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Air France? Dont Like Them....  
User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 61
Posted (13 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2223 times:

Ok, im going to sound off about AF. Sorry.

Air France lost an A340-200 to a fire in Paris, Concorde in 2000, two 747-200's (freighters) i think both in india, and they nearly became the first airline to lose a next generation 747 (was that in india too?) either way, not a very good safety record is it? considering they are supposed to be one of the top airlines in the world, and a very prestigious flag carrier....
! I mean you could fly Virgin or BA or Qantas or Cathay and know that you would be safer, so why do people still choose to fly AF? Ive flown Air France and their service was rude and standoffish as soon as they saw i was english anyway, so i dont like them for that...I flew LHR - CDG, and the flight was so bad i demanded a refund for the rude and arrogant service, and took the TGV to Marseilles instead (which was very nice )
What are your thoughts on this?
I know the safety facts may not be 100% accurate, as i havent had the chance to check them on the airdisaster site, but the post is based on the personal view. Whenever i think Air France i think of a safety record, a laissez faire attitude to passenger service and a dont care/get lost attitutde to English people. Its a bit sad really....Why do the french hate us so much? I mean they wont eat our beef under the stupid pretence of being worried about CJD, but shovel their own beef down their throats with even greater gusto. When i worked for P&O Portsmouth, the British registered ship had a crew of 180 odd, and some twenty odd were French, as they applied for the jobs, and were given the same chance as the British applicants (we had south africans, aussies, scots, finns, and a german as i recall). But as soon as a British person applied for a job with French ferry company Brittany, the French Seamens union went on strike immediately, and the Brit had to be got rid of. I just think its all a bit sad really. We are all part of this Euro thing together so why do they not like us? I dont mind french people actaully, and find them to be nice on the whole. I speak french and whenever i do, the french person im speaking to thinks im scum because my french isnt perfect. But they wont speak english, or even make an effort, as with the Air France staff when i flew with them. They just plain didnt like us, and ignored us. The french people on the floght got all the smiles and greetings, but the english didnt. Thats all very well, but when French or Germans or anyone else fly BA, ive never seen them get treated with anything other than utter respect and smiling graciousness indicative of our great and illustrious flag carrier... We treat them the same, and it would be highly unprofessional to do anything else, but Brits get a real bummer deal on Air France. Im not being nationalistic, becasue i regularly fly with Lufthansa, Swissair (sob sob) SAS, etc, and am always treated very well on these airlines. It seems that on Air France i get treated as a second class citizen, despite the business class ticket! I wouldnt mind if i was english but i'm not! Im welsh! Its not like i was a lagered up England football fan (it was a midweek flight :>)Im not being xenophobic, and please dont flame me for this, because i'd just like to know if anyone else has noticed it, or am i just being over sensitive?

I have flown long haul once with them, from Paris CDG to EWR on an A340, and the service was the same, if not worse, as it was a much longer flight, and i was in the cheap seats. I wasnt asked "Du Poulet ou Le Bouef?" The FA just slapped the chicken down in front of me. I was goign to complain, but then realised asking for the beef was a bit of a joke coming from a Brit! The FA's were all upturned lips, and disdainful scowls. I vowed not to fly them again, and made a special effort to sleep all through the return flight so i didnt have to listen to it. They are nice as pie to the french passengers, and i even saw a few second helpings of food given out, with a smile, though when i asked for a vodka and tonic she was like "Tonic?" Come on. You are a Flight Attendant. Its not bloody rocket science is it?
When i asked for a newspaper she said, no and walked off. I followed her and asked her why not, and she said that they only had Du Monde, and that i wouldnt like it.
THAT was really insulting. I am a 22 year old trainee Shipping Underwriter-i was wearing a suit, and she should not speak to me like that! I aksed for it anyway, and she started laughing. I took the paper and retired to my seat. The seat wasnt bad, and the plane was clean. Food was passable but not a patch on UK or US carriers across the pond (BA has the best economy class food in my experience though United are pretty close).

