Booking flex ticket intra-Europe?

Old Jul 29, 19, 6:05 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,829
Booking flex ticket intra-Europe?

I was looking to book a flex ticket AMS-CPH one way. The KLM website just offers you the cheapest economy or business. That is quite astonishing. Also, a EUR 10 booking fee is annoying.

I checked Air France and they offer flex ticket, but I hope there is no disadvantage by booking there? The cheap economy fare is slightly lower on the KLM site even with the EUR 10 charge.

p.s. I moved a step forward on the KLM site and you can buy flexibility for EUR 7, but the ticket has to be changed 48 hours in advance. Air France seems to offer a normal flex ticket.
gnaget is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 6:10 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 2,185
I expect that the flex ticket is the same between AF and KL, although it might be more difficult to get to flex on KL web than AF.

Otherwise no disadvantage at all for buying at AF website, instead, it's better as you save the fee and they tend to give more options.
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 6:41 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,963
Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
p.s. I moved a step forward on the KLM site and you can buy flexibility for EUR 7, but the ticket has to be changed 48 hours in advance. Air France seems to offer a normal flex ticket.
I would warn you that you are likely to be severely disappointed when you come to do whatever it is you plan for this ticket. You seem to have an idea of the type of ticket you would like to buy ("normal" flex ticket) and I am pretty certain that it involves terms and conditions which simply are not offered by any AFKL ticket category.

The ticket being offered by AF has exactly the same restrictions as the one being offered by KL. Do not "assume" that one is "normal" or in any way different from the other.

Can you please explain what your strategy is, and what you want to do, so that we can better advise?

In almost all cases, it would be better to just pick a flight that you know you can take, and buy it at the cheapest rate well in advance; or waiting until you know exactly when you can travel, and then buying the cheapest available ticket on offer at that time, than buying a "flex" ticket whose terms you appear unfamiliar with, and then discovering that there are additional fees/restrictions in order to get on the flight you actually want.

Be advised that both SAS and Norwegian operate on the AMS-CPH route and it may be cheaper/more flexible to factor in these airlines when investigating your options.
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 7:11 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,829
Thanks. I am flying into AMS on KLM longhaul in business. So the flexibility is in case of delay.with the incoming. In case I misconnect.

Yeah, normally I would prefer to fly SAS but my family is flying out on KLM to another city so I need to be with them and we would prefer to use the lounge. I don't think that I can even buy my way into the KLM lounge without a KLM boarding pass. I just got Elite Plus, but doesn't help.

KLM does not have any arrivals lounge entry it appears which would have been nice since I am arriving in business from ICN. SAS used to allow business passengers from intercontinental flights to use the lounge upon arrival.

It's only about $40 more for the flex ticket with AF.
gnaget is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 7:31 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 2,185
Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
Thanks. I am flying into AMS on KLM longhaul in business. So the flexibility is in case of delay.with the incoming. In case I misconnect.

Yeah, normally I would prefer to fly SAS but my family is flying out on KLM to another city so I need to be with them and we would prefer to use the lounge. I don't think that I can even buy my way into the KLM lounge without a KLM boarding pass. I just got Elite Plus, but doesn't help.

KLM does not have any arrivals lounge entry it appears which would have been nice since I am arriving in business from ICN. SAS used to allow business passengers from intercontinental flights to use the lounge upon arrival.

It's only about $40 more for the flex ticket with AF.
Be aware that a flex ticket does not allow even same-day changes for free, let alone post-fact. You will still have to pay fare difference.
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 7:38 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,829
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I would warn you that you are likely to be severely disappointed when you come to do whatever it is you plan for this ticket. You seem to have an idea of the type of ticket you would like to buy ("normal" flex ticket) and I am pretty certain that it involves terms and conditions which simply are not offered by any AFKL ticket category.

The ticket being offered by AF has exactly the same restrictions as the one being offered by KL. Do not "assume" that one is "normal" or in any way different from the other.
The AF website explicitly says that it is refundable and changeable without any penalties, so not sure what you are trying to say. Fare code HFFWNL. The KLM is HWKWNL.

With KLM they give you the cheapest ticket without even baggage included and then you get an a la carte menu to add baggage, seats, lounge, limited flexibility, etc.

Interesting AF is giving me 50% off for the exit seat. Maybe because I am Elite Plus?
gnaget is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 7:40 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,963
Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
The AF website explicitly says that it is refundable and changeable without any penalties, so not sure what you are trying to say. Fare code HFFWNL. The KLM is HWKWNL.
There may be a fare difference to pay. If there is none, then that means you have already paid more for your original ticket than you could pay to buy a brand new ticket from scratch at that point in time. This indicates you have paid more than you needed to to secure a seat on the flight you now have.


Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
Interesting AF is giving me 50% off for the exit seat. Maybe because I am Elite Plus?
So does KLM, once you log in and identify yourself as being entitled to an Elite (plus) discount.

If money is no object, then by all means, go ahead and book this ticket. The ability to make changes comes at a huge mark-up, and does not mean you won't have to pay further charges to change the ticket.

In these circumstances, however, you would in most circumstances have saved money by just buying the cheapest-available ticket on the day.

if, in your Flex scenario there is no fare difference to pay, that means you could still buy a cheaper ticket from scratch at the time you make the change. You could then buy it as a Light (or even Standard) and end up paying far less than you originally paid.

If, in your Flex scenario, there is a fare difference to pay, then you could still have bought the ticket you end up with at the time you made the change, as a Light or Standard ticket, for less than you have paid by originally opting for Flex.

This is why I am querying your strategy and what you are trying to achieve by buying a Flex ticket. In almost all circumstances, it makes more sense - and costs far less - to strategically buy a cheaper, inflexible ticket on the day of travel at a time you know you won't miss the flight no matter what.

https://flexfares.klm.com/en
Attached Images  

Last edited by irishguy28; Jul 29, 19 at 7:50 am
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 7:47 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,829
Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
Be aware that a flex ticket does not allow even same-day changes for free, let alone post-fact. You will still have to pay fare difference.
Thanks. I am aware of that, but worst case I can refund it and fly SAS if it looks better at that point. I will know some time in advance if things are going wrong. I have two more flights from the South Pacific to reach ICN, but then have a 7 hour buffer there before the KLM flight to AMS.

I didn't buy the AMS-CPH leg because it was USD 800 or something like that extra compared to ending in AMS. It's a Korean air issued ticket and I think they just add the one way full fare business.

Anyway I paid USD 220 including the exit row. KLM was EUR 140 plus the add ons. I guess EUR 160 if I just added the exit row.
gnaget is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 8:02 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,829
Ok, but KLM charges EUR 139 for flex (round trip?). I am paying only about USD 45. If I am delayed the tickets get cheaper as the day progresses.

Since I never fly them, I am not sure if KLM eliminates fare classes due to advance purchase or if it is all demand based. Well, I can answer that quickly: the no frills, no baggage economy is EUR 600 if I book tomorrow or the 31st!

I think the key is that I can refund this and fly SAS or even Norwegian depending on what happens.

Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
There may be a fare difference to pay. If there is none, then that means you have already paid more for your original ticket than you could pay to buy a brand new ticket from scratch at that point in time. This indicates you have paid more than you needed to to secure a seat on the flight you now have.




So does KLM, once you log in and identify yourself as being entitled to an Elite (plus) discount.

If money is no object, then by all means, go ahead and book this ticket. The ability to make changes comes at a huge mark-up, and does not mean you won't have to pay further charges to change the ticket.

In these circumstances, however, you would in most circumstances have saved money by just buying the cheapest-available ticket on the day.

if, in your Flex scenario there is no fare difference to pay, that means you could still buy a cheaper ticket from scratch at the time you make the change. You could then buy it as a Light (or even Standard) and end up paying far less than you originally paid.

If, in your Flex scenario, there is a fare difference to pay, then you could still have bought the ticket you end up with at the time you made the change, as a Light or Standard ticket, for less than you have paid by originally opting for Flex.

This is why I am querying your strategy and what you are trying to achieve by buying a Flex ticket. In almost all circumstances, it makes more sense - and costs far less - to strategically buy a cheaper, inflexible ticket on the day of travel at a time you know you won't miss the flight no matter what.

