Future of KLM and / ?? Air France!

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  • christopheL

    Well done Capetonianm ! You don’t change, that’s why I like you 🙂

    PS : Even if KLM pilots are mainly Dutch I’m afraid they do not think that they need wage cuts and longer work hours.
    (See AMcWhirter post earlier today)

    But this happens is in the real world. Not in yours …



    I was talking about ADP/Schiphol from years ago.

    Today I sit on a JV board with ADP (Paris Aeroports as they are now) and one of their large restaurant partners. Very talented people.

    But remember that 10 years ago CDG was rated the worst major hub airport in Europe with the worst toilets!!

    On top of being badly perceived for customer service, signeage, connectivity etc etc

    They are improving rapidly under their new CEO, de Rommanett


    I’m sorry I didn’t understood properly your vintage comment.
    For sure I am too emotional.
    So what about today ? I hope ADP has been a good pupil and can now provide better connectivity, good signeage, clean toilets and enough shops.


    It could be interesting. AF sometimes have good fares in W and C to and from ZA, and have always been pretty decent in the air but atrocious on the ground with the hideous connection experience at CDG. If they can improve that, it might again be worth flying with AF. Haven’t done so for about 12 years.

    The Joon service to CPT has been favourably reviewed here and elsewhere, although I’m not sure I’d use it if there were a KL flight from AMS with similar times. Being one of the few odd people who like dayflights, if between KL and AF they could coordinate their services so that they provided a day flight in each direction, instead of both being a Southbound day service, I would probably switch.


    What you call the hideous connection experience at CDG is now part of history. 12 years is such a long time …
    12 years ago CDG 2E was not operational and obviously there was no connection between CDG 2F and CDG 2E. It was a time when T5 was slightly emerging from the ground.
    Both airports have highly improved the connection experience at least when you are flying AF (CDG) or BA (LHR).
    Air travel industry is changing very fast and the good (and less good) souvenirs from the past (either old or recent) have to be kept in the past.


    Fair comment, ChristopheL, but my next trips are already booked (LX and KL) but I see no reason not to give AF a try at some point – although I might let my wife try it out before I do!

    I have a number of friends who travel regularly via CDG and they are often unhappy with the unfeasibly short, but legitimate, connection times which AF promote on the GDS. I know that there is a possibility of extending those well beyond the published MCT but most agents don’t know, don’t care, or don’t bother, and this has resulted in a negative experience.


    Very good point about Minimum Connection Times. I just booked AF/KLM from CDG to LAX via Amsterdam. Horrified to see that connection time in Amsterdam was 45 minutes. Called AF and they assured me this was okay, but I insisted on an earlier flight from CDG-AMS. ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE at Schipol to get from EU arrivals (through immigration/security/extra USA security) to USA departures (E or F gates) in 45 minutes! Airlines could save themselves a lot of headaches if they extended their MCTs in their reservation systems.


    The reason that they use the shortest possible connection times, is that they show higher up on the default GDS displays, which normally display in order of EFT. The screenscrapers and websites tend to follow the same default order.

    At the opposite end of the extreme, some order by price, lowest first. This very often involves lengthy stopovers or even overnights. I was meeting a friend in Dublin a few months ago and he (wouldn’t listen to me!) and booked the cheapest flight ZRH-DUB without realising that the EFT was 26 hours, including a night stop and a change of airports.

    As they say in Afrikaans (no doubt it came from the canny Dutch) ‘ goedkoop is duurkoop’ = a cheap buy is an expensive buy.


    ghlotus – Rather concerned to hear that AF had sold you a long-haul ticket via Schiphol and told you that the MCT was 45 mins.

    The official MCTs at Schiphol have, for many years, been 40 mins for short-haul and 50 mins for long-haul flights.

    Every Europea hub has MCTs which can only be achieved under perfect conditions *. Previously when I have asked airport PRs about this they refuse to discuss the matter and, instead, repeat the official MCTs parrot fashion.

    * Consider that the MCTS for MUC/VIE/HEL are 30 mins or less. The MCT (international-international) for BA at Heathrow T5 is just 60 mins.

    MCTs are unrealistic because hubs compete against one another on the global stage. So Schiphol would want to woo the Chinese business person to book long-haul via Amsterdam rather than via a hub in the Gulf.


    The whole thing is fraught with lack of logic.

    For example if you check the MCT for a specified connection CDG-LAX via AMS, for AF-KL it shows 100, but if you check KL-KL it shows 050 – even though the CDG AMS is a code share operated by AF.

    Neither is realistic.

    Alex McWhirter

    Strike threat by KLM pilots has been removed.


    But the AF unions are threatening their next strike if the new CEO doesn’t meet their demands.


    Until just 2 years ago I was a Platinum Flying Blue member.
    I used AF regularly to Rabat from SEZ and AUH, and also RBA to CAN (and vice-versa) and all that flying via that lovely airport CDG.
    OK, I have not passed through in more than 2 years, but I cannot imagine it has improved that much.
    As many contributors have said here, AF service is ok (not brilliant) in the air, but on the ground its awful. Obviously ‘Customer Service’ is a unknown expression en Francais.
    On my regular jaunts to CAN, I used to try and arrange my schedule to to take China Southern in codeshare, as their service, although a little ‘cold’ was quite acceptable in J, and they always had a young French girl employed just for translation. (Likewise on the AF B777 service they carried a Chinese girl), not that I needed any translation you understand. On one trip the French girl was actually of Italian origin, and we chatted on and off for 13 hours.
    Anyway the point I am making is that AF service at CDG has always been awful, its a disastrously designed airport. and with regard to MCT’s, try getting from 2E or 2F (I forget now) to 2G, where the thinner European flights depart from. It will take an hour minimum, if you are lucky.
    With regard to AF-KLM, I have mentioned in other threads, that I heard nearly 2 years ago (In Italy) that KLM will find a way to release itself, and that AF will join up with their like-minded and kindred brethren at AZ. neither will ever lose their self-destructive traits and also neither will ever be allowed to die.
    To add a little bit of added info, my present MD is French and would never dream of flying AF, and hasn’t done so for maybe more than 15 years. He always flies EY. I also have worked and continue to co-operate with Italian companies, and their Senior Personnel/MD’s/Owners would never dream of flying AZ – Figurati! (no way)!


    For those struggling with booking engines which order purely by price or by duration (regardless of schedule) I can recommend hipmunk.com (they also have an app called Hipmunk). I have never used them to book a flight (nor do I have any affiliation with them) but I love the fact that they provide results on a blended basis based on what they call the “agony factor”, which takes into account duration, stopover times, departure and arrival times and so forth. The results are produced on a graphic (a little like a horizontal bar chart overlaid on a “calendar”) which shows the price in a column to the left of the graphic, and departure and arrival times and stopover points in the graphic itself. Really handy, and I have often used it to get ideas about which airlines to search on.


    The new boss is calling for a “proper merger 14 years after deal.”

    Bloomberg reports Ben Smith calling for an end to Franco-Dutch tensions.



    I wonder what odds you’d get for him not seeing out his contract ?

    Even a lunatic can see that AF needs to adopt the best of KLM across the group.
    Sadly the rest of us can also see that there is very little wisdom in the current AF asylum.

    I give him less than a year ! , sorry Ben

    add to that, he’s not even French Canadian…..

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