Air France and CDG Airport, you suck!


My plane from Belgrade to Paris landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport on time. I immediately got the bus from terminal 2B to 2E. I ran to security. I didn’t bother repacking my bag or putting on my belt. I just ran to the boarding gate. The bus for the plane was still there but I was told boarding had closed and I would have to take the next flight. We are talking 30 seconds here! I was 5 paces from the bus taking people from the gate to the plane. I turned away from the boarding gate, said a long list of expletives, turned back and politely asked what I was supposed to do now. I was told to go upstairs to the transfer desk.

At the transfer desk I was told I had to take the next plane, scheduled for a little over 6 hours later. There was no extra charge for this change because Air France admitted it was their fault for issuing a ticket for “an impossible connection”. There would be no compensation though because my flights weren’t delayed. There were about 10 other people in exactly the same position. Our flights from various countries had arrived on time, but we had been given a connection that was impossible to make. If they had delayed closing the boarding gate by about 10 minutes we would have all got on.

To add insult to injury, the transfer desk couldn’t issue the new boarding passes immediately because the plane had missed its takeoff slot and was waiting for a new one. I was … very angry! If I was that blue geezer from WatchMen I would have disintegrated every inch of CDG airport.

CDG screwed up my luggage on the way out and Air France messed up my trip home. If I have my way I am never using Air France or this airport again!



Note. There have been several drafts of this post. The first might well have landed by in prison. The later ones required a Parental Advisory sticker. This one is fit for human consumption…

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

6 thoughts on “Air France and CDG Airport, you suck!”

  1. Wow, that sucks. Sorry to hear about your tribulation. Sounds like my ordeal that I had a few years ago in Philadelphia airport with lost luggage on US Airways.


  2. I’m glad to hear things haven’t changed much at CDG since 2002…
    I hope this doesn’t spoil your impression of the Balkan 🙂

  3. I can tell you horror stories about Frankfurt (a lot worse than yours, believe me), Amsterdam and Heathrow. I’m limiting myself to European major airports.
    The ‘impossible’ connections is something a lot of airlines do due to the regulations that stipulate reimbursement is only required for delay. It’s a backport. You could file a complaint and say that you were delayed by 6 hours, although I think that it would be better if a EU citizen did that with the European Commission.

    Then again, Air France and CDG are my favourites as I’ve never had any major problems and always a very enjoyable service on the flight. I still have to fly my first US airline with truly friendly service (unless I count that steward who fancied me as friendly service)

  4. I spent 24 hours on the floor of CDG because of a controllers strike, 1977 I think. Gendarmes standing around in a semi-circle with machine guns didn’t give that fuzzy happiness feeling.

    In the US there are people who have made getting bumped an art form.

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