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Air France Experience
May 29, 2009 08:30 PM 11962 Views

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I was a AF Flying Blue Silver last year; That means I flied atleast 15 flights with them in a year. But I should say there were some not so tolerable shortcomings. Food is good-enough. Am ok with Inflight attendants; Am also ok with Check-in experience. I should say that baggage handling definitely needs improvement. My luggages were delayed couple of times.

But they eventualy will be hand delivered even if you live far from international airport. The most intolerable area is the airport - CDG; You cannot escale special treatment at CDG if you fly Air France. From a facility point of view or congestion point of view, there are no issues. The issue comes when you have to deal with ground staff; They just dont like Asians, if not Indians. Pretend they dont know English. And the tone of their language, even if they reply in French, lets you know that they dont like answering. Or in worst case gives you an impresssion that they are swearing.

They are not easy to deal with. And for them, we are a burden. Unlike Air France which likes to have your business, the airport authority doesnt care for your visit, it seems. They need to improve on their punctualness; I am benchmarking AF with Lufthansa, and am now a StarAlliance silver as of now, but working to become a Gold soon. Lufthansa is punctual, and also I have not had a bad experience in Frankfurt or Munich yet. The real color shows up when you have a crisis. And I guess I have not faced a problem in Germany so far during transits. Maybe they will be rude as well. But they let problems arise very rarely.

But Air France are not so careful. Methinks there are always some shortcomings or atleast perceived shortcomings with every airlines. Reports of recent incident on May 25 in CDG and on 12th May just confirms my view on Air France. In a crisis, their attitude just gets magnified. How can they dare keep 10s and 10s of people waiting in waiting areas for like 10-12 hours? Why cant they have a policy to give temporary transit visas and put them in a hotel at AF's expense. Why cant they, when other foreigners are offered better treatment. Can they subject a American or Canadian this way? In the worst case, they should have dormitories or rooms in restricted areas in the airport like the one in Zurich, Switzerland. Or convert a plane to a sort of dormitory and let people sleep there, like in Stockholm, Sweden. They need to make sure there are no more negative publicity or in these times of economic crisis, AF may be wiped off from the mind of Indian consumers. I, for one, has moved out already. And am flying Lufthansa these days!!

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