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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Air France - three strikes and you're out (Air France Flight 3648)

 
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  #1  
Old Dec 7, 2009, 9:44 PM
dhenderson116 dhenderson116 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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My traveling group and I took a vacation to Greece and were booked on direct flights between New York and Athens on a shared flights with Air France and Delta. Two days before our departure from Athens we were advised by our travel agent that the Delta and Air France were no longer sharing that flight, the flight was overbooked and Air France had rebooked some of us on a connecting flight through Paris. The travel agent said they had no control over the changet. Since we were a group and also had prepaid our transportation home from JFK airport in New York, we wanted to keep our original direct flight. Air France booked us on a flight which connected through Paris, causing us to split from our group, get to New York four hours later than scheduled and miss our prepaid transportation (causing us to pay additional monies for taxis) and then told us that since they got us back to New York on the scheduled date and they were not responsible for the foul-up of our flights (blaming Delta, which may or may not be true), they fulfilled their contract with us and owed us nothing. Add to this the connection in Paris where we almost missed our plane and the thousands of people at security and boarding, and it was a nightmare. We had to race across the Paris airport for at least a half mile, and we’re seniors with luggage! Delta apologized for their shortcomings and offered us some compensation for our troubles. Air France offered us nothing and everyone knows that a connecting flight costs less than a direct flight. They would not reimburse us for the difference in the cost of the flights. All of this despite the fact that we didn’t want to take that flight in the first place, we were never consulted beforehand, and we were offered no alternatives. They obviously don’t believe in good will gestures either.
This was my third flight with Air France and I can assure you it will be my last. The first time I traveled with them they misplaced my luggage; the second time they left us off way outside the airport and had a tram take us to our Terminal, which of course was late and caused us to miss our flight. We then had to wait several hours for another flight. Three strikes and they are out, BIG TIME!
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  #2  
Old Dec 7, 2009, 11:03 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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It appears your travel agent was correct in that Air France no longer codeshares with Delta on the Athens to JFK non-stop. Since the flight was booked as an AF flight and the AF flight number was canceled by AF, it would have been handled like any other schedule change. Since AF doesn't have non-stop service from ATH to JFK and there was no space on the DL flight to rebook you then connecting in Paris was, unfortunately, your only option.

I'm not sure why Delta was so forthcoming with compensation since AF was responsible for re-booking you, however since you were on a European carrier on a flight which originated in an EU nation there may be some compensation due to you if your arrival in JFK was delayed from it's original time on the non-stop. If your arrival time was 4 hours later or less you should be paid 300 Euro (about $445 USD) and if you arrived at JFK more than 4 hours later than originally scheduled you should receive 600 Euro (about $890 USD).

Connecting flights aren't always less expensive than non-stop flights so you really don't have a claim there but you do under the EU rules since the AF flight was cancelled (due to the change of codeshare agreement) and your arrival at JFK was delayed.
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Old Dec 7, 2009, 11:07 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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well a connecting flight doesnt necessarily mean it is cheaper than a direct flight, for example it would cost me more to fly from EWR (newark) to LHR (london heathrow) with connections than it would going directly, there are various airlines that are cheaper than the first connecting flight (connects in washington dc) so it depends on the route, time, type of ticket, so connecting flights arent cheaper (some of the airlines that were cheaper included Virgin Atlantic and British Airways) which i would rate higher than any of the US based airlines and higher than Air France.

I understand why you didn't and wouldnt want to take a connection, its alot more added stress, especially when your not familiar with the airport (charles de galle is a complete mess, and its almost necessary to know french to get around) It adds extra time to your journey, and it is not what you expected. As you said before that you dont know if it was Air France or Delta who caused this problem, but from my guessing is you booked with Air France and it was a codeshare flight with Delta, and since they seperated as you said, you were told that you were to be on the Air France plane as you booked with them (my guess), and since Air France dont do a direct flight to JFK from Athens than they made you go through their hub, Air France problem that they made you go through france?....no its just the route they make you take, there is nothing they could have done that way

Could they have been more helpful? definately, they could have provided better assistance, but if the flight with the Delta codeshare wasn't allowing you on than they probably gave you the best alternative, getting you to your final destination as close to the delta flight as possible

I believe that this may be a problem with Delta not with Air France however... and/or if you booked with expedia/travelocity or any travel agent than they should be the one's that should have provided assistance, and gone through them, they can usually figure something out to keep the group together
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Old Dec 7, 2009, 11:53 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Phx is right.. you entitled to compensation and you should make your claim directly to Air France. Write to Air France giving the details of your original booking and the amended booking. Claim the payment under your EU rights under European Directive 261/2004. State specifically in your letter that you are making this claim under this directive. Any compensation you have received from Delta or any other source does not affect your right to claim this money.

