Chances to rebook in AMS if connecting flight cancelled?

Old Jun 29, 22, 8:03 am
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Chances to rebook in AMS if connecting flight cancelled?

In a few weeks we are flying NUE-AMS-YYZ-YQR on KL in business. Our YYZ-YQR flight is on Westjet but we are booked on it as a KL codeshare ticket. The Westjet flight has an approximately 50% cancel rate lately, and often the flight is cancelled 14+ hours in advance--so, before we would leave AMS.

What are the chances of being rerouted from AMS if the YYZ-YQR leg is cancelled prior to our departure in AMS?

Even if we were delayed by a day in AMS, I would prefer to be routed through most of the other Canadian airports KL serves over ending up in Toronto and having to sort it out there. We could end up getting stuck in YYZ for a few days as Westjet only flies once a day to YQR, and then not even every day. Air Canada has 3-4 dailies, but I imagine it would be challenging to get booked over to them at YYZ. If we ended up in YYC or YVR at least we have multiple options on Westjet to get back to YQR so these are more desirable options. So, is it worth being proactive in AMS? And, is there a rebooking desk airside?

Despite all the issues with AMS we are quite looking forward to flying KL again as it has been quite a few years.

Thanks!

Last edited by arf04; Jun 29, 22 at 9:49 am Reason: Added that we are connecting in AMS
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Old Jun 29, 22, 9:06 am
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I would definitely be proactive, either a sales desk landside, transfer desk airside or callcenter should be able to help you.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by arf04 View Post
And, is there a rebooking desk airside?
You would not be going airside to rebook. You would see what rebooking option (if any) had been proposed in advance in the app, or you would immediately join the phone queue to speak to an agent.

Going to the airport specifically to change a ticket is not advisable. Waiting until you get to the airport, and furthermore waiting until you have gone airside (meaning you have checked in and handed over your luggage, thereby indicating acceptance of the ticket that, within minutes, you seemingly want to change) is not a sensible approach.

In the highly unlikely event that your flight is cancelled in the brief period between checking in at the airport and departure, you would presumably be alerted in the app and/or appraised of the fact when you attempt to board your flight. What would then happen - I don't know. I would expect you would be encouraged to travel to YYZ and see what Westjet/KL can do for you there, or see what has been done with the ticket while you are in the air. From KLM'S perspective, all rebooking options for you probably go through YYZ and no other partner serves YQR so I cannot see them shifting you from this AMS-YYZ flight...it'sthe inevitable first step to get you close to YQR....especially if you are already holding a boarding pass and have luggage checked in!

Last edited by irishguy28; Jun 29, 22 at 9:24 am
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Old Jun 29, 22, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
You would not be going airside to rebook. You would see what rebooking option (if any) had been proposed in advance in the app, or you would immediately join the phone queue to speak to an agent.

Going to the airport specifically to change a ticket is not advisable. Waiting until you get to the airport, and furthermore waiting until you have gone airside (meaning you have checked in and handed over your luggage, thereby indicating acceptance of the ticket that, within minutes, you seemingly want to change) is not a sensible approach.

In the highly unlikely event that your flight is cancelled in the brief period between checking in at the airport and departure, you would presumably be alerted in the app and/or appraised of the fact when you attempt to board your flight. What would then happen - I don't know. I would expect you would be encouraged to travel to YYZ and see what Westjet/KL can do for you there, or see what has been done with the ticket while you are in the air. From KLM'S perspective, all rebooking options for you probably go through YYZ and no other partner serves YQR so I cannot see them shifting you from this AMS-YYZ flight...it'sthe inevitable first step to get you close to YQR....especially if you are already holding a boarding pass and have luggage checked in!
My apologies, I neglected to mention that we are connecting in AMS so would already be airside. Everything you wrote makes sense, of course!

KL does route through YYC, YEG, and YVR in western Canada as well, usually with WS as the connecting flights so that should be an option. And yes, I agree that typically airlines donít want to rebook you until you are enroute or at the next airport even when you already know you will miss your connection. In our case, I would want to try to make a change at AMS if I already know the onward flight is cancelled. Today, for example, the YYZ-YQR flight was cancelled 14+ hours in advance so it would be known prior to leaving AMS that there are no other options that day.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 10:35 am
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To be honest with you, KLM's operation is not much better than Westjet's nowadays. OP, you may also see KL cancel your NUE-AMS flight too. Amsterdam has a severe staff shortage like Pearson, I transit through AMS last week and it was totally a mess, the terminal and the lounges were over-crowded; passport control caps at 2 hours if you are doing EU - Intl transit (meaning that they only let you in when your flight departs in the next 2 hours), long line waiting in the for the bathroom even inside lounge 52; they lost my luggage on my outbound trip in AMS and didn't even find it after I return to Canada.

