Why KLM is [maybe] the Worst Airline

4 May
2009

Update: 06/27/2009 I told my whole story to our friend Marcus at KLM and he escalated the letter to someone else. Let’s see what happens. Nothing happened. What a surprise, no one from KLM bothered to reply back.
Update again: While I think KLM is stupid beyond belief, I still need to fly them. They’re my gateway airline into continental Europe and into the US and Asia. I just hope they are not always this stupid. And as I am a loyal fool to Delta… I have to stick with KLM. Well maybe I can do Air France too.

I have to rant because at this point there is no where else to go. I hope that some idiot from KLM public relations or customer service sees this post and understands how upset I am.

A lot of readers here also travel so post your stories about KLM, NWA (Northwest Airlines), SAS, or anyone else that gave you terrible service.

I flew from Stockholm to India this past month with KLM and NWA. Unfortunately for Stockholm, there are not very appealing airline options to fly into continental europe and continue to Asia. There’s SAS (THE worst airline since you have to pay for water), KLM, and Air France. My post is about the dismal service, communicate, and receive any recourse for stupid service.

So, the list of complaints:
1) Arlanda Stockholm Airport; check in with KLM. I check in with KLM, only to find out my hand luggage bag is 1/4 inch (about 1/2 centimeter) TOO big to take on board. I’m sorry the wheel was sticking out of that straight-jacket baggage checker! Now, the agent at the KLM counter is on my case to lighten out my bag. I pull out as much as possible, laptop, blanket, snacks, etc. and throw the bag on the belt.

The suitcase and this “hand bag” now weigh 23kg; of course she has to lecture me and tell me I have to pay for the overweight. After a few minutes of begging she lets me go with those 3kgs for free. OMG!
Then, the KLM counter lady gives me a lecture that I have no right to stand in the First Class/Business Class/ Elite Plus line. Wait! I am in Delta Elite Plus member and your overheard counter image has the Skyteam logo. You don’t specify that is for KLM only. But I am wrong, Delta Platinum is in fact not part of the Skyteam like that. Great, so the Skyteam alliance is useless then.

2) Get on the plane to go from ARN-AMS. Flight is delayed. 20 minutes. 30 minutes. 40 minutes. 1 hour. Yay! We take off over an hour late. Arrive in AMS a little bit before 9AM.

3) Make it onto the NWA airlines bound to BOM. Door closes. Wait, we’re not moving; no pushback. We sit. Sit some more. 20 minutes pass. Captain gets on the intercom that we have auxiliary power switch problems so we have to hang tight. Yep, another hour goes by before we leave the gate.

4) Arrive at the Mumbai Airport. My name, along with a dozen others are called on the loudspeaker. Not a good sign. There’s no sign of our baggage. I file PIR (Property Irregularity Report) with KLM. KLM gives me a crappy 25 Euro discount on the flight I purchase. Yippee! After filing lots of paperwork, dealing with Indian customs to have my bags cleared by the airline, I head home.

5) Two days later and some shopping to run around for underwear and tops and bottoms, I get my bags. But, but, the front pouch of my handbag is empty. Did someone steal stuff? Where are my personal business cards? Where is my ipod? Where is my headphone? And the little junk in the front pouch? Gone. All gone.

I file a complaint with the KLM office in Mumbai. They give me a case number that I can use to file the stolen items when I return back to my country of residency, Sweden. Fine. I wait.

6)
Get back to Sweden. The useless counter in baggage claim that supports KLM and all those airlines with baggage issues, is well, useless. I get a phone number to call in Sweden, but as usual in a socialist country, no one works on the weekend.

7) Sunday, I email KLM directly (only took a couple weeks since their website is the most horribly built thing since msn.com) with all the details of the baggage situation, case number, etc.

