New at KLM / AF and already lots of bad experiences

Old Oct 5, 2023, 4:12 am
  #1  
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New at KLM / AF and already lots of bad experiences

I am a LH Senator business traveler with 1,3 Million Miles. Tried now KLM AF for a few flights and jumped right to Silver. However, not impressed. Already lots of bad experiences mixed with an unbelievable arrogance. Yesterday for example I had a flight booked from Lisbon to Nrnberg via AMS. I was exceptionally in Eco. Since my FB status is Silver I have no lounge access yet so I bought one upfront for AMS.
I arrived to LIS airport on time and they refused me to check in due to overbooking. I had to wait another 30 mins at the AP first to check in, if there were any no shows. Then I was told that I can not be on that flight and they rebooked me with a long layover at CDG (which is an airport I dont like anyway). I arrived at CDG Terminal 2G and all food places closed. At the AF lounge at 2G I explained that I stranded at CDG due to Airline overbooking and that I had bought a Lounge voucher at AMS already. As a passenger being rebooked due to airline failure I expect some courtesy. With AF you cant. They wanted the full amount of 75 Euros.
I arrived at my destination much later than expected, my business shuttle gone and dinner meeting cancelled.

Of course they get now the full package with passenger right compensation and reimbursement for each and every extra cost including a nice taxi bill of a few hundred Euros.

However, it is not always money which is important. It is the absence of style which is not cool. This kind of arrogant behaviour may work right now with the high demand on airline tickets. But one day other times may come and then passengers may remember which airline treated you with the most respect. In my case, not KLM Air France. My short excursion to SkyTeam has come to an end.

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Old Oct 5, 2023, 4:22 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by musiconsult
I arrived to LIS airport on time and they refused me to check in due to overbooking. I had to wait another 30 mins at the AP first to check in, if there were any no shows. Then I was told that I can not be on that flight and they rebooked me with a long layover at CDG
Sorry to hear this, Frank; that's why it is always highly advisable to check in online well before departure. For trips other than to the US, you can check in online from 30 hours before departure. Leaving it until you arrive at the airport makes it more likely that you will be/already have been offloaded in overbooking situations.

Don't forget to claim your lounge admission fee back (use the settings as indicated below; change the country dependent on which one you purchased your ticket from): https://refunds.klm.com/RPS/Forms/frmMain.aspx

Also don't forget to claim for your EC261/2004 compensation for late arrival: https://www.klm.nl/en/information/re...n/compensation

(Give my regards to Sepultura!)
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 4:58 am
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Being LH Senator, your expections were maybe set too high.

As Irishguy says, don't play with fire and better OLCI. When you reach Platinum, you may take the risk to wait till you reach the airport (I would not), but as a quasi nobody with AF/KL you are not well protected in case of overbooking.

You may want to give them another try. They are not as bad as your first experience may make you think they are.

I must say that my experiences with AF (mostly) and KL intra-Europe are generally quite good.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 5:54 am
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Check in did not work

Thanks for the reply , but sorry, the online check in did not work. I tried it several times , first when I bought the vouchers and then after that as well. But the system always stayed at continue check in
The gentleman at the airport told me other passengers reported the same problem and this was apparently due to the overbooking.
PlusIf I would have known that upfront I could have changed my arrangements! An upfront mail with an offer to rebook free of charge for example would have been much more elegant.
Last not least the airline overbooked for pure selfish reasons: to make more money. Passengers being a no show get no refund most of the time so lets try to sell a few on top and hope they are no shows we can strip as well . I hope the EU one day will make it even more expensive for them. Right now it is the wild west due to the high demand and their unethical conduct has not enough consequences. I run my own company avd if I would take more business then I can service I would loose clients in no time.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 6:01 am
  #5  
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Blue Biz and Artist booking

BTW
while this trip was to visit another artist: yes as managers our firm is supervising international travel for Sepultura and for a few other bands as well. We are a BlueBiz member. And yes: These kind of experiences certainly have an impact on our preferences for airlines.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by musiconsult
If I would have known that upfront I could have changed my arrangements! An upfront mail with an offer to rebook free of charge for example would have been much more elegant.
IME, it is rare for airlines to do that as they still expect there to be no shows to make up for it. It is only when they are sure that there will be a substantial amount of passengers that will be denied boarding (eg: as a result of other flight cancellations, for instance) that they will do so.

Last not least the airline overbooked for pure selfish reasons: to make more money. Passengers being a no show get no refund most of the time so let’s try to sell a few on top and hope they are no shows we can strip as well .
They don't just 'hope'. They use software that will predict the likelihood of no shows and oversell on that basis and most of the time it is correct and the flight departs without anyone being denied boarding. You could conceive of a world without overbooking but the tickets would be more expensive as a consequence.

Personally, what I find objectionable is not so much the overbooking per se. but rather the fact that airlines are not more pro-active in asking for volunteers. In theory, there is a legal obligation on them to do but, IME, it is an obligation which most European airlines (including AF and KL but not only them) more or less ignore or, at most, only pay lip service to.

I am also puzzled by your taxi bill of several hundred euros. If they flew you from LIS to NUE (albeit later and via CDG rather than AMS), what is the basis for claiming a taxi fare?
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:45 am
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Hi

As you are a seasoned traveler, this can happen on any airline.

KL is rarely mistaken with estimating how much they can oversell their flights but it happens to any airline that the algorithms were wrong. It could be that there was an equipment change. You are used to Senator benefits and will never get bumped and it is unfortunate and coincidental that you were bumped from this flight. Like LH, and unlike US carriers, KL also doesn't allow free same day change of flights. You have probably been on many *A flights that were overbooked but because of your status, you weren't affected.
So i do not think this has anything to do with flying on a Skyteam carrier, but more of getting used to be in the normal world without having any status.

