Old Dec 24, 2008, 8:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Default Air France

I'll just post the complaint I sent to Air France:

Rio de Janeiro, 14th June 2008

Air France
Service client
TSA 60001

Flight 9344 from Guadeloupe to Miami – 16th May 2008
Passengers: Jorge Wieselberg and Helena Benchimol Wieselberg

We, I and my wife, bought a package tour for the Club Med in Guadeloupe for the period of 9th to 16th May. This package included transportation from Miami and back, by Air France.

On the 16th we were booked on flight 9344 to return from Guadeloupe to Miami.

The following is a cronological description of the events:

16th May:

We arrived at the airport in Guadeloupe at 14:30 pm for flight 9344.
At 18:00 pm we were advised that the flight had been cancelled due to technical problems
We received a voucher for a hotel
We informed the attendant that we had reservations on flight AA 905 from Miami to Rio de Janeiro for the 17th May.
The attendant wrote down all the details of our AA e-tickets and assured us that Air France would rebook us to the 18th May, if necessary.
The attendant also informed that Air France would call us at the hotel to advise on the status of the next flight to Miami.

17th May

No one called us at the hotel, so we called Air France and were informed that the airplane could not be repaired and that we would be accomodated in the regular afternoon flight to Miami.
We called AA and found out that nothing had been done to rebook our ticket to Rio.
We called Air France again and were advised to proceed to the airport immediately where we would have the AA reservations rebooked. We asked: can we rebook ouselves and be reimbursed? The attendant said, no, we won’t reimburse you since we can do it ourselves at no cost.
At the airport the attendant supposedly rebooked the AA reservation and assured us that everything was arranged.
We arrived in Miami around 11 pm.
In fact, when disembarking in Miami an attendant offered us a voucher for a hotel, which we didn’t need since we have family in Miami, and again confirmed that the AA ticket had been rebooked.

18th May

Just in case, we phoned AA in the morning.
We found out that Air France had done nothing and that our reservation had been cancelled as we didn’t show up on the 17th and that if we wanted to travel we would have to buy another ticket.
We called Air France and again were advised to go to the airport in the afternoon to see what could be done.
At the Miami aiport the first attendant heard the story and immediately replied that this is not Air France’s problem but ours. We insisted and the Supervisor appeared and after some time managed to get us a ticket for AA 951 - AA 905 was fully booked - for that evening.

When we arrived in Rio de Janeiro on the 19th around 11 am, we found out that our son had organized for the 18th – a Sunday - a reception for 25 at Garcia & Rodrigues, a posh restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, to commemorate my wife’s 70th birthday. Of course it had to be cancelled but since everything was paid for, even the cake, his loss was close to R$ 10.000,00.

I also had a Varig ticket to fly from Rio to São Paulo for the 19th and had to rebook to the 20th, paying R$ 200,00 in rebooking fees.

Airplanes break dow occasionally, but an airline as traditional as Air France is expected to have qualified personnel to handle and solve all consequential problem. Your people could have put us on the daily AA flight from Guadeloupe to Miami which arrives much earlies and we could have still made it on board of AA 905, but they just didn’t bother to try. Only on the 17th in the morning we were informed that the only option was the regulat flight in the afternoon, which was a couple of hours late at that. And of course the information your personnel provided was faulty or just plain misleading like “everything has been arranged”.

I will appreciate to have your comments of the above as well as a compensation for all this as well as for the lost luncheon.


Jorge Wieselberg
Rua Tonelero 170 apto. 703
22030-002 Rio de Janeiro, RJ

This complaint was attended to by Air France under reference no.3423865001, and they requested the necessary documentation, which I sent.

Eventually they reimbursed me for R$ 200,00 which was the VARIG rebooking fee, and sent me two vouchers of USD 150 each valid until Septemberg 2009.

This was one in a lifetime event – my wife´s 70th birthday. We missed the commemoration, had the expenses, cancellation fees, etc., and as far as Air France is concerned, it’s our tough luck.

Since I live in Rio de Janeiro the only was I could use those vouchers would be to buy Air France tickets to Pais, which cost around USD 1.300 each. I don’t have the means, nor the intention to fly to Paris – so these vouchers are useless.

The offer of two USD 150 useless vouchers is downright insulting to say the least. At practically no cost, they could have offered two tickets subject to seat availability. Instead they would rather have two very unhappy (ex) customers, who will spare no effort to tell this story to any one that will listen as well as to post it on the web whenever possible

Old Dec 25, 2008, 2:46 PM
azstar azstar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 375

If you had purchased one single ticket, through American Airlines or Air France, your contract would have been Guadaloupe to Rio. Air France would be reponsible for getting you to Rio de Janeiro. If you purchased two tickets, one on Air France and a separate one on American Airlines, Air France is, unfortunately, only obligated to get you to Miami. Airlines make it clear in their contract of carriage that they are not responsible for schedules, so they can get you to Miami two days late and are not required to compensate you, nor are they responsible for any fees or issues created on the next flight you have purchased. You might feel that's not fair, but you should consider that fact when you buy separate tickets for same day connecting flights.
Old Jan 1, 2009, 1:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2

Wrong. I am owed compensation for the 24 hour delay according to Regulation (EC) 261/2004.

This was a flight between Guadeloupe (EU) to Miami so it is subject to the European Union rules.

By the way, I bought the AF ticket as part of a Club Med package. Otherwiese I would have flown AA all the way.
Old Jan 2, 2009, 2:06 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

God, if you think AA is better than AF, you are in for a rude awakening!

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