are just not the same... not even close. Other US airlines do this, hiring only US citizen or US resident FAs with Japanese language skills. But often they are not native-level speakers, and they don't have the right command of honorific Japanese, and they receive no special training in Japanese service. Sometimes their pronunciation is so bad it can be difficult to understand their Japanese. They generally are no different from any typical American FA in terms of attitude and service delivery. In other words, the service they provide is often mediocre and sometimes even surly and indifferent.

It is disgusting that some people blatantly discriminate against individual's based on their nationality or country of origin. The ability to provide a high level of service and be respectful of cultural differences does not depend on where an individual lives.
 
sr117
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Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:07 pm

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 33):
It is disgusting that some people blatantly discriminate against individual's based on their nationality or country of origin.

Being disgusted won't change the fact that service delivery is considerably different on Japanese carriers. I really could care less whether they were Japanese or Martians, but service delivery on ANA and JAL -is- different. Sometimes it's a good thing, and sometimes not so much.

The above poster was not discriminating, he was pointing out clear non-emotional reasons why Japanese trained staff can make an important difference in service perception, especially amongst Japanese customers.

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 33):
The ability to provide a high level of service and be respectful of cultural differences does not depend on where an individual lives.

No, but their idea of what a high level of service entails certainly can. Service delivery in the USA and Japan is just different, you might prefer one, the other or like both, but you can't close your eyes and say it's the same.

Either way it seems the decision has already been made, let's just hope the LOD's step up to the plate and fill out the ISFR's shoes effectively.
 
sxf24
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:00 pm

Quoting SR117 (Reply 34):
The above poster was not discriminating, he was pointing out clear non-emotional reasons why Japanese trained staff can make an important difference in service perception, especially amongst Japanese customers.

Saying an individual can provide better service because of the national origin is discrimination.
 
CYAsutomo
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:40 am

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 a racist, then that's their prerogative.

BTW, I'm a caucasian American male, married to a Japanese woman, with a half-Japanese son who has dual US and Japanese citizenship.

But I guess I'm still a racist, according to the folks here.

P.S. JAL has a number of non-Japanese FAs, and I find them all to be uniformly gracious, professional, and friendly. They also generally have an excellent command of the honorific Japanese appropriate to customer interactions. Light-years ahead of the LODs on US airlines, and it's all because of the difference in service culture, training, and standards to which the employees are held.

[Edited 2012-01-08 21:53:18]
 
CYAsutomo
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:47 am

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 partner, they are at a big disadvantage to all the other players in the market (AA-JL and NH-CO-UA) and need all the help they can get. Eliminating some of their distinguishing features like the ISFRs will just hurt them. They also made the major mistake (later corrected) of eliminating lounge access benefits for gold elites, which must have alienated some of their best flyers. I understand from other reports that they also got rid of much of NW's Japan management.

NW spent a number of years carefully cultivating the Japanese market with targeted marketing, tailored FF benefits, and services like the ISFRs. Seems like DL is eliminating all this.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:22 am

Quoting CYAsutomo (Reply 36):
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 a racist, then that's their prerogative.

BTW, I'm a caucasian American male, married to a Japanese woman, with a half-Japanese son who has dual US and Japanese citizenship.

But I guess I'm still a racist, according to the folks here.

P.S. JAL has a number of non-Japanese FAs, and I find them all to be uniformly gracious, professional, and friendly. They also generally have an excellent command of the honorific Japanese appropriate to customer interactions. Light-years ahead of the LODs on US airlines, and it's all because of the difference in service culture, training, and standards to which the employees are held.



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 brought up there. Secondly, the F/A base in NRT is not going anywhere. There will still be "natives" on those flights but i digress.

I suppose im not as up in arms about the whole thing than others.
What gets measured gets done.
 
pqdtw
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:44 pm

Quoting panamair (Reply 12):

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?

Yes. Interport flights will continue to have one US-based Purser and another US-based flight attendant (commonly referred to as the "chaser.")
 
sxf24
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:49 pm

Quoting CYAsutomo (Reply 36):
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 a racist, then that's their prerogative.

No one said they don't have different service cultures. As someone who has traveled and worked extensively in Japan, I completely understand that.

What is racist and discriminatory is saying that domestically based employees of US carriers are unable to understand those cultural differences and make reasonable accommodations while foreign based employees can.
 
CYAsutomo
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:10 am

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 40):
What is racist and discriminatory is saying that domestically based employees of US carriers are unable to understand those cultural differences and make reasonable accommodations while foreign based employees can.

Lots of folks complain about the outsourcing of American customer service to India -- for example, UA's Indian call center. Typical complaints are that the phone reps' English is difficult to understand, they are poorly trained, and they have a poor understanding of American geography and the location of UA cities. How is this different from pointing out that LODs usually have inferior language skills and cultural understanding (and inadequate training in cultural requirements) compared to native speakers raised in Japan?

Or are the people who complain about Indian call centers racist too?
 
MaverickM11
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DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:10 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 31):
I've known a lot of NWA crew members, mtx and trainers over the years and one thing they always were proud about: the red tail knew how to fly and had the history to back it up.
Quoting panamair (Reply 23):
The truth of course is, as always, somewhere in between (as illustrated by jetjack74's example of safety-related procedures versus inflight service).

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?

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
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?

I'd assume w/ a hub in AMS they have plenty.

Quoting CYAsutomo (Reply 37):
Without any Japanese alliance partner, they are at a big disadvantage to all the other players in the market (AA-JL and NH-CO-UA) and need all the help they can get

True, but language speakers and cultural sensitivities aren't going to make much of a difference.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
L1011Lover
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RE: DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:04 am

Quoting panamair (Reply 23):
since the IFSR program was, correct me if I'm wrong, trans-pac only

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 after 9/11. I'm not 100% sure when they let go their European IFSR's. If I remember correctly it was even shortly before 9/11.

They served on European trans-atlantic flights to France and Germany, maybe the Netherlands as well and were all based in LGW - which was a bit of a weird procedure as they usually deadheaded from LGW to their assignment from let's say CDG or FRA and then usually flew a few trips back to back with layovers in the US and Europe before deadheading back to LGW. Some of them commuted.

I just recently flew with a FA who's a former German qualified IFSR with NW. She lives and has always lived in Frankfurt, but was officially based in LGW even though she worked the FRA flights. Funny!

Best regards

L1011Lover
 
777
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RE: DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:25 am

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, they just provide assistance to the passengers and normally they are hired directly in China or Japan (so they are not Italian with the specific language skill).

BTW I flew several time with DL on the US - Italy routes and each time I noticed that at least a couple of F/A were quite fluent in Italian and made announcement during the flight (they had probably Italian origins but they were definitely American).
 
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b727fa
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RE: DL IFSRs(PMNW) Are Gone From Transpac Flights 5/1

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:43 pm

Quoting CYAsutomo (Reply 41):
How is this different from pointing out that LODs usually have inferior language skills and cultural understanding (and inadequate training in cultural requirements) compared to native speakers raised in Japan?

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 raised in their native language country.

Some LOD's are not (speaking of some LOD's for Japan whom I know) from Japan; I know even one woman who is Polish, but a top level certified speaker for Japan. She lived in Japan and worked in the embassy for cultural programs. Is she inadequate and using inferior language skills?

I can't believe how negative people can be about this. Has anyone decried the "inferior and inadequate" speakers serving on any other international route? Sheese...
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