Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Travel Nightmare - Air France is Rubbish

In the last three years, I have been on over 220+ flights...that is a lot of flying...and I have enjoyed all of those flights...one reason might be is that I never flew Air France. Yesterday, I boarded an Air France flight from Montpellier to Paris (Charles de Gaulle International Airport) [Flight # AF 7683]. Then, I flew AF 1780 from Paris to London (Heathrow). Taking these two flights, has been by far my worst (choose a nice harsh adjective here) flying experience. To make a long story short, both my flights were delayed, and my bags were lost...!!!

If you want details, read on...

I was originally, scheduled to fly out on the following...

AF7683
Scheduled departure from Montpellier (MPL) at 13:40, Wed 14 May 08
Scheduled arrival in Paris (CDG) at 15:10, Wed 14 May 08

AF1680
Scheduled departure from Paris (CDG) at 16:10, Wed 14 May 08
Scheduled arrival in London (LHR) at 16:25, Wed 14 May 08

So like, any good traveler, I got to the Montpellier Airport at 1100. I then checked my two bags in and proceeded to wait for 2 hrs. The inbound flight into Montpellier was late. So, I knew that making my connection would be nearly impossible. I approached the agents at the counter, who told me, 'not to worry, I have plenty of time to make my connection' (I should have asked them if they were drinking too much wine on the job!!!). So, they did not take any proactive measures to make arrangements for me to make my connection in Paris. We got to Paris, 45 minutes late. Then, we waited on the ground, as the Air France airport staff had forgotten to send a ladder to the aircraft so that the passengers could disembark!!! Nice...Overall, a 45 minute delay, was extended to 75 minutes.

Then, I approach the transfer desk in Paris, who booked me on the next flight to London (the one that departs at 1800). I made it a point to check on the status of my bags, and I was assured that they would be with me in London. Then, I get to London, and guess what - no bloody bags!!!

I then had a conversation with the baggage staff, who advised me that Air France had taken upon themselves to re-route my bags directly to Seattle...(you can imagine the words that came out of my mouth after I heard this...if not, call me and I will tell you...) What in the world they were thinking is beyond me...Then, after a long discussion, I was assured that I would get a call in the hotel that I was staying my Heathrow on information pertaining to my bags...(want to take a guess at what happened...?)...I did not get any call.

So, had to make do with no clothes, phone, etc...as I had no bags...

Now, I am in Heathrow, and going to be board my flight to United Airlines flight to Seattle (via Chicago)...and still no information on the bags...

Hopefully, I will get my bags in Seattle...

But, some critical learning lessons -
1. Never fly Air France again!!!!
2. Do what I can to make sure no one that I knows boards an Air France Flight...
3. Never pack valuables in your checked luggage (like good wines!!!)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I have had similar horrible experiences with Air France...I now fly the cheapest airlines as at least I know that I cannot expect much in terms of what I pay...

Mehmet said...

Damn I wish I had read your experiences with the Air France before I booked my flight to Turkey. I am flying with Air France on JUne 21st. well I guess now I feel a bit nervous, Thanks to you Kevin:)))


later,
Mehmet

Kumar Setty said...

I have also had a similar experience with Air France, and in my opinion, Degaulle is absolutely the worst airport---no signs, no indication of terminals, no indication of gates, etc. I had to ask ten people for directions (all very helpful)...glad to see things haven't changed.

Peter Baloh said...

Oh they are rubbish. But not many other are better. These days I try to stick with the 'proven' ones and usually it works. Well I hope you got your bags at least.

NB As far as the wine is concerned... the problem is you can't not-check liquids anymore... so that leaves you with checking in those goodies :((((( (My worst fear, too!!!!!) hahaha

Anonymous said...

Having had a similar terrible experience with Air France and lost luggage I would say never ever fly this rubbish airline. Customer service has said they have 36 hours to deliver the luggage from the time it arrives in the UK. What a joke!24hours and no luggage I am still waiting.