Insane: Air France Crew Detained In Argentina For Not Upgrading Politician’s Daughter

Filed Under: Air France/KLM

If there’s even an ounce of truth to this story, then this is just terrible. The union representing Air France’s flight attendants is claiming that some Air France flight attendants were detained in Buenos Aires for up to six hours for not upgrading a politician’s daughter to business class.

This incident unfolded after Air France flight 228 from Paris to Buenos Aires on October 29, 2017. Allegedly a passenger requested an upgrade to business class and was denied. Later that passenger asked to change her seats due to the “inappropriate behavior” of a fellow passenger, and that request was accommodated. As the crew later found out, the passenger in question happened to be the daughter of a former Deputy Minister of Justice, and now a Buenos Aires magistrate.

Here’s what happened next, according to Aviation24:

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 next morning the crew was sent to a courtyard and the purser was separated from the rest of the crew and locked in a 1 m2 room without the possibility to sit nor drink and eat for several hours. Two guards were constantly watching him.

After several hours, he could finally speak to a lawyer to file a complaint about his treatment. The other crew members were heard for many hours, but the purser was interrogated only at 20:00. Next to the judge, the father of the passenger was also present to interrogate the crew members, in Spanish.

All the flight attendants ended up being released without charges.

As of now all we have is the crew and union’s side of the story. I hope there’s more to the story because this would be a shocking abuse of power, but I’m not holding my breath…

Comments
  1. Well you’ve either got upgrade status (like Ben) or you don’t, and political status doesn’t count!

  2. Argentina is a strange country. BA pilots routinely complain that a flight plan from EZE to LHR filed with Argentine authorities has, mysteriously, not been passed on to Uruguay, causing huge delays while the company has to send a new flight plan to Montevideo. Entirely coincidental, obviously. A problem which, strangely, never seems to affect Aerolineas Argentinas.

  3. According to Clarin.com and other news outlets- the passenger (29 year old female doctor) requested to change seats because her neighbor was pleasuring himself next to her. She complained to the staff (oddly though did not mention what exactly the other passenger was doing). She does ask to be moved up to business class, but then takes another seat. Flight attendants told the passenger that he was encroaching on a fellow passengers space. The other passenger (30 year old French male) was arrested and held for 24 hours once they landed. The newspaper makes no mention of the relationship of the woman to any politician. Bizarre story.

  4. @The nice Paul – Why would any operator not file FPL with ENR FIRs via AFTN? I checked Uruguay AIP and ENR FPL processing supports DUP messaging so even if originating FIR transmits FPL via AHMS in addition to operator via AFTN, the identifier would prevent dual processing.

  5. I never feel safe whenever I traveled in Argentina.

    So many people think they are entitle for upgrade on board and making drama of sickness, honeymoon, anniversary, dogs dies, delayed, IFE issue, claustrophobic, etc….

    I have seen many in front of my eyes…

    If you want an upgrade, pay for it!

    What a moron!

  6. Same shit happens in the USA. The asshole in white house believes Putin he didn’t meddle in US politics just because he said so. But Obama producing a birth certificate was not enough because it could have been forged.

    The USA is a banana republic too.

  7. Of all airlines, I have seen multiple self-upgrade attempts in IBERIA.

    The flight attendants are eagle-eyed, however, and let the intruders know right away that they have to go back.

    Once a lady claimed she was hurt and in pain, to no avail.

  8. @Debit

    I’m not a fan of the current administration, but can you really picture a US district attorney or Department of Justice official pulling some crap like this?

    We have plenty of pernicious forms of corruption in the US, but I haven’t heard of something like this happening.

  9. Appalled by the unfounded, and stupid commentaries that people are making about Argentina.

    I am an Argentine, born and raised in Buenos Aires. I do not agree with the over-generalizations from many commentaries above. Yes, Argentina is corrupted and has been going on through a lot of bad things.

    But, negatively talking about my nation without substantial proof of what happened, any official accounts of the that makes sense and WITHOUT EVEN HAVING BEEN TO ARGENTINA or South America (@J.Burgess: is ColOmbia, not ColUmbia) lead me to think that people commenting on my country in this blog are only judging Argentines by our National Carrier Aerolineas Argentinas; and we all know that national carriers are not an accurate measure of what a nation represents (Or should I judge American individuals by the sub-par service of American Airlines)

    Kind regards,

    Gastón

  10. Appalled by the unfounded, and stupid commentaries that people are making about Argentina.

    I am an Argentine, born and raised in Buenos Aires. I do not agree with the over-generalizations from many commentaries above. Yes, Argentina is corrupted and has been going on through a lot of bad things.

    But, negatively talking about my nation without substantial proof of what happened, any official accounts of the that makes sense and WITHOUT EVEN HAVING BEEN TO ARGENTINA or South America (@J.Burgess: is ColOmbia, not ColUmbia) lead me to think that people commenting on my country in this blog are only judging Argentines by our National Carrier Aerolineas Argentinas; and we all know that national carriers are not an accurate measure of what a nation represents (Or should I judge American individuals by the sub-par service of American Airlines)

    Kind regards,

    Gastón

  11. @J Burgess

    Would you go to Colombia though? I agree Columbia, South Carolina (or did you mean Missouri?) are pretty bad locales.