Monday, a response. At least someone is fast to read and respond. Thank god.
Here is the letter from KLM Customer Service:

Thank you for your e-mail dated 3 May 2009 regarding your recent journey with KLM and Northwest Airlines. KLM takes precautions to make sure that passenger baggage is loaded and off-loaded with the greatest care. We regret that even with these precautions some items were missing from your luggage. Please accept our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience or distress this irregularity in our service may have caused you.

In instances such as these, we would recommend passengers to submit a claim to their travel insurance for consideration since the liability of airlines is limited. This letter may be used as proof for your insurance company that you reported the loss at our company.

Should you not have claimed on your own insurance and wish instead to claim directly on KLM, then you are more than entitled to do so, although KLM’s liability, like that of all other signatory
airlines, is limited to terms set out in the Montreal Convention. Unfortunately we cannot offer you any compensation for the missing i-pod as according to our Conditions of Contract, we do not accept liability for pilferage of money, jewellery, electronic and photographic equipment, precious metals or other valuables. For the latter we refer you to the General Conditions of Carriage article 8.6.d, based upon the Montreal Conventions.

To enable us to handle the remainder of your claim promptly and efficiently, we kindly request you to provide us with the following:

*Specification and/or receipts of the missing cards and the first needs items purchsed.

*Bank information [more details he writes]

Once again, we would like to offer our apologies for any inconvenience or distress the missing items from your luggage may have caused you.

Yours sincerely,

Marcus Johnstone-McKinney
KLM/NWA Customer Care North Europe
P.O. Box 69370
1060CK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: 08 587 99 747
Fax: +31 20 588 8250

Ohh, why thank you but I highly doubt you give a rat’s ass.

Please accept our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience or distress this irregularity in our service may have caused you.

There’s the legal bullshit we are all waiting for:

Unfortunately we cannot offer you any compensation for the missing i-pod as according to our Conditions of Contract

So why the hell do I have case number for stolen items I cannot claim? I don’t know. And why didn’t anyone at the Mumbai KLM Customer Service office tell me that electronic goods will not be covered? Lack of communication.

Where do I go from here? Not sure. Having lost more than 2500SEK due to stolen items, spent over 1000SEK having to buy new clothes, and had the lack of service from KLM, I don’t know. Why should I care about poor little airlines’ problems with fuel issues if they have no responsibility to give customer service and to not rip people off? Why do you airlines think customers hate you because you charge us for ever extra pound on board, or make us buy water, snacks and pillows on flights? Are we just cattle?

Thank you KLM for making me have the worst trip ever. And it is nice to know that Delta Platinum Elite Plus fliers can be treated like shit by the airlines in their own Skyteam network.

I have created a post just for KLM Baggage Information. Please also check it out if you have questions about filing baggage complaints or the paperwork required to file a complaint. Note though, I cannot help you as I don’t work for KLM; don’t me to call you!

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25 Responses to Why KLM is [maybe] the Worst Airline

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Natasha

May 4th, 2009 at 15:24

oh dear, sorry to hear about your i-pod! there’s certainly a LACK OF COMMUNICATION in klm. as my mom is a flight attendant at indonesia’s national airline, i’m entitled to interline staff ticket which is much cheaper than regular fare. i know that there’s this flight ban thing from EU to indonesian airlines but it doesn’t affect the interline agreement. but yeah, one stupid klm staff said so & i ended up going back to indo last summer paying full fare ticket! i complained about this & they could only say, “please accept our most sincere apologies.” what a shame esp. because i’m partly dutch, too!

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Delhiite

May 4th, 2009 at 16:43

Most of the issues you have mentioned occurs with all airlines. I travel quite a bit and have pretty much taken all the US airlines, and everyone of them is equally bad compared to the Asian and European carriers. But I agree, some Airlines take it one step further to piss you off!

The case of stolen items from luggage happens quite frequently even at most major airports in the US. In fact I saw a recent report where a few personal were caught stealing at LAX. So its hard to say where your iPod went missing, whether in AMS or BOM. In any case, Sorry for the loss. Now you need to get a good Mobile Phone which can work as your ipod and camera.
Cheers/

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Joyce

May 4th, 2009 at 18:17

Came across your page a few days ago and found it really interesting, especially because I have a Swedish boyfriend (I’m Canadian).

