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

Old Oct 7, 09, 5:01 pm
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AF CDG-SIN kept on tarmac in 40 degree heat with no a/c: man dies

from the Sydney Morning Herald
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Old Oct 7, 09, 7:06 pm
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what a nightmare. RIP to the deceased. I've been on a plane without a/c before. It's a very different experience than being in a hot room on the ground. Something about the closed air in a plane, the proximity of other people, it's absolutely awful.
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Old Oct 7, 09, 11:43 pm
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Hmmmm, 40° in the middle of the night in october
The AF flight to SIN departs around 11:00 or 11:30 pm from CDG, so I doubt it was "outrageously hot" inside at that time, even if the weather has been nice in Paris these last weeks (but always "cold" in mornings & evenings). They were also obviously in the middle of the night at Bucharest.
So it's another case of a lawyer who's making some noise.
But of course, it's very sad for this poor man and his family, but his health condition was likely very bad before boarding the flight.
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Old Oct 8, 09, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by Air France website
AF256 Flight left from Paris (CDG) at 23:45 Tue 6 Oct 09

Flight arrived in Bucharest (OTP) at 03:45 Wed 7 Oct 09

Scheduled
Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - France
terminal 2E
23:30 on 6 October 2009

Singapore, Changi (SIN) - Singapore
terminal 1
18:05 on 7 October 2009

Rescheduled
Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - France
Bucharest, Henri Coanda (OTP) - Romania

Comments
Due to a technical incident, the itinerary of flight AF256 has been changed.

Connecting flight
Bucharest, Henri Coanda (OTP) - Romania
04:30 on 7 October 2009

Singapore, Changi (SIN) - Singapore
terminal 1
19:10 on 7 October 2009

Rescheduled
Bucharest, Henri Coanda (OTP) - Romania
Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - France
terminal 2E

Comments
Cancelled due to operational difficulties.
FYI there is a AF 4190 flight that took off from CDG to SIN yesterday 7 October in addition to regular AF 256. AF 4190 is delayed.

Originally Posted by Air France webiste
AF4190 Flight left from Paris (CDG) at 00:20 Thu 8 Oct 09

Scheduled arrival in Singapore (SIN) at 18:33, Thu 8 Oct 09

Scheduled
Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - France
terminal 2E
14:30 on 7 October 2009

Singapore, Changi (SIN) - Singapore
terminal 1
08:55 on 8 October 2009

Comments
Flight AF4190 is delayed.
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Old Oct 8, 09, 4:24 am
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It must be the reason why yesterday on the CDG-HKG route they replace the 777-300 by a COI 777. I am sure biz pax on that flight where happy to end up in alize!!!
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Old Oct 8, 09, 4:47 am
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And Premiere pax ending up in a 2-3-2 config with 14 seats instead of 8.

Where you on that flight?
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Old Oct 8, 09, 5:24 am
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I was on AF257 yesterday, which got canceled due to the afore mentioned story. No information provided to either member of my party of 3, although we all have subscribed to the so-called ROC program (Rappel Opérationnel du Client).

Were offered to all fly Y (even though one of us was booked in J) via AMS, arriving in CDG 2 hours later than scheduled. Put up a huge fight until we found an extremely helpful and competent agent at AF Le Club line, who booked us all on SQ334. But the whole thing was a very stressful experience...

Got to experience both the 388 (was kinda sorry to loose my 388 virginity in an SQ plane as I'm on AF6 on Nov. 24th) and SQ Y; quite an eye-opener for the ever AF fan I am. Seat, Food, IFE, Crew... There isn't any single aspect where AF can stand the comparison now that they have this horrible 3-4-3 configuration. There even are some aspects for which SQ Y beats AF J... (hot bread or constant drinks/snacks rounds for instance).

AF took/had to take another strategic direction. This flight really made me wish they had not.

(sorry I went off-topic, kinda )
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Old Oct 8, 09, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by bodory View Post
And Premiere pax ending up in a 2-3-2 config with 14 seats instead of 8.

Where you on that flight?
No I wasn't on that flight was just checking availability for award availability on KVS since a few days as I was looking for a last minute CDG HKG flight. Finaly none opened so I didn't ended up in this mess!!!
from what i could see in the previous days Premiere was empty but J was very full.
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Old Oct 8, 09, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Hmmmm, 40° in the middle of the night in october
The AF flight to SIN departs around 11:00 or 11:30 pm from CDG, so I doubt it was "outrageously hot" inside at that time, even if the weather has been nice in Paris these last weeks (but always "cold" in mornings & evenings). They were also obviously in the middle of the night at Bucharest.
So it's another case of a lawyer who's making some noise.
But of course, it's very sad for this poor man and his family, but his health condition was likely very bad before boarding the flight.
The heat wasn't coming from the sun, it was coming from 200+ bodies+assorted equipment. With no air conditioning at all, it will get pretty uncomfortable [granted, it probably won't get to forty, which is above body temperature].
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Old Oct 8, 09, 11:31 am
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Eye-witness account

Before you ask, I WAS on that flight and, yes, the temperature on the plane at 11PM in October in Paris WAS in the high 80's and very humid - it genuinely felt like the feeling I get when I step outside the terminal at Changi into the tropical heat. There was a late boarder, whcih held things up, the crew told us the AC pumps were not working because there was a fault with the standby generator, but after several attempts, I believe, the engines were fired up and we left.

