WISAG check-in staff at TXL

Old Jan 13, 20, 12:46 pm
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WISAG check-in staff at TXL

I had a rather frustrating experience at Berlin Tegel recently.

It used to be that the staff here wore AF uniforms, but on last week's trip this was not the case. It may have already changed some time ago, and even the fact that an employee wears a uniform doesn't necessarily mean that they are directly employed by that firm - does anyone know if/when checkin at TXL was outsourced?

Anyways, the check-in opened well past the advertised 2 hours prior to departure. A large crowd had gathered when I arrived 5 minutes before check-in was due to open, but at least the SkyPriority line only had 4 other parties ahead of me.

It took 25 minutes for the gentleman dealing with the SkyPriority queue to handle these 4 other parties. I couldn't quite see or figure out what the issues were. The regular economy/bag drop lines weren't progressing much faster, either.

When it was my turn, he saw and accepted my Flying Blue Gold card, saw (once I pointed it out) that I had since been upgraded to platinum as indicated on the boarding pass, had already accepted my check-in bag and attached the luggage label, when he informed me that there would be a charge of €45 for the bag. I pointed out that, with either gold or platinum status, I was allowed 1 free checked bag above the allowance of the ticket itself.

He countered with the fact that, as I was connecting to a partner airline, there was a fee for the checked bag. I pointed out that the "partner airline" was actually a train - Thalys - booked under a KL code number, and that the "partner airline" had no independent chargeable baggage policy.

Then he changed tack, and stated that the ticket had no baggage allowance, and must therefore be paid. I replied that all Skyteam Elite and Skyteam Elite Plus members get an additional baggage item above that associated with the ticket. I even showed him the baggage allowance as shown in the KLM app. He turned his computer monitor and showed me the "0" that was associated with the e-ticket. He said I would have to go to the WISAG counter and pay the €45 there.

I again appealed to him stating that all KLM Light tickets come, by default, with "0" as the baggage allowance, but that frequent flyer status allowed an extra item, as I had shown him in the app. He then decided to "ring Amsterdam". Who exactly he got through to, I don't know, but after 5 minutes he got the all-clear to "waive" the €45 fee that he still maintains a Platinum should pay on a KLM light ticket.

I thanked him and managed to not roll my eyes before I had turned away from the counter....
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
It took 25 minutes for the gentleman dealing with the SkyPriority queue to handle these 4 other parties. I couldn't quite see or figure out what the issues were.
Perhaps he was trying to hit everybody else with spurious bag fees too.

Frustrating experience.

Johan
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:18 pm
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While I never am asked to pay a luggage fee, staff at NUE also often arrive way less than 2 hours before the flight to open the check-in desks, and every single time SkyPriority takes ages because the passengers in front of me always have something that requires the agent to call whoever.

As for TXL, would have been a good way to get some extra miles from KLM - pay the fee, file for a refund and file a complaint.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:56 pm
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Very frustrating experience indeed. Unless you have already done it, I strongly encourage you to report this incident to AFKL. It is important that they know and can act with the subcontractor to improve the training of the agents.
I haven't been to TXL for about a year or slightly more. I think it was already subcontractors (but not 100% sure). But they may have changed it. At the lounge it was AF staff. Have you been to the lounge and was that still AF staff or contractors ?
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Old Jan 13, 20, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
At the lounge it was AF staff. Have you been to the lounge and was that still AF staff or contractors ?
I travel through TXL quite a lot so I used to recognise the checkin staff; this time I didn't recognise any of them. They're clearly all from WISAG now.

I hadn't really thought about reporting it to AFKL, but I did think that the guy clearly needed some training, so perhaps I will....

I didn't make it to the lounge on this trip - I arrived at the airport with a travel buddy who was departing on a different airline, and the lounge had previously refused him access as my guest (correctly) as he was departing on a non-Skyteam airline. The lounge staff there, though, are quite friendly. Last time I was in that AF lounge at TXL, a Russian family with a large private security detail entered the lounge while I was waiting - and it was quite the experience! One of the lounge staff was quite chatty, and Russian himself, but he didn't know who this VIP was (or maybe just deflected my question out of discretion).
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Old Jan 13, 20, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by mfkne View Post
While I never am asked to pay a luggage fee, staff at NUE also often arrive way less than 2 hours before the flight to open the check-in desks, and every single time SkyPriority takes ages because the passengers in front of me always have something that requires the agent to call whoever.