If you find out your WS flight YYZ-YQR canceled, I would suggest at least skipping YYZ by either going through YYC or YVR; AF only serves YUL, YYZ, YVR, YQB (with no connection) and KL serves YYZ, YUL, YEG, YYC, YVR. IMO, CDG is nowadays more reliable than AMS.

For rebook, you may be able to do that inside the lounge, either 25 or 52 in AMS. Don't waste your time lining up at the transit desk in the terminal. If you wish to be rebooked on AC, then I would go through YUL, and this must be done in either CDG or AMS. Once you arrive in Canada, WS will never rebook you on AC.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by tbaiyun View Post
To be honest with you, KLM's operation is not much better than Westjet's nowadays. OP, you may also see KL cancel your NUE-AMS flight too. Amsterdam has a severe staff shortage like Pearson, I transit through AMS last week and it was totally a mess, the terminal and the lounges were over-crowded; passport control caps at 2 hours if you are doing EU - Intl transit (meaning that they only let you in when your flight departs in the next 2 hours), long line waiting in the for the bathroom even inside lounge 52; they lost my luggage on my outbound trip in AMS and didn't even find it after I return to Canada.

If you find out your WS flight YYZ-YQR canceled, I would suggest at least skipping YYZ by either going through YYC or YVR; AF only serves YUL, YYZ, YVR, YQB (with no connection) and KL serves YYZ, YUL, YEG, YYC, YVR. IMO, CDG is nowadays more reliable than AMS.

For rebook, you may be able to do that inside the lounge, either 25 or 52 in AMS. Don't waste your time lining up at the transit desk in the terminal. If you wish to be rebooked on AC, then I would go through YUL, and this must be done in either CDG or AMS. Once you arrive in Canada, WS will never rebook you on AC.
Thanks for this advice. Iíve been following the AMS situation and we are trying to be very realistic about stuff that could happen and try to just roll with it. I agree that WS will not want to rebook onto AC. I did just yesterday need to call them for a booking issue and I got through on their Gold line in 15 minutes, so that is a positive. However, getting stuck in YYZ probably means overnighting and then flying to YYC or YEG and then to YQR so itíll be a long journey home. It is always good in my experience to think ahead about options and processes as when stuff goes awry one tends to panic/stress less. It never hurts also to suggest things to CSAs who are trying to find a solution for you.

Iím hoping NUE will be ok as the track record on that route is pretty decent, but one never knows what things will look like in a week or two!
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Old Jun 29, 22, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by arf04 View Post
Thanks for this advice. I’ve been following the AMS situation and we are trying to be very realistic about stuff that could happen and try to just roll with it.
Have you tried rebooking yourself proactively now onto an alternative routing? It would be worth seeing, within the app/website, what options they are currently suggesting if you use the option to change your ticket (you don't actually have to change it; but at least go and see what other options are currently available). Never having had any dealings with KL tickets involving Westjet, I'm wondering whether they would now offer you the type of alternative routings you appear to prefer to have....or whether they currently think you're more or less stuck with routing via YYZ. So go and see. Even if your travel is outside the current "rebook for free" window (currently up to 10JUL22), the fact that you're in business and therefore have a ticket with a good degree of flexibility already might mean you have to pay little to nothing to move now to a different routing already. And what price for peace of mind, eh?

But for future reference, if you know the routing you're booking is "at risk" (1 a day, or less frequent, service) and you really don't want to have to dawdle overnight (or longer) at a transit point, it's usually better to pick a different routing (via cities with more frequent service) right from the start!
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Old Jun 29, 22, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Have you tried rebooking yourself proactively now onto an alternative routing? It would be worth seeing, within the app/website, what options they are currently suggesting if you use the option to change your ticket (you don't actually have to change it; but at least go and see what other options are currently available). Never having had any dealings with KL tickets involving Westjet, I'm wondering whether they would now offer you the type of alternative routings you appear to prefer to have....or whether they currently think you're more or less stuck with routing via YYZ. So go and see. Even if your travel is outside the current "rebook for free" window (currently up to 10JUL22), the fact that you're in business and therefore have a ticket with a good degree of flexibility already might mean you have to pay little to nothing to move now to a different routing already. And what price for peace of mind, eh?

But for future reference, if you know the routing you're booking is "at risk" (1 a day, or less frequent, service) and you really don't want to have to dawdle overnight (or longer) at a transit point, it's usually better to pick a different routing (via cities with more frequent service) right from the start!
I will have a look at the rebooking tool. In general, I am really just concerned about the day of: if the Westjet flight is cancelled before we leave AMS then I would prefer to get the rebooking settled before we fly TATL.

