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Old 30th October 2013, 15:12   #31
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Interesting take by a blogger on the entire incident - makes you wonder if Mr. Shah has exaggerated quite a bit on this trip.

Link

P.s. I'm not supporting this guy - but a few of his points do make sense.
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Old 30th October 2013, 15:34   #32
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Nobody pays up until you put a gun to their heads, and maybe even cock the trigger.
Exactly. For a EU resident filing a complaint is easy. For Mr Sinha from Patna, finding a lawyer and resources to go after Air France in a EU court is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
So we need to have an EU like law for flights arriving into India. If a flight is delayed at point of origin, airline must compensate full refund + accomodation + meals if the delay is more than 3 hours.
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Old 30th October 2013, 15:40   #33
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Do you think Air India is better? I have heard more horror stories about AI especially operating from the Gulf sector. This is just one of them which was widely covered in the media: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emir...10-21-1.479549

I agree that what AF did was completely wrong, especially being a member of SkyTeam, they could have easily provided tickets via various other airlines. They could have also issued the lounge passes so that the passengers stranded in the airport could take proper rest and could have access to some decent food.

Once we had missed the connection from AMS due to a delayed KLM City Hopper, we were issued tickets via Paris to Dubai. Even though it took few hours more, we were provided meal coupons and calling cards.

At another occasion, AF connection flight from Lyon was delayed to CDG and there was a person waiting for us at the arrival gate. We had to run through the airport to catch the Dubai flight. Baggage came only the next day.
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Old 30th October 2013, 16:11   #34
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Exactly. For a EU resident filing a complaint is easy. For Mr Sinha from Patna, finding a lawyer and resources to go after Air France in a EU court is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
So we need to have an EU like law for flights arriving into India. If a flight is delayed at point of origin, airline must compensate full refund + accomodation + meals if the delay is more than 3 hours.
You don't have to go to EU court. You can file a case in Indian courts but i agree with the general point that the process is not easy like it is probably in Europe.

I personally had 2 bad experiences travelling Sky Team. I find Delta the worst of the three-KLM/AF/Delta. I was travelling to Stockholm and they were putting people through hell especially the uneducated ones. I don't want to go in to the details. BTW this happened in Mumbai and it was Indians who were doing this. One particular aged gentleman of a minority community was being humiliated with the staff making fun of him standing right next to him. It was bad. Maybe it is a requirement from the Airline and the alliance to be rude and insensitive

After that i refused to fly Sky Team but last year i had no choice but to take the flight (again to stockholm)as it was Christmas time (i was returning on 22 Dec)and there was no flight available on any other airline. This time it was AF and they misplaced my luggage at CDG and created a mess of the situation. At the Mumbai Airport on arrival they promised a lot of things and broke every promise and the next day just dumped my luggage at home when i was not even there. This activity has been outsourced to some agency and they don't care at all. Anyway it lead to a lot of heartache for me as the luggage contained Christmas gifts for my 2 kids and half of the things came crushed. I sent multiple mails on the issue and got the response flatly denying everything that was told at the airport and also refusing to take responsibility for any damage. Finally i gave up as it was just a waste of my time. This time i was travelling business class but made no difference to their service

BTW Kenya airways, which is also part of Skyteam, is better than the Trio
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Old 30th October 2013, 16:58   #35
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Guys,

I think flight cancellations / delays happen every where. Its not AF to blame in particular. But yes, the situation could have been handled better. I would like to share my experience with Air China.

May 2013 i was to board a flight from Shenzhen to Chengdu to Mumbai. But due to heavy rains all flights were cancelled to Chengdu and hence i was to miss my flight to Mumbai as there was a 3 hrs connection time. That wasn't much of an issue, the issue was communicating as there was no English speaking ground staff and the only Duty manager who could talk in English was on his Lunch break and would be back only after an hr. I knew i could scream and shout all i want, but it was mother nature we were dealing with.

So in whatever broken English the airline staff could, i communicated to them and requested them to cancel my boarding and return my bags, so that i could catch a bus to HK and get another flight home. The reason i wanted to do that was there was no way a flight was going to go to Chengdu due to heavy rains and next flight to Mumbai was after 3 days even if i did manage to get to Chengdu some how. The staff not only helped me with baggage return, but also guided me the stop from where i could board a bus to HK, Help me buy a ticket and also give me a print out of all the flight details that were to take off from HK to BBY / DEL / HYD.

They took some time, but yes did it for me and also handed me a flight cancellation form, all written in Chinese. I just took that and took at bus to HK and got myself a one way ticket on a Jet airways flight and reached home.

Now once back, i was 100% sure that i had no way to recover my one way ticket cost or the cancelled flight costs. But still i thought i should give it a shot and filed my insurance claim, which was rejected due to some stupid reason i don't remember.

I wrote another email to Air China explaining what happened and attaching the cancellation form given to me by the Ground staff. To my surprise, i recd a call from their BBY office next day apologizing (as if it was their fault it rained) and re confirming my credit card details on which the org return ticket was booked. They promptly refunded 50% of my Return Ticket fare within 3 working days.

I was IMPRESSED. I did waste 1 day extra in transit but i can't blame anyone. I HAD to reach home. Had i boarded the delayed Shenzhen - Chengdu flight knowing that its not going to get me anywhere, they were going to give me accommodation till i have a next flight out to India. But the situation was such that i couldn't afford to stay back.

