AF CDG-SIN kept on tarmac in 40 degree heat with no a/c: man dies

Old Oct 9, 09, 7:55 am
  #46  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,266
Originally Posted by Cupart View Post
This is not the responsibility of any embassy. If any embassy was going help out every single time something out of the ordinary was going to happen it would be all an embassy would be doing. This is not what embassies are there for.
The embassy (or its consular office) could have exerted some influence. Just as AF may have tried to do. Ultimately, the final decision makers remain the Romanian police/immigration/customs authorities (and they all need to be available on location and at the time) and the airport management with respect to leaving the aircraft, entering the terminal and picking up baggage.

AF has more responsibility for the services (or lack thereof) provided to the passengers, such as catering, even though it may have been difficult to find service providers on short notice. Still, this is very much the purview of a carrier.

I have no idea of the usual status of the Bucharest airport at the time the AF flight was diverted. Is it open to traffic or closed ?

Last edited by JOUY31; Oct 9, 09 at 8:11 am
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:17 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 🇸🇬 🇭🇰 🇫🇷
Programs: Many
Posts: 4,735
Originally Posted by bodory View Post
ok I have got only one : http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/depec..._apres_le.html

The article is inconsistent because it says first trhat the plane was forced to do an emergency landing because of the dead passenger aged 85, then it talks about technical problems on the aircraft preventing it to take off again, then it says the the cause of the death is not known.

The article also says that "AF is acting to solve the situation".

Article from AP dated 07 October, 1 PM Paris time.
Originally Posted by Falco Peregrinus View Post
A Google search will return it has been reported by le Nouvel Obs.

http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/depec..._apres_le.html
Looks like I answered myself to my question

I wonder if the fact that these incidents were not developed in French media is intentional.

Maybe there were not many French passengers onboard after all.
bodory is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:32 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Paris, France
Programs: FB Platinum for Life
Posts: 367
Originally Posted by Cupart View Post

It was in the middle of the night at a minor hub for AF. Where on earth should they (i.e. AF) get the personnel from?

(
As I mentioned above a similar experience arose on an SQ flight on which I was traveling necessitating a landing at an airport not served by the airline at all, and yet adequate services were provided in an efficient and professional manner. The reason AF does not respond in a similar vein in similar situations (this has happened before!) is COST. It is expensive and time consuming to start finding un-contracted ground handling at 4 in the a.m. It can be done (cf SQ) but probably does not fit into AF's current budgetary arrangements. As it was, the diversion will have cost the company a great deal of money. Expenditure on potentially unnecessary ground handling (if plane was able to turn around and go back to CDG) wld have been mal vu to say the least.
AshleyB is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:36 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: exBER exBKK exLIS
Programs: lh sen
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post


Ultimately, the final decision makers remain the Romanian police/immigration/customs authorities (and they all need to be available on location and at the time) and the airport management with respect to leaving the aircraft, entering the terminal and picking up baggage.

AF has more responsibility for the services (or lack thereof) provided to the passengers, such as catering, even though it may have been difficult to find service providers on short notice. Still, this is very much the purview of a carrier.

I have no idea of the usual status of the Bucharest airport at the time the AF flight was diverted. Is it open to traffic or closed ?


OTP the international airport of Bucharest is not closed at 4:30 am when AF did an unplanned landing there. Just check the webpage of the airport and you will find out that usually at 4:30 am the first flights are departing (f.e. to Syria).

An unplanned landig of a passenger jet is nothing spectacular, it happens often and there are procedures how to handle it. If it is clear to the crew that the flight cannot be continued with this plane the passengers have to disembark. Immedately. Not after six hours of waiting in the plane. Waiting for what?

As OTP is not such a small airport as some here think it would be no problem to accomodate the passengers. Airport management, immigration or customs never denied to AF the disembarking.

It was the responsibility of AF to take care of the 300+ passengers and provide the necessary care taking. There is no need to fly in AF personnel from Paris to do so. Just send the stranded passengers to the existing lounges, restaurants or even waiting areas at the airport. If it comes to the point to pay for the food and drinks for the passengers maybe one of the crew members has a credit card. BTW anybody here who knows why the purser is called "purser" ? Probably AF is not obliged to pay cash.


And another hint for the AF supporters: At OTP there is a lot of staff who speaks fluent english or french. In plus the romanian language is very close to french that you don`t even need an interpreter. I know what I am talking about.

Last edited by carpetbagger; Oct 9, 09 at 8:50 am
carpetbagger is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:37 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: BRU
Programs: A3/Gold, BA/Bronze + other less precious metals
Posts: 2,639
Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
The embassy (or its consular office) could have exerted some influence. Just as AF may have tried to do. Ultimately, the final decision makers remain the Romanian police/immigration/customs authorities (and they all need to be available on location and at the time) and the airport management with respect to leaving the aircraft, entering the terminal and picking up baggage.
Let's not get confused here. This really has nothing to do with any Embassy, especially the French Embassy (unless indeed French citizens were mistreated by the Romanian authorities etc). The French Embassy is certainly not going to intervene for non-French citizens. Oh, btw, on top of that, AF is a private company AFAIK

I suspect that if indeed there was an immigration issue, this probably arose from the fact that if the airport was closed, hence there were no immigration officials working at the time. Regardless of whether a person needs a visa or not, they DO need to go through immigration to enter a country.

