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Lost Luggage
Posted by Dr.Watson on 12/22/2007
PHL, PENNSYLVANIA -- I lost one suitcase on October 25, 2007 (XH 348949)on flight from Paris to Philadelphia and all my luggage on December 20, 2007 (FV 035386 and FV 035387). I had to buy clothes and medical supplies for my stay in the USA. I have submitted claims for my lost luggage to Air France and Delta but have not received acknowledgment from either organization. I want my luggage not compensation. I have Xmax presents and wine to celebrate the New Year in my luggage.

I have made several trips out to the Philadelphia Airport trying to recover my luggage without any tangible results. The people at Air France are not very helpful. They want me to go away and not to get angry with them. "If we do not find your luggage we will compensate you for your loss."

My luggage is only misplaced,they do not wish to spend the required man hours to find them. It is more cost effective to give you financial compensation rather that spend the required resources to find your missing luggage. Also they sell the missing luggage to an outside company which than opens, sorts, cleans, items in individual suitcases. There is no attempt at looking for ID information that may be located outside or inside the individual pieces of luggage.

Under current international agreements about lost luggage there is no incentive for airline companies to improve their baggage handling system. If penalties for lost luggage were increased to the extent that airlines bottom line were negatively impacted, this would motivate companies to provide necessary resources to do the job. This international agreement is designed to protect the airline companies because they provide jobs, pay taxes, buy items and services from other companies, the individual is left unprotected.

On domestic flights in the USA the compensation for lost luggage cannot be less than $1,250.00.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-22:
That 'outside' company that you refer to is located in Alabama. I have read many stories about them. They do claim that if there is identification found that they do make a few attempts to contact the owner. If the owner is found they usually have to pay a fee to have their stuff re-packed and shipped.
Posted by autumn35802 on 2007-12-22:
It's called Unclaimed Baggage and is located in Scottsboro, Alabama. Here is their website: http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/
Posted by gegoameric on 2008-01-15:
Airfrance sucks,, they actually do, at least internationally. I got a 2000 ticket, seattle-paris and it was the most uncomfrotable experience EVER!. then in a different trip also JFK-Paris, they lost one of my bags, its been 2 months and they havent replied to my emails, faxes or mailed docs., they post no phone number on their web site to be reached,, i feel stupid as i have no means to coantact them. American express baggage protection is supposed to cover me in this case but they need a denial -settlement letter form Airfrnace, and I cnanot get taht, that sucks I will never choose to fly with AF again grrr
Posted by frescasmom on 2008-05-04:
I've been booked on Air France from U.S. to Bologna in a few months. These horror stories really are scary, and I hope I'll have some extra-good luck. After about 20 years of lots of international travel, anything that could have gone wrong has done so for me, short of a plane crash! I've learned to consider on-time arrival, along with my luggage, to be near-miraculous! In fact, sometimes I've been so tired from long journeys and missed connections, I was somewhat relieved to find my luggage hadn't arrived, and I wouldn't have to deal with it for a couple of days. I buy travel insurance, well worth the $'s, I've found; I happen to like Travel Guard - hassle-free reimbursement. I carry onboard any irreplacable items such as special gifts, or I send them ahead. Also onboard with me: medicines for the next 4 days, half a dozen protein bars, a change of clothing suitable for the climate at my destination (less necessary with travel insurance), and paper copy of documents I may think will be safe on my computer or via email. Frequently I travel to sing with a choral group. Our music scores and concert attire always travel with us onboard. It sounds like a lot to lug onboard, but it's not so voluminous, and I find it's better than some alternatives.
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Lack of Customer Service
Posted by Murat on 08/02/2004
IAD, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- I wanted to share with you the following about Air France.
We had a very bad day on 7/13/2004. We arrived at Washington Dulles Airport at 3:20pm for flight #39 on 07/13/04. And there was this huge line in front of the AirFrance check-in. It was 4:05 pm when we got to the counter. When our bags were
weighted, we were told that we needed to pay $400 for the overweight. My wife and I are students in the USA and $400 is tons of money for us. We said that we don't actually need to take all stuff in the bags and
we told them that we wanted to take the heavy stuff out from the bags and have them re-weighted. It was not going to take us more than 1 minute if they had let us do that. They told us check in for the flight
is closed and we had to pay $400 in order to fly. They talked to us for 10-15 minutes arguing that they can't do it. While they were talking to us there were still some passengers in line who were checking-in. We tried to get some of our stuff from one of the bags. And our ticket was canceled. And my wife could not fly. We were told that next available date to fly is August 4th 2004.

