On 5th August, we (my husband, 2 kittens and I) were traveling with your company from Sofia to Paris and from Paris to Montreal (details about the flight provided at the end of the letter). I'm glad to say that the flight from Sofia to Paris was pleasant and that the flight attendants were helpful and professional. However, we are very unhappy with the service we received from the Air France staff in Sofia, the place from where the tickets were purchased, as well as with the conditions during the flight from Paris to Montreal.
Even though the tickets were booked 2 months in advance, no one in the office in Sofia was able to inform me about the requirements concerning the transportation of pets in the cabin. Even after calling the main office three times, and once the office at the Sofia airport, I still couldn't receive reliable information.
For example, once I was told that if I take a pet I would not be able to have any hand luggage. This is a problem because if I follow all the instructions of the office staff, then on the day of the flight I might be surprised by new set of instructions known only to airport staff or vice versa and therefore would not be able to board the flight. I regret to say that the staff at the Sofia office and at the airport is poorly trained.
Additionally, we specifically requested to book seats at the back of the plane or in front (in our class), and were surprised when during both flights we were travelling in the middle of the plane. This was not a problem during the first flight (Sofia-Paris) because the seat next to us was available and we could put one of the cages there and the other on the floor.
However, during the second flight (Paris-Montreal) the plane was full and we were ordered by the flight attendant to put the cages below our seats. Even though, we followed all instructions as to the measurements of the cages, it was so tight between the front and our seats that we had to put our feet on the cages and stay like that for more than 7 hours. Given that my husband is 1.90 m, this was a very unpleasant experience.
Additionally, it was so tight that we couldn't check on the cats even once during the whole flight or add water. The flight attendants were extremely unhelpful and rude, and refused to provide any assistance. The only half joking reply I received was that the only place for the pets they could find was in the fridge.
We chose to have our little cats (both are around 3 kilos) with us in the cabin, because it causes less stress to the animal and the possibility of fatal accident is reduced. Due to the deplorable conditions in which your company transports pets in the cabin (I dare not think what the conditions in the luggage department are), I was not sure that they will survive the flight even though they were with us. I find your attitude towards animals horrific.
The fact that I paid EUR 300 to transport 2 cats and that there was no designated place for the cages is shocking. Following this experience, neither I nor a member of my family will ever use your services again, with or without pets. Also, we strongly discourage any of our friends to fly with Air France. I strongly believe you have to seriously revise your rules and procedures, and, above all, to train your staff.
5/31/08. 19:30. On Board Flight AF0025, late departure. Crew informs passengers this is due to a malfunction with the luggage loader. 6/1/08. 09:00. Arrive CDG, can not debark due to malfunctioning stairs. Watch as broken stairs are taken away and new ones replace
6/1/08. 09:30. Meet at bottom of stairs with AF Staff holding "Budapest" sign. Loaded into special van and escorted through customs to Air France Service Desk. 6/1/08. 09:45. Told that other flight was not held due to tickets being held by passengers on AF0025 being sold when AF was told of delay out of IAD. 6/1/08. 10:00. Told no flights were available out of CDG to BUD until 18:30 due to all flights being fully booked. Asked numerous times regarding other airlines and told all flights were booked.
6/1/08. 11:00. Receive vouchers for sandwich and drink, go through security to terminal. I research flights on internet and find several flights on SwissAir and Lufthansa. 6/1/08. 11:30. I go back to Air France Service Desk and speak with Supervisor and ask him about availability shown on internet. He informs me that he can not book on another airline if there is an AF or partner flight available on same day. He informs me that if I book the flight, Air France will reimburse me the cost of the ticket since our delay is over 6 hours. I clarify that AF will reimburse the cost of the ticket on the other airline in full and says yes. He gives me the AF mailing information for reimbursement.
6/10/08. Submit complaint on Air France website noting supervisor's name and description of ordeal. 6/11/08. Receive reply. 6/19/08. Call Air France because there has been no reply. 6/20/08. Receive reply with PDF letter asking me to supply documentation. Immediately comply and send scanned copies. (Do not notice the do not reply to this email message). 6/24/08. Call to assure all documents needs are received, told by AF representative that everything is in order and being processed. Approx 7/16 Call AF to check on Status, told documents have not been received, should never have replied to email which sent request. Instructed to mail documents.
7/22 Mail requested documents. 7/30 Rec'd email PDF document from AF agreeing to refund unused portion of flight $393.74 USD. 7/30 Called AF Customer Service. Spoke with **, told me I could speak with no one at AF, all correspondence had to be in writing, there is no email address available or name to address my correspondence.
That the flight crew did not have the correct information when we were delayed on the ground at IAD, that a set of working stairs would have been available if flight would have not been delayed out of IAD and that there is no way to pull up my original email and correspondence in which the name of the supervisor was noted. Told ** that even if US Govt was involved in the delay, I would have never spent $915.66 EUR without a clear understanding from the Air France Supervisor that I would be reimbursed. Told that I needed to resubmit information and it would be researched.