Hmm, sorry to hear about your ipod… But I would have to say despite their horrible service, they’re right about the missing ipod – an expensive lesson learned, never check in anything of value… (For the reason Delhiite indicated above – can’t pin the blame on any one company.)

I’m surprised their reimbursement for delayed luggage is so low – when I flew Air Canada to Japan I was reimbursed 10,000 Yen (more than $100). It barely covered buying extra socks, undies, and toiletries. Now I always pack an extra pair of undies and socks and travel toiletries on my carry on. The joys of flying.

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Sarah Wylie

June 5th, 2009 at 23:29

Talk about bad customer service with airlines…… mine was Continental Airlines…. This happened in early June of 2007.

Oooh, I will NEVER forget.

We flew from Houston to Newark Airport (NY). (From there, we would catch a plane to Frankfurt, Germany.) Normally, this first flight takes about 4 hours. They overbooked the flight and paid people to take the second flight to Newark (I wish I had!!). Well, due to “bad weather conditions”, which do happen, we had to land somewhere else 3 times before flying back to Newark everytime to see if the bad weather had passed. It took 12 (yes, TWELVE) hours before we finally got there.
Of course, by then we had missed the connecting flight. Moreover, the people that took the second flight to Newark somehow got there and caught their connection…

We got to Newark right after 10 pm, I believe. (It’s been 2 years, excuse my blurry memory) We had our 5 week-old newborn with us to see his grandparents for the first time. We stood in line at the Continental service desk for about 45 minutes, then their crew closed the desk for the night. Yep, they did not even stay open for us after what we’d been through. They said we would need to wait to get rebooked until the next day. WHA…?!!!!

It’s true. We were all advised to retrieve our luggage (which was not easily found and distributed by them) and come back in the morning. At about 1 AM we finally found a person from Continental that had meal tickets (which only McDonald’s was still open that late) and he said their (free) hotel (which they use for these kinds of things) was booked out and we were out of luck getting in. We could drive into town and pay for our own hotel and try to get reimbursed later on, if we wanted to. (Just in case there is any question, we did not have that kind of extra money at that point.) DOUBEL WHA…?!!!!

So, we were stranded at the airport with our 5 week-old among billions of germs with no place to go or nowhere to sleep. I just wanted to cry!! My pants had been peed and pooped on, Liam had run out of diapers, and our luggage was not there yet either. A Continental employee told us they had booked a flight for us going to Amsterdam the next afternoon (which was the later flight, I suppose they did not care about our small baby being at the airport even longer) which would then go to Frankfurt after a 5 1/2 hour-layover. We finally got our luggage. The airport was far from everything, so we paid a taxi $60 to find us a drugstore selling some diapers. We went to Continental’s hotel (as adviced, to “camp out” and hope for someone to leave in the morning so we could get their room). It eventually happened. That afternoon, we finally made it onto our connection flight to Amsterdam. Luckily, we had arranged for my parents to come pick us all up in Amsterdam, as it was faster to drive there and pick us up than to wait for the layover and to then pick us up from Frankfurt. Before we left Newark, I had made sure to let Continental know of our plans and to make sure our luggage was not being sent all the way to Frankfurt.
When we got to Amsterdam, our luggage was not on the conveyor belt. We stood in line to make sure it was NOT being sent to Frankfurt. They said okay, checked the computer and said it was not on the list to be sent to Frankfurt, but that it was obviously lost. We had to file a report and go on our way.

