AF crew throws passenger's laptop from cabin door

Old Oct 6, 03, 7:03 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: Amex Centurion, UA 1K, *wood Plat
Posts: 90
AF crew throws passenger's laptop from cabin door

One of my employees just contacted me from Yaounde, where he was traveling for a World Bank meeting, with an incredible story. On an Air France flight from Paris to Yaounde the plane stopped in Doule. My employee asked a flight attendant if he could change to a window seat so that he could see the countryside of Cameroon. When he returned to his seat, his laptop that he had stored under the seat in front, was missing. After some inquiries he found out that the cabin crew had discovered the laptop before takeoff and thrown it from the cabin door to the tarmac, 15 feet below (5 meters.) The cabin crew reported that they thought that it had been left behind by a departing passenger.

My employee traveled overland back to Doula and recovered the pieces of his laptop and received a written statement from Air France of the incident.

While incredible, this is a true story.

Kimo is offline  
Old Oct 6, 03, 7:07 am
  #2  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: CDG
Programs: I used to be Plat, but now I'm not. Now I'm just Gold. Lucky if I keep that.
Posts: 4,029
Something smells fishy in this story!
dctorres is offline  
Old Oct 6, 03, 5:30 pm
  #3  
aw
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Burlingame, CA
Programs: TK Miles & Smiles, CM ConnectMiles, AA Advantage
Posts: 2,091
In this day and age, I am not surprise. What about if this was a bomb in disguise? We already know of one guy who put explosives in his shoes flying AA from CDG-MIA. Any electronic item that is not attendend should raise a "red flag".
aw is offline  
Old Oct 8, 03, 12:10 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Taunton, MA
Posts: 447
Bomb ??? Get serious. If they thought it was a bomb they wouldn't pick it up unless they were brainless which of course is a possibility.

They also would have to notify the controllers and the AF dispatchers.
Doesn't look like this was done.

Even with suspicious packages people ASK since it could save time.
billhar is offline  
Old Oct 8, 03, 4:24 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SFO, USA - UA PE, *A Gold, AF Gold
Posts: 164
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Kimo:
.... After some inquiries he found out that the cabin crew had discovered the laptop before takeoff and thrown it from the cabin door to the tarmac, 15 feet below (5 meters.) The cabin crew reported that they thought that it had been left behind by a departing passenger.</font>
So the cabin door was open without there being any finger or stairway? So just the plane full of passengers, the cabin door and then nothing for 5 meters? Come on!

Not to discredit you or your employee but this sounds very strange to me.
Axelerator is offline  
Old Oct 8, 03, 9:02 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Internets
Posts: 8,262
A side of this story is AWOL.
Droneklax is offline  
Old Oct 12, 03, 7:06 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: Amex Centurion, UA 1K, *wood Plat
Posts: 90
I just got e-mail from my employee who is an international lawyer and United Nations consultant .. not one to invent scenarios.

He writes:

I am not too impressed with Air France.

My computer was safely stowed under the seat in front of me. I asked the stewardess if I could change to a window seat for takeoff (several others from the middle row had also done this) to see what Cameroon looked like. I changed seats immediately after the "fasten seat belts" sign was engaged. They must have swooped it up immediately. They did not check to read any of the 7 pieces of ID I had in the bag or to check if the passenger who was allocated that seat (me) was travelling to Yaounde and ask for me to identify myself. Instead they say that they made an announcement in French asking if anyone had lost a bag. Neither Fiona [Kimo notes: another employee and UN consultant], her boyfriend nor I heard the message. Even if I had, as far as I was concerned, none of my bags (including those in the overhead compartment) were lost. Thinking that the computer was either a security risk or the possession of someone who had departed at Doula, the purser launched the computer out the plane door 50 feet down onto the tarmac. Why anyone would throw a computer 50 feet off a plane, even of it belonged to someone in Doula is ridiculous - and especially if it is a security risk.

--------------

So, as I have no reason to disbelieve my employee and much experience over the years with less than impressive Air France service, I believe that this event took place as he describes it. Air France obviously did not take all due diligence in protecting the property of one of its passengers, but then I don't need to tell that to any of you who have tried to check luggage through CDG.
Kimo is offline  
Old Oct 12, 03, 11:03 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Internets
Posts: 8,262
Interesting, but still smells funny.

Obviously, the crew saw a bag under a seat, and could not locate the owner. They made an announcement (hard to believe they did not make it in English as well). No one came forward to claim the bag. At that point, either you evacuate the aircraft or get rid of the bag.

I am not sure of Douala has jetways, but I'd say the crew decided to get rid of the bag by throwing it to a ground staff below, who might have missed it.

Possible. It still think there is something missing, but I might be wrong.

If your employee could not move to the seat immediately to the window seat immediately to his right (or left), it is presumably because there was someone there. Why would that someone not point to your employee when the crew was trying to identify the owner of the bag?

Weird.
Droneklax is offline  
Old Oct 13, 03, 12:29 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Napa, California - DL demoted to xx, AF+ Rouge, FB Platinum
Programs: Air France, Delta
Posts: 511
To me this sounds more a Nigerian bank transaction.....but I could be wrong
GrapeDane is offline  
Old Oct 13, 03, 9:58 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Amstelveen, THE NETHERLANDS
Programs: FB-Plat, HHonors Gold
Posts: 682
Wow if this were a bomb the explosion would have been great, just by throwing the computer 50 feet down. I love the new security. What date and flight was this? This is a nice story to ask comments from AF and write about it.

------------------
Cheers,

Brenno.
http://wereldverkenning.nl
brenno is offline  
Old Jan 18, 04, 8:35 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: Amex Centurion, UA 1K, *wood Plat
Posts: 90
Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I have updated information on the resolution of this incident.

My consultant filed a claim with Air France two months ago and just received a check and a letter from Air France last week for just under C$3000 reimbursing him for the laptop and the cost of recovering the data. They gave no justification or apology, but the check more than made up for it.

Kimo is offline  
Old Jan 18, 04, 7:27 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,148
Wow your friend must be a BIG SHOT!!! AF are famous for ignoring claims!
Bretteee is offline  
Old Jan 19, 04, 2:56 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Paris, France
Programs: Flying Blue
Posts: 166
I believe they only respond if you actually file a claim against them. I have just received a response to a letter of complaint, and rather than saying sorry, I actually get a telling off!!!

I just love Air Franceís customer relations policy; anyone would think they were the best airline in the world and that we should be grateful to have the chance of flying with them.

By the way anyone have Jean-Cyril Spinettaís adresse, I have decided to send him my thoughts on the subject. Donít worry I donít expect any response!!!
Bungus is offline  
Old Jan 19, 04, 8:41 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: SoCal to the rest of the world...
Programs: AA EXP with lots of BA and CX. (Disgruntled UA Lifetime Plat) - No hotel loyalty anymore
Posts: 6,362
Why did he leave his notebook under his seat at a stop?? He sounds REALLY trustworthy, your friend...
NickP 1K is offline  
Old Jan 24, 04, 6:22 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SFO, USA - UA PE, *A Gold, AF Gold
Posts: 164
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Bretteee:
Wow your friend must be a BIG SHOT!!! AF are famous for ignoring claims!</font>
AF ALWAYS responded with a rather generous check. I wished other Airlines would be so generous!
Oops!, I forgot that I am a big shot!

[This message has been edited by Axelerator (edited Jan 24, 2004).]
Axelerator is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: