Air France – disaster what else can I say?

I admit that I am not known to be the most patient one sometimes. But as I just learn only those who stand up and refuse to accept bad treatment or poor service.

It all started yesterday when I entered the Air France flight from Munich to Paris and short before the flight someone or something turned off the entire electricity in the plane. A sign maybe because the rest of my journey to London was everything but smooth. I am not sure if we had a delay in Munich what I do know is that we arrived late in Paris. When I entered the bus to the terminal it was 20:25, the boarding time of my connection flight to London. No reason to worry I thought, didn’t the stewardess give me a plan of the airport and explained me – without me asking anything upfront – how to get to the gate for the London flight. However, the longer the bus was driving around, the more I started to worry. And after we finally entered the terminal my bad feeling did not find a

reason to cheer up. It took me 10 min walking, jogging and running to make my way to the new security check alone. And there I faced an old French guy who obviously enjoyed it to let me wait. After I opened the hand luggage and gave up to expect a friendly word from that officer who just stood there and refused to move even a bit more than he had to (of course he spoke French only), I walked through the metal detector. No problems here. And I waited. And this because that idiot did not move my stuff through the x-ray but talked to another passenger. The supervisor to whom I complained about this delay and showed my ticket to proof that I was in a hurry said something in French before he stumbled a” no worry no worry”. Hell I was worried. On the screen my flight showed the not helpful “final boarding” message. After finally I got my hand luggage back, I kept running to the gate and arrived 1-2 minutes late. They tried to call the plane asking to open the door again but I had no luck. After all they gave me a hotel voucher and a new ticket to the first flight to London the next morning at 7:30. An upgraded ticket, as I should mention. And I should mention that as I right now sit in the economy class right behind this stupid curtain that separated the two classes.

But let me follow the story. I met a Chinese British guy who had the same problem and also got the hotel voucher. They also explained us how to get to the bus shuttle. The explanation was simple, the way there wasn’t. Could have been of course but the unfriendly French airport staff did everything to make it harder. The border control then examined my Estonian passport to an extend that was close to discrimination. Although we were told that we would need only 5-7 min, the whole way to the bus took more than 20. The bus was full but at least our hotel was the first on the line. A fact that was not unimportant as the restaurant in the hotel closed half an hour after our arrival. With the early flight everything called breakfast was cancelled for me and I enjoyed a Cafe late at the airport for only 3,80 EUR.

After all the flight was on time, or at least the boarding. In my case to pass the ticket check took a bit longer as I was given a new seat. From 15e to 19a. Why this I understood only when I was in the plane. When they upgraded me to business class in the evening, I was downgraded again.

So let me summarize:

I missed the plane in Paris and arrived totally sweaty after running through Paris Airport, had to spend a short night in a low class hotel, woke up at 5, could not change my clothes and am now on my way to London, where I will go with my suitcases through London Tube rush hour to the office instead of taking a train in the night home. My upgrade to Business Class was taken back. So all in all what I got was a delay of 8 hours, an unpleasant feeling, a short night and a bad impression of Paris Airport staff (does anyone there speaks any English btw??) and of what Air France calls “customer service”

So, dear reader, do I have a reason to be upset?


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