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Old Apr 12, 12, 4:36 pm   #1
 
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Will they put you on an earlier connection if available seats?

Just curious, I'm about to book a flight through CDG and my layover is 7 hours - to get the cheapest flight. Will AF put you on an earlier connection if there is a seat available? and for free?
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Old Apr 12, 12, 4:47 pm   #2
 
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalX View Post
Will AF put you on an earlier connection if there is a seat available? and for free?
According to my experience, it may pay to ask, but that's quite unlikely.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 12:22 am   #3
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Compared to the US where airlines may be flexible with changing your flight if there is space on an earlier flight in Europe it is unlikely that it will happen unless you have a flexible ticket or your original flight is overbooked.

That said, I would always ask them to see if space is available.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 1:13 am   #4
 
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As mentioned above, depends on your original flight and so forth.
As you mention you get a "cheaper ticket" by doing it this way, I assume your ticket is non-flexible and you are therefore taking a gamble, which is influenced by the following (in this order):
- Mood and assistance level of check-in assistant
- Overbooked original flight
- Availability on new flight
- Status with their FF Program

Have tried to be succesful on swapping flights without problems, and I have tried being asked for 100 GBP for a 1 hour swap - even though there was plenty of seats left and I am Plat. member. So in my view it heavily depends on the staff you speak with.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 1:42 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banko View Post
........therefore taking a gamble, which is influenced by the following (in this order):
- Mood and assistance level of check-in assistant
- Overbooked original flight
- Availability on new flight
- Status with their FF Program
And

- have only hand luggage; no checked-in luggage allowed (this of course does not apply if the original flight is overbooked and they need to offload some pax to other flights).
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Old Apr 13, 12, 3:19 am   #6
 
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You can always ask, but in my experience it is more difficult nowadays than 2-3 years back. Status does not really count a lot with AF ...
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Old Apr 13, 12, 4:04 am   #7
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With AF I would say that it almost fully dependent on the mood of the people you deal with and if there is a rational supervisor nearby. Two examples (both with hand luggage only):

Incoming flight was early and I had an hour and a half to catch the earlier flight on discounted business ticket, showed up at gate, quickly explained the situation, agent punched keys for a minute and handed me boarding pass with barely a word said.

Another time on a FULL WHACK Biz ticket, incoming flight ontime, but earlier CDG-JFK flight delayed by an hour. Show up at gate and explain situation and told, "Impossible biz is full". I ask how could they possibly know if everyone had boarded as they had not started boarding yet. I say that I will wait (afterall I had 5 hours until my flight). 45 minutes later and half an hour before the flight am approached by an AF person asking why I am not boarding. I explain the situation and am told again, "Impossible". I say that I'll wait, the guy is uncomfortable with that.

15 minutes before flight time a supervisor comes over and checks with the staff as to how things are going. She asks in France why I have not boarded. before the guy can answer, I jump in and explain my situation. She glares at the guy and mutters, "LAZY ......." at him (In French). He nervously fumbles with the computer and hands me a boarding pass. I discovered that there were THIRTY FIVE empty Biz seats on the flight, and asked the Purser...they were fully catered for all seats (before anyone jumps to that conclusion). I should also note that I was flying the flight as a AF Platinum and on a full J ticket with carry on only baggage if i did not mention it before!
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Old Apr 13, 12, 10:41 pm   #8
 
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I decided to book a trip that didn't rely on this. My experience is that europe sucks for applying simple common sense "lets help you out with something that doesn't cost us anything" situations. It seems you all have similar situations. Rules!
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Old Apr 14, 12, 5:13 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfly View Post
She glares at the guy and mutters, "LAZY ......." at him (In French).
And I hope he got fired on the spot. But this being CDG and AF, I doubt it...
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Old Apr 14, 12, 9:16 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfly View Post
She glares at the guy and mutters, "LAZY ......." at him (In French).
"Feignasse..." ?
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Old Apr 15, 12, 7:13 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Will AF put you on an earlier connection if there is a seat available
Several answers for me.
1) Last month at LCY going to CDG via AMS, I have modified my first flight to AMS, but I could not the second from AMS to CDG, KLM asking 80€ for modifying, as mentioned in the rules...
2) On domestic flight, with 3 collegues and very cheap tickets, showing my Platinum card we all have taken earlier flight.

Last edited by delanotre; Apr 15, 12 at 7:35 am.. Reason: precision
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Old Apr 15, 12, 8:16 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delanotre View Post
Several answers for me.

2) On domestic flight, with 3 collegues and very cheap tickets, showing my Platinum card we all have taken earlier flight.
Do you mean AF shuttle flights? In the past couple of years, any attempt to change flights has been non-productive, whatever the fare. The check-in agent would not do it, so have to go to ticketing and often long lines. There, rules are rules, even for Plat, so have to pay fare differential if any. And at the last minute they have often closed most fare buckets.
It used to be a great advantage of AF on domestic flights, but they have made it very painful even for changeable fares (which I always book). it probably means that flights are easier to manage for the maybe-lazy staff, but quite annoying.
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Old Apr 15, 12, 9:39 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Do you mean AF shuttle flights?
Yes, from TLS to ORY.
I mention my Plat card because my colleagues tried to book another flight with
booking machine, but the flight were just 15' after and embarkment almost finished, and it didn't worked. So I went directly to the registering desk: she called the gate and they have waited for us. (and we had 2 different PNR...)
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Old Apr 15, 12, 10:33 am   #14
 
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As others have said, my experience is that it is much harder now than it used to be. There are exceptions but I have a feeling that it is much more difficult for gate agents and transfer desk agents to justify suspending the rules than it used to be. As brunos mentioned, with ticketing, the rules are applied fairly rigidly. By the way, I have seen the exact same evolution with other airlines such as BA and LX so it is not only AF.
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Old Apr 18, 12, 7:47 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalX View Post
Just curious, I'm about to book a flight through CDG and my layover is 7 hours - to get the cheapest flight. Will AF put you on an earlier connection if there is a seat available? and for free?
In my own experience I used to be asked all the time at checkin - some time ago - if I wanted to take an earlier flight (I mostly fly on heavily discounted fares), but those days are so over (well almost - see my post below). There is a reason why some tickets are cheaper than others and if the airlines starts to hand out "better" flight connection times they will be loosing money. Quite cleaver tbh. Same as a direct flight is more expensive than if you take a feeder flight first/after.

Now I get the opportunity to choose a different time at check in but at a cost. EUR 250 for an earlier flight (maybe 1 hour or so) from CDG to GVA is in my mind not worth it and I always stick to my original itinerary.
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