I was flying Air France a couple of times already and never had good experience with the airline or the airport in Paris (CDG). But let’s start with my recent adventure….
It started already in Munich. I am Gold Member with Delta Airlines, that means I am eligible to use Sky Priority Check-In and it also puts me on the Elite Plus status with Skyteam-Alliance.
Checking in was no Problem so far but it started with my bags. I only checked one bag and this was 3 kg overweight but I couldn’t waive the fee for the overweight so I had to pay a 100€. Weird thins is only I was able to take a second bag for free. I was thinking all this overweight fees is due of fuel consumption of the airpline not just to make money of the passengers. So why can I take 2 bags with each 23kg which adds up to 46 kg in total and not one bag with just 27kg. Just a reminder, if you fly First Class you can have bags weighing 32kg each. I wouldn’t even mind loading the bag myself in to the plans cargo-hull. Ok, now I had to pay the fee, but to pay the fee you have to go to another counter across the check-in hall in Munich – pay the baggage fee and come back to the agent where you checked in. With all other airlines, for example Delta in the US, I can pay directly at the check-in counter. This costed me a lot of time, because I had to wait again. At the gate the next small issue, this is not really a complaint about it, but somebody should fix it for the future. The boarding area was located half way down the jetway and I was thinking they didn’t even have any Sky Priority lane but all the way down right next to the ticket scanner there was a sign, that you can just skip the line and proceed directly to the front. Somebody should place this sign outside arround the corner that you can see it. If you already at the scanner it is useless anyway 😉
Flight from Munich to Paris was very pleasant. I enjoyed it and had no problems. But in Paris everything went upside down. I arrived at Terminal 2 and made my way to Terminal 1 for the lounge, because I had enough time for a break due to a long layover in Paris. As boarding time was coming closer I got back to terminal 2 and tried to get through security checkpoint. I tried to use Sky Priority lane as marked and the agent at the entrance to this line wouldn’t let me use it. Because it doesn’t say “Sky Priority” on my boarding pass. Just because of this tag? Weird thing was, my ticket only said Elite even I was Elite Plus with Skyteam.
Since my Membership Card is still in my office I showed him the app of Delta Airlines, where it also shows my status and that I am allowed to use Sky Priority but his next excuse was that it was Delta Airlines Sky Priority and that doesn’t count in Paris (CDG) and Economy Class doesn’t count either to use this lane. Well I was a little upset and didn’t want to start arguing with the agent, because I didn’t want to block the passengers behind me from getting on board of the plane. I gave up and used the regular line. There I was pulled out from another agent and he was asking me if I am flying Air France. I acknowledged his question and we went to a scale. He weight my carry-on luggage and told me it was overweight and I have to go to the Air France ticketing counter (5) and talk to the agents there. This counter is far away from the security checkpoint. Everything is far away from where you have to get to in Paris anyway.
So I went there, talked to the agent and she told me I was fine with my carry-on luggage and printed me a new boarding pass. I asked her if i am allowed to use Sky Priority because of my status with Delta. She told me “yes absolutely” and I told her my little adventure. She said it’s fine just go ahead and I told her that the guy at the security lane wants to have “Sky Priority” on it. The ticketing agent was asking her colleagues about this and they all said it is fine to use the priority lane. She printed me another boarding pass with the stupid “Sky Priority” tag on it. I got back to the lane and another agent was there, and she just let me walk right through.
At the security checkpoint everything was going slow. The one on the x-ray screen was more talking to another guy as paying attention to the agent outside who told him to continue scanning. I almost had to take everything out of one of my bags. Well it is for security even if it doesn’t really makes it more secure.
Near my departure gate I met a guy from my first flight from Munich to Paris and his carry-on bags where not even checked. But from weight-side he had about the same as I did. Was this just because I went outside to go to the lounge?
Maybe I am over-reacting but the airlines should keep it simple, especially inside the same airline alliance. It is hard enough for a passenger to figure out all the details of one airline, how should he even be able to know everything of the airlines in the same alliance.
But enough with complaining. The flight from CDG to SCL was very nice. I really liked the Boeing 777-300ER. Nice design, good and comfortable seats even in economy class. Big screen for the onboard entertainment. And I was really surprised as I found movies in german on a flight from France to Chile. Didn’t expect that.
Another thing I have to say is, that I never ever had any issues with the cabin crew. Always a very nice and friendly crew, just ground staff is the exact opposite. I also don’t know how much Air France is involved with the ground personal, but if they just check people from Air France they have to be somehow.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.