Air France passengers go hungry “so pilot can rest”

Pilot exceeds his flying time before reaching destination
Hundreds of Air France passengers were forced to wait in uncomfortable conditions on their plane for almost seven hours, without food or water, so the pilot of their plane could get some rest.
The New York-Paris A380 was diverted to Manchester in the UK as it had been delayed for four hours before take-off at New York to be de-iced. This meant that according to European Union rules the pilot would have exceeded his flying time before getting to Paris, so the flight had to land in Manchester. The pilot had worked for almost 13 hours, more than the 11 allowed under EU regulations.
The plane landed in Manchester at 11.30am on Saturday and the 460 passengers were kept on the plane until 6pm. Air France initially told passengers it would send a new crew to complete the flight – but a technical fault was discovered in the cabin. The airline then said it would fly planes to collect the passengers, but these took hours to arrive. Only when they were allowed off the A380 was food provided – but enough to feed only 50 people.
On Twitter many called it “an awful experience” and “the worst flight experience of my life”. In a statement, Air France said it “understands well the exasperation of its customers in this situation”.
[photo courtesy Air France]


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