Argentina Detains Air France Crew After Refusing to Upgrade Politician’s Daughter

In a drama that may rival Zimbabwe and South Africa coming to an aviation standstill over the summer after the 52 year old wife of Zimbabwe’s 93 year old strongman leader Robert Mugabe allegedly beat a topless nightclub model with an extension cord after finding the woman with her two sons in a hotel, Argentina is said to have detained Air France flight crew who refused to upgrade the daughter of a politician.

Reportedly the daughter of a former Deputy Minister of Justice (and current magistrate) was onboard October 29th Air France flight AF228 from Paris to Buenos Aires. She asked for an upgrade to business class and the crew (correctly) turned her down. She then claimed her seat opponent behaved inappropriately and asked to change seats, which was accommodated (but still not in business class). The business class cabin is said to have been full, though it’s not clear that should matter in any case (in other words, that the passenger would have otherwise been entitled to an upgrade).

On arrival in Buenos Aires the crew was detained because this woman was unhappy with her treatment onboard.

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.

Copyright: radututa / 123RF Stock Photo

Flight attendants were released and they returned to France. The flight attendants’ union is seeking redress:

If the details presented are accurate, it’s a great way to follow Venezuela down the path towards elimination of air service and destruction of the economy, not to mention subjugation of the rights of the people.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. As I said on another blog, that does not surprise me coming from Argentina. Arrogance and egocentrism at the highest level.

  2. I guess South America is a crazy place. A similar thing happened about 6 years ago on a US Airways plane from to Brazil. Two people traveling together were flying and there was only 1 business seat available for upgrade. So one got upgraded and the other did not. When they arrived in Rio the guy said that he was discriminated against. The police immediately detained the crew for over 8 hours with no food or water. The station director was involved. Finally they were allowed to leave the country the next day. US Airways decided it was better to deadhead a crew to Rio to relief the crew of duties after that ordeal. So Argentina is not the only country in South America like this.

  3. Not surprised. Just imagine the shenanigans that happen on their state-owned airline Aerolineas Argentinas!

  4. Gary, I must have missed the Trump/Russian collusion tie-in. Did you forget to include it? Man you’re slipping!

  5. The accusation was that her seat opponent was pulling a “Louis CK”. Although the crew may have been treated badly, they were not arrested but were detained, presumably so that authorities could ascertain what occurred before their witnesses left the country. Perhaps Argentina takes sexual assault more seriously than the US, where it is not a disqualifier for being president. @ImwithIKE, there is your Trump connection for you, I know you were sad that it was missing.

  6. ImWithIKE, grow up and stop being irrelevant to the posting. Defend Trump on a White Supremicist or KKK site and leave us interested in traveling issues alone.

  7. Hey Gary, did you get all the facts on the case or is this another McDonald’s spilled coffee case and everyone blamed the poor lady even though McDonald’s had been warned that they were serving their coffee too hot.

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