As I understand it, air traffic control operations are conducted either in English or in the local language, making good English a required skill for international pilots. It always worries me, then, when a pilot’s accent is so strong that his announcements are incomprehensible.
I worry, too, about cabin crew language skills, but it’s rather more important that the plane take off and land safely than that the travellers get served the right items from the on-board buffet. After all, there are safety instruction cards with pictures, so perhaps it doesn’t really matter if, for example, the steward seems to think we’ll be landing at Disneyland Airport as long as the pilot knows he’s going to East Midlands.
Spanish-speaking crew always mangle English pronunciation even for phrases they use on every flight.
When I flew with Iberia recently, the pilot made an announcement welcoming us all aboard and extending a special welcome to “members of the oneworld alliance and friggin’ flyers.” Or maybe it was freakin’ flyers.
I’m a fairly frequent flyer, but his pronunciation freaked me out.