No, it does not end here. We got home (well, to my parents’ house in Germany, I mean) and I called the airline the next day. The luggage was sure to be sent that day (so I was told in Amsterdam). Now, Continental said they were not responsible. Another airline that would transport it to our nearest airport (once it was FOUND) would handle it. I called them. No, it wasn’t them either. I called Amsterdam AND Frankfurt airport. Nope, none of them knew. After about 30 phone calls I finally found someone helpful (a US customer rep for Continental) who said the luggage was located in (you guessed it) Frankfurt and would be flown to Duesseldorf Aiport (closest by the house) where a truck driver would pick it up and deliver it within the next 24 hours. We were allowed a $50 spending limit for clothing (which buys you a pair of jeans in Germany) for the two adult tickets. Oh, great! Plus, it was the weekend, and all stores are pretty much closed then. So we went and got some cheap stuff at the local grocery store. Overall, it took 4 days to get our luggage.

When we returned back to Houston, I was sure to write a complaint letter. The results: Two $50 coupons to get off our next tickets with Continental (which I will obviously never use to fly again) and about $100 reimbursement for clothing.

This was the single, most terrible, outrageous customer service experience of my life. Not the bad weather, we understand that happens. But how the airline responded was incredibly unsatisfactory.

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Simmi

June 23rd, 2009 at 02:28

I’m fairly sure that this story would be of interest to the good people who read this site:

http://www.flyertalk.com/

There’s a great thread right here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/646769-ultimate-baggage-lost-delayed-stolen-damaged-thread.html

It’s interesting how the alliances Star, One World, Sky Team seem to fail when it comes to their most important passengers – I would raise all kinds of hell with Delta as they are surely paying quite a bit to have their Platinum members treated differently than this by the other carriers in Sky Team.

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Sapphire

June 27th, 2009 at 22:27

@Sarah – That is absolutely horrible. I would consider filing a Better Business Bureau complaint about the airline experience. You make a compelling case for both negligence and customer service failure. But yes, definitely file a complaint with BBB.

@Simmi – I know! What’s with this airline fail? I caused enough rukus for this incident but at some point you get so tired of it. I have to say though, Delta has for the most part, solved all my issues and given me compensation for problems.

I love however that KLM does NOT compensate for customer service programs? Plays right into the European sterotype that Europeans suck at service.

Oh! Also, I have included some important if you need information about baggage issues.

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KLM Lost, Delayed Baggage Information

July 1st, 2009 at 22:35

[…] receiving many visitors about KLM’s customer service problems regarding baggage, here is a run down of what to do if your bags are stolen or delayed as well as […]

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Pitcher

July 20th, 2009 at 16:02

I am a frequent flyer with Lufthansa and made the mistake flying with KLM. I never do that again!

Before flying:
Called Customer Service for a simple question. Nobody knew. Was told to call Reservations instead of being re-directed. Called Reservations. They answered, but the answer turned out to be completely wrong when I arrived at the airport. (Good I trusted my intuition and did not rely on the answer.)

At airport:
Arrived at gate 30 minutes before departure, they rushed me to board like a shepard gathering the cattle. I asked 1 minute to go to toilet. They said no. Flight departed before schedule.

On board:
Long line to toilet. Then turbulence and all had to be seated. Food served was poor, but ok.

Transfer:
5 minutes to get off, find gate, and start boarding. Ran through the terminal and arrived at gate on time, just to find the flight delayed and a long line of frustrated passengers. Just before boarding, KLM changed my seat with the excuse to put a family together. (On board, there was no family on my seat, but a fat woman.)

Airport AMS:
Poorly planned and no electric plug for laptops. Some gates are downstairs, while the main walking corridor is upstairs. Really stupid design.

On board:
Food even worse than previous flight. One flight attendent even spent majority of her time chatting with some KLM-colleagues who were travelling private in business class. That is very unprofessional.

Landing:
The flight arrived earlier than sceduled and lost a frequent flyer for good.

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Claudia

January 8th, 2010 at 13:08

Hej!!!

I’m lost in Stockholm (since 2006) too :) Last Xmas, we went back home to Spain and guess what? KLM also lost our luggage. I was wondering whether you got any money back, because we have already sent our complaints and tickets to customer.care.nordic@klm.com without having gotten any answer so far.

