Air France - 2nd Racist Charge in 2 weeks

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by NikSha, May 29, 2009.

  1. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

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    MUMBAI: Racial discrimination has dogged Air France for the second time in two weeks. After the airline came under the scanner for discriminating against 55 Indian passengers, 10 more travellers alleged ill-treatment and discrimination by airline staffers during their transit stay at Paris airport on Monday.

    In a strikingly similar sequence of events, 10 Indians on board an Air France flight, AF 025, from Washington to Mumbai missed their connecting flight after the aircraft departed late from Washington due to a technical problem. What followed was a 13-hour stay in the transfer desk area with only a sandwich and a bottle of water to sustain on, while the airline arranged for transit visas. While most other passengers on board__Americans or Europeans or Indians with US passports__were taken to hotels, these passengers were allegedly confined to the transfer desk.

    "We reached Paris three hours late, with barely 20 minutes between our time of landing and the scheduled take-off of our connecting flight to Mumbai. We could not make it in time as we were supposed to change terminals to board,'' said Gwyneth Alphonso, a passenger. "We were told that the next flight was scheduled only the next day. While we were promised due care and support at Washington in case of a delay, the airline officials abandoned those who did not have a French visa on the transfer desk till they were ready with a flight 13 hours later,'' she added.

    The passengers were to board the Washington-Paris-Mumbai flight on Sunday, 5.15 am (IST). Due to a technical snag in the aircraft, they left Washington three hours late and reached Paris on Monday 1.50 pm, barely 20 minutes before their connecting Air France flight to Mumbai. The connecting flight had left by the time passengers reached the other terminal building. While those having French visas were instantly accommodated in a hotel in Paris, 10 Indians, who did not have a transit visa were asked to stay back in the transfer area till the airline arranged for their stay. The 10 passengers eventually left for Dubai by an AF 530, on Tuesday 3 am. They landed in Mumbai at 2.30 pm on Tuesday on an Emirates flight.

    "We were told that the police were denying a visa for the stay of Indian passengers and that we would have to spend the night at Paris airport,'' said another passenger Jagdish Patankar. "When we asked the airline staff for food, they denied saying that we were entitled to only a sandwich and a bottle of water,'' he added.

    Passengers said that a 15-month-old baby on board was wailing for food and her 65-year-old grand-mother was at loss to calm her down. Alphonso, who is suffering from low blood pressure an low sugar said that she had to ask other international passengers if they could spare a chocolate for her.
     
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  3. kautilya

    kautilya Regular Member

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    For what it's worth I don't see why they couldn't just buy food. I can understand the visa issue. Americans have a visa agreement with a lot of the european countries. Visa on arrival.

    I've been to CDG and apart from the English thing it wasn't all that bad. For sure I've never been to any airport where you couldn't buy food.

    Added Later: anyone who thinks AF is racist has never traveled BA. Heathrow was a far far lousier experience than CDG. The French are largely non color discriminatory in my experience.
     
  4. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    If you think being racist is what is bad about BA, wait till they lose your luggage for the 5th time in 6 flights:wink:
     
  5. kautilya

    kautilya Regular Member

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    lol. I've heard a lot of similar horror stories. I lost mine on a Lufthansa one. There were very nice about it. Gave me some money and sent me my bag a day later.
     
  6. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    I can understand the visa issue too, but the airline should have provided them all an extra meal at the very least to compensate for the lengthened duration of the flight. Pinning all of it on the passengers, and asking them to buy their own food is wrong. They were promised a certain service by the airline, and that was not delivered. It was the responsibility of the airline to compensate them.
     
  7. geoatpenn

    geoatpenn New Member

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    bastards.. this is the second time this has happened. denying food is the ultimate!
     
  8. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    I thought they were given sandwiches, and even if they don't, no need to stay hungry. All airports have cafeterias.
    You can always complain later anyway.
     
  9. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Why are we disscussing whether they should have bought the food or not? The real issue is why should there be such discrimination in the first place.......
     
    I am otm shank likes this.
  10. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    govt of india to take this issue
     
  11. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    All I am saying is that "at that moment, there was no reason to stay hungry, just because the airline didn't provide food". You can always file your complaint/case later on.

    In India, flights get delayed for ministers and MPs regularly (and particularly when I'm aboard it seems :(), and not for the ordinary Indians. Why aren't we doing anything about it?

    PS - I am not justifying Air France.

    I am an activist and believe in acting myself/ourselves.
     
  12. kautilya

    kautilya Regular Member

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    Umm... actually I don't see that the airline actually promises anything to you. Quite often you can get stranded because of maintenance or weather or something. You don't expect the airline to compensate you, do you?

    If the airline actually paid for the hotel for the others I can see why you could complain about discriminatory treatment. On the other hand if they just took them to the hotel and let them pay their own way through then I don't see the issue. You can't go to the hotel because you don't have a visa.

    In any case asking passers-by for chocolate bars seems crazy. Or maybe I'm being unfair and there is more to this story.
     
  13. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    guys guys time is Changing india is becoming a super power a i think govt to take action agains AF
     
  14. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I have travelled in most of the major airlines running out of India. I have never faced any racism so far. These are one-off incidents where the passengers had to be stranded because of flight delays/cancellations. Though it would be great if Air France give little better facilities or provide business lounge facilities for people lacking valid documents to stay in France hotels instead of leaving them to their fate
     
  15. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Most airlines would normally pay for hotel rooms or at least give you discount vouchers for major hotels. They generally have tie ups with the large hotels chains. Mind you, they are not required by law to do anything, but they do generally make sure the passengers are not up in arms against the treatment meted out to them.

    Canadian airlines move to compensate delayed travellers

     
  16. kautilya

    kautilya Regular Member

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    I've heard of of it happen but not often unless its an overnight delay. Mostly you're left to your own devices. I don't know about Candian airlines but my general experience has been that no airline really gives a rat's ass about you if you're flying economy.

    If you're flying business I suppose you can probably take care of yourself. :D
     
  17. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    please please my dear friends, using common sense is not prohibited in this forum, how many of you guys telling crap of ; to buy food have ever experience to stay for a longer time at an air terminal which was not supposed to be the stay for longer time? the answer is none.
    you have to have THE currency of that country to buy food. please place your self in that situation when your son will ask you to buy a bag of chips and you have no currency of that place( at night time no money exchange work).
    this is the limit of every thing. please practice your words and weapons such a way that the world respect you. At present it seems far distant.
    warm regards( please pardon my ignorance if i am bit inflammatory i believe in my name and i am living up to that)
     
  18. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Dude, you are assuming so many things. Forex exchange are open 24/7 in airports. Moreover, in the shops they accept credit cards. :blum3:
     
  19. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Delhi airport. 2007. My personal experience. I needed Indian rupees and the only foreign exchange centre, run by some travel agency was closed. This was at 11:30 at night. It was supposed to open at 9:00 am the next day.

    Of course, I don't think CDG airport would be so lousy, but you never know. Btw, almost all the shops close at night too, in most airports.....they do at JFK and Toronto airport at least.
     
  20. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hit and Run? So you are a troll? :blum3:
     
  21. kautilya

    kautilya Regular Member

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    Most airports across the world except dollars. Or Mastercard.

    Second I don't believe this was at night. If it was a 13hr flight with the flight taking off at 3 AM then they've been there since the afternoon.

    The only lousy thing about CDG is that people always talk to you in French for 5 minutes before my version of "Je ne parle pas français" settles in and then they talk to you in normal English. Given their history it's not hard to understand that though so I don't particularly mind.
     

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