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Anonymous7 Dec 2015
I have written an accompanying review of my accompanying flight with KLM in late November 2015 from Budapest to London. This flight was originally due to depart at 20:25 but was delayed until 20:40 due to strong winds and related arrival and departure restrictions in Amsterdam.
I was sitting in seat 10A. The cabin was very hot on boarding, which was something I'd noticed on all four of the KLM flights I'd been on in the last week. I wouldn't recommend this seat as it has a misaligned window and the view is obstructed by the seat in front. The aircraft was a Boeing 737. As we were some of the last people onboard there was limited overhead locker space available – as with many flights and many airlines, the hand baggage rules had not been enforced and there were some huge cases overhead. My friend managed to find some space in lockers further up and further down the cabin.
Push back was finally at 9pm. The captain said that the flight would be turbulent but there was nothing to worry about as the plane was a Boeing and there was a very good captain in charge! There was a short cabin announcement to say that the flight time would be 45 minutes, followed by a manual safety demonstration. Take off was just before 9:10pm. There was a quick bar service which started at about 9:25 and the rest of the flight was uneventful. I tried a red wine which was a South African red called The Elements. A small packet of crisps or a biscuit were offered as a snack. There was an announcement to say that due to traffic issues at Heathrow landing would take place at 10:15pm (which was a long period of holding given the length of the flight). Landing was finally at just after 10:15pm. There was a relatively sort taxi and passport control was quick (although, for some reasons, the e-gates did not seem to like my passport).
As noted in a previous review of my connecting flight from Budapest to Amsterdam, we were concerned that our bags were not onboard although we were assured twice at the gate in Amsterdam that they were. Once the bags finally started to arrive, we were relieved that a suitcase had been put on the carousel with a white board attached to it asking four passengers to contact the baggage assistance desk. However, after waiting for a few minutes the overhead screen stated "bags delivered". The sad but perhaps not surprising realisation sunk in that the bags had indeed not made the flight.
After a fairly lengthy discussion, the representative at the Air France/KLM told us: (i) our bags were still in Amsterdam; (ii) they would try and put it on the first flight tomorrow but no guarantees were possible; (iii) a form would need to be completed (which was obviously no problem); and (iv) they had no KLM customer service details – if we wanted to complain we needed to do so online or through phone numbers we obtained online. I did find that the attitude and unhelpfulness of the ground agents made a bad situation even worse – however, it had been a long day and discussing the issue further would have been counterproductive.
In summary, the flight itself was fine given its duration. The hand baggage arrangement was disappointing (albeit not uncommon) but the crew were pleasant and warm. The information provided regarding our connection to this flight and the luggage, were all a bit of mess. As mentioned in a previous review, I would be willing to travel KLM again provided the price was right and any connection allowed decent headroom for delays.
My suitcase arrived at my address in London the late afternoon the next day.7 Dec 2015
Thanks for both your reviews, Aspirational Flyer
Sorry to hear about your luggage transfer problems at Schipol. This is something that is becoming increasingly common to the extent that I normally add to the overhead bin problem by travelling HBO with KLM – anything less than 90 minutes at Schipol puts baggage transfer at risk in my experience.
I think you say that you are a Skyteam Elite Plus member – with that, you should have been able to improve your seating to Economy Comfort at no extra cost – that, at least, puts you near the front of the aircraft and gives a bit extra by way of legroom.7 Dec 2015
The hand baggage situation wasn’t great – there were many people travelling with bags that I would normally check-in. Maybe that’s because of known baggage problems at Schiphol! Excess hand baggage is not a situation unique to KLM of course (I see it almost every time I fly short haul on BA) but still quite annoying.
Regarding my lost luggage, the ground agent at LHR Terminal 4 said that he hears the same or very similar stories almost every day….!
Regarding seating, I did have Skyteam Elite Plus status but the KLM website didn’t accept my Alitalia number and did not recognise it for the purpose of selecting comfort seats. I only managed to add it in the fist place by contacting KLM through Twitter.7 Dec 2015