You got my email in there and I’d appreciate some answer!!!

Take care and a thick coat

Clau

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G.P.A. Cosijn

January 26th, 2010 at 11:38

Booked e-tickets to Capetown. Accepted. At the luggage check-in counter in Amsterdam, the lady refused to allow us on board, because we were returning after 3 mo nths and did not have visa. Had to rebook our return flight just before departure by paying each 100 euro.
In Cape Town we received visa for three months and were told to go to the Immigration Office if we would like to extend our stay. Even if we had arrived with a ticket extending 3 months, we would be allowed to enter.
KLM accepted us first and at the last moment refused us on board, asking 100 euro per person. We are unable to find a customer email or even a telephone number to make complains and ask for a reembursement. Can anyone help with an emial-address?
Absolutely distasteful of the KLM to let customers down.

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Richard

March 31st, 2010 at 17:25

On occasion where an Irish passenger’s father died suddenly and the passenger could no longer use the first part of a return flight, KLM decided to not only to refuse this passenger’s request to change the outbound date of the flight but also to disallow this passenger the right to use the return portion of the ticket. This policy forces people who are grieving to purchase entirely new tickets – and a sudden death usually incurs many extra expenses already.

Meanwhile the corporate greed of KLM gains a new seat to sell off a premium price. While KLM states some tickets are non-changeable, the Boycott KLM campaign aims to highlight the opportunistic advantage KLM happily takes in punishing people during a time of tragedy. Policies like this are quietly slipping into many corporation’s race to the bottom and it is time that we send a message that people demand better and that a such thing as corporate sympathy can exist. It can also exist profitably for companies when they see that their subhuman attitude costs more than it saves.
Please join this group and pass this message along to all of your friends and especially family members and groups. We can make a difference. Most importantly BOYCOTT KLM!

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orangetree

August 4th, 2010 at 14:31

Electronics item should not keep in checked in luggages as all airlines restriction. It is not fair for KLM. I travelled with KLM for many destinastions from Arlanda-Amsterdam, Istanbul-Amsterdam, Amsterdam -Lima.. They are quite professional and friendly.

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capitalism can suck my d*&%

August 12th, 2010 at 22:45

i flew with klm and they are fantastic, it’s not the airlines fault that he lost the ipod it was yours. If you were smart enough and had more common sense you would take it with you on carry on. also its good riddance that your ipod was lost because apple is the company of Hitler and the devil and it is good that it has been cast down into hands of people who deserve it, not ignorant American snobs who are so spoiled that if one little thing goes wrong they have to go out and cry their story to the world

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Tony

November 8th, 2010 at 14:41

@Richard,

In the case of a family emergency passengers should call their travel insurance. It is for these kinds of situations that passengers should take out travelinsurance. Anyone travelling without insurance is not very smart to say the least.

And if a ticket is non-changeable it is the passenger who is to blame. It is the passenger who only looked at the ticketprice and didn’t mind the ticket conditions because he was being cheap and only cared about his wallet.

So it’s not KLM’s corporate greed, but the customer’s shortsightedness which is the real problem.

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Guus

December 9th, 2010 at 22:35

Does anybody understand the new Frequent flyer rules of KLM? Even Elite members flying KLM for many years do get 25% miles on cheapest tickets. If you would like same quantity of airmiles as other companies are giving for same flight you have to buy more expensive tickets (normaly hundreds of Euro’s more expensive).
Looks like they would like to say goodbuye to their frequest flyers. KLM had been my favorite for many years and I did fly many miles but I am ready with Flying Blue program because of this. I do not want to pay that much extra money just for miles.