Sure, if the situation was clear, I suspect they would have brought people in, eventually, to check the passengers "into" the country. However, if - as has been suggested - AF kept saying the flight would take off "in half an hour" or "in an hour" then surely they would not mobilise reserve immigration officers in the middle of the night - esp. if AF had not even taken the decision to disembark the pax.
nomad1974 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:48 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Eurostar Carte Blanche, SBB-CFF-FFS GA-AG, SNCF Grand Voyageur LeClub
Posts: 6,773
Originally Posted by Cupart View Post
Landing at Bucharest was probably the quickest way to get the aircraft down so getting engines started again was probably not a priority in this case if there was a possibility to save a persons life.

It was in the middle of the night at a minor hub for AF. Where on earth should they (i.e. AF) get the personnel from?
Originally Posted by nicolas75 View Post
With a take off at 11pm+ at CDG, it means that you landed at around 3am+ local time in Bucharest. It is also not so surprising that you did not receive that much assistance, as the airport was closed (and it would be difficult - if possible - to disembark the 300+ passengers in these conditions).
If the AF cockpit crew decided to divert to Bucarest, it is because Bucarest is a designated diversion airport. Being a designated diversion airport means not only that there is somebody in the tower who - to put it simply - lets the plane land, but also that this airport has the facilities to handle plane emergencies (i.e. things like sufficient fire engines available), medical emergenices (i.e. things like medical team and facilities available), the plane (i.e. things like infrastructure in terms of runway, tarmac, fuel, startup support) and passengers (things like stairs to disembark them, some sort of real estate to shelter them, feed them, etc). If these facilities didn't exist Bucarest would not be a designated diversion airport, and I whilst I do hold some minor reservations about some of Air France's cockpit decisions I am convinced that the AF pilots would not have decided to go there.

A plane doesn't just fly to the "nearest airport" when there's a medical emergency, it flies to the nearest designated diversion airport. Only there can they be sure that appropriate infrastructure, facilities and human resources exist to deal with the situation at hand.

Thus, the excuse that Bucarest was "closed" is a very lame one (but sounds very AFish to me, they're great at giving lame excuses). It was open in terms of dealing with a B777 making an unplanned stop.

Now, although facilities at Bucarest do exist, not all of them come by themselves. If you don't tell the guys on the ground that there's a medical emergency, there won't be an ambulance waiting for you; if you don't tell them that you have a fire on board they won't pull the fire engine out of the garage; likewise, if you don't tell them that you want to disembark 300 pax and that you want them to be taken care of not a lot will happen.

And this is where AF's lousy "ca ira" attitude comes in, they first left things go their own way, then they improvised a lousy solution forgetting about half the details, but spend a lot of effort on PR. I am sure the pax from that flight will at some point get 4,000 miles on their FB account.

It's not the A/C problems in Paris or Bucarest that are an issue (can happen to anyone and once the engines are running there is enough bleed air to supply your A/C. Why ground air wasn't used or the APU wasn't an option I don't know, but I can understand that there is such a scenario - not AF's fault). Neither can we say that it is their fault that the passenger died, and certainly linking the dead only to whatever happened in AF's responsibility seems exaggerated. But the things that are in AF's responsibility - proper information of pax, getting them some food organized, taking care of people in need - they failed miserably. Bucarest may or may not be as well organized as Tokyo or Montreal certainly are - but having seen from the inside the possibilities an airline has to get things moving even at an airport like Bucarest I know for sure a lot more could be done than was described by the pax who were on that flight.

But that requires for the airline to recognize that pax need attention (which AF unfortunately has lost over the years), and it requires organizational skill (which AF never had) and the means to fix a problem (which in the past compensated for the lacking skills, but now are no longer there).

The performance and resilience of an organization shows not how they handle normal operations (already not stellar for AF, but OK), but when a problem arises (no other airline at least in Europe has so many stories of f**king up problem and crisis handling). Same old story with AF...

Last edited by JOUY31; Oct 14, 09 at 3:15 am Reason: unneeded personal comments removed
San Gottardo is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:52 am
  #52  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,266
Originally Posted by nomad1974 View Post
Let's not get confused here. This really has nothing to do with any Embassy, especially the French Embassy (unless indeed French citizens were mistreated by the Romanian authorities etc). The French Embassy is certainly not going to intervene for non-French citizens. Oh, btw, on top of that, AF is a private company AFAIK
Well, if you want to speed up an unexpected immigration process during the night by dialoguing with immigration authorities, I would guess that any influence exerted by the French Embassy would be useful. And I would also guess that there was at least one French national onboard the aircraft. So enough justification IMHO for an involvement by French representatives, but perhaps I expect too much. Anyway, it is a side issue.

