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Air France crew detained after passenger complains “not receiving her upgrade”

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Air France crew detained after passenger complains “not receiving her upgrade”

Old 14th Nov 2017, 09:34
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Air France crew detained after passenger complains “not receiving her upgrade”

Part of an Air France crew flying between Paris CDG and Buenos Aires was detained for six hours by the airport police upon arrival in Argentina as the daughter of a former Deputy Minister of Justice in Argentina was “very unhappy about her treatment on board“. French cabin crew union SNPNC explains on Facebook.

The passenger was travelling on board Air France flight AF228 to Buenos Aires on 29 October 2017. Apparently, she asked for an upgrade to business class but was denied the upgrade as the business class was fully booked. In-flight the same passenger asked to change her seat again due to the “inappropriate behaviour” of her neighbour. The crew didn’t notice anything particular but complied with the passenger’s request and assigned her a new seat.

After landing and following a complaint from the same passenger, part of the crew was forced to go to the airport police station. After staying there for six hours, the crew was released, but at the hotel, an injunction was handed over to the crew to report to the Buenos Aires court the next morning at 8:30. The crew became aware that the passenger was the daughter of a former Deputy Minister of Justice and now a Buenos Aires magistrate.


Last edited by luchtzak; 4th Dec 2017 at 17:27.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 12:01
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Presumably she purchased an Economy ticket and because of her "status" expected an upgrade?
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 12:12
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
Presumably she purchased an Economy ticket and because of her "status" expected an upgrade?
It would appear so.

My French is a bit rusty, but good enough to work out that this doesn't reflect well on the Argentine justice system:
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 13:41
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Quick translation:

A passenger asked for an upgrade into business class, which was refused due to the flight being fully booked. The passenger then asked for a change of seat, complaining of the behaviour of the passenger next to her. The crew facilitated the seat change despite not noticing any unusual behaviour by the passenger's seat neighbour.

On landing some of the cabin crew were immediately arrested and brought to the airport police station where they remained for 6 hours. In the evening, at 22:30, police came to the crew hotel to serve court orders requiring the crew to appear in court in Buenos Aires at 08:30. The crew then learned of the passenger being related to both a magistrate and to a former Justice Vice-Minister (her father).

In court the next day the purser was separated from the rest of the crew and locked into a room measuring 1 square metre without a chair, food or water. No one was allowed to speak to him. He was guarded by 2 armed guards. After several hours he was finally allowed to contact a lawyer, which allowed him to formally complain about the conditions of his detention. Following this he was given a chair.

The crew were not informed what they had been charged with. The crew members who were in court since 08:00 were finally heard from 14:00, and the purser was finally heard around 20:00 and forced to speak Spanish which is not his native language. During the hearing the father of the passenger (ex-Minister) as well as his wife were sat next to the judge leading the interrogation, and the father then proceeded to interrogate the purser himself as well.

The crew was then released without explanation or apology. The crew returned to France, unable to perform their duty on the return flight. The SNPNC has tasked a lawyer to look into the matter.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 13:46
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Part of an Air France crew flying between Paris CDG and Buenos Aires was detained for six hours...
It wasn't just that...sounds like they were released to the hotel but then the police rolled up again the next day and some/all of the crew were then taken under escort to court the next day to provide an explanation, allegations of the cabin chief (and possibly others ) being taken off and put in isolation with no food and drink for several hours...

According to other sources (in France) the complainant supposedly came up with stories early in the flight about the behaviour her neighbouring passenger .... she was offered a seat move but refused not an upgrade.she refused the offer....that neighbouring passenger (also French) was also arrested on arrival at EZE and held in isolation for 24 hours then released without explanation..

President of AF has been in touch with French foreign minister but nothing seems to have done at a diplomatic level and there is a worry this might encourage similar problems in the future.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 13:58
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Airlines should suspend service until such time as legal norms can be assured.

Wishful thinking perhaps, but no company should tolerate their staff being treated like this.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 14:02
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All airlines should stop service to Argentina until this is sorted out.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 14:03
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One thing Air France can do is make sure that she's banned for life from flying with them.