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Emery

January 4th, 2011 at 19:43

I’ve always had really good experience with KLM. I think it’s all about how uptight the individual employee is. I remember having to catch a connecting flight taking me to Sweden from Orlando that I was supposed to catch had already taken off 10 minutes after getting at the airport. I freaked out but the KLM guy was nice enough to book me on another connecting flight (going to Newark, same as the one before) leaving 30minutes after that one so I could still catch the international flight from there to Stockholm with no rush. And he also got me in the front of the line through security so I wouldn’t miss it again. It was awesome I would have been totally lost otherwise. :)

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Jordan Lawrence

March 16th, 2011 at 20:56

On a recent trip to Australia they (KLM) served me a “vegetarian meal” comprising of a chicken salad!! i was not impressed as I only realised after eating a couple fork fulls (tired and all) – that was the first time I had eaten meat in years… was there an apology? no prizes for guessing the answer – “you should have ordered a Vegetarian meal” – I F((()))_ng did order a Veggie meal, go check! “Oh yes you’re right” I don’t know what happened…
Rude staff with no sense of customer service – GO AIR MALYASIA – way better!

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Harris Faigel

November 3rd, 2011 at 18:19

KLM managed to lose our bags on both the outbound and inbound flights from the US to South Africa via AMS. Worst service we’ve experienced in over 50 years of flying.

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bryan

January 7th, 2012 at 14:59

I was still in the airside area of the airport terminal, pointing at the airplane I had just gotten off, telling the KLM staff (including stewardesses from the plane) that my MP3 player was still on it, in the flap in Seat 9B. They refused to do anything. “Maybe it will turn up at lost & found,” was their advice. Of course it didn’t.

Now I am trying to get the airport tax back for a flight that I booked with them but didn’t fly on and they are ignoring me and/or directing me to their disastrous website. Missed a flight once with SAS and the money was deposited in my account THE NEXT DAY.

I have lived in Holland, it’s normal that customer service is absolutely rubbish in Dutch culture.

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Jason Schmidt

March 23rd, 2012 at 13:31

KLM rude from the ground up. I have never experienced poorer customer service with any other travel company.

They booked me on an Iberian flight from Amsterdam to Madrid when I missed my connection and never sent my bags. My bags, according to Delta and Iberia are in Amsterdam but the customer service people at KLM will not even bother to trace it for me. They have disregarded my phone calls and correspondence and could care less. Even though Iberia never received by baggage they are forcing me to do all tracing etc. through them. I booked my flight originally through air France Malaga to Las Vegas operated by Delta. I rebooked and was reticketed through KLM on my return flight to Malaga. Do yourself a favor and avoid KLM. They are rude, inconsiderate and incompetent.

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Samuel

April 13th, 2012 at 05:34

I flew KLM and arrived at my destination on Tuesday.
I watched and waited and eventually discovered my second baggage was missing.
Someone helped me file something at the airport.
It was stated my baggage was in Amsterdam. Remember that was Tuesday.
It is Friday. Online Tracker said my baggage would arrive on Thursday.
I’ve heard nothing. I’m quite patient. I probably would be less patient if I had no baggage.

We need to stop saying all airlines have this problem. It is the nature the of business. You should buy insurance. This is mentality we customer had in the 60’s and 70’s. Automobiles are expected to have problems, breakdown, and occasionally or often be total lemon. We excepted poor quality and we received poor quality. If delayed or lost baggage was a problem of the 70’s; it should have less of a problem in the 80’s; and much less of a problem in 90’s; and a very small problem in 2000’s; and relatively no problem in them 2010’s era.

As an industry you are supposed to find the root causes of problem and resolve the root cause not continue to accept the problems as “The way it has always been”. Honestly I think FedEx and UPS do a pretty effective job at routing goods (baggage) from one location to another without things going missing. How can one baggage dropped of at the same time end up at its desired destination and the other be someone in the world?
Fix the problem; don’t make excuses; develop a zero defect mentality; improve your business process to eliminate errors and problems. In my profession, I don’t accept poor quality and recurring problems. I don’t except from other either.

Here I sit not know if and when I will ever get my stuff. Most of my hygiene products are with the lost luggage.

