"Ras le Bol" Air France

Old Jun 3, 18, 6:43 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
It is not hearsay or gossip. In one case, I was travelling with a top management guy of a top Asian airline in F. We had lot of time to chat waiting at the delivery belt where he was joined by the outstation (CDG) boss. Apparently the union/group wanted some compensation for better service. The second time was talking with the representative of an American airline, again at the delivery belt. This not gossip or hearsay but I do not wish to name the airlines.

Everyone is entitled to his opinion and mine is not favorable to CDG bag handlers.
The trouble is, brunos, that priority luggage delivery is haphazard on most European airlines, not just AF and not just at CDG. IME, CDG does not stand out in terms of poor priority baggage delivery. If CDG baggage handlers were really the spawn of the devil reincarnated in human flesh that you describe, you would expect priority baggage delivery to be markedly worse at CDG. I struggle to see any sign of this. Frequent flyers on all European airlines complain about the haphazard nature of priority baggage delivery at many European airports and all will typically apply their own pet theory to explain it, usually derived from the prevalent cliché about the locale. So, in Scandinavia, they will blame it on the ravages of the egalitarian culture. In the UK, they will blame it on the cheapness of BA and its unwillingness to invest in staff, in France it will be blamed on the supposed Bolshevik mentality among workers, etc... The more likely reality is that excellence in priority baggage delivery requires a level of commitment and resources that most European airlines would probably regard as excessive compared to the benefits it engenders, at any rate at business class level.

Last edited by NickB; Jun 3, 18 at 6:49 pm
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Old Jun 4, 18, 2:42 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
A friend on the same flight said that it was common and a "revenge" of ground employees. I have no idea if this is true..
You have 10k messages so I guess a lot of experience in travelling, and you still believe BS like that ? come on
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Old Jun 6, 18, 1:45 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
The worst is the preassigned seats that we got on ORY-NCE (booked together on website on the same PNR). We are seated in two middle seats rows apart (12E and 36B). We are both Explorer (ivory) so the discrimination is random (unless based on gender, I am in 12E). For once, I chose AF over EZY because of the large price difference. I prefer EZY because of better-shaped seats and I pay for a front pre-assigned seat with priority boarding. But I now regret saving 100EUR.
Just an update on he sitting situation.
We are both lowly ivory I guess explorer) travelling on a cheap but flexible senior fare. Yes we reached 65 and purchased the new Senior card at 59 (it was free until now).
After getting 12E and 36B (two middle seats) on the same PNR, I kept logging in to try to change seats (I lost a lot of time in some 12 attempts. Finally, 3 row 17A to C. These were the only 3 seats ever offered (I tried to improve a few times more.
Actually the plane was around two third full; to get undisputed facts, I counted 52 empty seats. So I ended up with a row for myself.

I do understand that AF prioritize its elite and that more choices were probably open to them . But why make non-elite suffer.and allocate middle seats in two different rows in a plane with rather light load. Iit would seem that the software has parameters that are not optimal.
Some of you will say that I have paranoia, but I am just reporting facts. Nothing horrible, but as a frequent traveler, I don't enjoy this kind of stress and lost time. It reaffirms my position to book Easyjet on the route, unless AF is significantly cheaper. of course, with lounge access, I might react differently.

BTW. Regarding my paranoia on AF baggage handlers. YES, I do believe that what I described is one of the "industrial" action to pressure AF, even after the rather nasty comments I received.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 2:31 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by q View Post
... and I have to admit that once, my bag arrived wet, despite the tag. I wonder how they did that one ...
When you have eliminated all possibilities, whatever remains must be the truth.

They took your bag swimming at la piscine.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Just an update on he sitting situation.
We are both lowly ivory I guess explorer) travelling on a cheap but flexible senior fare. Yes we reached 65 and purchased the new Senior card at 59 (it was free until now).
After getting 12E and 36B (two middle seats) on the same PNR, I kept logging in to try to change seats (I lost a lot of time in some 12 attempts. Finally, 3 row 17A to C. These were the only 3 seats ever offered (I tried to improve a few times more.
Actually the plane was around two third full; to get undisputed facts, I counted 52 empty seats. So I ended up with a row for myself.

