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17.12.06

Pisa, Paris: and what the hell is wrong with Air France?

posted by Jamila

I flew this airline twice in the past four months. The first time our plane was delayed for two hours while everyone sat on the plane overheated. Thus we miss our connection and about half the luggage was missing for three days. Ok. Happens.

But then I had the unfortunate experience of flying with AF again two days ago.

First of all—everyone in the Florence airport is incompetent and should seriously have eaten their breakfast before they got to work so as to be able to check people in more than one hour before their plane should be taking off. Colazione is no excuse to force 100 people to miss connection flights. And maybe more than one woman at the check-in desk would be better when there are three flights leaving within three hours and 300 people waiting in line.

Second of all—when a flight arrives and there are 50 passengers on it that have a connection flight that has not left the ground, it makes a good deal of sense to send those people over to their connection. No? Because sending those 50 passengers to customer service for new flights, meal vouchers and hotel reservations is not going to help the company budget.

Third of all—it's ok to not return said 50 passengers' luggage to them if that means the airline has a whole day to transfer the luggage to their new route. Surviving one night without fresh underwear or liquids is doable. Hey, I'm not a demanding person. Shit happens. BUT...

Fourth of all—if said luggage is kept overnight and said passengers smell foul because they have no toothpaste or deodorant, there should be no reason why their luggage is not properly redirected and placed on their next flight. This could take about an hour. It should not take more than 24 hours.

Fifth of all—if said luggage does not in fact make it to the new flight and 50 people are standing at the baggage claim with their arms crossed waiting for an hour, it's not a very good idea to tell these people that "you do have their luggage, you just don't know where it is." Not only is this lying. It also just doesn't make logical sense.


me in my "potato sack," slipping down the leaning tower of Pisa on a rainy day


It's the fourth day of wearing my trusty "potato sack" (a shirt long enough on my body to be a "dress" though wide and shapeless enough to be a "sack"). And I guess it might as well be—it followed me through Italy, into Germany, across the Strait of Gibraltar and into the African Sahara.

It sat delayed in airports and stank of several days' worth of sweat. It witnessed the efficiency of the Germans and the utter incompetence of the Italians. It soaked up the spices of Morocco and the rain of Pisa. And I guess it is used to the chaos, my beloved sack. So I'm ok, me and my sack.

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