My son, aged 20, is coming today to visit us in South Africa for 2 weeks.
We left him in the UK aged 18, he'd not long left home for an apprentiship in Hotel Management in Reading. He visited us here in March last year, we visited the UK in August and December. He got himself a new job at Christmas and moved to Cheltenham, back nearer his dad and my family.
Yesterday afternoon there were messages on facebook from him and his dad to say he was at the airport and the last one read 'Mum, do you want any duty free?'
So all checked in, I relaxed and went off to bed.
This morning I check facebook, twitter and emails...as you do to see an urgent message sent from his Dad on facebook last night at midnight
'Ring me asap!!!'
'Jamis has just phoned and said his connecting flight isnt until tomorrow night?'
3 hrs later I get this
'phone only had 2% battery life when he phoned so i told him to switch it off for a bit while i sort out a hotel texted him the address but havnt heard from him the hotel wont answer there fucking phone so not sure if he went to the hotel'
So panic, I checked and double checked I had booked the right dates, checked on the website. Flight cancelled and he's booked in for tonights flight.
And not another word on the subject.
I messaged his dad back with 'it's the air lines responsibilty to look after him.
Why is his dad booking a hotel? where? did he get to it? who's paying for it? Does he have his luggage? etc, etc, etc
No response from his dad, no reply to my SMS to my son, called Air France in South Africa, they know nothing, the number they gave me for France is unobtainable, Hubby now calling the UK to find out what's going on.
Yes I know my son is 20, he's lived on his own for nearly two years, but still it would be nice to know what is going on and if his Dad went off to bed having made sure our son was ok.
*update one hour later
My hubby has called Uk and been told all passengers were given hotel room and meal vouchers and allowed to make one phone call. they will not tell hubbby which hotel for security reasons.
My ex has informed me Son did not check into hotel he booked for him last night and was told by Air France desk thatI had booked the wrong flight and he was on his own. Have given ex the number hubby rang on so he can ask for message to be delivered to son and for confirmation he was one of the passengers that has been helped, rather than just left to his own devices.
Flight : AF0990 Resa : OK
Departure : 01May, 23:20 Latest check-in time limit : 22:20
I didn't book the wrong flight
AT 11.30AM SON PHONED HIS DAD IN THE UK TO SAY HE MANAGED TO TRANSFER MONEY FROM UK TO PAY FOR HIS OWN HOTEL AND IS BACK ON WAY TO AIRPORT WITH RECEIPTS TO CLAIM HIS HOTEL ROOM RATE BACK, HE IS WITHOUT LUGGAGE AND CANNOT CHARGE HIS PHONE AS CHARGER IS IN HIS CASE.
HE NOW HAS 12HOURS BEFORE HIS FLIGHT HERE AND IS NOT A HAPPY BUNNY THAT AIRFRANCE DIDN'T HELP HIM.
UPDATE ON THE UPDATE
At 12pm today after 150+ hits in half an hour on this blog, Air France contacted me.
At 4.40pm they sent email to say sorry about all of this, they had sent son an email back in March to inform him of cancelled flight, I doubt he's checked his emails for years, I had left my cell number for them to contact also. They are refunding his accomodation and his meals as long as he can provide original receipts.
I'm sure he will accept this, he has been in touch with me on facebook, having bought a new phone charger as his luggage is in holding, located a wifi spot to tell me he was fine, no worries, he had a spare set of clothes, he understood my panic that had been caused by his Dads messages that he hadn't got hold of him since midnight last night. However, I'm still slightly annoyed that no one at Air France in South Africa, Paris or the UK could give any different information other than what I could see on the website...flight cancelled, booked in for tonights flight.
5 hours passed before anyone got in touch with us, around the same time son rang his dad in the UK to say he was fine.
I know he's 20 and an adult, but surely there must be better ways of contacting Air France, rather than on their web page and clicking several links to get local numbers to press a series of buttons, being put on hold and then told 'there's nothing we can tell you'
There is no way now that I'm letting my children (17 & 13) fly unattended now with any airline unless it is a direct flight.
Lesson learnt from this experience?
Always pack your phone charger in your hand luggage.