Regarding lounge costs, KL of course will pay you these costs back as well as EU261 compensation. Why the taxi?

This is just a part of traveling, the odds were against you but this has totally nothing to do with the quality of KL.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
Being LH Senator, your expections were maybe set too high.

As Irishguy says, don't play with fire and better OLCI. When you reach Platinum....
Originally Posted by BobTL
As you are a seasoned traveler, this can happen on any airline.....

This is just a part of traveling, the odds were against you but this has totally nothing to do with the quality of KL.
Unbelievable!!! Getting on a flight you paid for is expecting too much?! I am a seasoned traveler with a total of 2.5 million recorded miles and I believe the minimum I can expect is to get on the flights I paid for. I understand oversold happens but blaming the customer is unacceptable. The proper thing to do, is to rebook the customer and provide some compensation and comfort such as travel voucher, meals and change lounge access from AMS to CDG. Musiconsult is not asking for free lounge access. He was only asking for lounge access he already paid and can't no longer use due to AF's issues.

It has been at a few years since I have flown with the Sky Team. Lost my elite status with them because of the pandemic. I used to love KLM and AF and still tell my favorite why I love AF stories. I can't believe that in a short few years these two amazing airlines have descended so low that they can't even properly treat a passenger with some respect and care.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by Ilove2fly
I can't believe that in a short few years these two amazing airlines have descended so low that they can't even properly treat a passenger with some respect and care.
This coming from an LH customer is quite funny.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by Ilove2fly
Unbelievable!!! Getting on a flight you paid for is expecting too much?! I am a seasoned traveler with a total of 2.5 million recorded miles and I believe the minimum I can expect is to get on the flights I paid for. I understand oversold happens but blaming the customer is unacceptable. The proper thing to do, is to rebook the customer and provide some compensation and comfort such as travel voucher, meals and change lounge access from AMS to CDG. Musiconsult is not asking for free lounge access. He was only asking for lounge access he already paid and can't no longer use due to AF's issues.

It has been at a few years since I have flown with the Sky Team. Lost my elite status with them because of the pandemic. I used to love KLM and AF and still tell my favorite why I love AF stories. I can't believe that in a short few years these two amazing airlines have descended so low that they can't even properly treat a passenger with some respect and care.
No one is blaming the pax. These unfortunate events happen with literally every airline, just as well as delays and cancellations.
There is no airline in the world that gives a low status pax in Y a free lounge access. This pax bought access to AMS lounge and was rerouted to CDG and of course you can not use AMS access voucher in CDG with a different airline. The AMS lounge voucher will be reimbursed as well will there come EU261 compensation. Pax received meal voucher electronically and if not, food will be compensated as well.
My point is that the relation between this oversold KL flight and the quality of the airline is not existing. Or would you say there has never been an overbooked *A flight? You act as if something extraordinary happened😊

Last edited by BobTL; Oct 5, 2023 at 9:59 am
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 11:46 am
  #11  
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Not to defend AFKL specifically; but we are comparing a non-elite experience with an elite (senator) one. Those two will always differ. The exact same thing may happen to a non-elite on Lufthansa...because all airlines overbook, including Lufthansa. And when they do, every now and then, somebody will have to be offloaded. Unfortunately that's a common thing across all airlines everywhere.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by mfkne
This coming from an LH customer is quite funny.
I was thinking the very same thing. My first travel on LH was mid/late August this year, from Frankfurt to Budapest. Both flights were delayed. Overall, I was not impressed, even less so with the staff from Budapest. I have no status with LH, but I do expect to get from them, the service I have paid for. I most likely won't fly them again, but who knows what the future holds...
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 12:11 pm
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The US airlines (at least the alliance members) tend to be better about this than their EU counterparts: DL overbooks (and more aggressively of late, given that most of their tickets are fully/freely changeable) and goes weeks between IDBs due to oversells. Part of this is the willingness to go as high as needed to get a volunteer: VDB offers of thousands of dollars in, effectively, cash to take a later flight aren't that uncommon. At some level, the full-Y/J fares are building in the cost of VDB with the airline making a market if necessary for the seat. It's effective: the people who absolutely need to be on the flight can be quite sure about being on it and the volunteers (who are often elites) are deciding they'd rather have a few hundred extra dollars.

It's not necessarily EC261 that accounts for the strategic difference (UA and AA tend to only make VDB offers that would be less than the mandatory compensation for IDB).
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by hhdl
Part of this is the willingness to go as high as needed to get a volunteer: VDB offers of thousands of dollars in, effectively, cash to take a later flight aren't that uncommon.
It's not necessarily EC261 that accounts for the strategic difference (UA and AA tend to only make VDB offers that would be less than the mandatory compensation for IDB).
It was the United 3411 incident that made the difference.
After the massive outrage, Delta, United and AA all up their VBD offer to up to 10K and has since added functionality on their mobile apps to pro-actively ask for volunteers.

Delta offers passengers $10,000 each to get off oversold flight (usatoday.com)
United Airlines gives $10,000 travel voucher to bumped flier (usatoday.com)
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 7:31 pm
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[QUOTE=Ilove2fly;35638673]Unbelievable!!! Getting on a flight you paid for is expecting too much?! I am a seasoned traveler with a total of 2.5 million recorded miles and I believe the minimum I can expect is to get on the flights I paid for. I understand oversold happens but blaming the customer is unacceptable. T



The contract is for A to B, millions of people every year are transported from a to B on flights that are NOT what they booked, it's absolutely a part of travel. No one blamed the customer, just advice as to how to minimize the probability of an issue, this is true for ALL airlines.
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