Does AF close all flights 20 mins before departure at CDG?

Old Nov 11, 18, 8:26 pm
  #1  
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Does AF close all flights 20 mins before departure at CDG?

Does anyone know if it is standard practice for AF close all flights
20 mins before departure
at CDG? Or does this happen for some specific reason?

I had a slightly amusing episode at Security which unfortunately took quite some time to resolve, caused partially by the amateurish training of the x-ray guards and then when I shlepped all the way along to gate 34, found (in common with a number of other PAX who arrived after me. But who may well have been held up at Security, in effect by me?) that the flight had closed. In the exact words of the GA
We close our flights 20 mins before departure
i mentioned having warned in the reservation of needing a wheelchair but the GA seemed disinterested in assisting. While her primary intent seemed to be that all PAX get as far away from that gate as possible, because the flight was completely closed; and she may well have checked that there were no further flights to book us onto?.

i wonder if it is relevant that at 6.10 pm this was the last flight of the evening and that it was at gate 34, which looked to me like the furthest gate to walk to. In any event the GA seemed to know enough about the situation to send all PAX on a wild goose chase to what she described as "Gate 2" to be booked onto the next flight, kinda knowing that all attendants at gate 2(1) seemingly numerous hundred meters away had gone home and turned all lights off.

When we all arrived at the correct AF desk [on the other side of security], they knew enough to book all PAX onto some flight the next morning and give vouchers for hotel and grub at the IBIS.

Except me.

Spoiler
What I did hear in French was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing trying to get permission to treat me properly while the gist of the problem seemed to have something to do with my having such an El-Cheapo ticket that neither she nor her co-worker at the next desk had ever even heard of it! On Delta. (Issued by American Express) Then they presented the results to me. Would I please push off to the Yotel and wasn't I lucky that AF was being gracious enough to book me onto the flight the next day. And no, her supervisor certainly wouldn't authorize any hotel on this ticket! But I am entitled to chase my tail endlessly (?) when I get to my destination by complaining through the web site.


I can't help but think that Donald Trump had something to do with all this.

And am I entitled to denied boarding compensation?
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Old Nov 11, 18, 11:13 pm
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To answer your primary questions:
- Yes, the boarding deadline is 20 minutes for all AF flights at CDG.
- No, you are not entitled to denied boarding compensation because you were not denied boarding. You arrived late at the gate.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 12:04 am
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Originally Posted by bodory View Post
- No, you are not entitled to denied boarding compensation because you were not denied boarding. You arrived late at the gate.
Indeed, if AF booked you on the next flight they did more than they are obliged to do, they are not liable for delays in security.
It's always possible that other PAX arrived on a connecting flight which was delayed e.g. and therefore AF were liable for duty of care as well as potentially compensation.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
It's always possible that other PAX arrived on a connecting flight which was delayed e.g. and therefore AF were liable for duty of care as well as potentially compensation.
+1
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Old Nov 12, 18, 9:46 am
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In addition, the gate closing time is usually mentioned on Air France boarding passes.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 9:57 am
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Do they usually do it? I wish. Would make time planning more predictable and flights more punctual.

Is it the rule, and can they be criticized for applying it? Yes, it's the rule (well communicated) and no, absolutely not, can that be held against them. They made you a gift by putting you on another flight and offering you a hotel accommodation, as cheap as it may have been.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 11:08 am
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The 20 minute rule is clearly written on the booking confirmations I get from both KLM and Air France. There are blue roll up signs, seemingly "everywhere" around the airport clearly stating that the flight closes 20 minute before scheduled departure time. If you fail to be at the airport in due time to pass security and make it to the gate a bare minimum 20 minutes before departure, then you and only you are liable for a new ticket, anything else should be dearly considered as a gift of graciousness.

If you are a person in need of a wheel chair, then I would certainly allow for more time at the airport since there may be hickups in getting the assistance in place, getting through security and such. It will almost always require extra time. And to even consider asking compensation for this?! For what? Your own failure to appear at the correct boarding gate at the very latest 20 minutes before departure?
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Old Nov 14, 18, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Indeed, if AF booked you on the next flight they did more than they are obliged to do, they are not liable for delays in security.
If this is originating airport I am with you, but if you are transferring (within MCT limits of course) I dont think the airline can just say its your problem when there are delays at immigration or security. Im not a lawyer, so others may correct me, but it does not sound correct to me to be on your own mercy when you complied with all rules.
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Old Nov 14, 18, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by MarLim View Post

If this is originating airport I am with you, but if you are transferring (within MCT limits of course) I don’t think the airline can just say it’s your problem when there are delays at immigration or security. I‘m not a lawyer, so others may correct me, but it does not sound correct to me to be on your own mercy when you complied with all rules.
But is it the airline's fault that OP has experienced a lengthy delay in security? Whether it was OP's fault or the "amateurish training of the x-ray guards" caused this, why would the airline be liable?
And how is it any different if OP is connecting or originating in CDG?

As for the OP being on their own mercy, this is where a good travel insurance comes in handy, or alternatively he may opt to complain to CDG airport about the "amateurish training of the x-ray guards"
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Old Nov 15, 18, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
But is it the airline's fault that OP has experienced a lengthy delay in security?
Perhaps not, but it is not the OP fault. The OP has a contract with the airline and not the airport or security staff. So if there is a delay I would expect the airline to fix it. The airline has contracted the airport, so theoretically they can then claim the expenses there.