As for TXL, would have been a good way to get some extra miles from KLM - pay the fee, file for a refund and file a complaint.
I flew through NUE a few times at the end of last year and found out that the KLM/Air France check-in does not open until one and a half hours prior to departure, by design. The only time I was checked in earlier was because there was an Air France flight (to NCE, I think) departing earlier than my KLM one to AMS.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I had a rather frustrating experience at Berlin Tegel recently.

It used to be that the staff here wore AF uniforms, but on last week's trip this was not the case. It may have already changed some time ago, and even the fact that an employee wears a uniform doesn't necessarily mean that they are directly employed by that firm - does anyone know if/when checkin at TXL was outsourced?

Anyways, the check-in opened well past the advertised 2 hours prior to departure. A large crowd had gathered when I arrived 5 minutes before check-in was due to open, but at least the SkyPriority line only had 4 other parties ahead of me.

It took 25 minutes for the gentleman dealing with the SkyPriority queue to handle these 4 other parties. I couldn't quite see or figure out what the issues were. The regular economy/bag drop lines weren't progressing much faster, either.

When it was my turn, he saw and accepted my Flying Blue Gold card, saw (once I pointed it out) that I had since been upgraded to platinum as indicated on the boarding pass, had already accepted my check-in bag and attached the luggage label, when he informed me that there would be a charge of 45 for the bag. I pointed out that, with either gold or platinum status, I was allowed 1 free checked bag above the allowance of the ticket itself.

He countered with the fact that, as I was connecting to a partner airline, there was a fee for the checked bag. I pointed out that the "partner airline" was actually a train - Thalys - booked under a KL code number, and that the "partner airline" had no independent chargeable baggage policy.

Then he changed tack, and stated that the ticket had no baggage allowance, and must therefore be paid. I replied that all Skyteam Elite and Skyteam Elite Plus members get an additional baggage item above that associated with the ticket. I even showed him the baggage allowance as shown in the KLM app. He turned his computer monitor and showed me the "0" that was associated with the e-ticket. He said I would have to go to the WISAG counter and pay the 45 there.

I again appealed to him stating that all KLM Light tickets come, by default, with "0" as the baggage allowance, but that frequent flyer status allowed an extra item, as I had shown him in the app. He then decided to "ring Amsterdam". Who exactly he got through to, I don't know, but after 5 minutes he got the all-clear to "waive" the 45 fee that he still maintains a Platinum should pay on a KLM light ticket.

I thanked him and managed to not roll my eyes before I had turned away from the counter....
I've just booked a ticket to Iguazu (IGU) and the final leg is with Gol. Ticket shows zero luggage allowance. Called KLM to query yesterday and lady said because it's a third party on the final leg the software is showing 0. But assured me I'll get my gold luggage allowance even though it's not showing. It is ahowing on the return leg of the same ticket, just not the leg which includes Gol. Anticipating a problem...
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Old Jan 13, 20, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by The doomed View Post
I've just booked a ticket to Iguazu (IGU) and the final leg is with Gol. Ticket shows zero luggage allowance. Called KLM to query yesterday and lady said because it's a third party on the final leg the software is showing 0. But assured me I'll get my gold luggage allowance even though it's not showing. It is ahowing on the return leg of the same ticket, just not the leg which includes Gol. Anticipating a problem...
In your case, you won't have any luggage alllowance on GOL, and will (if you check a bag) have to pay whatever GOL charge for a bag on that leg. Quite how that will work when it is KLM checking in, I do not know...you may have to arrange that with GOL during your transfer, i.e. you may be called by the Gate Agent ahead of boarding that GOL flight at the point of connection.

