Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Murphy's Law for Travelers Who Need Assistance

Jump to last reply

I thought that I would add some observations about our trip to Provence last year.

Notwithstanding anything critical, we had a great time and will return again this September. Our trip was on Air France from Toronto to Marseille with a stop in Paris

Never assume that just because you informed the airline in advance that assistance will be provided as a matter of course.

Our first problem was in Paris where we missed our Marseille connection because the bus for handicapped persons was late. To this day I still do not understand why we were told to take the bus since our flight to Marseilles was from the same terminal. That was one of the reasons that I booked Air France to start with.

There were no seats on the next flight to Marseille and thus a four hour wait. We almost missed that flight since, despite my speaking to Air France staff, a person to assist us with a wheel chair never came. I met him after I found a chair and was wheeling my wife to the gate.

The lift to take us down a short stair was not working. My wife can walk with difficulty but someone who would be less mobile would be in great trouble.

I had an instant sinking feeling when we got to Marseille and one of the pieces of our luggage was missing.

No problem. We were told that it would be sent to where we were staying ...except it never came because the wrong address had been copied.

Our expat hostess spent hours trying to locate our bag. Turns out that it went to Madrid but that it would delivered on Saturday. We had arrived in Marseille the previous Saturday and since it was my wife's bag she was getting frantic by the hour.
Our hostess returned my knowing look about Saturday delivery and I said that I would drive back to Marseille to get it myself which I did.

On the way home from Marseille no one showed up to assist and I wheeled my wife for a long stretch for boarding.

The only compensation that I got from Air France was a $100 voucher for our next trip and oddly enough they paid the claim I made for getting our hosts a restaurant gift certificate for all the time they spent helping us. So French that.

Lessons learned:

Avoid changing in Paris if at all possible. Hence this year we plan to fly from Montreal direct Marseille with Air Transat.

Split packing by sharing suitcases so that if one gets lost there is a cushion until things get sorted.

Fly premium economy. It's worth it for more room alone. Air France and Air Transat both have this class.

Keep calm. This too shall pass.

Enjoy the food, the ambiance, the markets, the customs, the light, the air, the fragrances, the quirky cars, the people, the architecture and all that makes France such a wonderful place to visit.

3 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's 100 Hotel Award Winners Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Sep 17, 14 at 01:05 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 White Christmas
  2. 2 Madrid: Atmospheric Old Taverns
  3. 3 Planning 18 day euro trip HELP
  4. 4 4-5 Days in Switzerland before Paris? Is Berne the place to go?
  5. 5 Gtg San Antonio
  6. 6 paris apartment opinion airbnb
  7. 7 Haarlem Holland - Hotels or B&Bs
  8. 8 Help with logistics of 2 days on the Rhine
  9. 9 Two weeks Verona, Bologna and Venice - time for other day trips?
  10. 10 What crazy coincidence or chance meeting have you had while traveling?
  11. 11 Trip Report Spain (Practical) Trip Report
  12. 12 Gift for French business associate
  13. 13 Wine tour from Verona?
  14. 14 Aix En Provence to Marsilles or Nice for a few days?
  15. 15 Trip Report Jamikins and Bikerscott Head Back to Le Marche
  16. 16 Are you following Scotland's upcoming vote on independence?
  17. 17 Trip Report Mr & Mrs Annhig go bummelling round Germany.
  18. 18 Hurtigruten Cruise excursions alternatives, coast of Norway
  19. 19 Can you be fined on the spot for falling off a scooter in Croatia
  20. 20 Rental car return -> Taxi at Barcelona Airport
  21. 21 1 week Tuscany in November
  22. 22 help- newbies to international travel- Italy logistics
  23. 23 Family of 4 considering living abroad for 1 or 2 years. Advice?
  24. 24 Madrid: Must Try Local Food & Drink
  25. 25 Has anyone used a Tour Guide in Sicily?
View next 25 » Back to the top