So, my grouch over, i would like to ask, does anyone else from the UK find AF patronising, rude, arrogant, standoffish and purposely unhelpful? Ive flown Corsair and they were OK: it just seems to be AF.

Let me know guys....


PS: May i just address any French Users of the forum?
This is not me having a go at you guys, and i like french people ok, its my gripe at AF and not a jingoistic swipe at you, our continental cousins, ok? Its nothing personal, so please dont take it the wrong way, ok?


What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSteman From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 1412 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 day ago) and read 2020 times:

I am Italian and we usually complain for the way other Countries treat us but all the times I went to France and all the times I flew with Air France I had a very good experience.
What made me feel good is that I felt like at home, even if I don't speak French and I had to express myself in English with F/A and ground personnel.
I really like Air France, by far my favourite carrier.
But I can imagine that you had different and bad experiences with them as they are human just like everybody else.
They also used to be a lot worse than now, when it was the typical State owned company.

Anyway Chris, we live in a period of high competiotion in air travel, so you don't need to fly AF anymore to go anywhere.



User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 61
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 day ago) and read 1998 times:

Thanks mate. Yeah, well BA will do me nicely : )
I guess i just got an anti-Brit crew for the two flights. Oh well.


What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 day ago) and read 1991 times:

I'm English and have had mixed experiences. I have found that the airline itself has lost my bags before, but also AF has acted courteously to me when I had a major baggage excess and the chap let me off a fine which was nice.

Seeing things from a French point of view (my Dad is English and my Mum is French) I think you need to understand that the Brits come across as being arrogant (as do the Americans). Also, the French are very expressive, so I think there are certain cultural clashes in that respect and some misunderstandings. I certainly haven't been mistreated by AF on account of my British passport - if this was the case I am sure AF management would take it seriously as the whole industry is desperate for business.

I think you'll find that you can get bad service on any airline if you are unlucky.

However, the longhaul you spoke about does seem to be terrible service - if I were you I would have drafted a letter of complaint.

I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 61
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 day ago) and read 1959 times:

there really didnt seem to be a great deal of point: i mean who was i goign to complain to? The management would have thrown it in the bin as a waste of paper from some whinging brit, if the in-flight attitude was anything to go by...

But, aside from that, you make a good argument for me being a tad oversensitive perhaps, and maybe i can come across as arrogant, as im used to BA, and the way they do business,a nd their service so i should not interpret different style as rudeness. Oh well. Yes the french are expressive, but i always seem to be the unfortunate soul who get expressed at!


What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineGaut From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 344 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (13 years 23 hours ago) and read 1919 times:


This site don't make me laugh!


«Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.»
User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (13 years 23 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

I've flown Air France from Singapore to Paris, vv, twice. A domestic flight in France, and an inter-Europe flight from CDG to Rome and Venice to CDG.

I found them to be rather good, especially on the transcontinental SIN-CDG sector. Professional service, with great inflight entertainment (8 channels of touchscreen PTVs)

You get a choice of meals for Dinner, but not for breakfast.

I mean, I prefer SQ but for a European airline, Air France is certainly the best I've taken. Beats BA anytime. And they offer great fares ex SIN. like SGD999 to Paris. (That's USD550)

perhaps i look Asian which is why they weren't rude to me. In fact, all of France was rather polite to my family and I! When we attempted to speak French, the counter staff or whoever would automatically go "Do you speak English?" And we would be so gratified.

Perhaps if we put on our finest British accents and spoke to them they would just shoot back in their finest French.