It is possible the reason Delta compensated you is that this change was brought about by them. Delta have recently concluded an agreement with Olympic Airways to operate the route as a code-share with them. Olympic Airways is dropping all it's long haul flights as part of a re-structuring following their bankruptcy. As these flights are being combined, this may be why there are capacity problems on the route. Air France was only acting as a sale agent for Delta, but is ultimately responsible.
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 4:03 PM
dhenderson116 dhenderson116 is offline
 
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Thank you for all the replies. I have been back and forth with Air France several times and they still take no responsibility for the problem. Delta didn't compensate us very much but they did give my travel partner and I some credit for a future flight and also gave me some bonus mileage on my Skymiles account because of the miles that were not given to me when we were forced to fly home on Air France. I'm sure the reasons for the compensation were just what you figured, as I figured the same. I am also well aware that Air France flights must stop in Paris on their way to the U.S. but we didn't want to fly Air France. I wanted to fly on a direct flight to the U.S. by Delta which was the flight we contracted for, even if it meant flying the next day, but that would have caused the airlines to lay out money for a hotel, etc. We should have been given options at the airport, not just given a notice that our flight was changed and “have a nice day.” They wrecked my day and the last two days of my vacation which were mainly spent trying to rebook and fly home with my group.

I appreciate the information from jimworcs about EU rights under European Directive 261/2004 and will write to a higher authority at Air France re this directive. Thank you for this. Air France was not at all helpful nor was Delta until I threatened them with complaining on-line about them, but at least Delta came through in the end. It apparently doesn’t mean anything to Air France. Well now they mean nothing to me.

Our travel company was Gate 1. I advised them of the situation and they said they would contact the airlines as a liaison. When I asked them for copies of their correspondence, I was double-talked and never received it. I have gotten no other response from them other than that they were sorry for the foul-up but had nothing to do with it. All the leg work was done by me vis-à-vis the airline correspondence, and I will once again contact Air France. Thank you to all that took the time to respond to me. It’s great to know there is a site like this to vent airline problems and people kind and knowledgeable enough to respond.

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  #6  
Old Jan 7, 2011, 9:28 PM
airlineflyboy airlineflyboy is offline
 
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Dear D Henderson


Sorry to tell you that you are NOT covered by any EU directive as technically your original flight was NOT cancelled the Airlines concerned just decided not to operate the said flight as a co-operation flight, they have a duty to get you to your destination WITHIN 4 hours of the original scheduled time and under EU law that is ALL......so Air France quite rightly denied you any compensation, any other transports costs are not the responsibility of the airlines regardless of the situation. If you had booked the original flight number in the first place and not a code share- (your travel agents error i guess) then you would be have been looked after appropriatley, with code share flights you do NOT have the same protection as operating flights Sorry
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 12:37 AM
aonghas aonghas is offline
 
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I have 80,000 KLM Airmiles – which they say they are going to ZERO – if I don’t make a booking before 30th Sept 2012.

You can book up to 10 months in advance for air mile tickets (so they say!)

2 days ago I did some research on how I could get a married couple I know from Aberdeen to Paris in Oct or Dec or Mar 2013 – and I found 4 options for them (40,000 for the 2 + 130 Euros tax) – sounded good.
Tonight I went to book their chosen option – and NONE of the 5 options that were available for DIRECT flights from ABZ-CDG-ABZ were available from Oct 2012 – July 2013 !!!

Of course plenty air-miles seats on the 10 hour (return)BZ-AMS-CDG-AMS-ABZ – ALL DIRECT FLIGHT AWARDS FOR 10 MONTHS GONE IN 48 HOURS – I DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

CLEARLY WHAT KLM/AF FLYING BLUE HAVE DONE (I CHECK BOTH WEBSITES) IS “BLOCK” AWARD TICKETS ON THE DIRECT ABZ-CDG-ABZ ROUTE (2 hours) AND RESHUFFLED THEM TO THE “STOPOVER” AT AMS (5 houes each way).

I USED THEM A LOT IN THE LAST 9 YEARS FLYING ON BUSINESS TO JAPAN, CHINA, MALYASIA, SINGAPORE and HOUSTON.

THEY MUST THINK PEOPLE ARE STUPID THAT THEY CANNOT DETECT THESE UNETHICAL BLOCK “MOVES” OF ELIGIBLE ROUTES – LEAVINF FB AT THE BACK OF THE Q – WHEN IN FACT THOSE DIRECT FLIGHT SEATS ARE SUPPOSED ALLOCATED ON A % BASIS FOR FB CUSTOMERS.

ONCE I SPEND THESE 80,000 AIR MILES – I AM NEVER TRAVELLING WITH THEM AGAIN !
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