     
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Lost luggage that no one in Air France gives two hoots about
Posted by Oliver-twist on 01/25/2008
DUBAI -- Our belated honeymoon from Rome turned into a complete disaster thanks to Air France. Returning from Rome, my husband flew Air France via Paris and onto Dubai where we currently reside, In hindsight we should have both flown BA as I did with our toddler. Neither my bags from the BA flight or my husbands materialized that evening. Mine were delivered the following day, but three weeks later my husbands have still not turned up. No one seems to know where they are, no seems to care. After numerous trips to the airport my husband was on his third visit advised to check through the unclaimed baggage room. It was horrendous, thousands of unclaimed bags, but not ours unfortunately.

After three weeks Air France have offered my husband zero compensation. The supposed Customer Service Executive responded to one email and is now on two weeks vacation. Quite frankly no one at Air France gives a damn. What is so upsetting is the fact that my wedding dress had gone into my husbands bag and is totally irreplaceable. Not that we have been offered any form of compensation in any way, shape or form.

There are hundreds of stories like these on the net. Take my advice and do not under any circumstances travel with Air France. Not only have they LOST our bags there has been no apology or any effort at all to do ANYTHING to help us. They are the most diabolical airline I have ever traveled, and we travel often. Totally appalling, I am so upset about the way we have been treated that I could weep.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-25:
They are Frence what do you exspect?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-25:
You been imbibing this early Liddy?
Posted by Justusryan on 2008-01-25:
Ask for some cheese.
Posted by Andrew Juan Gigante on 2013-07-03:
AF are absolute rubbish. I knew within a day of them losing my bag from Toronto to Paris that I wasn't getting it back, but wanted to understand how much they would cover so I could buy some more business clothes and continue a 2 week business trip. They couldn't answer this and kept bouncing me from day to day to day. One Call Centre person actually hung up on me as I was being polite yet insistent on taking to someone higher up the foodchain. Can't wait to get out of this country.
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Treatment of passengers
Posted by Pickle2 on 11/03/2007
Here is a copy of the letter I wrote, it explains the story very well.

To whom it may concern at Air France.

I have to tell you this gruesome tale, and let you decide for yourself, what needs to be done.

Here is my story:
My mother and I came off a ship in Monaco.
I left the ship early to take a plane from Nice to Paris to meet my daughter and some other people for a school trip, my mother an 80 year old woman, was on a later bus, to nice airport, to meet her 4:20 flight to Paris with a connection on flight 8 to new York. When she boarded her flight to Paris she was not told that her connecting flight was cancelled. She was just told there were some problems. Her plane was delayed, but we were told that the flight to New York was going. There were only two cancelled flights on the board.

Anyway, I leave nice to meet my young daughter at orly airport, and when I arrive at orly, I find out that a lot of the flights have been cancelled.
I change terminals and go to Air France terminal to inquire about my elderly mother.

They tell me that they are not sure what is going on. The plane has been checked in.

I ask them to tell me if my mother is on the flight, they say that they cannot find her name on the flight manifest. I then ask to be told where she is; they say they do not know. I say this is not acceptable, and that the woman cannot be just ignored. Due to her age and feeble condition, I need to know where she is. She is not well, and cannot just be left at an airport alone and frightened- or just sent to a hotel without help.

I need to know where she is. She will need my help.

All I get is I am sorry Madame, there is a strike, you know, and we are very busy.

I said that I understood this problem, but we are talking about an 80 year old woman in a wheel chair!!! No one comes to my aid. And I am starting to panic. I start making calls to orly airport to see what has happened to her. My cell phone bill will be enormous.

Finally, I put up a fuss. And once again, I am told, I am sorry Madame; your mother is not on the flight. Again I scream, so where is she. Finally I demand to speak to someone in charge, and a lovely lady comes to my aid, and tells me to wait, and she will try to help me find my mother. After about 50 minutes she comes back to me and tells me that she tracked the wheel chair and my mother is on the plane. But the plane comes in to Charles de Gaulle airport, and I need to get there. So I race with my daughter, another teacher and student, because we are with a group and do not want to separate in a foreign country that we don’t speak the language. Now due to this problem we have missed our connection with our tour.