User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1310 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (13 years 22 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Hi !
As a French, I know why we hate English people. English people burnt Jeanne d'Arc !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Acting devilish
Just kidding...  Smokin cool
Don't worry, we French don't hate English. Some French don't like English people as some English people don't like French people. I've been in England (Oxford) with my school once. I've been welcomed very nicely, but I have friends who have been welcomed in a very, very rude way...
I'd really like to change your minds about French people, but I don't know how to do so. OK, we are very arrogant, we know that, but we believe you are very arrogant too. I think sometimes there is a huge misunderstanding between English people and us (or the whole world and us). I've heard many people insultingus in many forums or chats, but these people never talked to a French, nor been in France. It's quite sad. Trust me, we're not so bad, we don't eat frogs, we have showers everyday... I'd really, really like to change your minds about us, and I feel really sorry and saddened if you had bad experiences with French people. We're not all like this, most of us respect other people, and respect foreigners. I hope one day you'll realized we're not so bad  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
About your bad experiences with Air France, I feel sorry too. AF, like all other airlines, can be very bad. You really had no luck.
About French people not making efforts for speaking Engkish: it's a well-known fact, and this is true. Most of French people don't speak other languages fluently. As you can see, although I'm the best at English in my class, my English is not good. I've seen many Dutch, Belgian, or Italian people as old as me who speak English much better than me. I make efforts everyday in these forums, to try to understand or to write, but I don't know if I would speak English with English people. Our English accent is certainly the worst in the whole world... Crying
I hope one day French people will show you we can be very nice people...  Smile



User currently offlineAA717driver From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1566 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (13 years 22 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

I am an American...and everybody hates us! Big grin

Seriously, when I run into a rude person in Paris, I assume they are just rude. The girl who worked in the patisserie down from the Concorde Lafayette was one of the nicest people I have met. Goodness knows we have our share of rude people here. People are people.TC

FL450, M.85
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 22 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

I`ve flown on AF the routes DUS-CDG-SFO and LAX-CDG-DUS in June/July 2000. In my opinion they are a quite good airline. The food was ok and the service also. The only bad thing was that my connecting flight to DUS was cancelled on my way back home. As I arrived in DUS with 8 or 9 hours delay I`ve recognised that my luggage get lost in CDG but they delivered it to my apartment one day later.

On March, 28 I`m going to fly with AF from DUS to VIE via CDG in L`espace Class (Business). I`m looking really forward to that flight.


User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 22 hours ago) and read 1823 times:

L'espace from IAH-CDG-IAH....777 substitution on way over...340 on the way back.

C'est magnifique!

User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2617 posts, RR: 57
Reply 11, posted (13 years 22 hours ago) and read 1883 times:
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I've only flown Air France once, last summer on a flight from Miami to Paris CDG. I'd heard all the Air France stories of lost luggage and surly service and was prepared for the worst!

On boarding the B747-200, it looked to have been recently refurbished, and was in excellent condition - the only major fault I found was that Air France had not replaced the outer sets of overhead lockers with larger units unlike most other major carriers operating the B747-200. This meant some passengers had large bags removed at the aircraft door and placed in the hold, which they were clearly not happy about, but I travel light and it in no way affected me.

I the legroom and seat comfort were fine, and certainly much better than that on the Delta 777 which I travelled on my outward journey.

The cabin crew were very attractive, and I found them quite charming and friendly. I certainly got no impression of the second-class treatment of non-french speakers that is often a criticism of Air France service. Again all the Air France staff I encountered were far more pleasant than the blank-faced Delta cabin crews and very surly CSAs in Atlanta on my oubound flight.

The main meal was good, as it was aboard Delta, but the continental breakfast was poor, which surprised me for a French airline, not a croissant in sight! However one place where Air France excelled was the drinks service, free champagne, but more importantly throught the night flight there were passes through the cabin every hour with water for those who were awake, in stark contrast to Delta where the crew were almost totally absent from the cabin between services and there was no water service throughout the 8 hour MAN-ATL flight.

The Delta B767-400 that I flew ATL-MIA on had the newer seats meaning it had noticeably more legroom than the long-haul 777, and the annoying controls were also better placed!!! The crew were friendlier on this flight than on the MAN-ATL leg too, however I'm not a fan of food being passed out in paper bags on the ground which you then have to find somewhere to save until you want to eat it  Big grin

Best flight of the whole trip was the 55 minute CDG-MAN hop aboard a British Airways B737-500. Very comfortable leather seats throughout, excellent friendly service and a hot breakfast for everyone on board! A hot meal on a flight under 1 hour is just something you won't get in the USA...

