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.
PHL, PENNSYLVANIA -- I lost one suitcase on October 25, 2007 (**) on flight from Paris to Philadelphia and all my luggage on December 20, 2007 (**). 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 X'mas 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 than spend the required resources to find your missing luggage. Also they sell the missing luggage to an outside company which then 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.
PARIS -- On November 15, 2007 I was en-route to Cairo via Air France Flight 7351 from CDG to Milan, Malpensa then Al Italia flight 882. The problems started in Paris before we even left the ground. The plane was delayed over an hour on the tarmac by waiting for de-icing. The concern was that our connecting time in Milan was only 65 minutes. We had not exceeded that sitting on the ground.
Sitting one row in front of me and across the aisle was a man traveling with two children. The young girl looked about four and the boy must have been about six or seven. From the moment we got onto the bus from terminal to plane we knew the boy was a problem. He could/or would not behave. He was crawling all over everyone's baggage, running and pushing people inside the bus, and when we boarded the plane he continued with the same behavior. Never once did he sit down. Instead he crawled over his father into the aisle several time, crawled up the back of the chair and disturbed the people sitting behind him, etc. etc.
Prior to landing in Milan we were informed that we might just make our flight if we hurried. They said an agent would meet us at the door of the plane and take us directly to our next flight. We finally land, and the time is actually after our next flight should have departed, however we were advised again that someone was at the door of the plane.
Knowing this didn't matter because the flight attendants didn't help any of us off the plane. Instead of making an announcement for passengers to wait until we were off the plane, they said nothing and all the passengers in front of us crowded into the aisles. We were more than half way back in the plane and knew that it would take forever to get off.
Just as I began to make my way up the aisle to the door, the man with the children stepped in front of me blocking the aisle and now tried to get his children out of their seats. Unfortunately they were not moving. I asked if he would move aside since we had another plane to catch and were in a hurry. His reply was "No". He just stood there and tried to get his children to move again, while he blocked not only me, but the rest of the passengers behind me.
Once again I asked him to move out of the way or hurry his children. Once again he said no. At this point fearing that we would miss our plane,and if we did, the only options were to either stay the night in Milan or take a plane back to Paris and re-connect for another flight to Cairo, using a rather loud voice I instructed him to move aside. The result was that he turned around and struck me in across the face with a punch.
I was astonished as were those around me. I immediately called for security, flight attendants and/or pilot, but no one responded. I called out again and he hit me again, yet no one from the flight responded. Now the passengers behind me were yelling at the man to move and he refused. Finally a member of the flight crew came up the aisle and assisted the man and his children off the plane, while I was still trying to get someone from security to stop him.
Instead, I was met by the pilot who stopped me and informed me that I was causing a commotion. I informed him that the passenger they just helped off the plane had struck me. His arrogrant response was, "I don't think so". How dare he! Other passengers behind me were trying to tell him what had happened, but he would have none of it. He informed me that if I did not quiet down he would have me held by security. Can you believe it? I've been accosted and he's going to restrain me because I was calling for assistance.
We finally got off the plane and were met by the representative who was to take us to the next flight. However, she didn't have a cart, no, we had to "RUN" from one terminal to the other with our hand luggage. So we ran for 10 minutes to the next terminal for the flight. What began on the Air France Plane continued here on the ground, the same man was connecting to the same plane.
I suffer from a heart condition and should never incur such stress. The result was that while waiting to board the bus to the plane I began having a full blow stress attack. My heart began racing from all the excitement and running, I couldn't catch my breath, I began coughing and vomiting. This continued long into the flight and when it finally ceased, I was exhausted and left without a voice. Because of this my first two days in Cairo were spent resting. All of this resulted because the Air France flight crew would do nothing about the security of one of their passengers and instead harassed him as if he was the culprit.
I will do everything within my power to never fly Air France if I can prevent it. Just last week, instead of flying Air France to the United States, I flew to London, Heathrow and flew Virgin Atlantic to Miami. Their Upper Class is wonderful. Even though it took a few extra hours, it was worth it not having to fly Air France. I plan on filing complaints with Air France Management, but don't expect much in return. For those of you reading this review, if you can avoid Air France, please do so, also advise friends and family of the same.
I had checked in a bag (Baggage Tag No.: DL808436) on 26th October 2007 from San Diego to Chennai per the following routing: (i) SAN to ATL by DL0720 on 26 OCT 2007; (ii) ATL to CDG by DL0028 on 26 OCT 2007; (iii) CDG to MAA by AF0204 on 27 OCT 2007.
