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Old May 12, 2009, 2:45 PM
NiranjanRajaghatta NiranjanRajaghatta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Default Air France - Air France and PARIS/CDG - a deadly combination

PARIS/CDG and Air France should be avoided like the plague. Read all about it from the horse's mouth, the Paris Herald, here

Indian passengers flying Air France allege racial bias

By Wire News Sources on May 12, 2009

MUMBAI (A Times of India Report) - Over 50 Indian passengers flying Air France had a “harrowing” time at Paris airport after their aircraft developed a technical problem and complained on Tuesday on reaching here that they were victims of “racial” profiling.
The passengers, who spent 28 hours in Paris, said they were confined to a lounge at the airport there from 10 pm on Sunday till 7 am the next morning and given “hardly any food and water”.
The passengers, on their way to Mumbai from the US via Paris, said while the foreigners were taken to hotels shortly after their plane returned to the Paris airport due to apparent technical problem following a four-hour flight, they were taken to the lounge and given just a bottle of water and a sandwich.
Giving details of their “harrowing” time, one of the travellers
, Vineeta Sengupta said, “No foreigner would have been treated like the way we were treated. People were lying down on the floor over there (at a place at the airport) where immigration takes place”.
Accusing Air France of “racial” profiling, a girl passenger said that the officials there even had threatened that they would be handed over to the police if they did not stop protesting.
Sengupta said the 53 to 54 Indian passengers were later “huddled out” of the airport on a “group visa”, which the authorities could have provided much earlier, and taken to a hotel.
No reason has officially been given for the delay.
Old May 14, 2009, 5:11 PM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 340

Was it the French government not allowing the passengars into the country or Air France?
If there was group visa issues it was the French government.
Old May 14, 2009, 7:16 PM
NiranjanRajaghatta NiranjanRajaghatta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8

You are absolutely right - the French gov. may have not given visas - they are not obliged to grant instant visas to everyone who comes to their doorstep. They are already having problems on that front.
Millions, if not thousands of passengers travel by Air France and pass through Paris/CDG every year and many of these passengers do not have visa-free entry to France. Air France and/or CDG should know better to accomodate such passengers. This is not the first time that a aircraft has developed problems and come back to Paris/CDG with passengers who do not have visa free entry to France.
All this shows a huge lack of understanding of customers and their requirements - you cannot assume that flights will all go smoothly, every time. You MUST account anticipate and make provisions for such problems - that is the job of a good airline management and airport management. And in both cases, Air France and CDG have fallen short and caused undue suffering to passengers. Hence the need to avoid CDG and Air France - they are not going to change soon and most likely never will.
Old May 15, 2009, 6:35 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY NY
Posts: 510

So basically... the 50 people who were held in a transit station, had no visas while the other foreign passengers, were allowed to stay in hotels... because they had visas or other documentation that would allow them to step on french soil..... so how is this the airline's fault? I don't think it's racial profiling at all. It sounds like customs in France screwed up, because as the piece of the article states, they could have provided the group visa earlier that would allow those who did not have visas to leave.

And the airline did anticipate such technical issues, that's why they shipped the others to hotels. Had any of the others held in the transit station had proper documentation to begin with, they wouldn't have been there. Maybe they could have done something to more to those held in transit besides water and a sandwich? Most definitely. But the blame lies with the French customs, not the airlines.

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