I do understand that AF prioritize its elite and that more choices were probably open to them . But why make non-elite suffer.and allocate middle seats in two different rows in a plane with rather light load. Iit would seem that the software has parameters that are not optimal.
Some of you will say that I have paranoia, but I am just reporting facts. Nothing horrible, but as a frequent traveler, I don't enjoy this kind of stress and lost time. It reaffirms my position to book Easyjet on the route, unless AF is significantly cheaper. of course, with lounge access, I might react differently.

BTW. Regarding my paranoia on AF baggage handlers. YES, I do believe that what I described is one of the "industrial" action to pressure AF, even after the rather nasty comments I received.

You want to be near your wife then sit on a row by yourself. I don't think anyone is being nasty, in fact I am sure most of us would take you into the lounge that you are not able to access as an Ivory.


.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 4:13 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Just an update on he sitting situation.
We are both lowly ivory I guess explorer) travelling on a cheap but flexible senior fare. Yes we reached 65 and purchased the new Senior card at 59 (it was free until now).
After getting 12E and 36B (two middle seats) on the same PNR, I kept logging in to try to change seats (I lost a lot of time in some 12 attempts. Finally, 3 row 17A to C. These were the only 3 seats ever offered (I tried to improve a few times more.
Actually the plane was around two third full; to get undisputed facts, I counted 52 empty seats. So I ended up with a row for myself.

I do understand that AF prioritize its elite and that more choices were probably open to them . But why make non-elite suffer.and allocate middle seats in two different rows in a plane with rather light load. Iit would seem that the software has parameters that are not optimal.
Some of you will say that I have paranoia, but I am just reporting facts. Nothing horrible, but as a frequent traveler, I don't enjoy this kind of stress and lost time. It reaffirms my position to book Easyjet on the route, unless AF is significantly cheaper. of course, with lounge access, I might react differently.
This seems to be nothing do with with status, just some unfathomable system implemented by AF. Below is a seat map for a flight in March, me and my partner both Platinum on the same PNR. Seat selection only available at checkin, and when check in opened these seats has been assigned to us. Just as random as yours it seems, except there were whole free rows they could have sat us together on but didn't. I contacted AF on FB and they happily moved me to 1A.


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Old Jun 6, 18, 4:27 am
  #22  
 
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I do agree that the automatic seeting algorithm isn't reflecting the load, especially for short/medium haul.
Best I can tell is that the booking class seems to be the main criteria, more than non elite status.

The baggage delivery was a bad experience but you can hardly blame AF, based on only one delivery.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 11:44 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post

But why make non-elite suffer.and allocate middle seats in two different rows in a plane with rather light load.
<Sarcasm mode on>
Because non-elites enjoy far greater privileges that elites do not enjoy. For instance upgrades: in the hierarchy for opups non-elites are right behind AF friends&family. The number of Platinums for Life, Golds and Ultis that have not been upgraded because the upgrade was given to a non-elite traveling on a low fare is legion, just browse this forum.
<Sarcasm mode off>

Otherwise I sympathise with your sufferings on seats and luggage. I cannot confirm that at CDG or AF priority luggage always comes out last; in fact, in the few instances I check luggage (maybe 8 times a year when traveling with the family) in about 50% of cases the priority luggage came out among the first, usually mixed with some non-priority bags. However, it's not quite as random as that: there is a pattern that some airports, even in Europe, have a much higher "hit rate". I remember Munich as being very good on priority luggage, both for LH and for AF. And probably there are others, I just wouldn't know because I avoid checking luggage like the plague!

And in any case, I care less about being among the first than I care about the total time that I have to wait for my luggage. Recently, arriving in Salzburg, we had to wait for 1 minute until the luggage was on the belt: small airport, small plane, no connecting luggage, time spent on the bus (=less time waiting at the belt) - but our bags were among the last! I prefer that than having mine first after 30 minutes, even if others have to wait even longer.

