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Air France overbooked

Johannesburg, South...
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Air France overbooked

I am stuck in Paris flying with AirFrance , which I will never use again if I can help it. So that others might avoid my nightmare, I thought that I would post this cautionary note. If you are flying Air France, make sure to do the early check-in via computer. We arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport for our scheduled flight back to South Africa 3 hours in advance. When we went to the kiosk to print out my boarding pass, I was informed that the flight was overbooked and that there is no seat for me but my husband is fine, I was on a "waiting list" for the flight and could only get on the flight if others do not pitch up . The gentleman at the desk gave me a boarding pass ensuring me that I would get a seat. My boarding pass had another boarding gate number than my husbands. So we were split up. When it was time to board i was not allowed on the plain but my husband was. They explained that I still have no seat and can not board till everyone was boarded?? When everyone boarded including my husband, the doors closed and I was told the plain was full. The plain took off and I was left behind alone . The next available flight was the following day same time. They spoke in French all the time I made it impossible for me to understand. They did not explain to me what was going on and when I asked they only say "one moment madam please one moment" You could imagine my surprise especially since I had booked my flight more than a year in advance and paid. I was treated like a criminal that stole a ticket and had to beg for someone to allow me to go home. I was told not to complain since I am getting a hotel and compensation and I get one more day in Paris. Did they not think for one moment that I do not want money nor do I want to stay one more second in Paris. How can they split a husband and wife. I had nothing with me but my Passport as my husband had our travel bag with him.

I would like to warn everyone not to fly AirFrance if you can avoid it. This is happening with everyone and they do not care about the client at all. AirFrance is the worst and do not have any respect for their clients. It is a take it or leave it and you have no say at all.

There was 5 passengers left behind with one was even a Bronze card holder for Air France and still was kicked off.

If you have already booked on AirFranse take care!!!

Edinburgh, United...
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12,780 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Air France overbooked

Almost all airlines overbook, it is no reason to avoid Air France in particular.

Leeds, United...
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for Leeds, Bradford
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17,987 posts
280 reviews
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2. Re: Air France overbooked

Unfortunate incident as it was, and certainly not pleasant when it happens but it can and does happen with most airlines. Initially airline will look for volunteers and if non are forthcoming then they will select, and as happened to you, you are given compensation.

What I feel worse than what Air France did to you, is that your husband didn't opt to stay and let you travel home. And certainly him leaving you with just your passport.

Dublin, Ireland
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2,193 posts
165 reviews
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3. Re: Air France overbooked

imagine that only speaking french in Paris?

London, United...
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27,178 posts
28 reviews
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4. Re: Air France overbooked

Actually a few of my colleagues have reported the same thing recently with air France interestingly enough. We all fly a lot , using a variety of airlines and the French have been having some issues more than normal - complaints of flight over booked to cabin over booked and bumped down a class and struggling to get to where they are going at the time they planned to go.

Possibly something more than normal going on here with air France.

For the op, actually I am appalled for you, it's pretty crap for you to be left behind like that and not fully explained that's what was happening. You should be due comp as you were denied boarding involuntarily.

Fredericia, Denmark
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7 reviews
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5. Re: Air France overbooked

Yes, unfortunate, but happens with most airlines.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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59,605 posts
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6. Re: Air France overbooked

I would not have been happy if my husband got onto the plane before knowing IF I had a seat!!! That sounds like a terrible ending to a trip!

Johannesburg, South...
4 posts
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7. Re: Air France overbooked

They told us I will get in my husband must go in so long. They did not give him an option to stay. They kept on saying he must wait for me inside

Berkshire, England
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13,154 posts
59 reviews
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8. Re: Air France overbooked

Unfortunately all airlines overbook their flights and as others have said, usually ask for volunteers to offload but it sounds as if you had a particularly bad experience with Air France.

Palmetto, Florida
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5,210 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: Air France overbooked

Agree that being bumped happens with all airlines. But the way airlines / airline personnel deal with issue can vary a lot. I sympathize with OP; she had a bad experience comparatively.

In the US my experience is that airlines try best not to split up families unless volunteered. Families with kids on last flight out get priority too. Not sure why husband should board first, and not be able to wait for her. Is it French inflexibility?

Very bad to get stuck with just passport. If compensation is coming (or even not) I would have to do a quick airport retail therapy to get a shirt to change to, and at least one of those travel make up kit to make me feel whole.

I am sure Air France could have scourged up an English speaking person to talk to you. More likely they feigned "me no speak English". C'mon, this is an international airport, not rural France, SERVING international clients, or supposed to.

London, United...
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10. Re: Air France overbooked

Agree with amatrip on this, it's not the overbooking as such, it's the way it's handled and this was a very bad way to handle it.

I also agree that staff should make an attempt to speak English or find a translator, they serve an international clientele. It's fine for French to be the first language, but not the only language in this sort of instance.

The op has my sympathies also.