Okay, we all race to the other airport, to find that the plane is delayed. We wait and we wait. By this time, I know that the flight to New York is cancelled, but my mother does not know this. I try to get some information to help my mother get on another flight, and try to explain to the people, that she is not in a good condition and needs to be rerouted as soon as possible, because I don’t know how much medication she has.

The people at the counter turn their heads away from me as if I don’t exist,
They say, Madame there are other people who need attention. And I say, yes I understand this, but I have a bit of a problem the woman is very elderly and when she arrives she will be extremely tired, and I need to find her a place to sleep or re route her immediately, no one listens to me, I start to get agitated and get a bit loud because 18 year old able bodied young people are getting rooms and I don’t know what to do for an 80 year old woman coming in.

Finally I demand to see someone in charge, and someone comes to me, and asks me for my mothers name and flight, and he checks the computer, and then tells me that my mother is not on the flight, so I ask him where my mother is, have they put her in a hotel, or have they rerouted her, the answer I get, madam your mother is lost, I am sorry, we have no record of her, or where she is. I start to cry, and tell them this is just not acceptable to me, and that they can’t just lose a woman in a wheel chair.

The answer is, Madame we are sorry, but there is a strike. I lose it, and say, I understand there is a strike, but where is my mother.
The answer is Madame, we are sorry.

By this time I am nuts as you can imagine. I have been stressed for hours now, I go downstairs to tell the children and the teacher, that I think they should at least go to the hotel, they have now been waiting for 6 hours with me, and they have lost their tours and their evening meal that had been prepaid. They don’t want to leave until; they know what happened to my mother.

Now the flight comes in, and I see a woman from the ship I was on, in the baggage area.

I ask her if she has seen my mother. And she says yes, she gets a piece of paper and starts to communicate with me on paper through the glass window, because we cannot hear one another. She writes to me that they took my mother away in a bus to meet a plane. A plane to where I ask, she says I don’t know, I run upstairs once more and start to ask for help, and I am ignored completely, I start to talk loudly, so someone will listen to me, and the girls at the desk just ignore me. And turn their heads away. Finally I demand the attention of the closest woman, to get someone for me to talk to, and finally someone comes out.

They tell me that my mother was not on the plane, I tell them yes she was and she was taken away by a bus, well , the gentleman said, I have no idea where she is, I am afraid she is lost in this strike, I get very upset, and start to cry again, if she drops dead in the airport, what will you do , I say, then will you say, I am sorry Madame, it is due to the strike~!!!!! I demand to know where they have taken her. After about a half an hour they come back to me and tell me that my mother will be found in the baggage area. No apologies, no nothing, I have been told my mother was not on the plane, I have been told that my mother was taken away by a bus, I have been told that my mother is lost, I am a total nervous wreck.

I run downstairs and tell my party that my mother is here in the baggage claim.
Okay,
We wait for her to come out with the lady who is steering the wheelchair. My mother starts to cry , she is so happy that I am at the airport, she was frightened, because she didn’t know how she was going to get back to new york.
We go upstairs to get her a hotel, and a rerouting of her flight. No one pays any attention to us. We wait about an hour, and no one bothers to turn a head in our direction. The lady in attendance with the wheel chair tries to help, but they ignore her, she calls her supervisor. I go downstairs and beg my party to please go to the hotel, they now have been waiting 8 hours, and the kids are so tired and hungry. The driver who has been waiting for us has come back to the airport for the 3rd time to take us. But I beg him to please come back again for me and my mom after taking my group to our Paris hotel.

We continue to wait and wait and wait, I keep saying to the people behind the desk, please, can’t you see that this woman needs help, she needs to sleep, she needs her medicine, and she needs to eat. No response from anyone. She is starting to slump in the wheelchair, a sure sign that the stress is getting to her, she is exhausted, and has been jumbled around for the last 6 hours. (Not counting the fact that she woke up early and has been up all day, )
We are talking from the time she was supposed to board in nice to now)

