Disappointed in AF

Old Dec 15, 04, 1:13 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 186
Disappointed in AF

Hi all,

For those of you who have seen my previous posts, you might have noted that I had an upbeat and positive feeling about AF and F+.

This changed today. I had 2 flights which were both on 777-200. My first 12 hour flight I had prebooked seat 23J only to be told at the airport that they had overbooked Business class and would have to downgrade some business class passengers to row 23. So I had to settle for 24G. I decided not to make a fuss out of it and took things calmly.
15 hours later, I boarded the second flight which was 1 1/2 hour delayed due to weather and de-icing of the plane at CDG. My seat number was 35C which also is supposed to be one of the best seats in the cabin. The problem this time was that the actual seat was is terrible shape (very hard seat, the inside sponge totally worn out so the feeling was as if sitting on wood. You didn't have to sit to feel something wrong you could see the problem!!). I asked to speak to the cabin attendant. She told me she would see what she can do after take-off but was quite sure that only middle seats would be available. I explained to her that as FP Red, I always chose rows 23 and 35 in 777-200. In any case, she did not come back to me at all after take-off.
Halfway through the flight, I began to really feel bothered by my seat and this time asked to speak to the chief attendant. After explaining to her the situation, she took one look at me and said "if it is an upgrade you are looking for, I am sorry this is impossible" in a very arrogant and really unwarranted manner. I looked at her and just said "I never asked for any upgrade, I just feel that after logging 93,000miles in 2004 with AF and I am supposed to have some privilege being Red, and I feel I am entitled to at least complain when something is so very clearly wrong. She just answered "Sorry there is nothing I can do".
An hour later, she came back to me saying she will write a report about the incident. I thought she had reconsidered that her attitude was totally out of place.
As the flight arrived, I thought she would give me a copy of the report. I approached her thinking she had changed her attitude. She told me "this report is internal, you cannot get a copy of it and Customer Service will follow it up only if they find a follow-up is warranted. At that moment, I looked at her and just told her "since you are the one who wrote it, I really doubt there will ever be a follow-up by Customer Service" and left the plane.

Would appreciate your feedback about what you think I should do next.
ALEXIS2004 is offline  
Old Dec 15, 04, 1:41 pm
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Wow, that is a pretty piss poor attitude. I agree with you on your usual assessments of AF, so I'm sure you agree with me when I say you lucked out and got a really bad crew member!

I don't think they should have moved a Rouge out of his front cabin pre-assigned seat because AF overbooked (oops). They could have inconvenienced someone else instead.

In any case, in all honesty, I don't know what they really could have *done* to make things better for you in flight, but the attitude certainly seems out of order and that, IMHO, should be the basis of your complain to Customer Service (though I suspect you'll just receive a lettre modèle bidon as a response)

[Edited because NickB read the OP a lot better than I did]

Last edited by dctorres; Dec 15, 04 at 2:08 pm Reason: Oops!
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Old Dec 15, 04, 1:59 pm
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From what I understand, the OP was not downgraded. Another pax was and was allocated the seat originally assigned to the OP, hence why he had to move.

I agree that there is not much that can be done on the flight, other than seeing whether another seat is available. Many airlines, though, would give some miles in compensation for the discomfort after writing to CS. I would not expect much from AF, but it sure can't harm to write to customer relations a brief and to the point letter.

As to attitude, well, there is such a thing as rude F/As, on AF as elsewhere, although I would be very surprised if AF actually admitted to anything being wrong, let alone did anything about it.
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Old Dec 15, 04, 3:23 pm
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I know this isn't the experience everyone has, but don't count out customer service in Florida (assuming you are US based). I have written two or three letters when I felt something was really wrong (or really right) and have always received a personal (not canned) response which addressed my concerns. In at least two cases, miles were offered as compensation and one of those offers was extremely generous. Emphasize your loyalty to AF (you are Rouge, have racked up 90+K miles this year, etc.) and your shock because things didn't live up to the great service you had come to expect as Rouge. I would keep your tone light, not condemning. It seems to me that onboard compensation is meager (there are quite a few threads on broken IFE or footrests being worth only a 20 Euro voucher onboard for someone who paid full J fare) but it's definitely been my experience that CS in Florida tries to do right by their customers (don't know about France and you don't say where you live in your profile). Hope things work out for you.
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Old Dec 15, 04, 6:46 pm
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 179

Indeed not all flights are the same, and I do not know of many places where one
gets consistently, excellent service... But I would like to ask, why do you think
that a report written by the FA would not be followed up? I don't think that the
FAs enjoy working on planes which cannot give you the comfort that you expect.


Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
[...] she came back to me saying she will write a report about the incident. [...] I told her "since you are the one who wrote it, I really doubt there will ever be a follow-up by Customer Service" [...].
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Old Dec 16, 04, 2:52 am
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Thanks for all the constructive feedback. Now is one day later and jetlag has passed, so I can think more clearly.
First, my main complaint was in the second flight, so it was more about the poor condition of the seat and was definitely not an attempt to be upgraded or moved but rather it was about trying to provide some constructive criticism. I knew they could not do much about my seat as you all have pointed out but the last thing I expected was the bad attitude of the FA. What had happened in the first flight about seat allocation had been forgotten at the time, but I only mentioned it when the problem occured in the second flight.
Second, about q's comment, I normally think that Customer Service would follow-up such matters. But my logic in this specific case is that any flight attendant who treats a loyal frequent flyer that way, would certainly fill out a report which would not accurately detail the accounts as they really hapened and thus Customer Service would not have the real data to make a proper and sound decision.

So I think what I will do next is write to Customer Service and in a very gentle manner explain my point of view and wait to see if they will have any feedback. Until then, I will give AF the benefit of the doubt and not change my overall impression of them although I really feel (as NickB said) they will do nothing about it.
By the way, I just checked my flying schedule January-April, I have four AF reservations for a total 14 flying segments and about 41,000 qmiles. It should say something about my loyalty to AF so far.
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Old Dec 16, 04, 9:22 am
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I thought the seat cushions were removeable; seems like they could have switched yours with an empty middle seat.

On my last flight, I dropped the cover to my contact lens case between the armrest and seat cushion (777 NTC bus. class), and when the FA saw me searching for it on the floor, he brought a flashlight and dismantled all of the seat cushions and the casing on the arm rest console before he found the cover.

I agree that the treatment you received from the FA is not typical of AF.
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Old Dec 17, 04, 12:13 pm
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Sorry but as a paying Rouge member I would never accept being bumped from my seat. They can move those people somewhere else.
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