For those travelling frequently by airlines, the safety announcements are a mere irritant – something which needs to get over and done with. But imagine the plight of a first timer? Suppose he is a Tamilian and does not understand neither English nor Hindi; for him the announcements might as well be Greek or Latin. It could cause a sense of panic.
That’s why there is a petition online from a flyer seeking the attention of Civil Aviation Ministry to incorporate the regional language for announcements along with English. The demand is at that at least at the port of departure, the announcements needs to be made in the local language, besides Hindi and English.
This is not an unreasonable demand as such. Did you know that Swiss Air makes announcements in 5 languages, besides English? Then there are the new generation aircrafts which have a menu of pre-canned announcements in a myriad of languages, available to the cabin crew in that little touch screen control panel. AirAsia has the same and it made cabin announcements in more than half a dozen languages when two specific passengers seemed oblivious to her announcements for everyone to please be seated so we could get under way. Malaysian Airlines start their safety demonstration video with an introduction in six different languages and then with sign language and English for the rest of the video
The flip side to all this – we could spend the entire journey, if it is a short one, only listening to these announcements!