After another hour or so, of waiting, a young man with the wheel chair assistance comes, he says he will try to help us, we wait and we wait,
He comes back and says there are not hotels to put her in. and there are no flights.
I ask to speak to his co worker, who tells me the same thing. I beg someone to bring her some water because the cafes have all closed down, amidst all this chaos, the cafes close and passengers have no access to food or water. My mother is really starting to get upset and worried. Finally a gentleman comes out and tells me that they don’t have hotels. And I ask if I can find one on my own for her, because she cannot stay at the airport or at an airport hotel now on her own in this condition, and she needs my help, he says of course, but there are no hotels to be found, but if you find one air France will cover the bill. I contact the hotel I am staying at, and there are no rooms, again, my cell phone is in use, you must understand that my cell phone is from Greece and all these phone calls are long distance.
Okay, I continue to call her travel agent, in America, to ask for advice. And am told not to leave the airport until they give her a confirmed flight home.
We wait, the agent from America calls me again and again, and of course my cell is charged.
Anyway, we continue to wait, I continue to call everywhere trying to find a room

From the corner of my eye, I see a bag from the same group that we were with, on the floor; I look up and see a very elderly woman, slumped over in a chair. This woman has been sitting in the chair with no assistance for 4 hours. The person at the desk told her to wait, so this 87 year old woman did what she was told to do, and was sitting waiting for 4 hours. I find this incredible. She is beside herself and doesn’t know what to do, she has a broken arm, and is so tired but she was told to wait, that there were no rooms to be had, and they would get back to her, but she was forgotten. Forgotten for 4 hours!!!!! Anyway, I got her information, and told her that I would not leave her.
She, like my mother, practically cry with relief, that someone is helping them.
I am now very angry!!! I am very stressed,I have 2 woman now that need help!!! And really need help! And I have had the run a round now for 12 hours and I was exhausted. Plus, I was worried about my own daughter who I had to send to the hotel without me.
I now bang on the door of the office and demand a little respect, for these two people, they are tired and hungry. I am given a tray of food for them. And am told to wait. Just as I think that we are getting somewhere, the police rush in and clear the area, unclaimed luggage has been left on the floor and they clear the area, with that all the people inside the office disappear, and we have to wait some more until the scare is over.
it is now after 1 am . Two women in their 80s exhausted- in transit, and no place to go. Shameful!!!!!

Finally I find a room in Paris, they tell me that the room has reserved by someone else but they haven’t shown up, and if in an hour or so they don’t come, we can have the room. I tell them we will take it. And I tell the other woman, that I will take care of her and not to worry.i will give her my room , and I will sleep in a single bed with my daughter.
Finally, the gentleman who was trying to help us, comes out with a re route for Tuesday on continental airlines. He says that he was not able to secure anything else and that the ladies would be stuck for 3 nights. But that air France would pick up the expenses, just to keep the records. Hurray, the nightmare is about to end.

Wrong!

Now if this whole story isn’t bad enough,
My trip and my daughter’s trip are ruined. I cannot possibly attend a trip when I have taken 2 women under my care. So my holiday is ruined due to your strike.
But I had a duty to make sure these woman where taken care of, because they were in trouble.

Well, what happens next is again terrible.

I get them to the airport on Tuesday, and they are denied boarding once again. Continental will not accept the air France re route. This is disgusting. After all that these women have gone through, they still have to go through more red tape. They are denied boarding, and have to be now re routed again with air France. Wait another few hours at the airport for the new flight.
Finally these ladies arrive in New York!!! They are exhausted to say the least. Manhandled, to say the least. Disappointed, to say the least.
Compensation is in order, to say the least!!!!!!

Hotel bills are approximately 1000 euros, transportation costs are approximately 150 euros, for taxis from airport to hotel, hotel to airport, and then airport to home.
Phone bills contacting hotels, and travel agents and the airport have yet to be known,
But I am sure they will be high.
And expenses for having to eat at the restaurants. Etc.
My trip was ruined due to this situation, and I think I should be compensated as well for all the expense I incurred trying to help these woman who were totally ignored by the staff of Air France. If I hadn’t taken care of them, I am sure they would have landed up in a hospital.

And most important, an apology is in order. I have never seen a situation where people were treated so poorly in my life. Surely the staff are trained to watch out and protect elderly travelers and give them some kind of priority.
Well…… they forgot.

I

     
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Posted by Skye on 2007-11-03:
Why didn't someone travel with your mother?? Seems cruel to have sent her alone. The airline employees are not personal care givers and cannot monitor one passenger just because your mother was sent alone.

