Air France – 41 hours from Paris to Mumbai

And we thought that it is just another gentle service from one of the G8 nations. It was the news which caught my attention when I woke up today morning err…afternoon 😀

Air France took total of 41 hours from Paris to Mumbai and its passengers had so many horrible experiences to talk about. It started just after 30 minutes of passengers being asked to go for boarding that they were told about delay in flight. It was at 1000. The there were another periodical announcements for delays. On airport, passengers were made to pay for food. And Indian passengers were asked to behave by Indian AF ground staffer. Passengers were asked to learn french language if they wanted support rom customer representative. And after 4.5 hours of delay, flight took off at 1400 on July 15.

Only after 3 hours of taking off, flight was to took down again and travelers were put into buses, asked to stand in queues for hours. It was at 0300, when those with Schenzen visa were provided with accommodation at a hotel and rest were made to wait for 1 more hour. Airline people were seen shouting for food and milk at airport – Is this the airline Air France boasts of being the world class. As per director of Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD K S Subramanium, it took him 41 hours to reach Mumbai from Paris when he finally landed at 0500 after taking Lufthansa flight. Is this much responsible a national air service can be?
There was another horrible exp of one of our colleague who took flight from Delhi to US in feb using same airline. So it is not the first time, I m hearing about this great national air service of France. In my view, IA is far better in such cases.
The news –

Jet lag: Paris to Mumbai in 41 hours

For the 130 passengers who arrived at the Mumbai airport on Monday from Paris after a 41-hour journey that should have taken nine hours, it was a harrowing ordeal. They claimed the airline, Air France, kept them standing in queues for hours during a delay, did not bother to provide accommodation, food or water and, worse, insulted them when they complained.
The ordeal for passengers of Paris-Mumbai flight AF 134 began at around 9.30 am (local time) on July 15 when, 30 minutes after asking the passengers to queue up for boarding, they were told the flight would be delayed. Thirty minutes later, another announcement of further delay was made. Then there was no word. “At 11.30 am, some passengers asked the airline customer representative for the status of the flight. She responded by saying if we didn’t understand, then we should learn their language,’’ said Subramanium.
The next announcement said food would be available at a corner store. They went there to be told that they would have to either pay for it or else wait for 30 minutes. “When we reported the matter to an Air France team, they told us to wait till we get the food, or else pay for it,’’ said Subramanium. “In fact, the commander requested the ground staff to provide food to some senior citizens who were diabetic. But the ground staff did not budge,’’ he added.
To add to the passengers’ woes, an Indian Air France ground staffer started shouting that Indians need to behave when they come out of the country. At that point, the passengers got agitated and there were angry protests. When the passengers asked for claim forms to sue the airline, the ground staff refused. Then suddenly there was an announcement to board.

The flight took off at 1400 hours, only to turn back after three hours of flying, due to a technical snag. “We were then packed into a bus and taken to a lounge,’’ Subramanium said. The passengers were asked to stand in two queues, one for those with a Schenzen visa and one for others. “We had to stand in queue again for hours together with no information on accommodation,’’ Subramanium said. Finally at 3 am those who had a Schenzen visa and had to catch a flight at 6 am were given hotel accommodation. One Korean passenger shouted for food for his family and milk for his child, but no one bothered,’’ he said, adding it was 4 am by the time the passengers were taken to their hotel rooms. In the hotel, they got sliced carrots and a salad. The ordeal ended at 7 am, when passengers were accommodated on other airlines.
“I boarded a Lufthansa Paris-Frankfurt-Mumbai flight and reached here at 5 am on Sunday, almost 41 hours after I had reached the Paris airport,’’ said Subramanium.

TOI gave 3 stars to all the movies released this Friday – thats called the justice 😉 …I am loosing my interest in TOI ratings…slowly.

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