Problems with Air France, what rights do I have?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flight Delay Compensation
20 replies 1.5K views
BartyBoyBartyBoy Forumite
406 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flight Delay Compensation
I am advised to post a question here, so I hope someone can give me some advice.

I have already written a thread on MSE about my problem with Air France, the full story can be read here.

To summarise my story, my partner and I missed our connecting flight at CDG 2 months ago, as a result we arrived in our destination 3.5 hours later than our initial arrival time. I made a contact with Air France to express our disappointment and dissatisfaction. Air France claimed it was caused by 10 mins delay of the Leg 1 flight. But I believe that was not the main cause.

On our tickets, it says we had 45 mins to catch the connecting flight. But later Air France confirmed we physically only had 30 minutes to catch the connecting flight. I simply don't think it is possible. We ran to the boarding gate at Terminal 2F as soon as we arrived in the 2E terminal building. We had to go pass the security check then carried on running to the boarding gate. When we got there, the gate was already closed and we had to catch the next available flight to complete our journey.

Air France claims the connecting time that we had was the minimum connecting time 'allows the majority of passengers to transfer to their connecting flights'. I am in my 30s and I ran the fastest I could but still missed the flight, how can Air France say it was the minimum connecting time? I contacted Aeroports de Paris and they said to me 90 minutes were recommended to switch flights between the two terminals, Aeroports de Paris commented 30 mins was too short.

Anyway, while Air France blames it was the delay (10 mins) from the previous flight causing us to miss the next flight, I would actually say the physical connecting time was too short for us to catch the next flight.

In such situation, what rights do I have here? (please note, all I wanted to know is the rights that I have here after the incident, not how much compensation I should ask or get here).

Many thanks in advance!
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Replies

  • JPearsJPears Forumite
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    BartyBoy wrote: »
    I am advised to post a question here, so I hope someone can give me some advice.

    I have already written a thread on MSE about my problem with Air France, the full story can be read here.

    To summarise my story, my partner and I missed our connecting flight at CDG 2 months ago, as a result we arrived in our destination 3.5 hours later than our initial arrival time. I made a contact with Air France to express our disappointment and dissatisfaction. Air France claimed it was caused by 10 mins delay of the Leg 1 flight. But I believe that was not the main cause.

    On our tickets, it says we had 45 mins to catch the connecting flight. But later Air France confirmed we physically only had 30 minutes to catch the connecting flight. I simply don't think it is possible. We ran to the boarding gate at Terminal 2F as soon as we arrived in the 2E terminal building. We had to go pass the security check then carried on running to the boarding gate. When we got there, the gate was already closed and we had to catch the next available flight to complete our journey.

    Air France claims the connecting time that we had was the minimum connecting time 'allows the majority of passengers to transfer to their connecting flights'. I am in my 30s and I ran the fastest I could but still missed the flight, how can Air France say it was the minimum connecting time? I contacted Aeroports de Paris and they said to me 90 minutes were recommended to switch flights between the two terminals, Aeroports de Paris commented 30 mins was too short.

    Anyway, while Air France blames it was the delay (10 mins) from the previous flight causing us to miss the next flight, I would actually say the physical connecting time was too short for us to catch the next flight.

    In such situation, what rights do I have here? (please note, all I wanted to know is the rights that I have here after the incident, not how much compensation I should ask or get here).

    Many thanks in advance!
    Does the airfrance website say anything about connecting times? If its in writing and they delayed you then I believe you are due compensation. Presumably the journey was on one ticket, both flights AF?
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  • JPears wrote: »
    Does the airfrance website say anything about connecting times? If its in writing and they delayed you then I believe you are due compensation. Presumably the journey was on one ticket, both flights AF?

    There is no sign on their website mentioning about the minimum connecting time at CDG.

    I did do a search on Google and found a website called EasyCDG saying the minimum recommended transfer time is 60 minutes intra Terminal 1/2/3. But this EasyCDG is not affiliated with "Aeroports de Paris", I think it is just a rough guide.

    So I wrote to Aeroports de Paris directly and they told me their minimum recommended connecting time between 2E and 2F is 90 mins. They said I need time to pass immigration and security check.

    But the Air France Europe Customer Care team argues on their email reply saying 30 mins is enough.
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    BartyBoy wrote: »
    I did do a search on Google and found a website called EasyCDG saying the minimum recommended transfer time is 60 minutes intra Terminal 1/2/3. But this EasyCDG is not affiliated with "Aeroports de Paris", I think it is just a rough guide.
    BartyBoy, please tell the whole story.