As for flights out of OTP, the 4:30 AM flight is indeed the first one after midnight, followed by the next flights at 6:00 AM.
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:53 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 🇸🇬 🇭🇰 🇫🇷
Programs: Many
Posts: 4,735
Originally Posted by carpetbagger View Post
It was the responsibility of AF to take care of the 300+ passengers and provide the necessary care taking. There is no need to fly in AF personnel from Paris to do so. Just send the stranded passengers to the existing lounges, restaurants or even waiting areas at the airport. If it comes to the point to pay for the food and drinks for the passengers maybe one of the crew members has a credit card. BTW anybody here who knows why the purser is called "purser" ? Probably AF is not obliged to pay cash.
I will not advocate AF in that case but it is certainly NOT the role of crew member to use their credit card to pay drinks to stranted passengers.

Passengers do have their own credit cards and can thereafter send (or at least try to) the bills to AF if necessary.

I would certainly have done that.
bodory is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 9:01 am
  #54  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,266
A reminder to please focus on the issues and refrain from making personal comments on other members of the FT community. Thanks.

Jouy31
AF/KL co-moderator
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 9:09 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Eurostar Carte Blanche, SBB-CFF-FFS GA-AG, SNCF Grand Voyageur LeClub
Posts: 6,773
Originally Posted by bodory View Post
I will not advocate AF in that case but it is certainly NOT the role of crew member to use their credit card to pay drinks to stranted passengers.

Passengers do have their own credit cards and can thereafter send (or at least try to) the bills to AF if necessary.

I would certainly have done that.
There are two lines of reasoning that are possible:

1. airline doesn't care, thinks that pax should get by on their own, use their own card, and let them wait for the lottery draw of whether they'll have their expenses reimbursed

2. show that you care and have your staff take care of the pax also and especially in this difficult situation. One - maybe unconventional, but possible - methods is to have staff members get things organized. There are stories where in the US (of all places!) Delta crew members got off the plane and got pizza for all the pax, paying with their corporate credit card.

Not surprisingly AF lacks the phantasy and will to go along the second route.
San Gottardo is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 9:16 am
  #56  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,266
Originally Posted by creber View Post
The performance and resilience of an organization shows not how they handle normal operations (already not stellar for AF, but OK), but when a problem arises (no other airline at least in Europe has so many stories of f**king up problem and crisis handling). Same old story with AF...
Just a datapoint on management of irrops, unrelated to the Bucharest mishap. I had a minor problem exactly two weeks ago on the second early morning flight from ORY to LCY. During the flight, 10mn after our scheduled arrival time, we were informed that we would be landing in ... STN. Not really happy as my meeting was scheduled to start 30mn after landing, the time we arrived in STN and I was paying a CRT fare. I fully expected the worst, as there is no AF flight at STN, but was greeted by Servisair staff (I usually also expect the worst from Servisair), who led us to the baggage carousel and then to a bus stand where we waited 15mn for a chartered coach to bring us back to LCY, where we arrived at 11:10, 2h10 after our scheduled arrival time. It was irritating, but adequately managed on that occasion by AF.

Last edited by JOUY31; Oct 9, 09 at 9:23 am
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 10:34 am
  #57  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: FB AF Silver, BA Gold
Posts: 13,474
Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
This has also happened on domestic flights within the USA, with no immigration involved. The last occurrence was early August for a CO flight in Rochester, with passengers reportedly "trapped" for 9 hours. Not a pretty sight, either. Hopefully, airline and airport management, as well as security, customs and immigration officials can learn from these mishaps in order to work together much better when these unforeseen circumstances happen.
Indeed, this has happened a few times in the USA, although not aware of any associated death. But even without a dead pax, each of these incidents created a national uproar, with huge front-page media coverage. Several US senators even wanted to introduce legislation to force airlines to provide better care. Clearly, the culture between the US and France is quite different in terms of public reaction.
brunos is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 10:49 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by Cupart View Post
The A/C was not working while on the ground because of a faulty generator. Had nothing to do with the actual flight were it apparently was working...

Please correct me if I'm wrong
Ive read this in a German article. But this cant explain what happened on the flight.

If someone is interested how a Commercial Airliner Environmental Control System
works (in a Boeing), he would find the Information here:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/cabinair/ecs.pdf
epericolososporgersi is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 12:38 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: YWG
Programs: AC
Posts: 224
That's just horrible. And I was just complaining about my recent awful flight out of ORD for the first time. We were in queue to take off and had to wait 50 mins with the AC not turned. With the lateness, a chain of events happened and when I got home, I was just in a foul mood. After reading this, my experience just sounds like small potatoes.
chatmax is offline  
Old Oct 9, 09, 8:25 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
MY LUGGAGE HAS ARRIVED!!!!! Now, I can swim...
tango302 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: