Newest Review: ... Edinburgh to Paris and Paris to Edinburgh but neither were the fault of Air France (Paris to Edinburgh delay was due to strikes in Paris)... more
I would have been better off had I walked home and swam the Channel.....seriously! ! NO star service!
Air France in general
Member Name: Kirst09
Air France in general
Advantages: The French now have a huge bill for clothes, I lost weight through stress and hunger
Disadvantages: 5 days extra stuck in France, no case and clothes for over a month!!!!
I am on Erasmus in the city that is Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France. For those of you unsure of where it is, it is on the east coast bordering with Germany. I was due to fly home the 17th December for Christmas after a super stressful semester at my Management School, combined with daily harassment from men of a certain nationality that I will not mention, the perils of being blonde, therefore I was super excited to escape La France ......Anyway, my mother came out to visit me for a week, but Strasbourg is notoriously difficult to get to and involves at least 2 flights from the UK - ridiculous I know!! We actually had 2 different routes back; heres was KLM Strasbourg - Schipol-Durham Tees Valley and mine was Strasbourg - Paris CDG - Newcastle with Air France.
So, that fateful Friday, we got a text as we were about to leave for the airport saying that flight AF-whatever was cancelled, but it was not mine and it was not hers so we just headed for the airport to print off our boarding passes (special machines at the airport), however my mother's would not print off; it turns out her flight had been cancelled but it was a completely different flight number to the one they had text us, which was inefficiency number one of about a million!! I had to board my plane, which I was then left sitting on for a good half an hour without explanation or assistance from any cabin crew, which worried me a little as I only had 1 hour between flights, but they were "supposed" to be at neighbouring gates in Terminal 2e, what a lie... we disembarked at 2G and had to wait 15 minutes for an Air France specific shuttle bus, so me and several other passengers completely missed the flight. We were at the gate 15 minutes before it was due to leave and boarding had finished 3 minutes earlier, yet all staff had abandoned the gate and the neighbouring were of no help. The amount of times I have sat on planes waiting for connecting passengers, it filled me with so much rage! We found a customer service desk and 3 of us were stood for over 3 hours talking to this one woman who found it impossible to book us all a hotel and tickets for the same flight the next day without great difficulty!! That was day one.......
Day 2: flight was cancelled!! I thought us Brits were bad; if snow lays properly, the world slows down somewhat, but if its a dusting, like icing sugar, no big deal. However, the French decided icing sugar snow was just too much and cancelled all UK and domestic flights. My mother joined me at the airport around midnight and we ended up sleeping on the cold marble floor as the taxi voucher that they had issued us for out hotel was invalid, the company was on strike that day, typical French culture....you might think I am coming down hard on the French here, but after 5 or so months of life here in France, strikes are a very regular and irritating occurrence. We had to queue 3/4 hours to change every airline ticket for every cancelled flight at the beginning and this time increased for some people as the number of frustrated passengers increased.
Day 3: I was starting to crack up a bit, my mother and I both had separate flights booked and neither of them left, the usual 3/4 hours queuing which happened at least twice that day. The airport closed for a few hours in the morning; some flights were plain cancelled, others were delayed and cancelled 8/9 hours later. Their system for doing what they did was disgusting, completely without logic and the flights disappeared from the screens without tannoy announcements. We got booked onto an Edinburgh flight that got cancelled literally 5 minutes after, the staff knew it was already going to be cancelled but they were booking passengers on to cut the queue down.Late in the evening we asked one of the staff after our 3rd queue of the day, if he could book us onto an Amsterdam flight, he said no because Amsterdam was "looking to be closed for the forseeable future". Lies again, of course, what else? 8 out of 12 flights left on time that day and the staff would not book people onto them!!
Day 4: having met various lovely people and created somewhat of an airport family, we had become professionals at the queue game, but we decided to ask to be booked onto every UK flight so as not to miss a trick, yet we wound up spending yet another night on the airport floor!! By this point they started to give us blankets and polystyrene mats, not those fancy beds which were apparently on the news, those were clearly for the stuck-up Parisian staff. We had lost all hope of ever getting out of there. One Air France staff member told us that whilst the airport was completely closed, there was no point in booking us tickets - would YOU want to say that to people who had just spend 4 days in your awful airport and 4 hours in another queue?? The conversation went like this.... "I am sorry, but zee airport is closed", me "How is it closed if planes are landing right behind you as we speak?" her "well, you see zee long haul planes must land", me "yes, I understand that, but can you please explain to me why some of YOUR smaller aircrafts are taking off just behind you there? If you turn around, you can see for yourself", her "oh, well maybe zee airport is opening again, I don't know", me "wow, you guys are knowledgeable". End of conversation. Staff who do not know a single thing about their jobs and their place of work, brilliant, this is why we were stuck there for 4 days already! Later that night, we rebooked an Amsterdam flight and a Manchester one for Tuesday 21st December. I have never prayed so much in my life as I did that week.
Day 5: OMG we had a plane that was leaving!!!!!! The French de-icer production company were about go to on strike so thank God!! It was seriously delayed, the fog was so thick it was unreal but we eventually took off then got a train home from Manchester. If it hadn't been raining I would have kissed the floor, really.
I arrived in the UK December 21st 2010. I left the UK January 2nd 2011 for Rome. I returned to Strasbourg January 10th 2011. My case was found January 9th 2011 and returned to the UK 5 days after, so I am still without luggage as they didn't bother to ring and check and I couldn't get through on their phonelines for love nor money. They wouldn't let us use showers at the airport, or have access to our cases. If EVERY single other airline managed to depart without an issue during this entire 5 day period, clearly just an issue with Air France.
Rude, ignorant, ill-informed staff, no shops to buy clean underwear or toiletries (but you can buy a Prada bag), 1 food voucher a day for a cheap sandwich, 2 if you were super lucky and all of the food was terrible quality. Air France was the only airline with an issue, had Easyjet not been fully booked we would have got home straightaway. No news about luggage until the day it was found. No apologies, no manners, no announcements for delayed or cancelled flights, combined with lying staff. The Parisian attitude is disgusting and I will avoid this airport at all costs. The amount that Air France charge, I would have expected better treatment for sure. It was actual hell. Never again and please do not do it to yourselves!!!
Summary: maybe I shouldn't watch The Terminal anytime soon......
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