I thought I would not have to write about Air France anymore before our arrival in Singapore, but it turns out that there were more screw ups than we had initially thought.
Recall that the ground staff in Singapore made us wait for an hour at check-in because of some “problems with the connecting flight to Stuttgart”?Turns out that the same problem that we were told had been fixed then had been carried on to our flights from Stuttgart to Paris and Paris to Brest today. The issues were convoluted and confusing, but in a nutshell:
- The system showed we had checked in for the flight from Paris to Brest already, but not for Stuttgart to Paris – and this made it impossible to check us (and our luggage) through to Brest
- Oskar was booked twice, as “Mister Oskar […]” and “Master Oskar […]” – clearly a typo, but how did this end up in the booking?
- Thomas was associated to Lamia on one flight and to me on another, which again created issues in the system, making it impossible to check all of us through.
My gut tells me that at least part of these issues were created when the Singapore staff “fixed” our booking, but cleary there had been a snafu before. Mind you, all our online booking confirmations (which we had luckily printed out) showed that everything was correctly booked, with correct names, correct infant to parent association and so on.
We spent again an hour at check-in, just like in Singapore, but with the difference that we had a very competent person helping us out. She dug through the mess and sorted all the issues out, one by one. Thank you! We ran out of time and had to rush to catch the plane, so I missed to look at her name, but this lady was great!
We were still stressed: what is easily overlooked is that with a toddler and a baby you have certain schedules you need to respect: feeding, changing and in our case also expressing milk. The lost hour and the rushing created once more massive stress for all of us. This also peaked at the security check, but I got to say that these guys handled us perfectly and there was even a lady who distracted Oskar who was confused and crying (I got to think he’ll have a childhood trauma from flying after this month of Air France screw-ups).
So, while I bitched about the Stuttgart Airport before, this time I have only good things to say about them. Very professional and helpful (and they even had a big bag for our car seat – well: literally only one, so the stroller had to go without, but considering everything that’s fine…).
The only thing the lady at the check-in in Stuttgart could not do was checking us in for our flight from Paris to Brest, which was funny, but not really a problem: we checked-in at a transfer desk in Paris instead and were all set.
Sort of, because when it rains, it pours: we arrived in Brest and two of our suitcases were missing. That’s not really a big issue, especially because the suitcase of Oskar and Thomas with all the baby/toddler critical items came through – Lamia and I’ll survive one night without our jammies…
But this was sort of telling once more of the experience we had with Air France this month.
Besides my squeezed in business trip this week, I’ll send Air France a direct Twitter message later on which hopefully will help avoiding the same issue on the leg from Brest to Paris in a week from now…