President of AF has been in touch with French foreign minister but nothing seems to have done at a diplomatic level and there is a worry this might encourage similar problems in the future.
It's more likely to happen again if NOTHING is done by the French government!
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 14:04
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1. Argentina does not have a justice system, so I am not sure why would anyone claim that this “incident” would reflect badly on it.
2. French state is spineless, so I do not expect them to act on this case. There will be a formal complain issued, and I think that would be it.
3. If that carrier has a spine, they could have blacklisted the entire family or at least that guy and his daughter from ever flying on their planes. Doubt, that will be done, either.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 14:10
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If true, it seems Argentina has still more banana republic in it than I had expected. Very disappointing.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 14:12
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After her request for upgrade was denied, the complaint of a former Vice-Minister?s daughter in Argentina leads Air France crew to be arrested | AIRLIVE.net

Interesting alternative version from the Argentine side also mentioned here.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 14:32
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LOL at believing anything that comes out of the justice system in Argentina or any South American country... "They are all Banana Republics".
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 15:13
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When I first read the title I thought it had been misplaced from the 'You know you are in Africa' thread. It seems VIP culture is alive and well in Argentina. It does explain how the state is so dysfunctional. I seem to remember similar publicised events in India, Korea and Pakistan causing a significant backlash to the instigators. Let's hope this happens here.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 15:56
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So this events happen over 2 weeks ago ... and only now it comes to light ...

Very likely nothing will happen, diplomatically, or by any other channels.

At least lets hope that the SNPNC refuses to operate to Argentina. It has to start somewhere ...
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 16:04
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They will probably get an upgrade from now on.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 16:34
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If "nothing happens" (no satisfactory formal answer given) then IMO crew have the right to refuse going there.

Edited to add: not sure why they needed to say "lack of space" to justify why she is not getting an upgrade?

Last edited by pax2908; 14th Nov 2017 at 17:22.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 16:47
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Another "nut rage" incident?
At least the Koreans did something about it.

Found this:

Tripulantes de Air France denuncian haber vivido un "calvario" en Buenos Aires - 13.11.2017 - LA NACION
Según un sindicato de la empresa, tras la queja de una pasajera, miembros de la tripulación fueron detenidos por la policía e interrogados en condiciones que violan los derechos fundamentales

The Argentine Justice version (google translated)

For their part, qualified judicial sources explained to LA NACIÓN that each of the procedural steps taken in the case of the complaint on the flight of the French airline "are fully in accordance with the law and what the Code sets forth". In this regard, they explained that the federal judge of Lomas de Zamora Federico Villena decided that, in order not to prevent the crew from returning to their country, he chose to take the testimonial statements to the Air France cabin crew on the day; only the commander of the ship was kept separate, given that the victim had accused him of having coerced her (according to his complaint, he would have told him that if he did not sit in his place again, next to the passenger who had been masturbating, he would have her put in jail once they touched land).

"The magistrate preferred to keep him separate from the rest until all the witnesses declared and decided, therefore, whether he would take a statement as an accused or in a testimonial capacity, which was what he finally did." When they finished declaring, they left everything. unduly and the treatment given to all witnesses was given, "judicial spokesmen told this newspaper.

Those sources suspect that the public appearance of the complaint at this time (the case occurred at the end of last October) is related to the fact that the complaint requested last Friday that half a dozen members of the Air flight crew France are summoned to give an investigatory statement, accused of the crime of coercion.

The sources stressed that the treatment that Villena gave to the case of Air France was "exactly the same" as in the other two events in which he had to intervene within ten days: that of a Colombian passenger on a LATAM flight ( with an Argentinian as an accused, also for masturbating with the woman) and a fitness teacher who reported being groped by another passenger on an American Airlines flight. "In those two cases, the crews made the formal complaints, on both flights, a flight attendant sat down with the victims to accompany them, and the crews made themselves available, neither LATAM nor American Airlines complained or made any presentation. against the procedure, "the spokesmen explained.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 16:51
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Unbelievable. Hell hath no wrath like an entitled spoiled brat who didn't get their way.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 16:53
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Presuming it was a F- reg aircraft, the wouldn't the incident have happened on French soil, with French law applying?
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 06:29
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Since when has it been a crime NOT to upgrade to Business Class? I bet if it was a EZE - CDG sector she wouldn't complain.
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