Regards,
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Old 30th October 2013, 17:24   #36
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Haven't travelled on Quantas, but in the past several of my colleagues have given me negative feedback on Quantas w.r.t racism/differential treatment.
I have found Qantas to be one of the better airlines. Not as good as Asian airlines but quite good.
Air France is probably one of the worst airlines to ever fly. I have always opted to pay few dollars/rupees more to fly some one else. They deserve every bit of bad publicity due to this and many such incidents.
Lufthansa is Smile-less but at least has the German efficiency.
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Old 30th October 2013, 17:27   #37
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

This is also interesting and may be related to why the sous chef behaved the way he did. Or the lack of wheel chairs for elderly.

http://plus.lefigaro.fr/note/the-mos...0111117-602084

"Travelers bemoan disinterested personnel, a cruel lack of signs and advanced directions, only borderline cleanliness and limited services".
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Old 30th October 2013, 17:33   #38
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

It is a shocking incident, but the blog is written like a bollywood drama. It went on so long, with a lot of melodrama, around what seemed to be a routine otherwise. I half expected a song sequence or a fight scene in between.

A formal complaint too would have sufficed, and it would be to the point. The constant hailing of 'Alexandre! Alexandre!' was really repetitive (mentioned for 18 times in the post!). Like the Govinda Govinda background of Sarkar, here the background was Alexandre Alexandre.

It was helpful in 3 ways:
1. Avoid AF as far as possible
2. Avoid Paris airport (that particular one)
3. Avoid too much melodrama in your complaint.
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Old 30th October 2013, 17:53   #39
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Apparently, people are posting on Air France's facebook page in droves about this incident , and the admins are quickly deleting them.
I have also experienced sub-par treatment on a KLM flight to Amsterdam.
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Old 30th October 2013, 18:05   #40
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

I haven't flown AF, but I can state from experience that Lufthansa is the cheapest airline I've sat in. They are racist to the core and in your face! What is most shameful is that the Indians working for Lufthansa act more like Germans, with their condescending behavior and higher-than-thou attitude.
I had a return ticket with Lufthansa on this particular trip and initially didn't want to fly back with them. However, I just put up with the cheapness and used my return ticket because I didn't want to donate them money.

If you want to save your dignity, don't fly Lufthansa.
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Old 30th October 2013, 18:09   #41
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Extract from Mid-day.

What the rule says:

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 says:
>> In the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails
>> If the time of departure is deferred until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation
>> When the delay is five hours or longer, passengers may opt for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure.

So obviously even all of their own rules were not adhered to (only money was given and to very select individuals).

@ Harshal: It's not the technical snag and delay that the fliers are complaining about. It's the way AF handled the Indians passengers. That's the essence of the blog. Nice to know Air China is not like AF.

Last edited by k_ajay : 30th October 2013 at 18:20. Reason: Adding a response.
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Old 30th October 2013, 19:25   #42
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I wan to share my wonderful experiences while traveling with Delta Airlines in US. In 2011, I missed my Delta Airlines flight by 2 minutes from Sandiego to Orlando due to my mistake.

I was traveling with my wife and we arrived late at check-in counter by 5 minutes. When I arrived at Delta Check-IN counter, I was completely exhausted due to running with 2 bags in my hand and was sweating as hell. There was this nice delta gentleman person aged around 50, he calmed me down and told me they just closed the gates as departure time is over and as due to safety regulations they can not check me in. To my surprise he booked us to another flight in next 2 hours without any charge. I really couldn't thank him enough but he smiled and said take it easy, they have delta flight to my destination in every 2-3 hours. He was very gentle and treated me like family member.

Before this, I was traveling to las vegas in 2010 and my flight was cancelled due to bad weather. They gave me $20 food vouchers and also checked me into nice express INN hotel and next day upgraded me to first class seats in the plane to las vegas! It was wonderful experience having flight attended available all the time asking for drinks every 15 minutes. Also, drinks was free in 1st class which added to wonderful experience.

In US always fly delta. Thank you delta.

Last edited by Max : 30th October 2013 at 19:27.
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Old 30th October 2013, 20:37   #43
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Originally Posted by acroback View Post
Wait what?

This guy wrote a post laced with superlatives and melodrama.
Guess formal mail would never get the kind of publicity Jay has managed. I am glad he did this.
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Old 30th October 2013, 21:05   #44
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Being a person who fly into Europe evey month, I agree with the OP about the gender bias of the EU airlines. Some of them are very bad. Also AF is a bad airline in general. I would say they are like Air India in our country. If you want to be on time on a connecting flight, try to avoid CDG/AF as far as possible. CDG is confusing as hell and you can literally run in circles due to design. AF even expect us to read French magazines and eat french food even when we are coming back to India !!!. Even the French hate AF (I work for a French company )
The middle eastern ones are the better ones of the lot. Some the targetting of Indians has to do with our people as well, especially regarding the luggage. We are known around the world to carry our home with us. May be partly because of our food habits. Many a times I have witnessed people trying to take 10-15 kgs into the cabin. In flights out of DXB, you can normally see a few personnel with weighing scales just for this.
I have been upgraded business 3 times from LHR in 5 trips on my way back to India. I think my hand luggage only travel contributed for that. I could read that from their faces. Most of the time spent at check-in is to redistribute the luggage between the family members to match the quota of the ticket.
I avoid AF/CDG as much as I can. They are really inefficient. KLM is also very similar. I also avoid our very Air India. They can be really un-predictable. In fact my standing instruction to the travel desk is to avoid AI for my travels. Sorry, but that is a hard fact.

Last edited by 999 : 30th October 2013 at 21:06.
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Old 30th October 2013, 21:09   #45
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Default Re: Air France KLM ill-treats Indian passengers yet again

Somewhere i read that there is a UK based company which deals with complaints against these airlines. I think it just works like Akosha.com. Does anyone remember their name and website?
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