8/4 Retrieved information from home, realized in the course of 2 months ticket voucher which had supervisor's name had been misplaced, may be written on the back of tickets sent to AF on 7/22. Should this have to be such an arduous process from the customer's end? I look forward to your favorable reply of a full refund of $915.66 EUR. Thank you for your consideration and feel free to contact me via phone so we may have a person to person contact if there are additional matters to be discussed.
8/13 - Called to check on status of above and told file was closed with first offer and I have to wait 30 days before the file will be reviewed and reopened. Told Supervisor was not taking calls and did not have email. Transferred to Supervisors vm which stated she was out until 8/13. URGH - How do I get a response? It has been over 2 months and I am out $1500.00 USD!!!
SEATTLE -- I have had many VERY positive experiences with other airlines so I do not complain easily. But Air France is easily the most irresponsible and uncaring airline I have been involved with. My 14 year old disabled niece used them and we all had a terrible experience. First off, she can walk but in pain, so we arranged with **, their disabled service, for her to be picked up and taken to her connecting flight in Paris, where she had a scheduled transfer. No one was there to pick her up and nobody helped her. She had to make her own way (in pain mind you).
We specifically had reservations made understanding that they had an unattended minor service available, as this was our niece's first time traveling this way and this was an international connecting flight. We knew we would have to pay 90 Euros for the service which was not a problem. At the last minute we were refused this service because the arriving plane was 1 hour 10 minutes before the next departure and they have a minimum 1 hr 15 minutes. We were told we could always rebook. We did not need the transfer help because she is disabled and already supposedly had that service. We just wanted someone to look after her for goodness sake!
The worst: She goes missing and nobody seems to care. We wait, and wait, and wait, at the airport and she does not show up. 45 minutes after landing the flight crew came through and we spoke to them. Nobody had paid attention or could remember her despite the fact that notes were made to the attendants that she was on the flight. They then told us that everyone was through customs and they were the last and panicked us!
I went upstairs to let Air France know that our 14 year old niece did not arrive and we had heard nothing from her. The manager was extremely dismissal. Said that "she is probably still in customs" and then turned back to his work. I had already told him that his crew had told us that was not the case. As it turned out she was indeed stuck, with their darn own customer service as they had lost all of her luggage! Do you think he would call around and check?
Our niece is very confused when we finally find her. So I go back upstairs to what should be a fairly routine discussion about what the procedure and situation is with the luggage. Once again the manager was short and unhelpful. All I wanted to do was find out what was going on, how it would get to us, etc. But he said they "had already discussed it with our niece" (who was confused beyond reason) and was put off that we needed to discuss it further. He told me "It is not a big problem, this happens all the time!"
That was not the end of it either. Their baggage "customer service" is equally inattentive and on the edge of rude. My family often flies international and we have never experienced this kind of detached and unhelpful service in all of our travels. Worse even than third world airlines! My advice, unless you have a sadistic bent STAY AWAY from this airline! Awful.
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA -- Traveling by Air France is a nightmare since all planes land in Charles De Gaulle airport which is a maze of scenic fiction proportions, with no land crew help and very poor directions written or otherwise. Coming in you still have to stagger miles, go down stairs with hand luggage, catch shuttles, trains, escalators, then do the whole thing yet again, just to arrive after you are taken by bus through meadows, hills and vales, to your aircraft which is parked right next to the one you have arrived with.
If you are fortunate to see someone in uniform that should help you and ask them for information, you get the rudest way of telling you that may be you should go that way, meanwhile time is passing by and you might end up missing your connecting flight. Mind you this takes like 2 hours, and here you were thinking that may be you might have time to visit the restroom, have at least something to drink, since all water bottles and others are thrown away as soon as you hit one of the checking in points, thus you arrive panting to the aircraft, thirsty and sweating.
All this of course might sound like griping but it is not. I am diabetic and need to take medication at certain times, as soon as we boarded the plane which was idling for the longest time I asked for water to take my medication which is important as I do not want to faint or go into any kind of unfortunate situations where I might probably be kicked out of the aircraft with nary a glance. What I got was a frosty glare and "One Minute" as if I was a kid asking for candy, or something frivolous. So I had to go myself see the person in charge, explained my predicament, and got my water. I guess they are taught to treat us passengers one and all as recalcitrant kids to be disciplined firmly.
Another thing about which I have to complain is the food, I ask for vegetarian food on long trips, well the swill I got was non edible and when I asked for at least one more piece of bread again I got the inquisition about why I needed the bread until I made it clear that the food was totally non edible so I was trying to have something to eat for a trip which was to last 8 hours. I mean come on I have paid for my ticket and that is the least they can do. As for my request that they ask the kid sitting behind me who kept on kicking my seat repeatedly for 8 hours, all I got was "Madame, do you not have keeeds???" Yes I do but what has that to do with my case???
