BizFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:40 am

Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:23 am

Hello,

I had my first with Air France and I will try to let it be my last!

Normally I use KLM and sometimes also Lufthansa, but now Air France had the chance to enchant me, but they did all to drive me away:

Subject flight: Hamburg (HAM) to Vigo (VGO) via Paris (CDG) on 15th Dec. 2005 and return vice versa on 17th Dec.

It was amazing, the check-in was handled by kind, but slow working ground agents. From what I could see, I had the impression that things were just badly organized, i.e. too little staff and too many pax and little things like baggage labels missing at one station etc.

OK, then the boarding began almost punctually, but, had you ever seen such a slow boarding??? To fill up a B 737-??? it took them almost 30 minutes!
What I really thought to be unusual was that the steward/stewardess at the plane entrance wanted to see from every passenger the seat card. You didn´t show it, you weren´t let in - amazing...
This with the seat card repeated itself on all flights ( the ones between CDG and VGO being operated by Regional on behalf of Air France[with Emrbraer twin Jets]). S o it seems to be a rather stupid standing order from the management to all crews.

The crews were friendly, but they were not equipped to impress: On each flight (tourist class) the coffee served was instant coffee in plastic cups supplied by Nescafe. This was a real first for me up to now, even on real cheap flights, I have still been served real coffee!!!!!!!

Finally a remark about the Air France Business-Lounge in Terminal 2D:
On the 17th Dec., a Saturday morning, with the lounge pretty well filled up, the gent´s toilets were a catastrophe! All urinals closed, and all but one toilet stall not occupied, but actually also CLOSED!! I have never encountered something like this before and definitely not in the Northern Hemisphere!

I was, by the way, not the only one on Saturday who had his interesting experiences with Air France. While waiting for the delayed boarding to Hamburg (from CDG) for almost one hour, I met another businessman from Hamburg who had ome with an Air France flight from New York. He had flown Business class and told me, that despite having departed from a big city from an English speaking nation, there was to be had no one single English language newspaper! My comment: Vive la France!!!

Resume: Air France only when no other alternative is available!
I hope they are not going to pull KLM down, maybe I will have a chance to test this out pretty soon...

Kind regards from Buxtehude, 12 km from where the A318, 319 and 321 are assembled,

BizFlyer
Stay belted as long as you can!
 
zsx81
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2000 11:46 am

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:39 am

I am not a huge fan of Air France but your criticism seems a bit unfair. 30 mins is normal time for boarding a 737 sized jet, this is from my experience in the US. May be Europe its quicker. Also showing your boarding pass to the flight attendent is not unusual, in my opinion actually a good idea! Gate agents are busy. Someone can easily pass by and go onto the aircraft, and how hard is it to show your boarding pass to the flight attendent anyway?

[Edited 2006-01-08 01:41:20]
 
moparman
Posts: 388
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RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:54 pm

I have honestly say that I have never had any problems with Air France. I have flown them perhaps 6 or 7 times, and with a single exception, always in economy. In my view the AF FAs were very attentive, and extremely polite. Beverage service was prompt and pleasent. What more can you really ask for?
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
pilot kaz
Posts: 4591
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RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:00 pm

I Found AF quite I nice airline....

Seats Comfey
Friendly Staff
Clean Interiors (I kid you not  Wink)
Plus A Jumpseat..  Wink

I would fly them again, Not just for a good seat assignment but for their Service.
-
 
rpaillard
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:57 am

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:42 pm

Quoting BizFlyer (Thread starter):
On each flight (tourist class) the coffee served was instant coffee in plastic cups supplied by Nescafe

You are right with this one: this coffee is a shame!
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
CPH757
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:40 pm

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:38 pm

I find them a lot better than KLM in almost every aspect. Great comfort, good IFE (haven't flown the KL330/777), very polite and attentive crew and economy food is in the top end.

But the coffee thing is perhaps right. KLM is unbeatable on that anyway  Smile
Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
 
andz
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RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:57 pm

Quoting BizFlyer (Thread starter):
What I really thought to be unusual was that the steward/stewardess at the plane entrance wanted to see from every passenger the seat card. You didn´t show it, you weren´t let in - amazing...

You have got to be joking.... in over 30 years of flying I have NEVER been alllowed to progress past the door without showing my boarding pass!
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
AR1300
Posts: 1686
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:22 pm

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:39 am

Quoting BizFlyer (Thread starter):
Will I Use Air France Again?

I guess you wont...  Wink

send a mail complaining.I just did it with AA and got positive feedback, so give it a try.


Mike
You are now free to move about the cabin
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:25 am

Quoting Andz (Reply 6):
Quoting BizFlyer (Thread starter):
What I really thought to be unusual was that the steward/stewardess at the plane entrance wanted to see from every passenger the seat card. You didn´t show it, you weren´t let in - amazing...

You have got to be joking.... in over 30 years of flying I have NEVER been alllowed to progress past the door without showing my boarding pass!

Andz, is there a slight misunderstanding ?
What BizFlyer mentioned, was that he had to show his boarding pass a second time at the aircraft´s door after having gone through the usual check at the gate ...

