Don’t fly Air France to and from Yerevan
I climbed another flight of metal stairs to board, only to find that I was assigned a window seat. I used to relish these seats since I could observe the sky and earth miles below to my heart’s content, so long as there was daylight of course. But the Airbus model we boarded, the A330, did not give me much head or elbow room, since the plane is designed in such a way where you virtually have no possibility of comfortably resting your shoulder near the window unless you are under 5 ft. 8 inches in height. To top it off, there was a strange, fixed metal box underneath the seat in front of me, which prevented me from soundly placing my European-size 45 feet on the floor without them cramping up two hours into the flight. The A330 is big enough to allow ample opportunities to walk around and stretch. I was frantically looking for free aisle seats during those strolls through the cabin but to no avail. But at least the French films they offered were entertaining, and they distracted me from my sardine can-like discomfort. The 350 ml bottle of
The early arrival at
The following day, July 14, after making the first of 20 calls to the Air France lost luggage hotline, which operates from
On Sunday, July 16, most of the day was spent repeatedly calling the hotline, twice by myself and about 15 times by my mother, who has more patience than I do when agitatedly speaking on the phone. At one point my father took the receiver and started speaking in French with “Regie,” the Air France service representative answering most of our calls and who couldn’t seem to understand what we wanted of him. It took him a few hours to realize that we really wanted my suitcase delivered, immediately, seeing as I was due to fly to California the following day and was wearing old clothes I happened to find around the house in the meantime. During the day my grandmother and uncle came over for shish kebab, and by the time they left around 8:00 pm the bag still did not arrive. Then a close friend of mine, who had just moved back to the
The day after I arrived at the work office in California, using my mother’s suitcase to haul my stuff, I wrote and faxed a letter to Air France as part of a claim process customers are required to follow who have had lost or damaged baggage. The following are excerpts from that letter:
“In reference to claim number BOSAF12874, my luggage was lost, then recovered but stored in an undisclosed storage facility at
for over two days, although my home, the delivery address for the found item, is located only 15 miles away. When it was finally delivered at approximately 12:00 am on July 17, I immediately noticed that the suitcase had been damaged well beyond repair, with a large gaping hole in the lower right corner, and another hole on the reverse side, indicating that some sort of device had possibly punctured straight through the suitcase. … Logan International Airport
“Please let me know how Air
expects to address this issue regarding my initially lost, then severely damaged returned baggage. The entire post-flight service provided to me was inadequate and unacceptable, particularly the lackadaisical response to my claim and the clear absence of urgency regarding my situation. To make matters worse, the person who finally delivered my baggage from France at an inconvenient, late hour seemed to have been intoxicated.” Logan Airport
I have yet to hear a response from Air
Rick from TACentral.com has posted his own horror story about another Air France lost luggage fiasco. Here’s an excerpt I rather liked:
“So who delivered my bags?” I said.
“You know what? There are people on these flights whose bags you lost for whom this is the first time they have come to
, and this is their first experience in the country. This is terrible.” Armenia
“Well you are entitled to your opinion.”
“Opinion?? This is a fact! Your company failed to put the bags on board.”
I got nowhere, I was getting nowhere else even faster. Finally I told her who I was, and that I wrote TourArmenia, and had one of the largest readerships online about
, 124,000 people each month. And I had to write about my experience and warn people off AF until they got their act together. To which she replied, “Well you can write this if you want but I don’t think it will have much influence.” Armenia
She had never seen the web site, so I gave her the URL. Maybe she took the time to see it. I doubt it. And she may be very right in her opinion, as the airlines squeeze more and more people on fewer flights, but if ever a person is serving to harm the reputation of AF, it is this one.
Great stuff. You can read the full article here.