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Altercation with airline manager @ CDG

Altercation with airline manager @ CDG

Old Jan 10, 17, 2:45 pm
  #1  
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Question Altercation with airline manager @ CDG

Hi, I had a strange and upsetting experience at the Charles de Gualle airport in Paris that I want to talk about.

I was traveling with a stop over in Paris. Because of delays, I missed my connection and had to spend some 13 hours in cdg.

My husband and I thought, wth, let's try for an upgrade. Maybe they'll sympathise. So we went over to the airline's manager to try and talk to him. He turned out to be just plain rude. I was quite taken aback, because he was blatantly rolling his eyes at us, sighing loudly, and practically scolding me. So at one point, it escalated to us both shouting at each other.

Long story short, I asked for his name so I can send in an official complaint about his behaviour. And here's the funny thing - he hid his name tag, and said the French law protects his identity!! I said but the French govt gave you a name tag!?

I then stormed off, while muttering "I got a picture anyway I'll find out who you are". At this point I was a fair distance away from the manager with his desk. He SHOUTED - "GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW OR I WILL OFFLOAD YOU THIS IS NOT A JOKE I WILL OFFLOAD YOU RIGHT NOW".

I was flabbergasted, and frankly a little scared now, so I walked over. He damended to see my phone. I was bluffing anyway so I had nothing. No pictures or anything. He saw my pics and then sort of flicked his arm to shoo me away.

Now here are my questions - Was he within his rights to

1. Not give me his name
2. Demand to see my phone gallery
3. Threaten to offload me in this scenario

And what are my rights and recourse option?

Sorry if this is not in the right topic. Let me know if I should ask this question somewhere else. Thanks for your time!
Gayatri Sriram is offline  
Old Jan 10, 17, 4:16 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
I was traveling with a stop over in Paris. Because of delays, I missed my connection and had to spend some 13 hours in cdg.

[Snip]

My husband and I thought, wth, let's try for an upgrade. Maybe they'll sympathise.
***** If you're traveling on one ticket and either arrived on an EU flight or arrived on an non-EU flight but operated by an EU airline, you're entitled to food, beverages and if applicable accommodations and additional compensation - provided that your flight wasn't late due to reasons beyond the control of the airline to 250/400/600€ (depending on the flight length).

Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
I said but the French govt gave you a name tag!?
So what!? Passports are issued by governments and you still can refuse to show it. And the ID was almost certainly issued by Air France (which is a privately owned company).

Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
I then stormed off, while muttering "I got a picture anyway I'll find out who you are".
****** The image of a person is protected in France and a person can sue for damages if you take a picture, where said person can clearly be recognized, that violates his privacy rights. There are exceptions, but those would almost certainly not apply in this case. The question whether his privacy rights were violated or not, remains to be answered.

In certain cases (unlikely here), you can face criminal charges.

Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
2. Demand to see my phone gallery
Yes. He may demand to see your phone gallery. No, he cannot force you to reveal it.

Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
And what are my rights and recourse option?
Threatening an employee with official complaints and suggesting that you took pictures of him (and IMHO hence violated his privacy rights, especially if he hadn't noticed that you took a photo - I know you didn't take one, but the airline employee did presume it), doesn't put you in a better position.

All in all, you handled this extremely bad. The first stupid idea was to ask for an upgrade.

The second moronic idea was to essentially flip out, because he was "rude". Take into consideration that ground staff are the best paid employees out there, that they might have been extremely busy and stressed out. And I'm surprised you didn't just leave it at it, after he rudely denied you an upgrade. I've traveled my fair share and never experienced an airline official "exploding" without me provoking them to do so.

The third moronic idea was of course threatening him with having taken pictures.

So there's a lot of blame to go around. The airline employee mishandled the situation, but so did you. Both of you exchanged threats. Yours was definitely more substantial: The employee certainly feared for his job and privacy.


If applicable, you could demand reimbursement of food expenses and any other reimbursements and/or compensation pursuant to applicable regulations.

Last edited by JOUY31; Jan 11, 17 at 7:17 am Reason: comments on OP removed
WorldLux is offline  
Old Jan 10, 17, 4:27 pm
  #3  
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Of course we asked for food etc. We got NOTHING because it was a weather related delay. And that's fine. We weren't owed an upgrade. We requested for it because we were pooped. Would have been perfectly fine to not get it. Again, because we weren't owed anything.

But thank you for your reply. It does open my eyes to things that maybe I didn't quite understand. In our country we have secretly filmed videos as complaints that are often used by consumers in various situations. I didn't realise it could be illegal to do that in other countries.

But how does one even lodge complaints then? If personnel is free to refuse to give their names?
Gayatri Sriram is offline  
Old Jan 10, 17, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
Of course we asked for food etc.
Why are you asking. You don't need a permission to go into a shop/a restaurant (of sorts) and eat. Later on you forward the checks to the airlines and demand reimbursement according to the regulations that apply even in case of delays due to weather. It is obvious though, that the cost for food are to be reasonable: You can ask to have 25kg of caviar and 10 bottles of champagne reimbursed because your flight was X hours late.

Originally Posted by Gayatri Sriram View Post
But how does one even lodge complaints then? If personnel is free to refuse to give their names?
You could've asked to see the supervisor. Filming/taking pictures of someone in secrecy is usually a big no-no. Chances that you will be sued are thin, but you do expose yourself to that kind of thing.

BTW: Obviously it's silly of the employee to not give out his name. If he had acted perfectly correct, he could've given you his employee number (most large companies have these), you could've lodged a company and he would have maintained his privacy.

Given that your demand was unfounded and that he probably was stressed out (if there were delays/cancellations due to weather, you can be certain that you weren't alone there and that the guy had so many more passenger to treat), I don't think it was warranted to demand his name or even suggest to lodge complaints.

It's a different story if every thing runs smoothly and he's just a jerk (but a supervisor can usually fix that) or if there are (systemwide) IRPOS and they are flooded with work (and hence ruder than usual).

PS: Treating airline/hotel employees as equals rather than subordinates gets you there much quicker.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 4:56 pm
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The reason we asked was because on our earlier delayed flight we were given coupons.

And he was ruder than usual. All we wanted was information on what it is we can do to make our wait time more comfortable; all he did was rolling his eyes and getting exasperated. I calmly said that I'm just a passenger looking for information and maybe he can direct me to someone who can help, to which he got annoyed and said "no one can help you". So anyway, he was out of line. But I handled it poorly by claiming I took a pic. If he was right, he shouldn't have had a problem in telling me his name. Also, I never told him it's so I can complain. Just said "what's your name". To which he said "I don't have to tell you the French law protects my identity". So he obviously knew why I was asking. It wasn't so I could him send him birthday cards!
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Old Jan 10, 17, 5:03 pm
  #6  
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Yeah, dont assume that I'm a jerk, pls. We had a collective airport delay of over twenty hours and we made our peace with it by sleeping and playing video games. We spoke to countless people at the airport from 3 different airlines, and every single person was empathetic and kind, even though they couldn't do anything to help. It's just the difference if how you treat the other person. You're right about us not being the only ones. Every airport was dealing with multiple days of delayed flights. Answering questions posed by passengers while being polite shouldn't take a back seat because of it.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 6:05 pm
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A kind reminder (this is a nice and kind forum ) to focus on opinions and not on individuals. Thanks for your understanding.

Jouy31
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Last edited by JOUY31; Jan 11, 17 at 7:20 am
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