Ok, I know Air France cannot stop the guy in front of me from farting from Houston to Paris and I also know that they cannot stop the woman beside me from spilling her coke in my lap, taking up my foot-space and waiting for me to fall asleep before needing to pee (she had the window seat) but seriously, this airline has graduated from being my favourite to now being on the top of my shit list.
The affair all started innocently enough while they were freely pouring champagne and once even bumped me up to first class. It was puppy love right from the start. But then they had to go and ruin it for me. I’m a member, I have an Ivory status, which really means squat. In fact, I think it may even be worth buying a higher level membership just to be treated like a human being! Let me clarify one thing though. The crew on the plane are awesome. It is not them I have a problem with…at least not so far.
I’m talking mostly about the dolts that work at the airport. I requested an aisle seat and got placed in the center seat on one flight and a window seat on the other. Once, my seat was way at the back next to the toilet. The stench was so bad I had to ask a flight attendant (at the beginning of the flight!), to spray it with some air-freshener so that I could stop gagging.
A friend discovered, the day before her flight, that the cruise company screwed up her departure date on her ticket. I went with her to the airport to see if we could change her flight. We were even willing to pay a change fee. First, we were redirected, by a staff member, away from the customer service desk only to be redirected back there by the other guy at check-in. We lost our place in the line and there was no way I was going to go to the back of the line so there were a few disgruntled people when I went back to the front. I simply told them to take it up with the representative who sent us in the wrong direction in the first place.
What we were told was that the flight was overbooked and only if she bought a first class ticket for $1,500 would they be able to ‘change’ her ticket! Huh? They asked what our membership status was and when I produced my ‘Ivory’ card she looked at me and said “Oh, you are Ivory, I can’t help you”. After getting nowhere, I offered to give up my ticket and move it to the next day so that my friend and I could still travel together. I figured that the airline would be happy to do this because they had an overbooked flight. Instead, I was told that it would cost me $300 to change my ticket! Huh?
I was then given a 1-800 to call and told that they would be able to help me more than the airline staff who I was standing in front of at the airport. Really? Ok, so I went to a payphone and called the number. It was an automated system, no big surprise, and I was told that the waiting period for a live person was three hours. Defeated, I hung up. I went back to the counter to check-in…I got some guy who I could hardly understand for his Russian accent. He was the same guy who sent us away 45 minutes earlier. Feck! Remember, I am an Ivory card holder…surely my seat preference is in their computer system, right? Where did he put my seat? In the middle, next to some fat woman who had to pee just as I had finally fell asleep five hours into my flight. 😦
So what did I learn from this experience…
- Air France is no longer my friend
- A plastic membership card means nothing and just takes up useless space in my wallet
- Logic and common sense, just like please and thank you, no longer exist
- Passing the buck is the new trend in Customer Service
- Wear coke resistant pants on my next flight
- Yell, kick and scream and refuse to be brushed aside with a lousy 1-800 # (in other words be more Italian)
- Drink as much free champagne as possible in-flight so I would forget why I was so pissed off in the first place