KLM--I'm impressed

Old Dec 25, 18, 1:10 pm
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KLM--I'm impressed

Just flew KLM VIE-AUS. I hadn't flown on them in years. I have to say--KLM has its sh*t together. The whole flight was smooth and professional. People who tried to board out of order were being turned away at the gate. They now have AMS organized so that you don't have to go through a second security check. The AMS lounge was quiet and organized. The staff was consistently professional and, well, confident. I always felt like they knew exactly what they were doing.

Maybe my experience was unusual, but I think you KLM flyers may not know how good you have it.
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Old Dec 26, 18, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
Just flew KLM VIE-AUS. I hadn't flown on them in years. I have to say--KLM has its sh*t together. The whole flight was smooth and professional. People who tried to board out of order were being turned away at the gate. They now have AMS organized so that you don't have to go through a second security check. The AMS lounge was quiet and organized. The staff was consistently professional and, well, confident. I always felt like they knew exactly what they were doing.

Maybe my experience was unusual, but I think you KLM flyers may not know how good you have it.
They have their good days and bad days.....

I arrived yesterday back from BON and all priority labeled luggage came out last after an other flights was offloaded....
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Old Dec 26, 18, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
Maybe my experience was unusual.
Count your blessings.

One KLM swallow doesn't make a summer.

Nor do two.

Does KL even fly to Austin, by the way?

Johan
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Old Dec 26, 18, 8:26 pm
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I've been generally pretty pleased with KLM. There's a reason there's not that many rants in this forum.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by caliform View Post
I've been generally pretty pleased with KLM. There's a reason there's not that many rants in this forum.
Same. I've had more reasons to be happy than the other way around. Aside from the lounges, but those seem to slowly improve.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 9:04 am
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AMS-AUS would be on Delta, wouldn't it? With a stop somewhere.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 4:36 am
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I'm happy with them too. In the last year I changed to flying with them mainly, previously I was gold with BA for over a decade and I must say that I find KLM very civilised.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 9:01 pm
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LOL. Sorry. That was supposed to be VIE-AMS-ATL.

Yes, civilized is a good word for what I experienced. I'm sure they have their problems, too, but it felt like the most professionally run flight I've had in a long time. Even the pilot announcements were much clearer and more informative. The FAs were really careful about checking all the seat belts and stuff before departure and landing. Nobody seemed lazy--everyone was focused and professional.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
LOL. Sorry. That was supposed to be VIE-AMS-ATL.

Yes, civilized is a good word for what I experienced. I'm sure they have their problems, too, but it felt like the most professionally run flight I've had in a long time. Even the pilot announcements were much clearer and more informative. The FAs were really careful about checking all the seat belts and stuff before departure and landing. Nobody seemed lazy--everyone was focused and professional.
I too had the impression, that the information from the flight deck did improve a lot compared to previous trips. I recently flew ZRH-AMS-XMN with adverse weather in AMS. While on the ground in ZRH and AMS there was no information about the delays I suffered (both flights about 1hr delayed), the captain updated us in regular intervals about what was going on. Of course there were many mis-connected passengers, the crew revealed upon taxiing to the gate in AMS all connections with the corresponding gate numbers and also the lost connections. So, a pretty solid job done there. Service on the long-haul to XMN was just OK, I found the food portion a bit small in business class and it tasted rather bland.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 2:27 am
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Originally Posted by KL803 View Post
I too had the impression, that the information from the flight deck did improve a lot compared to previous trips
Completely hit and miss, in my very extensive experience.

When the flight is on schedule, there may or may not be a pre-departure announcement. There is usually a pre-arrival one, but not always.

In case of a delay, there may be a bare minimum of announcments (I've been on flights still parked at the gate at STD +15 without a squeek from the flight deck), or a regular stream of updates. Very rarely, a captain who takes the customer service aspect of his job really seriously will use the cabin crew mike and make his announcement standing in the aisle, facing the passengers. Now that's the way to do it!

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Old Dec 30, 18, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Completely hit and miss, in my very extensive experience.

When the flight is on schedule, there may or may not be a pre-departure announcement. There is usually a pre-arrival one, but not always.

In case of a delay, there may be a bare minimum of announcments (I've been on flights still parked at the gate at STD +15 without a squeek from the flight deck), or a regular stream of updates. Very rarely, a captain who takes the customer service aspect of his job really seriously will use the cabin crew mike and make his announcement standing in the aisle, facing the passengers. Now that's the way to do it!

Johan
I feel a sense of dread when I see the captain about to speak to the passengers; it's rarely good news.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Very rarely, a captain who takes the customer service aspect of his job really seriously will use the cabin crew mike and make his announcement standing in the aisle, facing the passengers. Now that's the way to do it!
I even remember once a captain of a ~1-hour delayed LUX-AMS who helped the cabin crew distributing water to passengers after his announcement. So shocking!
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Old Jan 9, 19, 12:45 pm
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Flew first ever KLM J over Christmas and it was a mixed experience. AMS-CMB return.

Hard product (787) good and obviously streets ahead of BA J. IFE offering was poor though I thought, in terms of choice.

Food and drink was average and not as good as BA, IME (or my limited experiences of QR/LX/QF) . Some was tasty, other offerings felt distinctly non-premium.

Service was polite enough but perfunctory on the way out - four of us in the cabin had seat call lights that were never answered and the drinks service was sloooowww, made even worse by the tiny wine glasses (as nice as they are). BA much better at keeping one's glass topped up. Service generally was better and warmer on the return, although it was a night flight.

Boarding and gate control was average.

All in all, fine, and would choose again if price was right, but not blown away.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by Porcepic View Post
I even remember once a captain of a ~1-hour delayed LUX-AMS who helped the cabin crew distributing water to passengers after his announcement. So shocking!
Last year during a 1.5-hours delay on the tarmac at Stavanger Airport in Norway due to restrictions in place at AMS as several runways were closed due to winds one of the two pilots even came down the aisle KNEELING in front of each passenger with a tight connection to explain them the situation and to advise them about their connection, while the other pilot sat down in the cockpit to welcome all children on board to have a look. I was sitting in Seat 1A and could overhear the pilot asking one of the flight attendants to collect all children and to bring them forward - very adorable. When the children left he even had no problem with me as an "adult child" (my lame excuse ) having a look in the cockpit to snap a picture as he even invited me to sit down in the empty pilot chair for a nice chat!

Now that was damn impressive - kneeling in front of passengers I'm normally only used from flight attendants when flying Asian carriers like SQ and GA - it is not something I would ever expect from a KLM pilot. Big big kudos to them, they were absolutely exemplary that day and also kept the cabin informed with regular announcements which were very detailed and honest.

I'm not the biggest fan of KLM - I find their FAs a mixed bag at best and downright rude at worst. The lounge food is horrible and even on-board the soft product leaves much to be desired in comparison to other airlines. That said, even if I understand that also such announcements can be a hit-and-miss, I find KLM pilots and crew in general to be exemplary and miles above other airlines when it comes to keeping passengers informed about delays, the flying route etc. etc. I always say that most airlines have some bit of the national character in them. For KLM that is very much true in my opinion. Subpar food and beverages, at times arrogant FAs, but very pro-active in communication and absolutely honest and clear when making announcements and not shying away from bringing bad news unlike other airlines where they just say "we will leave at any moment" even if they know well enough that departure won't be for the next hour due to a delay.
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Last edited by Romanianflyer; Jan 12, 19 at 10:40 am
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Old Jan 12, 19, 10:45 am
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I have experienced the same during IRROPS, i.e. pilots talking to the cabin directly, either individually or standing up and doing the PA announcement to the cabin. I always find KL flight crew more eloquent than on other airlines, even during normal in-flight announcements, I wonder if they're getting some special training.
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