Bad time with Air France

After your editor’s own bad experiences with Air France in August from London to Johannesburg, I would advise readers to reconsider them for business trips to Africa. In my experience, the problems seemed widespread and the ground operations let down the fine planes and nice and professional cabin crew.
1. The turnaround time booked by Air France for Charles de Gaulle airport was possibly too short, so we missed the connection and the next flight offered was 24 hours later.
2. For 12 hours in the airport, they provided only 1 meal voucher, which was not enough even to include a cup of coffee, and tried to refuse access to the luggage.
3. I could not find good facilities for working at the airport, and they refused access to business lounges which are only available to Air France business passengers, even though I was willing to pay for workspace
4. Ground staff appeared to me confused, untrained and unhelpful. Above all they promised and repeatedly failed to deliver. The same in Johannesburg where they promised to put the luggage onto the next flight and failed, then rang at 5:50am the next morning to promise to put it onto the next flight but failed again and instead it was lost for a day.
Luckily our African airlines are improving fast, and the African staff sometimes try to treat us passengers like humans and as their guests when they hold us up. I switched to SAA for the return trip. Perhaps some Africans should give Air France some training in customer care – but who needs to help a failing competitor?

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