I did try to reason with the mother of said kid but I think she spoke no known language so I did try to make her understand by hand gestures to ask her kid to stop kicking and screeching at the top of his lungs, but to no avail, and when I asked the stewardess that was what I got, as though I had asked her for something unreasonable. Just a thought, a decade ago the airlines had smoking and non smoking sections, now that all flights are non smoking I would suggest they create a children, no children sections for all of us who have raised out kids, paid our dues and need to travel without going through all this every time we step on an aircraft.
This is all for now. Lesson to be learnt, courtesy is not a sign a weakness nor are we paying customers supposed to be treated like cattle just because we travel coach. After all as I mention we have paid for our tickets and this is the least we can expect.
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 (**) 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, it 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 rung, 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 help desk 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 have 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!!!
I am still trying to get my luggage from Air France after a week in Paris. I have heard they lost over 20,000 bags. This alone is unacceptable, but I would like to post about something more general that is clearly a huge problem with Air France's policies in my experience. Every step of my journey has been fraught with incorrect information from Air France. They seem to have a habit of saying things that they cannot or will not actually do.
A simple example is this - I call "baggage services" and a recorded voice informs me that my wait time on hold will be 7 minutes. Not "approximately 7 minutes", mind you, it claims it will be a 7 minute wait. Following that I am on hold for over 20 minutes. They do not seem to understand that this alone is already a deplorable way to treat a customer. If the recorded voice came back after 7 minutes and updated the time estimate, or if it simply did not tell me how long I would be waiting, that would be much better than claiming 7 minutes and then not delivering on that promise.
In general, this has been my continual experience with Air France. Another more extreme example occurred during take off from JFK to Paris. After 5 hours of delays, all of which contained this same over-promise/under-deliver characteristic, we were still waiting to take off after sitting on the plane for well over an additional 2 hours. When we finally moved away from the gate, the pilot informed us we still had to wait for the plane to be de-iced, but assured us this would take no more than 10 minutes. In fact, it took well over 30 minutes, and we continued to sit still for another 30 minutes after that with no information about when we might finally move ahead.
I could give countless other examples of this, as it seems to be acceptable to Air France to essentially lie to its customers and never to recognize or apologize for giving entirely inaccurate information during times when information is the most important thing they can give to a customer.
As I sit here now, I had been told my luggage (actually only one of my two bags) was to be delivered four hours ago. I actually spoke to the delivery person and was told this. When I finally called Air France to complain, they didn't even seem to understand why this was a problem until I explained that I am a virtual prisoner in Paris because I do not want to miss the delivery. They have not set up any system to track or contact the courier for an update on the arrival of the delivery. (While the bag was eventually delivered, I still feel that Air France has no interest in taking proper care of paying customers.)
1/1/2011 I have NEVER experienced the kind of customer service nightmare I am currently going through with Air France. We flew from San Francisco to Barcelona on Dec. 23 with a connection at Charles De Gaulle. Due to bad weather in Paris, our flight out of SF was delayed for 5 hours. When we reached Paris, 3 flights to Barcelona were cancelled, so our baggage was at CDG for over 5 hours.
When we finally landed at Barcelona at about 11:30 pm, our luggage (and that of most others on the plane) was not there, even though they had 5 hours to transfer it from one plane to another at the same terminal. After literally dozens of phone calls to Spain, France and the US, and constant checking online, we still do not have our bags, after 7 days! They initially promised it within 24 hours, yet everyday their answer was the same: "sorry, no information." They consistently refused to answer whether the luggage had ever been scanned into CDG.
I am an insulin-dependent diabetic and did not have enough medication to last the entire trip in my small carry-on bag. I explained this to them immediately, and it was noted in the file, but they gave no extra consideration to this, even though it constituted a medical emergency for me.
This morning they reportedly found one of the three bags and it was supposedly out for delivery at 8:30 am, but it is now 11 P.M. and still no bag. They promised that it would be delivered by private courier given the medication inside, but instead I have now been told it is on a huge truck, and they refuse to provide the name of the service so that I might avoid having to waste ANOTHER entire day of my vacation waiting at my rental apartment to be sure I don't miss the driver.
I have received nothing but officious, rude service, and outright lies from nearly everyone I've dealt with at all levels of Air France -- no firm answers, no apologies, no accurate information -- just continuous delays and hours waiting on hold. NEVER AGAIN WILL I FLY THIS ROTTEN AIRLINE!