However, you will *NOT* have to pay to check a bag on any KLM leg, assuming that you have Skyteam Elite or Elite Plus status!
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Old Jan 13, 20, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
In your case, you won't have any luggage alllowance on GOL, and will (if you check a bag) have to pay whatever GOL charge for a bag on that leg. Quite how that will work when it is KLM checking in, I do not know...you may have to arrange that with GOL during your transfer, i.e. you may be called by the Gate Agent ahead of boarding that GOL flight at the point of connection.

However, you will *NOT* have to pay to check a bag on any KLM leg, assuming that you have Skyteam Elite or Elite Plus status!
There's a 23kg luggage allowance with Gol as part of being on a KL ticket with Skyteam Elite Plus. Can't find link online just now but confirmed by KLM as well.

Bagged checked end-to-end (though seemingly has to be collected for customers in Sao Paulo, so not quite end to end).

Lounge access in Gol lounges in Rio and Sao Paulo as well
https://www.klm.com/travel/nl_en/pla.../index.htm#p28

There's a better link for both of the above points somewhere, can't find it currently.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by The doomed View Post
There's a 23kg luggage allowance with Gol as part of being on a KL ticket with Skyteam Elite Plus. Can't find link online just now but confirmed by KLM as well.
Well, I would advise you to print out that confirmation and keep it to hand when you are dealing with GOL.

And thanks for hijacking my thread
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Old Jan 13, 20, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Well, I would advise you to print out that confirmation and keep it to hand when you are dealing with GOL.

And thanks for hijacking my thread
Not a hijack, sounds like we've got the same issue
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Old Jan 13, 20, 4:38 pm
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I'm glad to see this thread because it explains why my family and I had such a terrible experience checking in at TXL in December (five of us, all DL Medallions). Check-in agent was not only unbelievably rude and condescending, but had to contact the supervisor to do just about anything, including through checking bags on Delta flights. Also got the fun experience of several agents not telling me I needed to check my hand luggage until boarding, when it was taken from me (and never loaded onto the flight..)
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Old Jan 13, 20, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by AviationFreak View Post
Also got the fun experience of several agents not telling me I needed to check my hand luggage until boarding, when it was taken from me (and never loaded onto the flight..)
I noticed they were more "aggressive" with this as well. There was one lady walking along the line of passengers queueing to go through security, telling everyone to check their handluggage. But most people were ignoring her. As did I.

I would suggest you send a note to KLM about the check-in via the KLM website; I have.

TXL used to be my favourite airport; this sort of BS ruins it!

https://www.klm.nl/en/claim?CallerCountryCode=US
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Old Jan 14, 20, 1:59 am
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Originally Posted by The doomed View Post
I've just booked a ticket to Iguazu (IGU) and the final leg is with Gol. Ticket shows zero luggage allowance. Called KLM to query yesterday and lady said because it's a third party on the final leg the software is showing 0. But assured me I'll get my gold luggage allowance even though it's not showing. It is ahowing on the return leg of the same ticket, just not the leg which includes Gol. Anticipating a problem...
FWIW I flew about 4 or 5 Gol flights a couple of month ago, all booked either as award tickets using FB miles or as a code-share with another ST airline on a "light" fare (KL & AR), all showed 0 luggage on Gol website and not once did I actually have a problem, bag was checked through no questions asked on all of them,
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Old Jan 14, 20, 7:42 am
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Wisag is a terrible (my opinion) service company. Wisag staff is also conducting ticket checks on Berlin trains. In my eyes, most of these people look quite scary and are extremely unfriendly. There were reports that certain Wisag people have pocketed rail ticketing fees into their own pockets.

What happend at TXL -> A Wisag check-in agent may serve several flights from different airlines each day. Hence, they only can rely on their computer. They cannot possibly know all the rules for Lufthansa, LOT KLM, Easyjet etc.

Why is Wisag in charge at TXL -> Once upon a time the Berlin Airport Authority and Lufthansa founded their own ground handling company - with the name Globeground. Both have then agreed to sell all their shares to Wisag. Hence, most flights are Tegel are handled by Wisag.

I believe BA flights are handled by Aeroground, a different handling company.
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