  12. @Gason: Difference being that American Airlines is not the flag carrier for the US (which does not have a flag carrier). Is there some part of the story that you are maintaining is incorrect or non-factual?

  13. Argentine people think they are Europeans born in South America by God’s mistake.

    Pope Francis (an Argentine) said in 2015: “Do you know how an Argentine kills himself?” “He climbs up on his ego, and then throws himself down!”

  14. Having been to Argentina before this wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’m amazed I only got mugged once in four days.

  15. Anyone else notice when Lucky banned credit…debit mysteriously appeared…same basic trolling just died down a little. Maybe Air France can ban the daughter and father from future flights. This story is crazy.

  16. Reuters reported that the passenger “demanded” an upgrade (not the same as “requested”) and was denied due to a full cabin. Air France should suspend service there until the Argentines guarantee that they will conduct themselves within legal norms. And this woman and her father should be BNF on AF. Let them fly their National Airline where they will be upgraded based on their “status.”

  17. She asked to be upgraded to business class ( and she said that she was willing to pay the difference) because the person next to her was masturbating.

    she was seated on the ‘jump seat’ but during landing she had to return to her seat.

    So for all of you writing without knowledge, get informed first!

  18. @Jeremiah..The people in our administration simply charter their own flights on the tax payer’s dime!

    @Ed Degas.. Are you kidding me! Have you seen what the psychopath in the White House has been doing? Talk about living in ones own reality. Nominating a federal judge who has never tried a case. Nominating someone as the “Chief Scientist,” who is not..a scientist. Nominating an Education Secretary who has no experience in..education! Nominating an EPA chief..who doesn’t believe in science or climate change. Nominating a Energy Secretary who couldn’t recall that what the name of DOE was! Even those who support the GOP (statistically less educated!) should be able to see this for what it is.

  19. Argentine-American dual citizen here. First of all comparing Colombia and Venezuela to Argentina is totally ridiculous and shows extreme naivety of the on the ground reality in all three of those countries.

    I was not on the flight so cannot give a first hand account of what happened; however the story the local newspapers are running is that the girl was subject to some sexually inappropriate behavior by a passenger sitting next to her and asked the flights attendants to be moved to J( was denied because J was full) and then accepted a move to a different Y seat. Upon landing the girl filed a criminal complaint against the alleged offender and he was detained for the allowed 24 hour period. The apparent investigation of the crew pertains to them supposedly not following legal protocol when such an alleged sexual assault/misconduct occurs. The fact that the girl is related to an ex deputy justice minister (who served during the previous administration and is thus an ENEMY of the current administration) is irrelevant.

  20. If this is true then Argentina is not better than any other state claiming to be civilized and modern while actually being corrupted.

    Even the statement of “requesting” an upgrade is insane. Based on what is she requesting that?

    If the case is true then ICAO should look into the occurrence in detail.

  21. This story wasn’t funny but someone agrees with what Debit said is the funny part, makes me lol. Has that person ever read comments posted by Debit before?

  22. @JJ +1

    @J Burgess please get your spelling right if you must troll.

    Still, this sounds like an appalling incident, I certainly hope they clear this up fast. If the president of of Air France has now complained formally they are certainly taking it seriously, which is a good sign.

  23. So many Argentinians letting us know how mistaken we are because we believe uncredible foreign sources while they have their trusty national newspaper, which cannot possibly be wrong or influenced in any way.

  24. People. Argentina is safe. If you get mugged down there 1) you were not smart 2) you’re weak.

    Jokes aside, the new Macri admin. is changing things for the better and ridding the crap policies of CFK and her husband. The economy is growing and its a cheap big country that has a lot to offer. Skip Brasil etc. and the countries to the north.

    It’s Italy lite y’all! Good food, pretty women , great wine, beef, inexpensive , nice culture.

  25. For the Umpteenth time “Debit” and others this is a travel blog not a political editorial commentary. Please take your comments to another more appropriate setting! You are wearing thin on all of us.!

  26. Another Argentine here, born and raised in Buenos Aires.

    If this is your opportunity to hate on Argentina just because, be my guest. But let me remind you that not long ago an airline dragged and beat the crap out of a passenger.

    And that happened in the U.S.

  27. I have been to Argentina several times and every time I am there I fell in love. Love their rich culture, their Cafes, love Buenos Aires, Rosario, Bariloche etc. And there you can find the most beautiful women in the planet. And I feel pretty safe when I am there.