There is not lots of info regarding flying an aircraft into volcano ash loaded atmosphere, yet AF decided to take the risk and fly WITHOUT giving passenger with non-essential travel needs a chance to postpone the fly until the air is "cleaner". My teenager niece was about to fly two days after they opened the air to fly again. We, the family considered that is still unsafe for a teenager to fly alone, especially that she doesn't have a direct flight. The situation in Iceland is not calm yet and if something unexpected appears, she will be stranded in Paris airport all by herself.
The Air France people told us that because we purchased an "adult ticket" for her, they don't believe us that she is underage. (Needless to say her DOB is on their records). They said that because her ticket was a 1 month ticket, we cannot extend the departure date even if we offered to pay the extra fees and I wanted to buy a ticket myself to accompany her at a later date.
When I offered that we would like to let the airport AF people know they can use the seat for a stranded passenger (me thinking they cannot resell that ticket), the agent replayed rudely: "you're not getting any refund and don't worry they'll sell it once they see she's not boarding."
Never asked for a refund just wanted to help some unfortunate people. It was interesting to find that AF is reselling the tickets that are paid and not used. Isn't this fraud? Selling the same service twice? Why they don't give it for free to someone that needs it?
Greedy company. It was our family first travel with them and hopefully the last. We will go back to our old British Airways which is not perfect but ten thousands times more decent. I read what others went through with Air France. I don't feel so angry anymore, I realized that it can be worse.
I left Los Angeles Airport on Dec 16 on Air France connecting through Paris and continuing on to Rome. When I got to Paris my connecting AF flight was cancelled due to bad weather in Paris. After standing in a long line for 3 hours I was booked on another AF flight departing later that night. I did not receive any voucher for food. Then my flight kept getting delayed and eventually was cancelled.
After another 3 hour line, I was put on an Alitalia flight that had boarded and was about to take off. I was told my luggage would be transferred but it was not. I filed a claim with Alitalia in Rome when I arrived 1 day late Dec 18. My claim was forwarded to Air France in Paris. My luggage was located on DEC 19. Since I was leaving Dec 20, I told them to deliver it to my home address. It was not until Dec 25 that my luggage finally arrived at Los Angeles Airport.
I was told that I would have to pay the delivery costs to deliver it to my home as Alitalia was responsible and they would not deliver. I argued with him that I purchased my tickets through Air France. He hung up on me. I have been in contact with Alitalia whose customer relations is great. I get a response within 10 minutes after filing a complaint. They insist that Air France is responsible and have contacted them for me regarding the baggage claim policies. I have filed 2 complaints with Air France but have gotten no response.
I spoke with a very rude person in the luggage department today who insists I need to contact Alitalia or pay for it. I asked for a phone number of the corporate office and they said they are not allowed to give that out. I am completely disgusted with Air France. I am their customer and they need to deliver my luggage to me and resolve their dispute with Alitalia later.
I am a travel professional and I will never book any clients on Air France anymore. I cannot work with a company does not look after its customers when there is a problem. I have traveled extensively on many airlines and have lost baggage and experienced flight delays and cancellations but I have never experienced awful customer service. So right now it is Dec 29 and I am still without my luggage. It is long drive to the airport and it will be at least a week before I will be able to get there.
My parents, my mother being seventy one and my father being seventy six and suffering from Parkinson's disease quite badly were booked to fly from Narita in Tokyo to Manchester England via Paris France. The flight time was 10:30 A.M. with the checkout closing at 9.30. Unfortunately due to very heavy traffic and finding a way to wheel my father around Narita to the checkout counter meant that we arrived twenty five minutes after the checkout had closed.
I completely understand that such companies have to run to tight schedules but the treatment we received when we finally arrived at the checkout counter was totally idiotic to say the least. Even though the check in counter had closed the flight was still in the process of boarding, as there was at least another thirty minutes before take off, absolutely no effort was made to try to get my parents to the plane before take off.
I would like to add that I had completed internet check in twenty four hours before and so there would be no need to go through the check in procedure. The response from the staff was basically this, "The check in is closed and you will now have to buy new flights." Even if this was the case the way that we were told this with absolute no care or respect for our situation especially with my father being so ill and needed to be back in England for doctors visits.
The only thing the staff seem to be bothered about was making more money by selling us more seats and having no thought or care to my parents situation. In my opinion, they had every opportunity and time to rush through my parents so that they could make their flight, but straight no from the off was all we got combined with "give us another two thousand pound and we will fit you on the next flight."
I would like to add that yes, the tickets were non transferable or refundable but if this company is quite willing to leave a sick man stranded with no money to pay for an extra flight and with zero concern for his situation then the whole event is an absolute disgrace.
My parents have now had to stay on with me for another four days causing considerable stress on both my parents as they needed to be back in England due to their health. Two seats have now been booked for Sunday the 9th of August with B. A. at a cost of well over one thousand pounds, money which my father needs for for his hospital treatment and medication.