Perhaps that is a bit unrealistic to actually happen that way, and perhaps I would expect the airline to just accept the extra costs. But the OP, just doing what he was supposed to during his transfer, should not have to pay for the delay.

But...it seems that in this case that actually did happen. The OP (and other delayed pax) received a hotel and a seat on the next flight. So the problem here, really, is about the airline staff attitude.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 4:10 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Perhaps not, but it is not the OP fault. The OP has a contract with the airline and not the airport or security staff. So if there is a delay I would expect the airline to fix it. The airline has contracted the airport, so theoretically they can then claim the expenses there.

Perhaps that is a bit unrealistic to actually happen that way, and perhaps I would expect the airline to just accept the extra costs. But the OP, just doing what he was supposed to during his transfer, should not have to pay for the delay.

But...it seems that in this case that actually did happen. The OP (and other delayed pax) received a hotel and a seat on the next flight. So the problem here, really, is about the airline staff attitude.
If many pax have an issue I might agree with you here that the airline is contributing to the fault by e.g. having a too short MCT.
We don't really know if it is or isn't OP's fault, he mentions "caused partially by the amateurish training of the x-ray guards" but what is the other part?

Either way the airline has no obligation here, so he is indeed "lucky" that they took care of him, hard to say much about the airline staff attitude.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 8:14 pm
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CDG is AF homebase. When there are delays at security, AF is aware. And they can act by sending ground staff in the lines to help selected pax to expedite security when their flight is about to leave.

Without more details we might consider it is entirely OP's responsibility.
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Old Nov 18, 18, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by bodory View Post
CDG is AF homebase. When there are delays at security, AF is aware. And they can act by sending ground staff in the lines to help selected pax to expedite security when their flight is about to leave.

Without more details we might consider it is entirely OP's responsibility.
Having got past the dogma, I think we are getting close to the nub of the problem here. Yes, CDG is AF's home base. When something at CDG causes a number of passengers to arrive a few minutes into some arbitrary (see below) 20 minute period, I say the airline shouldn't just stand on ceremony and refuse to let people go down the walkway to the plane because some 20 minute time period is slightly eaten into.

And yes, they could have sent someone to the security line to see what was going on or at least made some announcements over the P.A.. Especially where the gate was quite so far away. Instead of telling everyone there that they couldn't get onto the flight. After all, they did know that we absolutely had to have been there because they had just checked us in! Instead, the attitude of the GAs seems to have been 'It doesn't matter: They will get a hotel and meal so they won't be too inconvenienced and can get onto the next flight.'

[No, after what I said reasonably clearly originally, - of course AF refused to pay for my hotel! And on a practical point, a contracting party who has contracted with an airline and who lives five thousand miles away can NEVER in practice enforce/take action against airport security or the airport operator to recover damage for losses. That contracting party can only take action, -usually some sort of Small Claims action, - against the party with whom they have contracted. The airline, of course, whether home base or not, IS in a position to recover losses arising from this sort of problem from the airport operator. With whom that airline IS obviously in a contractual relationship]

I do think it relevant that I was on that next flight, was watching for timings etc and SAW passengers rushing onto the flight up to 10 minutes before take off.
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Old Nov 18, 18, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by DManzaluni View Post
Having got past the dogma, I think we are getting close to the nub of the problem here. Yes, CDG is AF's home base. When something at CDG causes a number of passengers to arrive a few minutes into some arbitrary (see below) 20 minute period, I say the airline shouldn't just stand on ceremony and refuse to let people go down the walkway to the plane because some 20 minute time period is slightly eaten into.

I do think it relevant that I was on that next flight, was watching for timings etc and SAW passengers rushing onto the flight up to 10 minutes before take off.
There are multiple (operational) reasons as to why flight X have to close on time and flight Y could be "delayed" a couple of minutes and gate closes at T-10 or the airline might even decide to wait for late connecting PAX

Every airline has a certain point in time in which they close the gate, whether it's T-10, T-15, T-20 or T-45 doesn't matter, if you arrive at the gate after that "arbitrary" cut off time the airline has no obligation to let you go down the walkway to the airplane, they might have already been busy with offloading the bags of late PAX, they might have even decided to accommodate a standby passenger in your seat.

You don't seem to provide any relevant details so we can try and understand better what was going on there so there isn't much more that can be said.
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Old Nov 18, 18, 7:54 pm
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With all due respects, I find your insistence totaly unrealistic.
In Europe or Asia, all airline close the flights 20 or 30min before departure. This is a bit different from the US.
This time is clearly stated.
It is you responsibility to be there on time.
It takes some time to clear security so you have to take some time buffer. There could be waiting lines or your might be selected for a detailed search. Airport gates could be remote. Again it is your responsibility to allow time to walk to the gate, not the airline. Once the flight is closed and the manifest has been printed at the gate, they cannot take you. Sure, you might get lucky and the flight could be delayed with late boarding, but you should not bet on it. AF has many thousands of pax and dozens of flights continuously departing, they cannot have a team continuously roaming the corridors, security and immigration areas to push late pax.

You did not allow sufficient time and now you wish to fault the airline; IMO that is silly.
Rather you should be thankful that AF rebooked a noshow on another flight, which they did not have to do.
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Last edited by brunos; Nov 19, 18 at 2:53 am
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