Sunday, March 3, 2013

Air France, A Legacy Airline

I have not flown Air France for years and frankly they were never one of my favorite airlines, legacy or otherwise. I flew with them from Paris Charles De Gaul to Detroit in J Class this weekend.
The aircraft, an Airbus A340-300 was clean and comfortable.
However, a few things drew my attention:
1. During the safety demonstration, the announcement said the crew with the red badges are
    responsible for your safety. I have to admit, I have never heard that one before. Well, more than
    half the crew did not have red badges, at least the ones in Business Class. I never thought of the
    cabin crew of a commercial airliner not being trained in Safety and Emergency Procedures (SEP).
    I am sure Air France meets the EASA regulations for SEP trained crew, still not what I wanted to
    hear. In all fairness the Air France crew managed to evacuate a full A340 in 90 seconds in Toronto
    in 2005.

2. Upon departure, we were delayed for 1 hour, a stuck air bridge for a change. However, in that
     hour there were two Captain announcements and the cabin crew were all seated ready for
     departure. No one was engaged with the passengers, at least not in Business.

3. The service itself was a glorified economy class type service, none of the usual personalized
     service commonly experienced on most airlines including US carriers.

4. Finally, the crew was professional but not the smiling type, very detached. I suppose Detroit in
    winter is not a dream destination.

I have to admit, that was not what I accepted, at least not on an airline with a long tradition like
Air France.

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