https://flexfares.klm.com/en
gnaget is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 8:23 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,963
Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
I think the key is that I can refund this and fly SAS or even Norwegian depending on what happens.
Again, I fail to understand why you can't just simply commit to a cheaper, later flight now, at much cheaper prices (one ways are available for a fraction of the amounts cited in this thread on all of KL, DY and SK) and not have to go through the rigmarole of cancelling a ticket you bought at a much higher price than you needed to pay, by which time the fares for the new ticket will also have increased further from what you can buy them now.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that because a Flex ticket is refundable, this automatically means you will get the full amount paid back.
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 8:38 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hull, UK
Programs: FB Gold, HH Silver
Posts: 54
I have only just noticed that KLM's booking pages have changed; you now book inbound and outbound independently with option of mixed classes for the outbound and inbound. I was going to say that KLM's business tickets were fully flex as standard (cancellation without any fees etc). However, I am now not so sure on first glance.
Lawrious is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 8:40 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,963
I had assumed we were talking about an economy ticket, but Lawrious's reference to business indicates that this may also be the case.
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 9:29 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: FR
Programs: FB Plat
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Don't make the mistake of thinking that because a Flex ticket is refundable, this automatically means you will get the full amount paid back.
What do you mean by this? I understand your caution about the change fees (many ppl indeed often interpret the "no change fee" as a "no fare difference to be paid" which is false), but I don't understand it about the refunds. If your ticket is refundable, you are totally reimbursed, aren't you? The only possible fees would be the issuance fees (not refundable, but =0 if you don't book via AF.fr but AF.xx) or if you need to contact the phone agents (not needed if you buy your ticket online).

OP may keep in mind though that even on a non-refundable ticket, all taxes are refundable if the ticket is not used: on a cheap ticket, that is non-negligible (~ 30% of the cost of a 82 AMS-CPH o/w ticket).

Whether you should buy the cheapest ticket available or a Flex ticket should be assessed not only though money but also time, risk... and btw seems a bit off-topic.
Porcepic is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 9:41 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,829
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Again, I fail to understand why you can't just simply commit to a cheaper, later flight now, at much cheaper prices (one ways are available for a fraction of the amounts cited in this thread on all of KL, DY and SK) and not have to go through the rigmarole of cancelling a ticket you bought at a much higher price than you needed to pay, by which time the fares for the new ticket will also have increased further from what you can buy them now.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that because a Flex ticket is refundable, this automatically means you will get the full amount paid back.
Well, because I don't want to sit around AMS for hours after travelling 30+ hours. I already have a 3 hour buffer. If something goes wrong then the delay might be as much as a day. Well, I can fly on Korean and arrive late afternoon, I think, assuming that I make it to ICN.. You can't account for this kind of delay. When it's such a small fare difference then it makes sense. Actually, if I am really delayed then I will skip going to CPH and proceed to the next destination.
So you are suggesting to assume the worst and book an evening flight where I sit for 12 hours at AMS?
gnaget is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 9:44 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,963
Originally Posted by Porcepic View Post
What do you mean by this? I understand your caution about the change fees (many ppl indeed often interpret the "no change fee" as a "no fare difference to be paid" which is false), but I don't understand it about the refunds. If your ticket is refundable, you are totally reimbursed, aren't you?
No.

KLM describes its tickets as "non-refundable" or "refundable".

The first, "non-refundable", means that none of the fare can be returned to you even if you tell them you won't be travelling.

"Refundable" means that at least part of the fare will be returned to you if you tell them. It does not mean that there are no cancellation fees.

Only the most expensive, fully-flexible tickets (YBM in Economy) tend to allow free refunds. Even in business class, there are often cancellation fees.

Originally Posted by Porcepic View Post
Whether you should buy the cheapest ticket available or a Flex ticket should be assessed not only though money but also time, risk... and btw seems a bit off-topic.
That's why I have been constantly querying the OP as to why they think buying a Flex ticket is a good idea, because they don't make sense in many cases.

I think the OP thinks that the flexible ticket can be cancelled easily and without ANY penalty. The OP also seems to suggest that (s)he would be happy to book on a different airline at the time they determine they will cancel their KLM ticket. Having had a KL flex ticket, of course, does not give them any "advantage" if they end up travelling with SK or DY. They will end up paying whatever SK or DY is charging at that time. As such, it makes no sense to have bought a KL ticket, flex or not, if there is every chance that travel will actually be on a different airline.

And even if the OP does end up using the Flex ticket to move to a different KL flight, in most cases this will still mean that the OP will have paid more to travel on the flight they eventually select than if they purchased that ticket outright at the time they make the change.

As such, I am still trying to understand why the OP wants to do this. My advice:

if the goal is to save as much money as possible: select a flight now that gives more than enough time for the OP to do whatever it is they need to do before departing for CPH. The flight from ICN appears to arrive at 6am in the morning, so the OP can basically pick any flight to CPH that day and be guaranteed NOT to miss it.

if the goal is to get to CPH with the minimum of "waiting time" at AMS: buy a ticket upon arrival at AMS for the next available departing flight. This will likely be no more expensive than having had a "Flex" ticket already which they then need to change to this new flight.
irishguy28 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread