KLM CEO apologises

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  • esselle

    As a Plat member of Skyteam I regularly get offers and updates by email.

    Today, a lengthy apology from the CEO of KLM landed in my inbox.

    To paraphrase, he said “we got our forecasts wrong and made a bit of a mess of things, meaning we have not delivered the service and standards you expect or deserve. We’ve taken steps to put things right and restore your confidence in us. Please accept our sincere apologies.”

    The list of actions they are taking were described in some detail and sound like credible fixes.

    Better late than never, but hats off to KLM for this. I am not sure I have seen anything similar from other airlines.

    5 users thanked author for this post.


    I got one too. Hats off indeed to KLM. I think it’s a very good idea even just to send a message like that; and that it is effective.

    3 users thanked author for this post.


    Sean Doyle (Chairman and CEO, British Airways) wrote a letter in the spirit of transparency at the end of January 2022. Which was covered in this forum thread.

    Sean Doyle letter to British Airways customers

    Any letters of this nature will only be appreciated if the airline concerned actually does something to fix the issues in an acceptable time frame.


    I’ve seen similar letters/ social media postings of apology/ explanation from the CEOs of Lufthansa and Loganair. By far the best was that from Jonathan Hinkles of Loganair who also engaged in extended discussion in response to further questions. Incidently, I am KLM Platinum for Life and did not receive any communication from them…


    [postquote quote=1225092]

    Yes, I got the Doyle letter too some months ago.

    For me, the difference is that the BA letter was a statement of intent about plans to fix the broad spectrum of historic problems that they were suffering from. At that point, the industry wide issues which we currently see being played out in airports across the UK, Europe and beyond did not exist.

    The KLM letter addresses those issues specifically, and it is that which sets them apart. If BA were to issue a similar “we stuffed up” apology then I think that would be a good thing. The Doyle letter was not clearly not intended as a pre-emptive apology.

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    Ah, there was me thinking the ‘personal email’ from the KLM CEO was only sent to me personally. It doesn’t carry the same weight now…..

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    Platinum here, and also had the same.

    but to be honest, KLM, being part of Dutch culture, always do own up if mistakes have happened, and apologise or put things right.
    The Dutch do not like conflict, a value which many of my friends always have expressed, comes from World Wars, and being under Occupation. It is part of a Dutch family and cultural Value system
    They hence avoid conflict.

    As a Platinum member also, anytime anything has gone wrong, been delayed missed, or late, or service failures, KLM have told me, what i am entitled too and sent claims immediately to fill in for compensation, losses, etc.
    Even for a poor meal, the Senior Purser who agreed a Vegetarian meal was awful and looked like a “Dogs dinner”, said it was the worst she had ever seen also.

    She on her Ipad on Route from KUL, and credited me with Euros 150 for another flight. whilst we were flying.

    Schiphol have also been building another European terminal, near the Stands for the Embraer areas.
    Yet the Authorities have stated they must cut capacity at the airport by 20% in the coming years.
    Another smaller airport, perhaps geared to low cost will emerge in the coming years.
    So KLM must consolidate, as it is doing for encouraging some train links to replace flights, as domestic flights have in France.

    However i do always value not just KLM but Schiphol always, especially compared to LHR that is not there or does not apologise or stand for its Country and people in the same manner. Currently, it is not reliable to take klm and connect for long flights no matter where you fly from, with so many cancellations. Especially from the UK, we have been on and off, in being allowed to use KLM, and Schiphol, through leaving the EU, not being in the Green Zone, and as far a Covid regulations stood.
    At a time, we could not board or enter The Netherlands, so there should be some dispensation to UK members for their Flying Blue membership for the next few years.

    But i value the most typical of Dutch expressions in the message sent.
    very much this aspect…

    “In the spirit of honesty and transparency, I felt it essential to reach out and apologize to those of you who were directly affected.”

    I would like to hear more of the Frequent Flyer credits unable to be used, or built on, as we were simply unable to fly, for the UK members especially for the above reasons…

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    Hello, Allow me to introduce myself I Femke and I am the Head of Commercial for Air France KLM for the UK.

    As our valued customer you should definitely be receiving these updates, have you opted in for our Newsletters and updates?

    If not we can not send it to you for GDPR reasons. We are indeed working hard on putting actions in place to improve the situation and thought it was really needed to apologize to our customers and be transparent about the actions we are taking.

    Hope to welcome you onboard one of our KLM or Air France flights soon again!! with warm regards, Femke

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    Hi Femke.

    It is good to see that KLM are listening, and especially willing to come to places like the BT Forum and community, to listen and be in touch at these difficult times.

    It would be good to hear what KLM have in mind, especially for many of us who have been long standing customers, travelling onwards with KLM from the UK and via AMS.

    We really have been very excluded in accessing both AK / KLM flights during Covid, when Europe was still included and able to fly with you.
    Equally, post leaving the EU,, we are not Included in the freedom to still continue to choose KLM, many flights withdrawn, or we have not been allowed to board or enter NL’s,. Complex if not impossible ability to travel on yr long haul network.

    Your previous CEO always said how important the UK Market was, not just for feeder flights to your Intercontinental network, but profits for KLM.
    Currently it does not seem reliable booking with KLM, due to these restrictions, so reliability is really negative.

    What regard do you offer for the Flying Blue members, and our inability to earn our XP’s to remain or gain when we are unable to fly with you?
    Many on here are Platinum members, and really want to support KLM, enjoy Schiphol as it has been, and the warm and honest, genuine welcome of KLM.
    For me, it has meant choosing other European Airlines where traffic is flowing better, Swiss ex LCY then to The Far East.
    Many will have Gold membership with another Alliance then, and be switching allegiance.

    Covid has not gone away, currently 1/17 here, and parts of Europe, so we are Not Post Covid as many state.

    I also do not understand what KLM has been doing during these times, as all i see, are Old Aircraft 772/773’s taking flights East towards Asia.
    Air France have 2-3-2 in Business Class, and you have only 2-2-2.
    Where are all the varied Dreamliner’s, with 1-2-1 going East?
    People in Business are looking for safer and more separated seating of what most Airlines are current generation Covid safer seating plans?

    This certainly matters to me, as well as how we are received in transit once we arrive from the UK.
    How are these transfers going with the numbers allowed, and any delays or issues with Baggage?

    Many would appreciate some regard for what KLM has thought of for these important 18 airports you fly to from the UK, to AMS, with i think 70% transiting to your global network.

    Thank you for making a contribution on The Forum…..

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    [postquote quote=1225288]

    Thank you, Femke

    To the best of my knowledge I am registered as I do receive regular updates, promotional e-mails etc. (so it cannot be privacy concerns) but nothing from your CEO!! Maybe he forgot me despite my very positive comments about my recent GLA-AMS-MCT return trip on this Forum….


    Not an apology but an explanation from Jonathan Hinkles, CEO of Loganair

    Jonathan Hinkles
    Chief Executive at Loganair Limited
    39m • 39 minutes ago

    We’ve seen unprecedented scenes with delayed and missing baggage in recent days, with airport systems overwhelmed and hub flights by several large airlines arriving without baggage. For those with onward connections onto Loganair flights, it’s posed a big challenge for our customers and Loganair’s teams who sit at the “end of the branch line” for so many flight connections.

    Even though it’s not a problem of our making, it’s most definitely become a problem for us to solve. And so….
    – We’ve sent a hit squad (also known as Graham, David and two vans) into larger airports in recent days to find dozens of bags belonging to Loganair customers, pull them out of the “baggage mountain” and get them on the way by courier to their owners;
    – We’re training more staff on the Worldtracer baggage system to help with bag tracing and enquiries;
    – We’ve assigned members of our team to communicate with customers missing their bags.

    We’ve seen a huge volume of phone calls in recent days and are gearing up our Customer Help Centre, where a third of incoming calls are now about baggage. I’m sorry if you haven’t been able to get through to us by ‘phone – this problem landing in our laps has been as significant as it has unexpected, and our phone lines are under huge pressure. If you are awaiting a missing bag, I can assure you that we’re doing everything we can to track it down and get it back to you, and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as we have an update for you.

    There’s one important point though for customers arriving on international connections. Quite a few bags reported as “missing” are actually not being collected by their owners at transit airports. Please do check with your international carrier: if you are landing into the UK and have a domestic flight connection, you’ll often now need to re-claim your checked bag to clear customs at your first point of entry into the UK. This is a change after the end of the EU/UK transition period and applies to many journeys. We’ve seen more than a few missing bag reports at final destination when the bag is still going around the carousel at the transit airport waiting for its owner to collect it from their international flight….

    Arriving without your bag is the last thing you or we want. Although many of the problems at the heart of this issue are in airports to which Loganair doesn’t fly, we’re doing our utmost to tackle this headache and re-unite our customers with their bags just as quickly as we can.



    Dear Marcus,

    indeed it is very valuable for us to obtain feedback from our customers, the points you raise around re-building our network, working closely with Schiphol airport to work on the AMS hub situation, fleet renewal and our positioning in the 18 UK gateways are all points that have our priority.

    For our Flying Blue members during the Covid period we have also taken multiple actions to support our customers.

    Thanks again for sharing your feedback which I will share back with our relevant Headoffice departments as well.

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