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B. Folarin

February 4th, 2013 at 21:20

Two months ago, I would have thought you guys were just making it up. I was literally brought up being loyal to KLM. Flew them everywhere when I was a kid from Lagos to the UK and then Canada and the US, but yes, those were the days.

Today, I am now one those who wonder what went wrong.

8 January 2013:

I took a flight back from Lagos to London via Amsterdam. Just before I boarded, a friend I was told to attend an urgent matter on my way in Amsterdam. I thought I might aswell spend two nights there to ensure all things would be covered.

It would simple and straight forward, get off at Amsterdam and tell them, I will find my back to the UK. Heavens you think they would be happy to have the extra seat to sell off.

I landed at 6 in the morning, proceeded to inform them of my plan and asked if I could get my bags back. I was then told that the condition of my ticket prohibited that and I would not be allowed to reclaim my baggage unless I either pay the cancelation fee of €275 or rebook on a later flight which would match my date of departure for €235.

I had no choice, I had to attend that meeting. The lady was kind enough to wave the booking fee and so I was left to pay €216 just to get my bags back. The lady said go and wait, but if you don’t see your bags in an hour, go to the service desk… I think that should have sent some alarm bells ringing, but hey, it woudl never happen and I will go to my meeting set for 11am that morning.

I thought, well 5 hours is enough to organise myself at the hotel and such for my 11am meeting to be followed by my 2pm lunch date, but it was not to be. I went to the baggage retreval stand 14 and waited.

The airport was still empty, I looked around, no bag… at 9.30am after three and a half hours of waiting, I went to the service desk and told the lady at the desk that I was instructed to approach them shoudl my baggage not appear after an hour. I politely asked if she could help me. Her reply will ring in my ears for ever.
“This is a busy airport, you are not the only one here. Your bags will come, now go and sit down.”

To tiered to respond, I returned to my seat and waited. Another hour passed before I went to the desk intentionally avoiding the lady who was just plain rude to me, I approach another and asked for help. She said she was sorry for the way he colleague treated me (so it wasn’t just me who thought she was out of line) and she will check for me. At this point, I had no chance of making an 11am meeting whilst still waiting for my bags at 10.32am.

Sure enough, she said my bags were in the airport and would be brought to me shortly. I pleaded the sped things up because my meeting and she did say it would be 10 minutes. So I had to call and push back the meeting for an hour. 2ominutes later, still no bag.

I was near fainting now due to lack of sleep, food or water (the airport should do something about that bit of the airport. Between passport check and arrival there is nothing), nor did they bother to offer me anything, I gave up.

I told them I needed to attend the meeting and asked if they could please have it sent to my hotel. They gave me a link where I had to fill in the details (took the whole of 1 hour of my life) and in need of sleep I moved the main meeting to the next day and rushed out to get something to wear and change of underwear as so on as all my clothes and toiletries were in my bags.

Late at night I got an email that they had been found but won’t arrive till the following day. One would expect it to come first thing in the morning, but I got another email telling it had been collected at 9.30am. I called to ask when my items would arrive “not until 2.30pm sir”.

I couldn’t postpone my formal meeting any further. I had to go out and get some shoes and when I finally got to the hotel at midnight, there they were with two €25 vouchers attached.

It was nice of them, but
1. You could only use one per flight and not both to get the maximum discount (besides, they didn’t confirm if you could use it on online purchases)

2. €50 doesn’t even draw near to cover my losses.

So I filled in the complaints form on 10th of January.

KLM’s policy is to respond within 9 days. Fast forward to 26th January and not a word. Had to chase them up.

Angered by the silence, I called KLM on their PREMIUM RATE NUMBER. Intially I was almost cut off as they wanted to pass it on to baggage when I insisted the lady on the line hear my case.

After she did, she said she was sorry for the delay. She should have stopped there but then she added “Your delay is in a que. As you know we had a lot of complaints due to the bad weather in Paris and Amsterdam”.

