Air France’s Jettisoned Response


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As if the airline industry’s image isn’t bad enough: A flight attendant with Air France has been arrested for stealing jewelry, cash and credit card numbers from its wealthy passengers as they slept. Thefts have been reported on more than 140 flights this year, according to news reports.

But even worse than the action is the carrier’s response: No comment.

Look, we understand this is a legal matter and there are issues involving liability. But airlines are well schooled in handling crisis management – these are companies that have to bake fatalities into their public relations strategies. Yet Air France is lagging with a thoughtful response to one of its own stealing from its best passengers. And this is following a six-month investigation.

One helpful response from Air France would be to assure its passengers that it has already instituted training and vetting processes for all of its employees. Maybe it should explain how the victim passengers have been compensated – for surely they should have been. And its top executive should be out there front and center delivering these points and assuring passengers and shareholders that the incident is an aberration. Frequent flyers should get personalized messages.

Not only would passengers appreciate this, I am sure Air France’s other flight attendant s would.

The longer Air France waits, the worse. People are booking flights every few minutes, and business travel is down as we enter the fall. Other airlines can take advantage of Air France’s weak spot.

At a time when consumers feel airlines are already robbing us – with baggage fees, preferred-seating fees, and pillow charges – actual thievery is something Air France cannot afford. Pony up with an explanation.

Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.


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