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AIR FRANCE DOES NOT ACCEPT COMPLAINTS
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Copy of a letter sent to Air France over a year ago and STILL NO RESPONSE
I travel regularly between Europe and South Africa as I have businesses interests and homes in both regions. This is the first time I have traveled long distance with Air France and I am appalled at the total lack of customer service from Air France in France and Romania. Air France has caused me to personally experience extreme stress, incur substantial expenses and lose direct consulting income of over €5000. My flight from Bucharest to Paris AF1089 was delayed causing me to miss my connecting flight to Johannesburg AF994 and my connecting flight from Johannesburg to Durban the next day. In addition to this I was unable to reschedule my consulting appointments set for the 19th Dec and lost all fees from these appointments (over €3000). I also lost my Johannesburg hotel reservation.
When I tried to get on another flight to Johannesburg from CDG the same day I was told there were no seats available yet my secretary had already confirmed there were seats available but only on business class and had already provisionally booked a seat for me! When I informed the lady at the desk that I knew there were seats available but only in business class I was told to speak to her manager. She then told me I would have to wait for her manager (I waited another 45 MINUTES for the manager). When this manager eventually arrived she told me there was nothing she could do but I could speak to her manager!!! I then waited another hour before going in search of Air France offices elsewhere in the airport. I found another office in another terminal and relayed the experience to them. A manager told me that Air France was unable to put me on another flight as they had no economy class seats and that it was Air France policy NOT to upgrade a passenger unless the passenger paid the full fare difference even if the airline was at fault. By this stage it was too late to get onto the flight and I was told the next flight I could get was only the leaving the following day. I had no choice but to accept the situation and was given a voucher for accommodation and a basic meal at a cheap run down hotel near the airport - I had no luggage as I was told by the manager it was somewhere in transit! The whole experience was a nightmare, including the cheap hotel, spending two days in the same clothes (-4 degrees without a jacket) and dealing with the incredibly rude customer services at CDG.
I eventually arrived in Johannesburg the following evening exhausted and sick with flu, managed to book another hotel and another connecting flight to Durban.
However, the nightmare did not end there! I took the return flight on Air France Johannesburg to CDG AF997 (against my better judgement) and CDG to OTP AF1888 and was charged €370 for excess baggage, only to arrive in OTP to find my luggage had not arrived! I reported this to AF lost baggage and was told my luggage would arrive later that evening - this story was repeated for a few days and one of my two bags arrived, after numerous attempts at locating my other bag, a week of being told every day by AF Bucharest that my bag was on the next flight and calls to Air France offices all over the world, I finally received my second bag a week later! I understand there are often circumstances which are beyond the control of airlines and in fact any business but the way in which this whole incident was managed is extremely bad for the image of AF.
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[27/01/2011] Clay Douglass: In general I believe the service of Air France is improving over the last year or so. How were you able to resolve this issue?
[05/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Any update on the resolution of this issue?
[05/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Perhaps it would help to have Air France reply here.
[06/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Perhaps there has been no response because this case is over three years old.
[10/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Looks like radio silence on this one.
[16/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Was hoping for a comment by now.
[18/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Still no response.
[25/02/2011] Clay Douglass: Another week and no response yet.
[05/03/2011] Clay Douglass: March 5 and we have not received an additional comment in the month of January or February. Perhaps there will be one in March.
[09/03/2011] Clay Douglass: No more updates on March 8.
[09/03/2011] Clay Douglass: Ditto for March 9.
[12/03/2011] Clay Douglass: It looks like we may need to wait a little longer for a response. Perhaps it will come from someone else flying on air france or perhaps even from someone having a similar experience on another airline. It is difficult to say at this point what will generate the response.
[13/03/2011] Air France Flyer: Perhaps there is no comment because the issue was resolved.
Air France Flyer
[21/03/2011] KLM passenger: Did Air France by KLM or was it the other way around?
[25/03/2011] Air France Flyer: Any updates on this case would be appreciated.
Air France Flyer.
[26/03/2011] KLM passenger: It is hard to tell from this wikipedia entry but it looks like Air France is on top http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France-KLM
[19/04/2011] Air France Flyer: Yes, it does look to be that way.
Air France Flyer
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