On CDG baggage handlers putting priority luggage last: maybe there are a few "nouveaux anti-capitaliste" and other Trotzkyites who make a political statement by putting "rich people's" luggage last. What I can however imagine very well is that some of them just refuse to make the extra effort without a special "consideration". If there was a story in the news tomorrow about a couple of Paris luggage handlers striking because of a "dégradation des conditions de travail", backed up by a video of a person complaining loudly about "now they even make us differentiate between priority luggage and others without even giving us a pay rise for this very demanding task, there's even a colleague who developed pneumonia the other day when standing on the tarmac and checking luggage tags" - I'd believe it.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 12:40 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I do understand that AF prioritize its elite and that more choices were probably open to them . But why make non-elite suffer.and allocate middle seats in two different rows in a plane with rather light load. Iit would seem that the software has parameters that are not optimal.
It's more likely to have been done to encourage people to pay for seat selection (is that a possibility on your ticket? Well, whether it is or not, AF does charge for some/all seats, so conditioning pax that want to seat together to not receive that unless they pay for it, is an inducement to pay more [or avoid the airline completely - but there probably are no airlines operating domestically in France that don't do the same!!!!])
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Old Jun 6, 18, 2:24 pm
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Ah I certainly want to add my very important contribution too so that this thread becomes even longer. On luggage at CDG: I check in a lot and it is not worse than most airports I know. In most cases, my priority bags are in the first batch. And since I love my big orange suitcase, I noticed it is a prime candidate for either being scrutinized by security and not making it to the plane in time or for not being loaded on a full plane, so I often have experienced home delivery the next day.

As for the seat allocation above: the two plat passengers were on the same PNR but the AF software was trying to please them and make them feel privileged by giving them aisle or window seats in the first or exit row. The consequence is that the pax were not seated together. Given this and the random assignments given to Brunos and his wife, it is clear the software needs a bit of tweaking but it does not seem to be exactly punishment, more a side effect of prioritizing some passengers (e.g. keeping aisle and window seats open for elites buying at the last minute, although obviously too many of these seats were blocked).
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Old Jun 6, 18, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by af fp View Post
As for the seat allocation above: the two plat passengers were on the same PNR but the AF software was trying to please them and make them feel privileged by giving them aisle or window seats in the first or exit row. The consequence is that the pax were not seated together. Given this and the random assignments given to Brunos and his wife, it is clear the software needs a bit of tweaking but it does not seem to be exactly punishment, more a side effect of prioritizing some passengers (e.g. keeping aisle and window seats open for elites buying at the last minute, although obviously too many of these seats were blocked).
Except the 1st row was a middle seat and the exit row was compromised by the jump seat and FA facing you during take off & landing, if you look close it's not actually a seat plus. I've experienced several AF flights with seat selection only at checkin, but when checkin opened it was as one might expect a very open seat map. This one for some reason was almost completely closed and for once we had been already allocated seats. Very odd indeed.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 2:56 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
<Sarcasm mode on>
On CDG baggage handlers putting priority luggage last: maybe there are a few "nouveaux anti-capitaliste" and other Trotzkyites who make a political statement by putting "rich people's" luggage last. What I can however imagine very well is that some of them just refuse to make the extra effort without a special "consideration". If there was a story in the news tomorrow about a couple of Paris luggage handlers striking because of a "dégradation des conditions de travail", backed up by a video of a person complaining loudly about "now they even make us differentiate between priority luggage and others without even giving us a pay rise for this very demanding task, there's even a colleague who developed pneumonia the other day when standing on the tarmac and checking luggage tags" - I'd believe it.
I cannot give name, but that special "consideration" was exactly the topic of discussion between the outstation manager (not AF) and the airline CFO who was seated in the F cabin with me (and knew socially beforehand). We waited some 45 min for F bags delivery and over 15 min after all the others had arrived. My friend thought they could have been lost but the station manager calmed him and mentioned ongoing "negotiation" on the "consideration" increase.
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