    That EasyCDG website says that 30 minutes is enough time to get from 2E to 2F... not the 60 minutes you are suggesting it says. :naughty:
  • edited 9 December 2013 at 10:25AM
    BartyBoyBartyBoy Forumite
    406 Posts
    edited 9 December 2013 at 10:25AM
    wealdroam wrote: »
    BartyBoy, please tell the whole story

    I didn't lie or make up the story, this is the time that the EasyCDG people say,

    Connecting time
    When booking your ticket, always mind a minimum connecting time.
    Check how much time you have between flights to travel between teminals, to perform security procedures...

    Minimum transfer time recommended by easy CDG:
    • 60 minutes intra Terminal 1/2/3
    • 75 minutes between terminals 1 and 2
    • 90 minutes between terminals 1/2 and Terminal 3.

    Note that most boarding gates close 10-15 minutes prior to departure.

    http://www.easycdg.com/1/passenger-information/connecting-flight-connections-paris-cdg-airport/informations-pratiques/
  • BartyBoyBartyBoy Forumite
    406 Posts
    And our boarding gate did close 15 minutes prior to departure.
  • BartyBoyBartyBoy Forumite
    406 Posts
    So a non official CDG website says I needed minimum 60 minutes to connect the next flight between terminals 2E & 2F. The official CDG website says I needed 90 minutes, but Air France only gave us 30 minutes, is it something I have missed here?
  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    Air France obviously believe this is a valid connection otherwise they would not sell flights with this connection time.
    CDG is known as an airport to avoid for connecting as it can be a nightmare.
    Looking at your flight for the 31 months of October, your flight was reported as arriving on time on 2 dates, arriving late on 4 dates and arriving early (an average of 11 minutes early) on 25 dates

    The late days were 12th - 11 mins, 18th - 10 mins, 19th - 2 mins, 24th - 15 mins.
    If you were traveling on one of those dates with the delays then you would need to understand why the flight was late to see whether any compensation is due. If you traveled on one of the other dates you will likely not be entitled to anything and I am sure AF will be able to provide you with statistics of what % of people actually manage to successfully connect on this route

    It is worth looking at connecting times when booking flights and where there is a short connection be prepared at what the other options are should things go wrong. At least you only had a relatively short time to wait rather than be on a route that only operates once a day
  • Caz3121 wrote: »
    It is worth looking at connecting times when booking flights and where there is a short connection be prepared at what the other options are should things go wrong. At least you only had a relatively short time to wait rather than be on a route that only operates once a day

    Thanks for the info Caz3121, it's very much appreciated.

    The other thing I feel the whole incident could be avoided is that when we first booked the tickets, there should be a note to say the boarding gate would be closed 10-15 mins prior to departure.

    But then again, should Air France still sell a ticket to a passenger with only 30 mins to catch a connecting flight at CDG?

    And also, should we expect the connecting time means passengers run to the gate or walk to the gate?

    We ran for the connecting flight and surely that shouldn't happen if the amount of time was given correctly and appropriately. That's just my thoughts...
  • WTFHWTFH Forumite
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    BartyBoy wrote: »
    Minimum transfer time recommended by easy CDG:
    • 60 minutes intra Terminal 1/2/3

    Which is correct. If you're going from 2A/B to 2E/F, then the minimum time you'd want to allow is 60 minutes. If you're going from 2A to 2B, or 2C to 2D, or 2E to 2F, then minimum 45mins is enough.

    To walk from 2E to 2F does not take 30 mins.

    Did you have hold baggage?
    Did you check it the whole way through?
    1. Have you tried to Google the answer?
    2. If you were in the other person's shoes, how would you react?
    3. Do you want a quick answer or better understanding?
  • In your particular case it seems that a minor delay departing BHX combined with the connecting flight only being on the cusp of the minimum connection time at CDG led to you missing the original connecting flight and then to you arriving in excess of 3 hours late at ATH.

    Thanks Centipede100 for the info too.

    I wouldn't think Air France would offer me the amount of money that you mention here. Just like other members say I should call myself lucky to get £75 eVoucher from Air France. But at least I know my rights, and that's what I wanted to know here...

    What is NWNF, out of interest?

    Thanks again...
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