In all flying Air France was a very pleasant experience, and one which I would definately repeat, however I don't particularly want to fly with Delta again - there are enough good airlines out there that I don't need to give money to mediocre ones who appear to regard customer service as an inconvenience.

I'm rambling now, so I'll shut up!


User currently offlineAirFranceJFK From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1826 times:

Seems like CHRISBA777ER has got a vendetta against France, more than he does with AF. Firstly, I think if you check the records of BA, you will find that they have had way more incidents than AF. Secondly, you cannot compare the safety record of AF, an airline with hundreds of aircraft who has been around for over 60 years, to an airliine with a handful of aircraft, such a VS, which only goes back to the early 1980's.

As for the problem with english on board flights, it has been my experience, flying on long haul and short haul AF flights that all flight attendants speak some amount of english. Working at JFK, I've never come accross a flight attendant who doesnt speak English. However, what I have noticed is that they will address you in French first. This happened to me on several flights, however when I responded back in English (even though I do speak French), the FA addressed me in English, for the duration of the flights. So, maybe if you swallowed some of your hatred for the French, and actually talked to them, maybe then you'd realize they do speak English when required. I mean, come on, its Air France, not BA, and the official language of France is French, the last time I checked.

As for service, well I'm not even going to waste time on that one. AF has continually come in for praise for its inflight and ground service. I do agree that the baggage issue is an problem that needs to be ironed out, however beyond that, AF has proven itself to be a world class airline.

Oh yeah, I'm not French, so don't even think about hitting me with that French bias crap.

User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1812 times:


Wilst aI agree with some of what you say - AF has a much worse safety record than BA.

I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1809 times:

150.000 miles with Air France both as a rev and nonrev and not a single complain. Absolutely terrific airline.
And free Champagne in coach...who else is offering you that?  Big thumbs up
I would love to work for that airline.

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1799 times:

SQ also offer free champagne in coach.

Sorry, I just wanted to point that out!  Big thumbs up

I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1787 times:

I never received Champagne on SQ?! Is that new?

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
User currently offlineVermeer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 447 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1770 times:

a little answer for 00-AOG,

as far as I know Singapore offers Laurent Perrier champagne to its guests in coach!!


User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (13 years 21 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

Even if I don't know one word of French (and as you can see also my English is not good) I always found very polite F/A on board of French airlines and also the ground staff in CDG were very friendly.

User currently offlineRoyalDutch From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 917 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (13 years 20 hours ago) and read 1741 times:

As far as france as a natiopn is concerned, i like it. Ive spent several weeks in Macon, a week in a small town across the border from Geneva, a few days in Normandy, and a few in Paris. It is a beautiful country, and in general, the people are quite friendly (even to us Americans  Big grin). When it comes to the aviation industry, however, I try to stay as far away form France as possible. Mainly because of a depleted work-ethic, which brings about perpetual strikes, and Charles De Gaulle Airport, which seems to be a place that planes and luggage enter and never emerge from. Now, you can say that no major airport is completely efficient, but I have never experienced or heard horror stories from places like Frankfurt or Amsterdam like I have from CDG. I know improvements are in progress, but for now I'll stick to LH and KL.

-RoyalDutch  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineAfboy From France, joined Jun 2001, 38 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (13 years 19 hours ago) and read 1710 times:

I have had some experiences with airlines in Europe such as Sabena, Swissair, British Airways, Alitalia and they were all nice.
But I do have to say that AF is my favourite airline. Although their service is equal or maybe worse than the other airlines, they just have something more.
Splendid F/As, great annoucements, great aircrafts, nice ads...
About English speaking, as a French high school student, I can tell that most of my classmates hate English learning other languages. It means that they wont like to speak English.