Most craziest thing that happened to me in this respect was also with AF at CDG recently: Leaving for a AF-Regional flight from a bus gate at T2D, my boarding pass was run through the usual machine at the exit door (no need to show ID). Then 2 meters behind that door, I had to show my bp and my ID-card again - and there was absolutely no way that I could have arrived from any other gate.

My other "not-so-well" experiences with AF (and CDG) can be found in TR Crossing The Atlantic In Business Class: DL Vs. AF (by HT Dec 20 2005 in Trip Reports)
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
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aerorobnz
Posts: 7486
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RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:48 pm

Quoting BizFlyer (Thread starter):
What I really thought to be unusual was that the steward/stewardess at the plane entrance wanted to see from every passenger the seat card. You didn�t show it, you weren�t let in - amazing...

That is the one thing that the airline does that guarantees you don't get people on the wrong flight - it's far more valuable in terms of security than showing your passport a second time at the gate because BCR units will board a seat if it hasn't already been boarded, even if it is for a different flight. Out of the things to complain about that is the one thing that seems silly to complain about. Also it allows the Flight Attendents to make a mental map of the cabin names/faces etc for emergencies and suchlike. It was this action that made heros of the FAs that were on the 4 flights of 11 September 2001 . Without that information they gained from the passes at the time of boarding the door of the aircraft we would never have known which passengers were the terrorists....
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:28 pm

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 9):
because BCR units will board a seat if it hasn't already been boarded, even if it is for a different flight.

Are you sure about this ?
I´ve experienced that bp-readers "cry foul" if a bp for a different flight (actually: continuation flight) was inserted ...

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 9):
It was this action that made heros of the FAs that were on the 4 flights of 11 September 2001 . Without that information they gained from the passes at the time of boarding the door of the aircraft we would never have known which passengers were the terrorists....

Might be, but on the instance I described in reply #8, the second check was not performed by a F/A but by AF ground staff.

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 9):
Also it allows the Flight Attendents to make a mental map of the cabin names/faces etc for emergencies and suchlike.

With all respect to the job F/A´s are doing, I highly doubt that on shorthaul flights F/A´s will be able to completely memorize the information you mentioned. They see new faces every 90 minutes or so, and refersh their a/c´s load several times during their shift.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
CO7e7
Posts: 2686
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:39 pm

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:43 pm

Quoting Moparman (Reply 2):
I have honestly say that I have never had any problems with Air France

Same here. I flown AF over 10 times and never had a problem!

Quoting BizFlyer (Thread starter):
What I really thought to be unusual was that the steward/stewardess at the plane entrance wanted to see from every passenger the seat card. You didn´t show it, you weren´t let in - amazing...

This happened to me on the ORD-CDG flight on an A340. But that was the only time and probably because it was a widebody!

Does anyone know why they do this on smaller Jets ?(i.e 737, A320... etc..)
 
BizFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:40 am

RE: Will I Use Air France Again?

Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:13 am

Hello from Buxtehude,

thanks for all the replies.

OK, there seem to be different experiences for each of us and maybe I just had drawn the short stick...

But nevertheless I want to make a few things clear, which I believe might have been misunderstood from my original posting:

Boarding-pass:
I agree about the safety-concerns of some people and also think that the ground-agents, who do the boarding at the gate, should be real sharp bloodhounds past whom nobody passes who isn´t supposed to go there.
BUT, having passed them, you can only go through to the bus which takes you to the plane waiting on the apron or through the walkway to the plane.
Usually, when you enter the plane, you have already all hands full: Your jacket or coat, your briefcase and usually you might even want to grab a paper or magazine, if they are offered at the entrance of the plane.
So, in fact you are already "having all hands full to do"...
Taking further into account that most travelers on scheduled flights are not traveling for the first time and are not a bunch of idiots, the flight-attendants (f/a) should just smile and say hello.
Any passenger wanting to know something will ask the f/a and any passenger straying off to the wrong seat, will usually be corrected by his fellow travelers.

"Mental picture" of the seating-plan:
I agree, that this is probably only applicable on long distance flights.
In any case, each flight attendant has a list, where each and any passenger is listed with his respective seat-number.
On long-distance-flights with KLM (very best experiences so far!!!) you are usually asked for your seat card in business-class, when your overcoat or your jacket is being hung into the wardrobe. Then the seat card is being stuck to your coathanger just to identify the correct coat/jacket for the f/a short before disembarkation.

Duration of boarding:
Assuming that there are not too many "traffic jams" (usually there are not because either the pax know what kind of luggage to take on board or the ground-agents will already have taken care of that), you can expect that a full B737-500 (Air France seating-capacity is 112 pax) can be boarded within less than 20 minutes. Try it out: 10 seconds per passenger is quite a bit of time. A good bet is to organize the boarding (announcement: rows 17 - 24 boarding now, rows 9 - 16 boarding now etc.). Some airlines do this.

Finally: I said this in my starter and I repeat it now: Both the ground staff and the f/a´s were friendly! But this doesn´t change my view on how the job on hand was performed.
I also want to make it quite clear, that I am very well aware of the fact, that whatever each f/a or ground staff is doing, they only do within the rules and possibilities given to them by their employer.

Best regards,

BizFlyer
Stay belted as long as you can!

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