We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

Which Schleswig-Holstein hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Vejle, Denmark
posts: 9
Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

Last week I have been travelling between Lubeck and south Europe, through Lubeck Airport.

During the security control a prohibited item was detected on my back pack – a Zippo lighter (I was not aware of this). Immediately a security officer approached me in German language asking me to open my bag.

I said that I do speak several languages but German is not one of them, and I asked him to please talk in English. He immediately replied that only “Deutsche”!!!

I did not find particularly funny to be confronted with something wrong inside my bag and with a security officer that could not communicate what the problem was… in an international airport!!!

Fortunately a couple of minutes after other security member approached me and inform about the prohibited item, which was promptly delivered and the situation was over.

I do not understand how it is still possible to hire non-English speaking employees to an international airport.

Lubeck airport, NO thank you…only like a second or third option.

P.S.: By the way, also in Kiel train station the male employee on the info desk, could not speak English. It is not so serious since it’s a regional train station, but seems like Germany still have a big problem when it comes to speak other languages than German… which is quite demotivating to a tourist or traveller.

Edited: 2:03 pm, July 09, 2013
18 replies to this topic
Auburn, AL
posts: 248
reviews: 25
11. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

This seems to be much-ado about very little. The OP says the initial screener did not speak English, so he had to wait a short while for an English-spearker to take over the screening. No big deal. Regardless of the language, that happens at airports all over the world. Few TSA screeners at U.S. airports speak anything but English or, in some cases, Spanish but there are nearly always interpreters around, just not at every screening station.

What surprises me is that someone in or from Denmark would speak several languages but not the language of the only country that shares a land-border with Denmark. After all, most people on the U.S. side of the Canada border, not counting Quebec, speak fluent Canadian. On the other hand, I would need an interpreter in Minnesota. :>)

Esbjerg, Denmark
posts: 1
12. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

First of all, only the Danes living in south Jutland (the area connected to Germany) are possible able to speak German, due to a good relation with neighbours. The other area main area of the country where Copenhagen is placed, most of the persons do not speak German - they do learn English and they do have interest in Swedish for the same reason – to be good neighbours.

I’m originally from Copenhagen, I do not speak German but I do speak Swedish – 95% of my friends have the same language skills.

English from Canada and English from US, right… besides accent differences, isn’t the same language? Well German and Danish are really not the same language. So don’t compare things. Yes, maybe compare the French from Quebec with English from US.

I think the question here is very basic: persons working at airports should speak English besides their mother language? YES, always. No matter if it is a German or not.

Replying to Quiltneedle and the sentence “But we are still allowed to speak our own language in our own country?" Besides showing an arrogant face, Yes you are still allowed to speak German in Germany, but please don’t forget to speak Danish when you came to Denmark. You, Germans think that we have to understand you in your language in our country. Following your way of thinking – please start speaking Danish or a common language: English!

Edited: 12:10 pm, July 10, 2013
Frankfurt, Germany
posts: 2,869
reviews: 29
13. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

"Replying to Quiltneedle and the sentence “But we are still allowed to speak our own language in our own country?" Besides showing an arrogant face, Yes you are still allowed to speak German in Germany, but please don’t forget to speak Danish when you came to Denmark. You, Germans think that we have to understand you in your language in our country. Following your way of thinking – please start speaking Danish or a common language: English!"

I reply with arrogance when I meet arrogance and I would never expect anyone abroad to speak English (or German) with me. If they do, fine, if they don't I'll have to find another way to get around and so far always did.

Those jobs at airport security are very, very badly paid, it's the kind of job you do when you have no qualification at all. It is true that we all learn English at school, but most people who never need English after school will forget it very quickly.

As mentioned before, there was an English speaking guy at hand to sort the matter out, so where is the problem?

Seattle area
posts: 1,510
reviews: 16
14. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

First, simply put, the OP shouldn't have had a Zippo lighter in his/her carry-on. Anyone who flies frequently double checks the carry-on to avoid this problem. I have accidentally left a corkscrew in my carry-on, and it didn't take any language (and I know three) to understand the problem...they stop your bag, and ask you to show the contents. Again. anyone who flies frequently should know that is what happens when you have an alert security in these times. What language is needed for that? Cooperate and go on your way.

Second, his/her attitude, as shown in his/her posts here, reveal the possible reason there was a ruckus at security screening. I feel fortunate that, in my visits to his/her lovely country, I have not encountered his/her type...it's not the perspective I have of Danes at all.

Cheers and happy travels to all...

Edited: 1:57 pm, July 10, 2013
Aluthgama, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 37,018
reviews: 7
15. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

Why don't you write a polite complaint to the airport management?

The Hague, The...
posts: 1
16. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

Linnmac:

From what I understood, there was not problem at all, all was polite. I understand the OP since I'm Dutch and I do feel that Germans do not want / do not know English. Sometimes is quite frustrating to go to Germany.

Second, the OP said that he/she was not aware that the lighter was prohibited, therefore he/she could not understand what that problem was.

You can't make judgments if he/she is or not a frequent traveller or about the others experiences, it is not up to you.

Auburn, AL
posts: 248
reviews: 25
17. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

Wow! I guess not all Danes speak Smiley Face, either. To translate, the symbol follows a statement that is meant in jest. The U.S. has a long border with Mexico, but I don't speak Spanish, either. Or Quebec-French. I am still proud of my fluency in Anglo-Canadian. :>(

In all seriousness, it is one thing to post a complaint about something, and quite another to let it get under your skin so much you have to SHOUT ABOUT IT. I had a similar situation once at CDG -- it seems the French have forgotten about those round things people used to call "rolls of film" -- but an English-speaking screener came to my aid, and I did not see any reason to get stirred up about it. My advice to the OP: Chill out. These things arise every day at airports all over the world. That was just a blip in your travel day.

Vejle, Denmark
posts: 9
18. Re: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!

Guys, thank you for the posts...all of you guys.

I'm quite done here.

Although I still think that an international airport should have english-speaking no matter what, I do accept all your suggestions and opinions.

Cheers

Reply to: Lubeck Airport: If you don't speak German DON'T USE IT!!!
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Schleswig-Holstein