Last weekend, milady and I had a fantastic time in Paris. She’s been looking forward to being able to visit since she appeared in Europe full time three years back, and this was the fourth time she’d made plans to go. Pleasingly, it stood up to expectations and we both enjoyed it very much.

However, I can’t think of the holiday without a sour taste in my mouth, because despite our returning on Tuesday, her luggage chose to stay behind. I say chose, because I cannot believe it would be due to at least three distinct inefficiencies of the company we flied with.

[B]Distinct Inefficiency #1[/b]
We caught the 2015 AirFrance flight from CDG to LHR, which was unfortunately delayed because two passengers didn’t arrive at the terminal – we waited on the tarmac while their baggage was unloaded and the rest returned to the hold.

Only, as we discover, the word “rest” has a different meaning in Paris than London – after a frustrating jaunt around the whole of Heathrow’s baggage reclaim site, we spoke with the attendants of the customer service desk. It turns out that two customers’ luggage hadn’t been loaded onto our plane. One of these customers was milady.

The gentleman processed our reclaim details, and told us that as they knew where the case was, it should be on the first flight the next day. We’d hear from the couriers with an estimated time of delivery when it was handed off to them.

After a good lie in, expecting to have been woken by the call of the courier, we eventually called the baggage claim department and discovered

[B]Distinct Inefficiency #2[/b]
Despite having known where the case was last night (in that LHR had received a memo saying sorry [I]these[/I] cases are still with us), nobody was able to tell us where the case was that morning. In fact, at the time of publishing this, tracing of the British package continues. Whilst the staff were officially apologetic,  their comments that not enough staff at the airport meant they might be unable to recover our luggage with any haste. Likewise, understaffing at the call centre meant that they have no ability to return a call, but that we must continue to dial their premium rate number to keep up to date.

[B]Distinct Inefficiency #3[/b]
Not only did AirFrance lose our luggage, but when I spoke with a gentleman named Daniel later that day, he had also lost his supervisor! I asked to be put through, and he said that there wasn’t a supervisor present. I enquiried as to whether he (here I must apologise for the assumed gender) was at lunch or in a meeting. Daniel didn’t know.

The next day I spoke with Lukas, and when I likewise asked to be passed up, I was this time informed that there existed no facility to transfer calls within the centre.

Not only have the staff given inconsistent messages (and presumably training), but it appears that their communication systems are similarly lacking – and from this point I am not surprised that they managed to misplace our luggage.

Frankly, I am shocked that AirFrance are happy for their company to be operating with such embarrassing inconsistencies and inefficiencies. Furthermore, I am disappointed that their aftercare is so lax and reliant on continual efforts from the point of view of the affected party.

Suffice to say, as it stands we’ve still yet to be informed of the luggage’s whereabouts. We shall not be using AirFrance in the future, and as this stands testament, we will be recommending others avoid them similarly.


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