To date, neither I or my travel agent have even received any acknowledgement from anyone at Air France.
October 14, 2009
To Whom Concerned or Interested at Air France,
On October 1, 2009, my mother, myself and six family members boarded your Air France flight 33 from Houston, Texas to Paris. This trip was my mother's dream trip as our final destination was Prague. We were celebrating her 80th birthday by taking her to see our ancestral homeland. She called it her “trip of a lifetime”.
I'm quite sure that you are aware of the mechanical problems that occurred on that flight, so going into detail about the situation isn't really necessary. I applaud your crew and pilots for a safe landing and, luckily, we had a family member who is an experienced travel agent to attend to the details of continuing our “dream trip”. I also want to highly commend Felicia and Heidi on your Houston ground crew who, along with my cousin, were able to work out reasonable alternative travel for October 2, 2009.
Now let me make a suggestion. Gather 4 or 5 of your highest executives along with a couple of seniors and place them on a full Boeing 777 and let them sit on the tarmac for six hours. Let them enjoy the lack of air conditioning, repeated announcements of impending take off, and the odor of 300 sweating bodies and filling toilets. Then them off the aircraft and line up in front of 2 Air France agents who suggest “go home and come back tomorrow at 9:00 in the morning”. Send an agent to stroll up and down the line to lie about the situation and notice that several elderly people in that line and watch him do NOTHING. That's the way to start a “trip of a lifetime”.
We had planned this trip down to the last detail. We wanted my mother, Rose Krupa, to have the best and flying on Air France seemed to be the best. I had flown Air France several times from Houston to Mexico City in the 1970's and enjoyed the service, cleanliness and timeliness. What has happened to your airline? We lost one day of the “dream trip”, 6 worthless box tickets to the opera in Prague, one night's cost of lodging for 8 people in Prague, and endured exhausting hours of lies. I can handle most anything. I can excuse most anything. But never lie to me. I am a seasoned traveler and have flown many times.
After about one hour on the plane, it was more than obvious that the mechanical problem was serious and at that time the flight should have been canceled. Your agents were told that the plane was going to leave up until 5 minutes before it was canceled. They had five minutes to prepare to handle more than 300 irate and exhausted passengers. That just tells me what you think of your agents. I actually felt sorry for Felicia and found out that she didn't leave for home until 4:00 AM and was back at her job and 9:00 AM. She also found us at our Lufthansa flight to make sure that all was okay.
Now let's get to the bottom line. I expect Air France to reimburse us for one night's lodging in Prague along with the cost of 6 tickets to the opera at the National Theater in Prague. It was a personal favorite, Carmen. The lost day, priceless, and I excuse that, thanks to the successful landing.
Frank J. Krupa
We did fly Air France back to Houston. The aircraft was filthy. The crew was indifferent. A large number of the seat entertainment systems were inoperative. If you are planning a trip to Europe, don't fly Air France. They maybe less expensive, but is not worth it!