I am Writing this after a lot of mail exchanges with Air France people and seeing a complete set of pathetic practises at Air France.
I has flown Air France flight from Delhi to San Francisco with my connecting flight at CDG airport , Paris on the 19th Dec 2010.
We landed at around 06:30 AM, 19 Dec 2010 and started to wait for our next flight. It started to snow and our worst fears came true. While we started to board the AF france officials asked us to wait as the flight stood cancelled, reason given – Bad weather, though it wasn’t snowing for the past 1 hour.
Anyways we took this in the right spirit and waited for some solution. An officer named “Gerard Pierre Vyes” a senior guy called out for Indians and Lebanese. I couldn’t understand this but went on with the flow.
He took us to a different counter and said, see iam trying to help you, i cannot guarantee you the VISA as you are on transit so you will have to spend the night at the terminal, although he promised us the stay at the business lounge as he said arrangements will be done. Believing him we started to wait for the night and took a stroll from 2 PM to 11 PM though the terminal.
When we reached the business lounge we were greeted by a bunch of racists and impolite staff saying we close the business lounge at 12 night and you cannot stay here. We were completely shocked as we were made to believe that our arrangements were done at Business Lounge, however when we showed the business lounge passes it read Flight out 11:59 PM . We were tricked into believing. We were a bunch of 7 people in which there were 3 Aged Men , i repeatedly fought saying don’t you even care for the Aged, and they were unwilling to even listen and shut the door on our face.
It was cold and we had changed the terminal to go back to the business lounge where we were not allowed , when we tried to come back to where there were convenient seats , the security said go to air france and get approval that you will stay at terminal. It was most shocking as we couldn’t believe that we just left this terminal half an hour back and now this.
Anyways we went back and slept on the floor in the terminal.
The Next morning when we came to our departure gate , we were shocked to see that all the whites who were flying on the same AF flight with us, had been granted the hotel overnight and just us Indians
left to suffer. It was the most annoying and shocking thing i had seen and experienced ever. In paris the racism is still pretty much alive. So much that they had the guts and tricks to fool us into believing that everyone was here. Whereas we talked to as many as 9 people (whites) who said to me” Why weren’t you granted hotel” i said because the color of my skin doesn’t suit a hotel in paris. And mind it none of us had visa(the transit) Neither the Whites Nor Us.
After that when we boarded the flight and came to SFO airport our luggage went missing for 6 days.
Can you ask for more???
When i reported this to Air France on 24 th December 2010 , asking for a refund due to racism and compensation due to luggage delay they shamelessly wrote a letter which i am quoting here.
So Dear Friends i would request All my fellow Indians to stop giving any business to AF from within India, no Indian should fly AF , simply boycott them and take another flight as they are big racists and iam appealing not because it happened to me alone , it happened to all 7 of us Indians , it has been happening to many Indians before and unless we stop giving them business they would never understand. or should we start treating french people with racism in India too ,,, No we are Indians
still consider our guests as our Gods. So we cant and wont do it.
But a sincere request to all my fellow Indians to save the pain and stop flying air france from now.
“Dear Mr Tyagi,
We write with reference to your email dated 24th December 2010 regarding your recent travel on board our lines. At the outset, we offer our sincere apologies for any discourtesy shown, as stated in your email.
We regret to learn that you were unable to travel as planned due to the cancellation of your flight. As an airline, we are acutely aware of the inconvenience delays in departure or arrival will cause. As such, we seek to prevent and limit such occurrences as much as possible.
Unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather conditions may however severely affect our operations and result in unavoidable delays. As you will appreciate, we will always put passenger safety above all other considerations.
We also regret that your transfer at Charles de Gaulle airport did not go smoothly, and that the service you received was not up to the high standard we aim to offer all our passengers. In situations where a customer’s connection is affected by delays, our staff at CDG airport endeavour to provide all possible assistance, making reservations on the next available flight and providing hotel accommodation subject to the French Police (Immigrations) granting the requiste temporary visa. As you will kindly appreciate, granting of such visa as per the French Law requirements, is completely at the discretion of the French Police, and the airline plays no role whatsoever in such a decisions, nor conditions at the airport where passengers often have to wait.
We sincerely regret to note that you believed that the treatment you received was in some way discriminatory, may we kindly mention that Air France staff are required and committed to uphold the strict criteria that the company lays down outlining that a passengers religious, racial, ethical or moral beliefs or background should not interfere with any aspect of the service to which he or she is entitled.
While we thank you for having taken the time to write to us, we would like to assure you that a copy of your email has been sent to our Head Office in Paris, for their information and review.
As regards your baggage, in case of any assistance, may we request you to be in contact with our local baggage service department at San Francisco airport.
The foregoing, however, does not in any way diminish the seriousness of the situation you faced, and while we understand well how inconvenient it would have been, we must respectfully decline your request for compensation due to the foregoing circumstances. We do hope this email provides an amicable understanding of our commitment and our limitations, and that you will give us the opportunity to serve your future travel needs.
Customer Relations Supervisor
AIR FRANCE / KLM
Building No. 8, Tower-C,
DLF Cyber City , Phase II,
Gurgaon – 122002
Fax: +91 (0124) 2567630“