Air France / Disaster
To Whom It May Concern,
I would like to make you aware of my experience on your Air France Airlines. My party of 10 people (4 business class seats and 6 economy seats) had a terrible trip departing, connecting and returning on your airline. The personal were rude, unhelpful and spiteful.
To begin, Flight AF0007 on June 24, 2008 @ 19:10 was delayed. We were told (by the stewardess) that the connecting flight in Paris would be held since we were 10 people. At Paris a bus with a sign "Venice" on it was sent to speed us from one terminal to the other. We were told that personnel were supposed to meet us and provide priority status, so we could move more quickly through immigration etc. and get to the gate on time for Flight 1426 @ 9:50 to Venice. No one was ever sent to assist us.
We inquired numerous times if we could get to the gate more quickly, but we were told by the airport staff "Don't Worry" the connection would wait, especially since we were 10 people. Not one of the airport staff called and inquired for us, the just said "Don't Worry".
When we arrived at the gate the flight had departed. Personnel at the gate said they were never informed we were on our way. Then we were told by another employee that they never wait for passengers. I don't know if your policy is to wait for passengers that have landed and are en route or if you do not wait. (I guess your employees don't know the answer either). When we became upset, one employee actually had the nerve to say Next time they won't send a bus to the terminal- They will let us walk! Actually, sending a bus was useless since there was no one to assist in getting to the front of the extremely long immigration line.
Because we missed our connection to Venice, our plans for a prepaid tour bus and a boat ride and a tour guide was not possible before we had to board our cruise ship. So we lost our money for those excursions.
Upon our return to the United States Flight 1427 @ 12:40 in Venice was delayed again. When the delayed boarding time was finally announced there was still enough time to make our Paris connection. But then, they announced that 4 people didn't board the plane. We now proceeded to wait 45 minutes more for these people to arrive. So, do you wait for passengers or not? Now with the departure delay and the added 45minute delay for those passengers. We now would miss our connection in Paris AF0010 @ `15:55.
Previous to our arrival in Paris the airline had rebooked us on AF004 @ 20:45. Upon our arrival we found there was a flight @ 18:00 that was available. So we went to the Transfer Desk in order to get on the 18:00 flight. We were the 1st passengers to arrive at the Transfer Desk. The agent confirmed that there were enough seats on the flight for my family of 10. Again we needed 4 business seats and 6 economy seats. He did not know why they put us on the later flight @ 20:45 when there were so many seats available on the earlier flight@ 18:00 (maybe they didn't expect our flight to land at the time it did)
We asked to speak to the manager. At this point we were quite upset trying to explain why we had to move to the earlier flight. The Supervisor C/Rousseliere @ the Air France Transfer Desk did not want to switch us. She said we were already booked on Flight AF004 @ 20:45 and there we would stay.
We explained to the supervisor:
1) That my grandfather and his wife are in their 80's and the longer wait is too taxing on them.
2) We had 4 infants that had to be picked up from babysitters and the later flight would get us home too late to get them.
3) We required special meals and with all the delays we had not eaten for many, many hours.
She lied and said there were no seats available on the earlier flight. We told her the original agent said there were plenty of seats available. Her reply was "The agent was mistaken".
My grandfather and his wife, who were part of my party, saw the attitude of the supervisor and quietly moved to another agent. My grandfather had no problem switching to the 18:00 flight with 2 business seats. Then my sister and her father went to this agent to also get on my grandfathers' flight. The new agent was in the process of giving my sister seat numbers, when the supervisor ran over and told the agent not to give my sister seats. She told the agent to tell my sister there were no seats available on the plane. Obviously the agent had to obey her supervisor and didn't give my sister and her father seats.
After they denied my sister seats we asked how the elderly couple (My grandfather and his wife) got seats on the flight, since she said there were none. She lied again and said they were already booked from much earlier in the day. Obviously this was not true since they were on the delayed flight with me. The supervisor was not aware the elderly couple was from my family.
The supervisor then went back behind closed doors. The original agent who called the supervisor to help make the changes said "when people are insistent that Air France Policy is to not help them. They automatically do nothing to assist them".
For your knowledge the 18:00 flight had at least 2 or more business class seats available for my parents and numerous economy seats for the rest of my family. The flight was definitely not full. My grandfather asked the stewardess/steward and he counted himself.
Our 20:45 flight was also delayed. In total it took us 24 hours to get home to New York from Venice. We had not eaten in this amount of time because we require special meals that did not arrive to the planes. Since we got home so late, my grand children were not picked up on time. We also had to pay the babysitters an extra days pay for the 4 infants.
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