When I reached CDG on 27th October, 2007, I was informed of a strike by a section of Air France employees, because of which AF0204 was cancelled. I was rerouted to Mumbai by AF0134 that left CDG on 27th October. Upon my arrival in Mumbai, I noted that my baggage had not arrived. I filed a missing baggage complaint with Air France in Mumbai airport, and was provided with a copy of the Baggage Declaration Certificate.
After considerable communication with Air France and considerable hassle, my baggage finally arrived in Kolkata from Chennai on a Jet Airways flight (with Rush Tag No. 9W400627) on 5th November 2007 evening. Upon opening the suitcase, I found that the new Panasonic digital camera (Price: ~ USD 300; copy of receipt was sent to Air France) which was in its original packaging and kept inside the suitcase was missing. Please note that (i) I had declared the camera in the customs declaration form that I had filled at the Air France counter upon my arrival in Mumbai airport; and (ii) I had listed this camera in the Inventory Form that I had filled and faxed to Air France offices in Delhi and Kolkata. I had called Air France's Delhi and Kolkata offices this morning and had informed them of this missing camera.
On November 6, 2007, I faxed a letter to Air France's Mumbai office. On November 28, 2007, I received a letter from Air France stating that the General Conditions of Carriage incorporated by reference on my ticket advices passengers not to include cameras in checked baggage; therefore, Air France cannot accede to my request for any compensation. I find this explanation wholly unacceptable for the following reasons:
(1) Just as a list of prohibited items in cabin baggage is explicitly provided on the ticket jacket, such a list should have also been provided on the ticket jacket with respect to checked baggage. Referring to your “General Conditions of Carriage” in fine print on the ticket jacket is tantamount to cheating your passengers.
(2) If a camera is disallowed in checked baggage, this should have been ascertained from me, even if verbally, at the time of checking in. This was not done.
(3) My checked baggage did not arrive upon my disembarkment in Delhi on your AF-134 flight, and remained undelivered for about 10 days, ostensibly because of a strike by a section of your employees. During this period, you were the custodian of my checked baggage. Since my suitcase in your custody was vulnerable to pilferage by your staff because it was lying in your baggage hold for an extended period of time due to the strike, I would like to know what additional precautionary measures Air France had taken to prevent theft from checked baggage of passengers during this period of the strike.
Air France ought to accept responsibility for theft of items from checked baggage of passengers and compensate passengers for their losses.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- This review is regarding the poor customer service of Air France.
My parent in-laws travelled from Chennai to Seattle with Air France on Oct 26-27, 2007.Unfortunately because of the strike, their flight from Paris to Seattle got cancelled. They were stranded in LA airport for a night before they got the flight to Seattle. My mother in law could speak little English and that helped her in managing the situation. With all these delays and cancellations, to add to the agony all of their baggages were missing. When they landed in Seattle, we wanted to file a baggage claim with AF. There were no one in the AF counter in Seattle. Then we finally filed a complaint with Alaska Airlines
(the last airlines that my in-laws took)and returned home.
My mother in law is not used to western clothes. She has been using the clothes (3 sets) that she brought with her in the carry on baggages. We have been washing these clothes every 3 days and using them. Obviously we cannot continue doing this for months to come. We were calling the Air France and Alaska airlines every day. Their customer service representatives are really mean and rude. Fortunately, yesterday one lady gave me some information on the baggages. She was nice and so unlike the other staff members. She asked me to call Alaska airlines and request them to place an order with AF using reference numbers that she gave me. I then called Alaska airlines and conveyed the message. They told me that they would follow it up.
Today I called AF to check on the status. This time it was one of their rude staff. I explained her the situation and asked for the update. She bluntly told me that she did not have any information and we need to communicate with only Alaska Airlines and they have got nothing to do with it. I told her that the other lady could give me some useful information yesterday and why not her. She replied back saying that the other lady should not have helped me at all. Above all, she was interested in getting that nice lady's name so that they can take action against her (Because she was nice and giving me the information). When I started asking her name, She was rude and started yelling at me. Then she hung up on me without even listening to me.
After this phone call, the AF customer service reached a new height. I tried to calling them again, hoping that I would get to talk to that nice lady again. This time the same rude lady picked up the phone. She told me that she would be happy to connect me to her supervisor, who was more rude than her. When I was requesting him to talk to me in a rather friendlier tone, he told me that it is his way of talking to people. He was extremely rude and he also hung up on me. No apologies, no explanation. I am wondering whether the rudeness and the poor customer service runs in each level of their hierarchy.