Flown: SF3, CRJ,CR7, AT7,E120,E145,146,RJ85,RJ100, F100, B727,732,733,734,735,736,772,A300,318, 319,320,321,343, M83, DC
User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (13 years 19 hours ago) and read 1700 times:

Canadian charter airline Royal Airlines also had free champagne, and there was no business or first class. In fact, all alcoholic beverages were free on Royal. But alas, they are gone now, so you better fly Air France, which does have excellent service!

"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (13 years 19 hours ago) and read 1693 times:


Very nice comments/observations. And your English is impeccable, way better than many other French people I know.

I spent 9 months in Toulouse, France last year as part of my studies and I know very well how nice French people are! (My host parents, fellow classmates who are now friends...)

As for AF as an airline, hey, not every experience on every airline is going to be great. For example, I try to fly Continental as often as I can and there are some flights that are better than others. It's just a fact of life. ("C'est la vie quoi" to be completely cliche.)

The test of this French/English rivalry was when the last flight from TLS-LHR was cancelled. Believe it or not, AF handled the situation very well, accomodated all passengers in the nearby Sofitel (a 4-star hotel at that) and provided dinner. THe airline escorted all pax back to the check-in counters and took care of everything. While there were a mix of English/French/other nationalities, everyone was treated pretty well, much to my surprise.

Bonjour Chef!
User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1310 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1669 times:

Thank you very much for the compliments Flpuck6  Smile
I'm glad to hear you've had good times in France. I know it can be difficult to understand how the life "works" in other countries. It needs some time, but then, ENJOY !  Laugh out loud Now, I just hope we'll never disappoint you.  Smile
About AF, you may have been very lucky, contrary to CHRISBA777ER....

User currently offlineOdiE From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1648 times:

OK...I am flying with Air France in 3 weeks time! Should I be worried about my luggages? I haven't flown before on Air France. As a bonus, I will be flying with AF's partner, Alitalia as well on one of the flight segments!

Is 45 minutes transfer time in CDG enough? I need to get from Terminal 2F to Terminal 2D I think!

25 Ual777contrail : i have flown into cdg, iwas on united. no way would i ever fly into france on af. the french are very rude and i wouldnt spend a dime in france. if yo
26 Ual777contrail : i have flown into cdg, iwas on united. no way would i ever fly into france on af. the french are very rude and i wouldnt spend a dime in france. if yo
27 Ironminds : See, here's what gets me riled up about France - I post a message on this board making a little crack about the French and then saying that in my pers
28 Ap7570 : Bonjour, I am also French, it is true that the French are not crazy about Americans but overall AF is my favorite airline. The staff is usualy nice (
29 Mah4546 : Crosswind, in last summer, do you mean summer of 2001 or summer 2000? Because last summer AF used 744s and 343s to MIA, no 742s.
30 Post contains links and images Ap7570 : Click for large versionPhoto © Bernard CHARLES Thirty three years ago Concorde 001 took it maiden flight after much bad weather, can you beleive
31 Post contains links and images Ap7570 : Click for large versionPhoto © Bernard CHARLES Thirty three years ago Concorde 001 took it maiden flight after much bad weather, can you beleive
32 Crosswind : Mah4546, It was May 2001. The flight was scheduled to be a B747-400, but on the day it was operated by a B747-200M, F-BPVX. I didn't mind, I enjoy the
33 CHRISBA777ER : Ok i should clear a few things up.
34 CHRISBA777ER : JFK - I think you are out of order personally. I purposely stated at the bottom of the post that i DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FRENCH PEOPLE!!! Yet in
35 F+ Rouge : AF: Simply the best. I have accumulated 170.000 miles with them during the last calendar year and I do not have a single complaint. On the contrary, t
36 RickB : Have to disagree - AF: simply the worst is more apt (ground staff anyway) Flown a number of times with AF and each time I swear blind I will never do
37 Ts-ior : In March 1996,i flew an AIR FRANCE A300 to Paris-Orly. I was forced to fly AF as it was a package flight ! The flight was scheduled to leave Tunis at
38 Leftseat86 : Although I agree that AF is lacking in the entertainment department, and some FA's dont speak fluent English, I think the airline has an excellent saf
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