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.
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.
At the end of the day, everyone was released without charges and without excuses. The shocked crew was repatriated to France.
The SNPNC wrote to Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs, asking him to open an investigation. Another letter sent to the Ambassador of Argentina in France explains the circumstances of this case. The union is currently investigating the possibilities of legal recourse to obtain redress for the harm suffered.