Well KLM, the bad weather came on 14th January, my complaint was on the 10th of January, does that mean you decided to ignore my complaint which came first to deal with others? What a way to make me feel valued.

I left my number… Let’s hope they call.

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emma

April 16th, 2013 at 12:12

sI flew KLM and it was a nightmare. There was a problem with the plane after we boarded. We had to wait a long time on the plane before we were asked to de board, where we were then made to wait for hours with not enough information and no food. Finally it was cancelled and we were put on flights the next day, with incredibly rude and unhelpful staff to arrange our new connecting flights. There was no special assistance given to people on their way to funerals or deathbeds. I was promised window seats and ended up with middle seats as well as a day layover in Amsterdam rather than the planned layover elsewhere to visity sister and nieces. I got a measly 10 euro voucher for the airport, and anyone who has ever been knows that is not enough to eat 1 meal at Schippol let alone the 3 I’d be there for. Then I lost it and they wouldn’t replace it. Nor would they assist me with contacting the people meant to meet me at the airports. All through this staff were rude, unapologetic, and unsympathetic. New story: I am currently reading Voices From the Other Side by Keith Bolender. I just learned that KLM was complicit in the kidnapping of 14 000 children through a CIA operation called Operation Peter Pan. Look it up.

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Shara

May 20th, 2013 at 19:20

1. If everyone would bring handluggage that is just a “little” too big, then in the end some of them wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartments anymore.
Also, 3kg too much is 3kg too much. People like you do not realise that -once again- i everyone have 3kg too much without paying for it (imagine a plane with 200 passengers, 200 x 3 = 600kg) and they wouldn’t have enough fuel for that 600kg extra…………you’d crash and die. So for crying out loud, shut up.

2. Yeah it is possible for a flight to have a long delay. You didn’t mention what the cause of the delay was, if it’s a technical issue then be glad they discovered it before you took off, idiot.

3. Read nr. 2. The auxiliary power unit is an important feature on the aircraft. In case of power loss while flying, they can still switch to the APU. That means the cabin won’t have any light, but at least the cockpit will have enough power to make an emergency landing without killing you. Once again, be glad they discovered it before you took off, idiot.

4. I cannot argue with this. Loss of baggage sucks.

5. Why the hell would you leave an iPod in your checked in baggage? It’s asking for troubles. Other than stealing, the people working in the baggage areas really don’t care about suitcases you know? So putting it in your front pouch is just asking for it to break (or get stolen). Idiot.

6. That’s your country’s problem. Not a real complaint against KLM in general.

7. And that’s the “sucks to be you” letter every airline has. Not just KLM.

Sucks that you posted this 4 years ago, but I still hope that people who read your story will also read mine and realise that 80% of what you complain about is really unnecessary whining.

I’m loyal to KLM and I’m proud ot it.

Cheers~

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Sapphire

May 28th, 2013 at 22:27

@Shara –
#1 – If weight is so damn important then why don’t they charge for people who weigh well over their BMI? I’m not talking about weight 5, 10, or even 15kg overweight. I’m talking weighing 30-100kg overweight. It’s a rhetorical question, because charging based on people’s weight would be discrimination, and court cases would line up around the block if they tried to pass such a thing.

I get pissed because I weigh under my BMI and get to deal with bitching from the airline over my god damn 3kgs over. Sometimes I just wear the extra clothes and put the crap in my pockets. And I ESPECIALLY get pissed off when I’m a platinum carrier and they won’t accept the extra weight limits platinum carriers are allotted (this complaint isn’t limited to KLM, it’s directed to all of Skyteam).

#5 – It was a mistake, I forgot that I had it in my hand bag. Since I had to check it in (it was the only time ever I’ve had to check in that particular hand bag), I forgot it was in the inner inside pocket. Someone certainly took the time to empty out the contents of it and then seal the whole bag for me.

#6 – That’s the case with most 1800 numbers in Europe – they don’t work on the weekend and they only answer the phones from 9-5. Those are pretty useless 1-800 hours.

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