    But getting back to the topic the issue was a sexual harassment according to the Argentinian press. Sorry this is in spanish:

    https://www.clarin.com/sociedad/escandalo-vuelo-air-france-pasajera-denuncio-abuso-maltrato-apunta-jefe-cabina_0_BkLOzoukf.html

  28. @CMorgan.. “Politics” plays a role in travel. If you don’t want to hear about it, don’t elect someone who is ruining our country OR stick to fiction based blogs.

  29. @J Burgess

    Ah the typical southern redneck saying Columbia instead of Colombia. Born in Santiago de Cali, raised in NC, born dual citizen, have gotten to used to the ignorance of the spelling with my southern upbringing, although a pet peeve for most Colombians.

    What I cannot get used to sir is your blatant ignorance of my Fatherland. Sounds like you watched Narcos on Netflix and are an expert now on current day Colombia. Let’s catch everyone up:

    Avianca, the flag carrier of Colombia, is the Emirates of South America, and the oldest operating commercial airline in *both* Americas. In 2015 purchased the largest Airbus order for Latin America in history, 100 planes, brand new fleet right now with those nice wide screen black bezel LCDs. Great airline, google the Andean outfits of the stewardesses, very classy. Most Colombian’s hate being cold, thus the heat will be pumping and your legs will never be cold on an Avianca long haul flight.

    Comparing a failed socialist state like poor Venezuela to anchor of democracy in the Andes, smdh. Wouldn’t want you visiting anyway, stay home you’d made the American stereotype even worse i’d imagine. More beautiful women for me, with nightlife rivaling BA, especially Bogotá. Shout out to BA, hp I just couldn’t stay up to 9am every damn night lol. I never met one arrogant Argentinean, only friendly, hospitable, and ready to buy you a choripan and a quilmes at every opportunity (though I prefer morcipans).

    @JJ
    Without basic situational awareness that all travelers should master, one can be an unsafe dumbass in any country in this world. Colombia is very safe compared to the bad years. As the national tourist slogan goes “The only danger is wanting to stay”. It’s always spring/summer in Medellín and Cali, and always Fall in Bogotá if you dig that season more. When I lived there a couple years ago it was 2000COP:1USD, now it’s 3000+, great time to visit, it’s fun to multiply your US salary by 3000 on your phone, and then go out on the town, pz to you.

    To all my primos in Argentina and Venezuela, stay calm and no dar papaya!

  30. In America, politicians and their wives make it great again by “upgrading” to private flights, and make the taxpayer pay for it!

  31. As Otavio mentioned up thread my guess is the police involvement is more about the seat mate she had to move away from (seems an allegation of sexual harassment) than the upgrade issue although these have become intertwined.

    Although it does show the difficulty of airlines operating in countries with great political interference going on I think Argentina has taken pretty big strides in cleaning that stuff up recently and i’d be surprised if any senior police would put their neck on the line by detaining foreigners for not upgrading some politicians daughter. Especially in this day and age of social media where such a story would be **BOOM** within minutes.

    I remember Richard Branson talking about the difficulties of operating in Nigeria when he tried to run their ‘new’ national carrier ‘Virgin Nigeria’. The expectation that they would automatically delay scheduled flights for hours to accommodate late running politicians (with the threat of having their operating license temporarily taken away from them if they didn’t). unlimited free upgrades for ‘connected’ people etc etc. It’s no wonder he didn’t stay the course and it seems Arik who replaced it on a smaller scale is also struggling.

  32. I believe this to be a true story. When the ” Princess” didn’t get her upgrade, she
    used her fathers power to harass the flight crew. Shame on the Argentine Customs
    for doing this. I have no doubt the father used his power to prove a point. When you’re in
    a foreign country, you are at their mercy.

  33. Good afternoon. That incident happened with the daughter of a former government official that belonged to the previous authoritarian administration of Cristina Kirchner. Please be more exact in your reposting as there is a lot of envy and/or hate against that wonderful country populated by descendants of hardy Europeans like moi. That doesn’t haplen now eith the Macri administration.
    Arrivederci!

  34. This is a link to a recent account of the facts per the complaint filed by the traveler who was “allegedly” affected by a fellow passenger’s misconduct. It is in Spanish though, but in summary states that:

    1. The woman complained about the passenger masturbating
    2. She being moved to a jump seat
    3. The crew not filing an official complaint upon landing in EZE
    4. She filing an official complaint before local authorities

    https://www.infobae.com/sociedad/2017/11/15/exclusivo-que-dice-la-demanda-de-la-joven-que-denuncio-acoso-a-bordo-de-un-vuelo-de-air-france/

  35. Really, cannot believe all the racists on this forum who assume that a story is correct and start bad mouthing a country and their people because of their implied racism.

    There was a guy masturbating next to this poor lady. That is the fact. What the Air France crew did was appalling.

    And Lucky, you should be ashamed of yourself and call yourself a world traveler. Get the facts straight before you post such an incendiary post.

  36. On a bright side, I don’t think the daughter of the former minister of justice of Argentina (or any members of his family) will be traveling to the EU any time soon. French may be calm and quiet but they sure know how to pay back in spades.

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