The Independent reports that Dutch carrier KLM is neglecting its responsibilities in respect of travelers who are in need of accommodation due to canceled flights. The revelation has come to light due to a letter given by the airline to a British passenger who was stranded at AMS airport this month.
It is reported that Dutch carrier KLM is claiming that it is not able to book accommodation for passengers who have been stranded, The Independent has revealed. This policy has been made public thanks to a letter given by the carrier to Isobel Colleton, a passenger who was stranded at Amsterdam Airport Schipol (AMS) earlier this month.
In this document, as seen by the outlet, KLM states that it is unable to make reservations on behalf of its passengers.
Rather, the carrier says that customers must individually book their rooms. In an excerpt of the letter, as quoted by the outlet, KLM states, “Hotels do not allow us, an airline, to book rooms for our passengers. We are left with no other option but to inform you of ways to book accommodation yourself.”
It also included website links for those who wished to make their own bookings.
Colleton’s flight was initially delayed and then canceled by the carrier on the evening of March 10th. The outlet states that, along with this letter, the flight’s stranded passengers were given only chocolate and a bottle of water.
Offering his expert view, the outlet’s Simon Calder clarifies that, “…KLM, like any airline, is perfectly capable of booking rooms for stranded travelers. Indeed, it is obliged to do so under European air passengers’ rights rules for passengers who are stuck overnight.”
“At this stage, the airline is obliged to provide them with a flight booking for the following day, a hotel – and transport to get there – as well as meals until they are due to leave,” he adds.
Speaking of her daughter’s experience, Leigh Colleton, Isobel’s mother, told the outlet, “My daughter and her friends had no money and were very upset at the prospect of spending the night in the airport.”
She also added that her husband had attempted to reach out to KLM, but was unsuccessful in making contact with the airline. She said that she eventually booked a hotel for her daughter online.
Isobel and her friends eventually made their way back to the UK on another carrier.
Offering its comments to the outlet, KLM said that it “is compliant with our obligations,” but said that, “In the interest of good customer service, KLM offers its passengers information on ways to book accommodation. This is a genuine effort to be helpful to passengers.”
“Rather than having its passengers staying in lengthy queues, KLM prefers to give its passengers an opportunity to book hotels themselves,” it added.
[Image Source: Flickr/ Amanda Bouwer]