After all these phone calls and frustrations, I am giving up my hope of getting those baggages.
I wish that I could alert every international traveller about Air France's poor customer service and ask them to avoid their service. Personally I will never fly Air France.
If you're going to fly Air France, remember to bring a hidden tape recorder. That's because many of the promises you hear won't be honored. I can only point to my own experiences as an example.
On a recent flight from Pisa, Italy, to New York with a connection in Paris, the first lie was told in Pisa. The Pisa Paris flight was late, and both my family and some other Italians making the same connection feared missing it.
"Don't worry," said the agent at check in. When you arrive in Paris, there will be an Air France agent waiting for you as you debark, and a special minibus will take all of you to the waiting flight to New York." Wow. Three lies in one sentance. Needless to say, no agent was waiting, there was no special minibus, and the New York flight did not wait. I told the agent I was a type one diabetic, and that surprises tended to create problems. She assured me that a special message would be sent to Paris just for me. Another lie.
The plane hovered around a lot before landing, eating up another forty five minutes. As we disembarked, an Italian couple joined us in the race to the gate when we found no one there to help us, and no minibus. My wife, who has never traveled alone, was stressed looking after our two toddlers, and this couple became very helpful. After nearly another half an hour of brisk exercise, we arrived at a customer service desk. Feeling faint, I stressed to the agent that I could be in big trouble with the diabetes, and using a portable meter, measured a drop of blood in front of him. Seeing 45, when normal lower limits are 80, I emplored him to call me emergency medical services.
"When we finish re-booking the rest of these passengers," he said. My new Italian friends rolled their eyes, and said to me in Italian, "this is criminal...". In fact, in Europe, refusing aid to someone who needs it, is.
But one of the things that happens to some diabetics in crisis, like me, is a sort of apathy. I simply didn't care. Twenty or so minutes later, as I began to see colors, and the voices around me started to develop hollow echos, I began to panic. I begged him to call emergency medical aid a second time, and stressed to him that it really was an emergency. My slurred speech may have had some effect, but all he called was a wheelchair attendant, who sped me through the checkers, thankfully after grabbing me a sandwich at a fast food place, and onto the plane with a special elevator truck. Although I managed to eat the food, I still only came back to my senses after the plane was in the air. My wife and children were next to me, in tears.
Customer relations, aside from being only accessible by mail, informed me that they would investigate. Subsequently, they contacted me to say that as a result of their inquiry, they'd found that the agent at the customer service desk had suggested to me that he call emergency medical services, and I'd refused. The wheelchair attendant had asked me if I wanted to be seen by a doctor, and that also then, I'd refused help.
The Italian couple stayed by my side until we passed them in line waiting to be checked, because of the privilege afforded by a wheelchair, and saw and heard everything. They have promised to testify to the refusal of aid. It is only through this unexpected stroke of luck that I have a prayer of demonstrating the truth to the civil aviation authorities investigating this matter. Otherwise, as Air France probably knows through extensive experience (visible on the web, search Air France Complaints), it would have been just my word against theirs.
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.
I am amazed that after losing my luggage in Mumbai last August travelling with Air France and spending five days waiting for it....and not claiming any money for clothing as it is a complex process.....Air France did it yet again last week on my flight to Chile. Both were Business Class and both were experienced as 'couldn't care less' by Air France.
The passenger in front of me in Manchester Airport checking in was also travelling to Chile and his luggage got there fine but not mine! The logic of losing it then makes this difficult to explain. My first onward trip to Patagonia kayaking in the mountains was also spoilt to some degree by not having clothing and some equipment that I couldn't carry on board. I was then speaking at an important event in Chile and my smart clothes of course were still not there for my first day .......four days later...........
Very poor service and no one seems to care.
In India the case arrived at 11.30 pm one evening yet it only got to me at 1pm the following day! 'The courier got a flat tyre' said Air France ground staff!
Friends, if you want to arrive with your baggage, don't fly with Air France.
Because if you do, when they lose it, you'll then enter the hell of their specially-designed 'no customer service' routine. You know the game:
- you call the tel #, it connects, then you wait 15 minutes to speak to someone, who can't help and sends you to the website
- the website tells you your baggage is lost (thanks for that!) and you have to submit more written notification to Air France
- Air France local sales office deny all knowledge and tell you to call the #
Repeat until you have a heart attack or give up exhausted. Air France don't care which. Really - they don't.
My baggage was last seen Dec 22 in Paris. May it rest in peace, along with the family Christmas presents it contained, and test coursework...