Indian passengers stranded: Air France faces backlash over treatment, chaos at Paris airport

Indian passengers stranded: Air France faces backlash over treatment, chaos at Paris airport

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Indian-Passengers

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Air France has faced an intense backlash as approximately 100 flyers from India remain stranded at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport for over 50 hours.

The passengers, who flew from Mumbai on  Air France flight 217 and arrived in Paris at 1:30 p.m. (IST) on June 23, have been subjected to a state of disorder and mistreatment, further aggravated by the airline's hindrance to efforts of documenting the situation.

The nightmare for these passengers persists for the third consecutive day as they remain trapped at the airport, unable to leave due to the absence of Schengen visas.

“Once again @airfrance treating Indian passengers badly. About 100 are stranded at Paris airport. They are being hectored when trying to film the chaos & harassment they’re being subjected too. They can’t go out because no Schengen visa,” a twitter user Noopur Tiwari wrote.

“The ordeal of Indian @airfrance passengers continues on their 3rd day at CDG. Made to sleep on evacuation stretchers, no covers. They were cold. Given just 15€ voucher for 1 meal. Threatened if they took another airline then Air France won’t be responsible for their luggage,” she wrote in a series of tweets on June 25.

“Note how @airfrance @AirFranceFR haven’t even bothered to express regret in response to this thread. Apparently, this happens frequently. We don’t hear about it because passengers are generally too petrified/exhausted to reach out to journalists because they fear being harassed,” she further wrote.

However, in another tweet on Monday she said that Indian Embassy officials are on way to the airport to negotiate with Air France and airport authorities to arrive at an amicable settlement.

Meanwhile, Air France expressed its sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused by the situation and reassured its customers that every effort is being made to ensure a prompt resolution and their timely arrival at their intended destinations. The airline's response was prompted by a series of tweets from a concerned Twitter user who brought attention to the challenges faced by stranded Indian passengers at Paris airport.

In its post, Air France confirmed the cancellation of flight AF356 on June 24, 2023, from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Toronto, attributing it to a technical issue and the unavailability of a replacement aircraft.

The post further mentioned that passengers without Schengen visas, preventing them from leaving the terminal building, were duly attended to and assisted by Air France teams. “These passengers were provided accommodation in a dedicated area of the airport to ensure their comfort and convenience,” the airline said.

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