So is KLM all that wonderful, after all?

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Ahmad 18 Mar 2019
at 14:06
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)

  • TominScotland
    Participant

    I am feeling a tad upset with KLM this afternoon – maybe a first world problem but any thoughts would be appreciated.

    I am currently in Nairobi and was due to fly back on Thursday on KL566 to Amsterdam and then on to Glasgow. I am FB Platinum for life and had selected my free Economy Comfort seat, as is my entitlement. Access to these seats when booked in Economy is a major incentive to travel with KLM.

    Last night, KLM cancelled KL566 on Thursday and, through my excellent travel agent, the only option to get back on schedule (which I need to do) is to take KQ to Dar es Salaam and pick up KL571 there back to Amsterdam. Fine, an acceptable solution.

    BUT there are no EC seats available at this late point on KL571 so I am stuck in a regular Economy seat as a result of a KLM issue (cancellation). KLM initially offered me a refund on my EC seat (!!!!!!! – I did not pay) and now wash their hands – “bad luck, mate”.

    Any ideas what (if anything) I should do – maybe just be pleased that i have a connection back?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Setting aside the question of the EC seat, which is irrelevant as you said you didn’t pay for it, you might be entitled to EU261 compensation which would be €600.

    You might also, when you check in, explain the circumstances and an EC or even a C class seat might materialise!

    I do not see KL566/07MAR as being cancelled, it doesn’t appear to have ever been scheduled, and shows as a Monday only service for this week.

    My view is that the KQ morning flight would be a better option than going via DAR.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Interesting thought. By going via DAR, I will get back into Glasgow on my original AMS – GLA flight so maybe EU261 would not apply. I need to stay in NBO all day on Thursday….


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi Tom, Sorry to hear of your Cancellation. It is awkward being outside of the Hub of Amsterdam when making such trips…
    Did KLM state why?

    As a Platinum with KLM, i rarely long haul have flights cancelled, or delays. When i have, i have called the Platinum line, usually at the base of the changes notified to you.
    They have then enabled Options, not just one set alternative to travel, and asked me to choose. I only travel Long haul in Business though, Economy Comfort in Europe (as you say very valued and a great extra comfort). Do you have the flexibility to fly day before or after?

    I have learned over many Frequent Flyer Memberships with not just the main 3 Alliances, but others such as Etihad, to always book directly with the Airline.
    I only book direct with KLM / AF, often there are offers not showing up through other agents, and then they are responsible for your carriage directly. Many other colleagues and friends have had recent problems when agents or several codeshare Airlines have been made in checking in, seat allocation, baggage variations, flight to flight on one trip. Any questions and they were told to “Contact your agent” even if it was other side of The World, and out of hours!
    I find unless you do book direct with many Airlines, you cannot change select or allocate seats, and not bid for upgrades either.

    Being P4L, you should be well looked after by KLM itself, and better to reach Amsterdam, or AF run the FB program these days…

    There is a Platinum Desk inside the admin offices of KLM, and they supposed to oversee Platinum Flyers trips overall, who can be tasked via The Platinum contact line.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Since it is an entitlement only on KLM flights, there is not much to do, other than finding a better alternative with KLM, may-be via another city in the neighbourhood. On a side note, tonight’s flight seems to have been cancelled as well, at least according to https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/kl566/.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Jambo Tom,
    The cynical side of me says that you’ve proved your loyalty to the gang so they no your going nowhere, so no need to keep massaging your ego . Simply put, KLM ,now see your status as a financial burden.

    As a KLM fan, I’d rather believe the opposite though.

    My advice… Play the social media game.

    Critically, don’t go on the attack, praise them and then into jilted lover mode. This way you’ll remind them of past significant expenditure and hopefully increase your chances of a positive outcome at JKI if no better alternatives come along.

    With luck it’s a win ,win


    TominScotland
    Participant

    It appears that all KLM 747 flights to/ from Nairobi have been cancelled this week, to be replaced by KQ metal on a smaller 787. This is due to a shortage of aircraft at KLM. Hence the need to bump some passengers, fair enough…..

    It does make you wonder whether KLM value their elite members, however. I would be very surprised if all the Economy pax who were moved to the KQ flight were FB Platinum for Life…..

    KLM social media channels are quick to respond but they do not actually take ownership of issues, trading in platitudes instead. Who should I contact if I want any element of satisfaction from KLM about this?


    ViajeroUK
    Participant

    Not a fan of social media, but have always found the dedicated FB Platinum telephone line very useful at sorting any issues, the team that respond to calls always seem very efficient and knowledgeable, I would always use this first.


    canucklad
    Participant

    I would take Viajeros advice, and if still not satisfied, relate your frustrations to your own social media groups, not directly with KLM.

    Again, choose your language carefully, possibly even a mention of competitors…..”I wish I had booked with BA” …..that sort of stuff.

    If KLM’s social media team are up to scratch they’ll again intervene without direct contact from you.

    I’d possibly consider tagging in KQ’s feed into your post. Mentioning how your looking forward to sampling Kenyan hospitality on your way home.

    Regardless, when you check your bags at the airport, don’t leave things to chance. Make sure you include your card when you hand over your documentation.

    You might end up with exactly where you are now, but you just never know : )

    Keep my fingers crossed for you ,and remember keep smiling and use your Scots charm .


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    It appears that all KLM 747 flights to/ from Nairobi have been cancelled this week, to be replaced by KQ metal on a smaller 787. This is due to a shortage of aircraft at KLM. Hence the need to bump some passengers, fair enough…..

    As I have noted before, Tom, KLM runs a tight ship. Few spare aircraft hence the reason, as BT reported recently, it’s having to lease planes from Stobart for some European flights.

    However the new Crown Lounge is supposed to be good.

    And now Star Alliance/Lufthansa hope to compete better with lounge facilities at Schiphol.

    I understand Star will open a new Schiphol lounge tomorrow.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Swiss also fly from NBO and DAR via Zurich to Glasgow. Could that be of any help?


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Thanks, Lugano

    Swiss offer connections via Zurich and Heathrow (onward with BA) or with Lufthansa with a 7 hour wait in Frankfurt so neither is really an improvement!!


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Just back in Glasgow. Precision Air to DAR for an international connection is not to be recommended – the airport and its staff are really not geared up for international transfers and we were subject to multiple document checks, the luggage had to be transferred manually by the airline rep and we were left without much idea of what was happening, sans documentation, for quite a long time.

    but we made the KLM connection – first time experiencing the new, slim-line Economy seating (of which type there has been discussion elsewhere on the Forum) – I really liked it and slept quite well.

    50 minute transfer at Schipol so, of course, no baggage when we got to Glasgow. Why oh why do KLM con their customers by claiming that this transit time is viable. It NEVER works with baggage so their airline should be more honest.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    50 minute transfer at Schipol so, of course, no baggage when we got to Glasgow. Why oh why do KLM con their customers by claiming that this transit time is viable. It NEVER works with baggage so their airline should be more honest.

    Tom – I find these big European hubs use MCTs (Minimum Connecting Times) as a marketing tool nowadays. They are achievable only in ideal conditions and although you might make the connection your baggage may not.

    And for short-haul connections Schiphol’s MCT is just 40 mins even if it involves destinations to/from Schengen.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Tom – I find these big European hubs use MCTs (Minimum Connecting Times) as a marketing tool nowadays. They are achievable only in ideal conditions and although you might make the connection your baggage may not.

    2 years ago my flight from JFK to Lugano via Zurich was heavily delayed, leaving only 20 minutes for the connection. Swiss were waiting for me at the gate and whisked me over by car to the Lugano flight which goes from a remote stand. I’d given up on my case convinced it would not make the connection and be on the next flight, so went straight out and before going home stopped as I always do for a tea at the airport restaurant (as i know quite a few people there) and was chatting to some of the airport staff when one of them received a call, looked at me and said “yes, he’s here”. I couldn’t believe it had arrived as I went back to collect it.

    The point being despite the extremely short connection time somehow my bag made it. I should also add, that I know most of the police/security/staff etc at Lugano and they know me so perhaps this wouldn’t happen elsewhere, and certainly not in a large airport, but Zurich certainly performed.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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