For a long time, Air France in general and the Airport Paris (CDG) in particular have been on my avoid-at-all-cost airlines/airports. But sometimes, it’s not avoidable, for instance for getting to Toulouse for EclipseCon France.
Every time I have bad experience with a service/product/whatever and I try it again, I really try to open my mind. Maybe they will delight me this time, inspite of my bad experience in the past. Turns out I got disappointed again. This time in a scenario that would have been easy for Air France to fix, and for free on top.
See, I like sitting in an aile seat on planes. I had one. It was broken. It didn’t arrest its position, which was annoying. So I asked, before take-off, whether there was a way for fixing it, or to reseat me to a functioning aile seat. The Stuadress was nice but informed me that none was availble. When I pointed to the ten free aile seats further up front, she informed me that she could not reseat me to business class. Mind you, this was a one-hour flight from Düsseldorf to Paris. So "business class" was just a tid bit more leg room, nothing else. No fancy dinner or anything like that.
Being an avid reader of Seth Godin, he would cringe. Was I unhappy? Yes. Was there a way for fixing it? Yes. Would it have cost the airline anything? Not a cent. Why does Air France not empower their staff to delight, if it does not cost a thing? I have no idea. Just to clarify, I did not feel entitled to be reseated. It’s the airline’s decision. I just think that it’s a bad decision that will make me try to avoid Air France even harder (and help spread the word).
In the Stuardesses defence, I saw her talk to her supervisor, after our conversation. The fact that I didn’t get reseated implies that heir supervisor either was not empowered, or did not care. One as bad as the other. Air France, good luck with your ongoing race to the bottom.