Members of an Air France flight crew claim they were detained and interrogated for two days by authorities in Argentina after they refused to upgrade the demanding daughter of a former Argentine justice minister.

The crew members said they were arrested on October 29 following Air France flight 228 from Paris to Buenos Aires.

According to a union representing the crew, a passenger on board, who was the daughter of a former minister, demanded an upgrade to business class.

Cabin crew refused the demand, as all business class seats had already been taken.

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The passenger then demanded a new seat, as she didn't like the person she was sitting next to, Reuters reported.

After the woman filed a complaint against the flight crew, the Air France employees were "arrested successively by police forces, interrogated under conditions that flout fundamental rights, charged and for some detainees to finally be released without explanation," France's SNPNC labour union said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The crew were detained and interrogated over two days, which the union described as "48 hours of anxiety".

In a letter to the Argentine Embassy in Paris, the union said the flight crew's purser was separated from colleagues during questioning and held in a room measuring one square metre.

The purser was not given food and water and was under the surveillance of two armed guards, the letter said.

Meanwhile the president of Air France-KLM has expressed "indignation" at the treatment of his employees at the hands of Argentine authorities.

"Chairman Jean-Marc Janaillac expressed his indignation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the arbitrary detention conditions that the Air France crew were subjected to," Air France-KLM said in a statement.

"Air France has asked the relevant authorities to shed light on this case."

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Reuters has been told France's Foreign Ministry has demanded an explanation from Argentine authorities.

A spokeswoman for Argentina's Foreign Ministry said it was investigating the conduct of the airport police.

"If they were excessive in their use of force their superiors will decide what to do," the spokeswoman said.