Safety Hazard, Really?

No, despite the title this actually isn’t about TSA.

Last night I was on an regional jet with only 1 flight attendant. The flight attendant was not a native English speaker. He pronounced the CH in Charlotte like the CH in chat. Little things like that don’t really bother me because I’m sure I mispronounce city names all the time.

We were in the penalty box for 30 minutes for flow control into CLT and some passenger mid plane asked the FA to repeat what the pilot had said (the pilot spoke with typical pilot voice and I understood him fine, but people far from a speaker might not). the FA said there was a delay for flow control in CHarlotte. The passenger (who was very loud) started instructing him that it is pronounced SHarlotte like SHicago. The passenger asked the FA where he was from because “you sound Eastern European but you look Asian.”

During deplaning some other passengers were talking about how they would feel very unsafe if we had an accident and that FA had to give instructions. I’ve been on flights with just 2 flight attendants where 1 was a native English speaker and the other wasn’t and the one with the heavy accent spoke the safety demo. I never had a problem with it. I don’t like getting sent to overseas call centers who don’t properly train phone staff on how to resolve basic issues, but this FA would have gone through the same training as all other FAs for this regional carrier. The track record for pilots on regional carriers has come under fire a lot recently so I just hope the flight attendants are actually getting properly trained for emergencies…especially when they are the only FA on board.

If they let people who don’t speak English onto airplanes then I don’t see how someone fluent in English (his usage was fine, just his pronounciation of proper nouns was off) but with an accent is a safety hazard.