The guy who collapsed was in the rear of the plane and had just come out of the restrooms, an on-board doctor attended and we diverted to Bucharest, much as the AF details confirm.

What these details do not confirm is what happened next. While the medical emergency was being attended to, the captain refuelled, perhaps with a view to continuing shortly to SIN, but, guess what, there was no adequate facility on the ground to start the engines. The sun rose a couple of hours after our arrival but we remained on the plane for a total of 6 hours on the ground, by which time, many of the 300+ passengers were showing signs of severe heat stress, including blotchy rashes, profuse sweating and, in the case of the few infants on board, some emotional distress. Although the scheduled time for serving breakfast was not particularly relevent, no attempt was made by the cabin crew to feed anyone substantially. I asked for an ice-cream, and was told that would not be possible, as everyone would want one. It was getting increasingly uncomfortable.

At around 9AM, the local AF manager and the crew agreed to disembark everyone, after a considerable delay for the authorities to complete the paperwork re the deceased. We were bussed to the terminal building and 300+ passengers queued with their hand luggage to be security screened - by 2 machines. We were then taken through to the 'Business Lounge', which was capable of seating around 100 people, where the only food on offer was crisps, pretzels, nuts and chocolate wafer biscuits. Drinks were also available.

Another long delay with little information coming from the AF agents, although they arranged for local hotel accommodation so that people could shower/rest/change. Some took this offer up, as there was supposed to be a full meal service being offered, but feedback later revealed that too few rooms were available and the food was appalling. In order to use this facility, we were all required to recover our checked baggage an pass through immigration. Only, the plane was on the perimeter fence and the ground handlers were hell-bent on servicing the scheduled services, so this process took a couple of hours to complete. Tempers by now were fraying and more was to come.

Nearing the end of this process, AF managed to schedule the arrival from CDG of 2 smaller planes to ferry everyone back to Paris to re-start the journey - at this point, no further hotel-options were offered and instead, having spent all this time waiting to pick up our luggage, we had to move around to the check in facility, and queue again, this time for nearly 2 hours, to complete a check in process which involved hand-writing the majority of the boarding cards, 2 per passenger, one back to CDG and one on to SIN. During the whole of this process, collecting and re-checking bags, AF made no effort to feed or water anyone, including a young pregnant woman travelling with her infant child on her own. AF claimed they were no allowed to do anything, the airport said it was AF's responsibility. What AF did say was that, on completing check-in we would each be given a voucher for food in the departure lounge, which turned out to be a rather stale sandwich and a bottle of water.

The return flight to CDG was crewed by full-on PR team, who, among other offerings of apologies, hoped that we would soon forget our experience.

AF told us that food and drink would be waiting for us at the gate for our 2nd attempt from CDG - again, stale sandwiches and canned pop. No senior company representative available.

The CDG-SIN trip was about half an hour later than the normal scheduled flight. Dinner was served shortly after take-off - identical menu to the previous evening and the first 'proper' meal anyone had had since then. Shortly after, and announcment was made on the tannoy, asking if there was a doctor aboard.... a crew member had fallen ill. No need to say what effect that had.

Arrival at SIN was on schedule and many staff on hand to assist with transit passengers who had missed their links.

I am now out of the system and guess what?

MY LUGGAGE IS IN PARIS
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Old Oct 8, 09, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by tango302 View Post

I am now out of the system and guess what?

MY LUGGAGE IS IN PARIS
I know, I shouldn't, and I really feel for you as this truly sounds like an horrible experience, but I bursted out laughing when I read the last line of your post!!

What a shameful way to handle things...
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Old Oct 8, 09, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Hmmmm, 40° in the middle of the night in october
The AF flight to SIN departs around 11:00 or 11:30 pm from CDG, so I doubt it was "outrageously hot" inside at that time, even if the weather has been nice in Paris these last weeks (but always "cold" in mornings & evenings). They were also obviously in the middle of the night at Bucharest.
So it's another case of a lawyer who's making some noise.
I wouldn't be so sure. I was on a BA flight from Heathrow to the States last November, and the aircon couldn't be turned on for a good 45 minutes after boarding. It got unbearably hot.

KLM have a habit of not putting on the aircon until they're fully boarded, too, at least on the AMS-LHR route - it's the reason I never board until the last possible minute!
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Old Oct 8, 09, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by tango302 View Post
Before you ask, I WAS on that flight

<snip>

I am now out of the system and guess what?

MY LUGGAGE IS IN PARIS
What an absolutely horrendous experience, and what terrible service you all received!
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Old Oct 8, 09, 2:00 pm
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I am afraid Tango302's experience is fairly reflective of the present state of affairs chez AF. The constant pressure of cost cutting means that staff no longer give a you-know-what about passengers. They are cranky and feel under-appreciated by management. In an exceptional situation such as that arising on the 256 in question there is just no longer either the corporate infrastructure or the employee goodwill available to deal with it.

In the savage environment in which airlines currently operate AF's worn out product and increasingly bad tempered service does not bode well for the future. Granted that AF has never been an industry leader in terms of service or product, these frequent and very public slips must ultimately have some impact.
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Old Oct 8, 09, 2:24 pm
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Thank you Tango302 for your constructive report. I am shocked at what I have just read.

Probably AF has lost 300+ customers.
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