I didn't get past the first page. Too long, short and too the point is easier to follow.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-11-03:
Skye, right, why did not someone stay with your mother to look after her if she was in that bad a shape?
"you are nuts, you are demanding, you are now very angry". Take some of the responsibility for not looking after her.
YOUR FAULT...not the airlines.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-03:
This story sounds nightmarish. Pickle2, it was commendable of you to take care of not one, but two, 80+ women in their definite time of need. I hope you get some compensation from the airline--and at the very least a letter of apology for the horrific way they handled this situation.
Posted by msnanny on 2007-11-03:
I was thinking the same thing. If you knew she was unable to care for herself, why in the world would you allow her to travel alone???
Posted by killerklown on 2007-11-03:
You want someone to blame for this? Go find a mirror.
Posted by firengine103 on 2007-11-03:
No wonder French hate Americans, thanks a lot!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-03:
I would never let my 80 year old mother who needs special assistance and requires a wheel chair to travel alone. It just wouldn't happen.
Posted by yoke on 2007-11-04:
Do airlines have the same deal with families for seniors flying "un"accompanied like they do children? If not maybe it is something they may want to look into offering. There are alot of elderly flying alone and it sounds like the families expect the airlines to get them from point A to point B without having to pay an extra cost.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-04:
Air France is a bad airline because it is run by the French. I hate France!
Posted by Ben There on 2007-11-04:
Why didn't you fly on the same plane as your mother from Nice to Paris? Was it cheaper to fly to Orly so you saved a couple bucks at the expense of your mother's safety?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-04:
Viva la Lidman!!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-04:
Viva La Superbowl.. back at ya man!
Posted by Ponie on 2007-11-04:
When does the movie come out?
Posted by familytravel on 2007-11-04:
This does sound awful, and I commend you for taking care of another elderly person in need. However, you really should have had a companion to travel along with your mother. It clearly states on airline websites that the flight attendants, check-in agents, and other airline employees are NOT person caregivers. They can assist with wheel chair assistance, etc., but that's about it. If your mother is in a poor state of health and physical condition, then why on earth did you put her on a plane alone? Next time, you must get some kind of a caregiver to accompany her on the trip.
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-11-04:
Familytravel this is the first time I've heard: It clearly states on airline websites that the flight attendants, check-in agents, and other airline employees are NOT person caregivers. I've not ever had to look into airtravel for an elderly family member but it's good information for others. Sometimes even those direct flights end up being a nightmare.
Posted by pickle2 on 2007-11-04:
i guess i didn't mention, that my mother was in a group
and with people who were taking care of her but
they all got separated by the airline.
and to take offence at why she was traveling alone,i had made arrangements for her to be taken care of- i paid for extra assistance, but they couldn't do anything , just wait with her.
i don't live in america, that is why i wasn't traveling with her.
Posted by pickle2 on 2007-11-04:
i understand where all of you are coming from
but you are missing the point. she had someone there to be with her, she had companions to travel with her. but there was no place to travel to, there was no one to help them, they were just left to wait, and wait and wait. the aide was helpless, the aide couldn't get them re routed, or a hotel, . what i am saying, is like an unaccompanied child
an elderly traveler needs to be taken care of. we pay extra for the service. and they deserve extra attention. and just because there is a strike, they shouldn't be ignored .
Posted by voiceoff on 2007-11-06:
Things can and do go wrong with passengers on a plane or vacation. I am sorry but the risk facor is always there when making multiple changes to several countries, and that risk was naively unknowingly assumed by you. Let mom take less strenuous vacations more for her age, with an aid at all times who would, if necessary, be able to handle what may come. The assitant must only be given situations she would be able to handle.
There is no monetary compensation for fear you went through , but get reimbursementt that you can verify with bills.
Posted by leopard on 2007-11-06:
although I hate everthing to do with france and the french, you have no one to blame but yourself. if your mother is so frail, why on earth did you let her travel alone. no airline is a baby sitting service. they are not responsible for adult travelers. you are the irresponsible one here.
Posted by Andres Juan Gigante on 2013-07-03:
Air France is the world's worst airline. Talk with your wallet and never fly them.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Employees Just Don't Care
Posted by Wbrad117 on 03/02/2013
MADRID SPAIN -- I booked a trip through the Air France web site for my sister-in-law, her husband, my niece and a friend traveling from Madrid to Houston, TX. Everything was fine until the morning of the first flight from Madrid to Paris. As Spanish people actually have three names, the middle and last was in their computer reversed. Their passport numbers where in their computer also and the ticket agent could see that this was them, but they where denied boarding passes and told that if they where allowed on board, once they reached the states, they would, meaning my in-laws, would be fined by immigration. The flight was at 7:00 am in the morning, but no one with authority would arrive until 9:00 am.

So, they missed that flight and once 9 am arrived, this minor problem was resolved in less than 5 minutes. So, they missed two days of vacation for a simple problem, plus had to pay extra to fly Sunday over a book-in agent's incompetence to use their head.
     
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Posted by Jeff on 2013-03-03:
Not sure where trm8r reads that the poster made an error. Seems like the airline made an error in their computer and caused a huge inconvenience to the inlaws. Good review!
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2013-03-04:
This just shows the importance of checking one's tickets on-line to make sure the names are correct, especially where there is a known problem of having three names, which computers are not set up to handle.

I have this problem because I am a "Jr." which necessitates making sure my ticket, my passport and my identification agree.
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News articles about stolen luggage
Posted by Ian51 on 09/14/2011
The 8th of February 2011

Airport police arrested 17 luggage handlers working for Charles de Gaule Airport. The loot was worth 300 000 euros.
And on the 2nd March 2011, at the Orly Airport, Paris second airport, 10 luggage handlers have been arrested. Police suspects they have stolen goods for an amount of 800 000 euros.


October 01, 2010
SIXTEEN baggage handlers from Charles de Gaulle Airport are facing jail after being convicted of a €450,000 series of thefts.

Employed by Air France company Trac-Piste, they stole dozens of laptops, iPhones and iPods, video cameras, jewellery, perfume, satnavs, cash and travellers cheques.

The men’s haul also included more than one hundred pairs of designer shoes.

In all, more than 500 passengers were robbed between 2007 and 2008.

The baggage handlers, aged between 24 and 48, admitted the thefts. They targeted flights they felt were the “richest”; towards Switzerland or northern Italy.

Prosecutors have asked for jail sentences of between six months and a year and fines of between €1,000 and €3,000.

However, lawyers for Air France have demanded heavier fines of €117,500, plus €300,000 for the damage to its image and €200,000 for lost business.

Sentence will be delivered on November 3.



Monday 01 October 2007
Nineteen baggage handlers working at Charles-de-Gaulle Paris airport have been found guilty of the theft of baggage.
A similar case occurred in December 2006 when 20 baggage handlers at the airport were found guilty of theft.
Together, the two cases mean that over the past two years around 40 baggage handlers have been caught with their fingers in passengers' luggage.
Authorities have been forced to acknowledge that these were not isolated incidents, but an organised theft.
Neither does the problem appear to be restricted to Paris, for last year twelve baggage handlers at Nice airport were arrested on suspicion of the theft of baggage items, following over 400 complaints from passengers in a single year. It is estimated that losses amounted to around €500,000.
The most recent incident at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle covered a period during 2001 to 2003, when airport police intercepted 27 baggage handlers after viewing footage from CCTV screens in the airport terminal.
The handlers did not deny culpability, although as part of their defence they argued that it was custom and practice for it to happen!
Two of the handlers were sent to prison for around a year, whilst others were given suspended sentences. In addition, each was found up to €15,000 in damages, payable to Air France and their employer, Bag Ground Services (BGS).
Somewhat to the surprise of prosecutors, none of the felons was banned by the court from exercising this activity in the future. Nevertheless, it is unlikely many will find an employer who will readily hire them.
Air France reported to the court having paid out around €700,000 in compensation to passengers and had sought €1,250,000 in total damages from the baggage handling company. The airport finally reached an out of court settlement with the company concerning compensation for the thefts.





04 May 2003
French police have broken up a gang of crooked baggage handlers who used X-ray machines to select items worth looting from travellers at the country's busiest airport.
In a series of dawn raids, officers seized stolen digital cameras, laptop computers, expensive clothes, watches, jewels and perfumes from the homes of staff working at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris. Thirty-two people were arrested.
The gang is thought to have been responsible for more than 1,200 thefts from the airport, which is used by about 12 million passengers every year. They worked in an underground department in Terminal 2F where luggage is sorted according to flight numbers after passengers have checked in.
Detectives say that the thieves usually worked in pairs - with one acting as a look-out to warn of the arrival of a supervisor or security officer. They often targeted flights to Asia, particularly Japan, as many Japanese tourists and businessmen are known to travel with expensive electronic equipment and to purchase large quantities of luxury goods.
Unlocked suitcases were opened, searched and items of value taken. Locked ones sometimes simply vanished or were electronically scanned for valuables and had their locks broken off.
One of the investigating officers said: "Sometimes they chose a suitcase at random and went through it searching for jewellery or cash, but several times they used the X-ray machines to find objects which interested them, such as cameras or CD players.
"In a flash, a piece of luggage would disappear from the conveyor belt, be opened, plundered and put back on the belt. When they were forced to break into the cases, pieces of locks were left around the belt."
After discovering broken padlocks, the police put baggage handlers under surveillance to uncover the thieves.
The raids were carried out by 90 officers from three police forces in and around Paris after an investigation lasting more than a year.
The inquiry was launched after airlines operating out of Charles de Gaulle complained about the "unusually high" level of baggage losses from the terminal, which handles flights to Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, SAudi Arabia and South America.
At the homes of 16 of the suspects the police discovered a variety of electronic goods. "It was like a collection from Ali Baba's cave," said one officer.
The police would not put an estimate on the value of the stolen goods seized, but some of the watches recovered were said to be worth between €2,000 and €3,000(£1,300 and £2,000) each.
The items recovered are only a fraction of the goods stolen, with most being resold by the thieves. Police are trying to establish whether the gang was part of a wider crime ring.
Georges Kaemmerlen, the head of air transport police, said: "It was a whole culture. The thieves had good days and bad days. For them it was a job - a way of getting goods for themselves on the cheap or to sell them on the black market."
Capt Frederique Nourdin, the commander of air transport police at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, said: "A considerable quantity of property has been recovered, including perfume, cameras, expensive watches, jewellery, computers and cash, but we haven't yet calculated the total value of the haul. We set up an undercover operation at the terminal and for over a year we collected enough evidence to prove who was involved in certain thefts."
Several suspects appeared in court on Thursday while others are still under investigation.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-09-14:
"...employed by Air France company Trac-Piste..." Who does ground handling for a few airlines... so why the hatchet job on AF? Theft, though reprehensible occurs at every airport - statistically no more at CDG than other airports... heck here in America we have incidents of the Federal security people stealing (TSA), which is beyond disgusting.
AF only crime I see is 10 across seating on the B777!!!
Posted by Old Timer on 2011-09-14:
10 accross seating? There is no way on God's green Earth you would get me in coach on that cattle car. I thought 9 was about the max you could stuff in there.

"lawyers for Air France have demanded heavier fines of €117,500, plus €300,000 for the damage to its image" LMAO, yeah, like Air France has such a great rep!
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-09-14:
10 across is ok if the plane is about 20% occupied (: I have done it.

10 across with full occupancy is equivalent to driving knives under the finger nails.
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Lost luggage
Posted by Ian51 on 06/13/2011
119, AVENUE DES CHAMPS-ÉLYSéES -- I flew to Barcelona via Paris CDG on the 25 Dec 2010, my suitcase never made it to Barcelona. I reported and received a PIR (BCNAF55355) and was informed that it would be delivered to my destination by 1300hrs on the 26 Dec 2010. It never arrived! I rang Barcelona airport on 28 Dec 2010 and they confirmed that they had the suitcase, is still did not arrive during my holiday.

I returned to Barcelona airport on the 04 Jan 2011 and spoke to the lost luggage counter. I was told that "yes, we have your case, then, no we have not got you case, yes we have, and finally, no we have not got your case!" This was within the space of LESS than 5 minutes!

I returned to the UK and over the 5 months, I have rang, faxed & emailed Air France and received NO replies! After my first call to Air France I send a fax informing Air France what was in my suitcase, to help find it.

I spoke to the Air France desk in Aberdeen airport during the week 31 Jan - 04 Feb 2011 and was informed that comments had been entered on my file, so I can only assume that they are my fax, email & phone calls for requested updates on my suitcase.

The main items, not including my everyday clothes etc, are skydiving clothing & equipment which consists of a helmet, jumpsuit, altimeter & gloves. To replace these alone will cost me about £1000.00. I had to borrow equipment in Spain, commercial DZ. Normally I would have to hire the missing items but because I am a regular jumper at the DZ, people lent me the items I required. How can you repay kindness?

I was informed on a call to an Air France baggage helpdesk number during the last 2 weeks in February 2011 that I was entitled to compensation, as Air France had not located my baggage within 3 weeks. What happened to Air France informing me when the 3 week period expired, which would mean I should of received a letter from Air France informing me of the fact that I’m entitled to compensation BY THE END OF JANUARY 2011.

I have received a goodwill gesture of £344, took them about 3 months to receive it and recently been informed by e-mail, that they have LOST my suitcase. Big difference between £1200+ and £344!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-06-13:
I think the main problem here may be agreeing on a value for your lost goods.

Airlines compensate you the depreciated value, not the cost to replace. Thus, a $400 suit may only be reimbursed $150.
Posted by James_236 on 2011-06-13:
The European Court of Justice held in the case of Walz v Clickair SA on 6th May 2010 that the limit of compensation for lost luggage in international flights beginning or ending in the EU is 1100 euros which is about £960. You don't even have to go to Court, now that this has been established. In every EU country there is a Commission that looks after passenger complaints against airlines and you just fill out a form and file your complaint. There is no "goodwill" about £344
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Stole My New Laptop And They Don't Care
Posted by Alfaris on 06/10/2011
ON 02/05/2011 from RIYADH TO LONDON VIA PARIS, MY LAPTOP WAS STOLEN FROM MY LOCKED BAG??

I sent to them post provide every things on 07/05/2011. Today is 10/06/2011 NO RESPONSE!

DON'T travel with AIR FRANCE IT'S WORST AIRLINE I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!
     
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Posted by madconsumer on 2011-06-10:
it is never wise to check valuables, even when locked.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-06-10:
+10 mad, bad as that is. I carry on my laptop case with scripts and valuables in it. Only thing in my luggage is dirty laundry.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-06-10:
I'm sorry about what happened to you, but I NEVER check a computer, camera, etc. The main reason is bags can get lost way too easily. Next comes damage in handling, and then there is theft. Too many risks.

You haven't received a response, but have you tried calling for a status on your claim?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-06-10:
CofC's (contract of carriage) specifically spells out you are not covered for electronics. Thieves are everywhere. Sadly you need to safeguard computers by keeping them with you not because of their replacement value (they are dirt cheap) but your information and what can be done with it - computers are much akin to leaving your wallet laying around - most times the cash is the least valuable
Posted by alfaris on 2011-06-10:
I know it was mad to put it in my bags, I though they will responsible about every things inside it.
thanks to all
thanks dear trmn8r for your care and kind
Posted by alfaris on 2011-06-13:
Hello every body, in fact i get response from air franc today but I don't understand what they want ?

please see >>


Thank you for your message. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience you mention.

In order to assist us with your claim, we would be grateful if you could send us the following supporting original documents:

- The receipts for the missing items
what does they mean ?
thanks
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Air France worst airline in the world
Posted by Keromo on 04/19/2011
I travelled with my family from Boston to Paris then Nairobi Kenya in December and lost my baggage. The airline is a total mess!!! To now it has not been recovered. Friends if you want to get your destination with your baggage please do not fly with Air France. They are unjust!!
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-04-19:
I understand that your luggage was lost, but how is A-F "unjust"? What are the details, and what is the status of being compensated for the loss?
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Refunding Airline Ticket
Posted by Paulchartier on 03/20/2011
My son and I had tickets to fly Air France from Italy to Dublin. when we arrived at the airport my son didn't have his passport so a. they wouldn't let him on and b. they told him he needed another ticket. He then paid for a one way ticket to Dublin, retrieved his passport and we linked up in Dublin.

when it came time to return, he went to check in and Air France said, because he didn't use the first half of his ticket, they canceled the return ticket. so he had to purchase another one-way back to Italy.

1. we were never told the return ticket would be canceled
2. if so we would have purchases a much cheaper round trip ticket in Italy
3. I purchased a ticket to Dublin and the return flight back. they wouldn't let him on the 'to' part, and I now want some level of a refund

Any advice?
Paul
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-20:
Ireland is outside of the Schengen zone and you are required to have correct travel documents. Your ticket was canceled because you didn't fulfill your contractual obligation of flying the first segment and unless you purchased a refundable ticket no refund will be offered. It sounds regressive but "hidden city ticketing" and "throwaway ticketing" practices by others have cost airlines billions in revenue, thus the policy.
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