I take your point about booking preferable routings and airports, but from my own experience YYZ has been quite good over the years and Westjet until very recently has been rock solid on this route (other than suspending it during parts of Covid) so there was nothing wrong with the choice. I would not book this now, of course, knowing what I know. We booked this flight quite some time ago and I don't think anyone at that time would have predicted the meltdown that is occurring at some airports, like YYZ, and with many airlines and for sure we did not anticipate what is happening now. I know when we booked I said to my wife that it will be nice to connect in AMS as it is such a good airport. We all know how that has turned out!
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Old Jun 29, 22, 3:03 pm
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Here's what you do:
First, find the rerouting that works best for you. Then, find the rerouting that will work best for KL: availability, AF/KL/partner flights.
When you're informed of the cancellation, your case will be put in a queue for "automatic" rerouting, with the golden rule that you will be leaving at the same time or later, but never earlier.
Before that happens, use their Twitter tool, get in a private chat, give them you name/PNR, all that stuff, and ask for your ideal routing(s).
If you get cancellation after you've finished your lunch/breakfast of tiny brats, go to check-in. They won't check you in on a cancelled flight, and they may not do a NA check in at all, but you can get the re-routing, and it's bad form for the airline to make their check-in staff wait, even if they're contractors at an out station.
Otherwise, if the cancellation hits between when you've dropped your bags and when you board the flight to Canada, go to the AMS lounge 25 travel center, and give them your contact details (cellphone). Then get a questionnaire biertje or a glass of buttermilk (someone has to have some, somewhere), and wait to be summoned.

In all cases, if you give an agent what you want, if it's possible and not outrageous, you'll get it. Hey, the agent doesn't have to do any work, and won't get any blame for your itinerary.
If you make the agent give you suggestions, you're gonna get what the algorithm things is best. Nobody ever got fired for following the suggestion based on load, marketing, and idiocy.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by BubbaX View Post
Here's what you do:
First, find the rerouting that works best for you. Then, find the rerouting that will work best for KL: availability, AF/KL/partner flights.
When you're informed of the cancellation, your case will be put in a queue for "automatic" rerouting, with the golden rule that you will be leaving at the same time or later, but never earlier.
Before that happens, use their Twitter tool, get in a private chat, give them you name/PNR, all that stuff, and ask for your ideal routing(s).
If you get cancellation after you've finished your lunch/breakfast of tiny brats, go to check-in. They won't check you in on a cancelled flight, and they may not do a NA check in at all, but you can get the re-routing, and it's bad form for the airline to make their check-in staff wait, even if they're contractors at an out station.
Otherwise, if the cancellation hits between when you've dropped your bags and when you board the flight to Canada, go to the AMS lounge 25 travel center, and give them your contact details (cellphone). Then get a questionnaire biertje or a glass of buttermilk (someone has to have some, somewhere), and wait to be summoned.

In all cases, if you give an agent what you want, if it's possible and not outrageous, you'll get it. Hey, the agent doesn't have to do any work, and won't get any blame for your itinerary.
If you make the agent give you suggestions, you're gonna get what the algorithm things is best. Nobody ever got fired for following the suggestion based on load, marketing, and idiocy.
Thank you. Nice advice! I have definitely found with Air Canada, an airline that Iíve flown a lot because of where I live that providing CSAs with flights has more often than not resulted in being rebooked onto them. As you note, it makes life easier for the CSAs. Good to hear that KL is similar.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by BubbaX View Post
Here's what you do:
First, find the rerouting that works best for you. Then, find the rerouting that will work best for KL: availability, AF/KL/partner flights.
When you're informed of the cancellation, your case will be put in a queue for "automatic" rerouting, with the golden rule that you will be leaving at the same time or later, but never earlier.
Before that happens, use their Twitter tool, get in a private chat, give them you name/PNR, all that stuff, and ask for your ideal routing(s).
If you get cancellation after you've finished your lunch/breakfast of tiny brats, go to check-in. They won't check you in on a cancelled flight, and they may not do a NA check in at all, but you can get the re-routing, and it's bad form for the airline to make their check-in staff wait, even if they're contractors at an out station.
Otherwise, if the cancellation hits between when you've dropped your bags and when you board the flight to Canada, go to the AMS lounge 25 travel center, and give them your contact details (cellphone). Then get a questionnaire biertje or a glass of buttermilk (someone has to have some, somewhere), and wait to be summoned.

In all cases, if you give an agent what you want, if it's possible and not outrageous, you'll get it. Hey, the agent doesn't have to do any work, and won't get any blame for your itinerary.
If you make the agent give you suggestions, you're gonna get what the algorithm things is best. Nobody ever got fired for following the suggestion based on load, marketing, and idiocy.
I would appreciate input on what is not working with my attempts to rebook.

Our final leg on NUE-AMS-YYZ-YQR is cancelled (July 13th). That leg is on Westjet but has a KL flight number. So far, there has been no rebooking for that leg.

AMS-YVR-YQR is showing availability on EF in business class (keeping the original NUE departure). YVR-YQR is on AC. There is no other availability that works (via YYC on KL or CDG/YVR on AF). All eastern Canada routings involve the same YYZ-YQR cancellation. Later days (14th, 15th) are basically sold out as well.

When I called KLM, the agent told me he could book NUE-AMS-YVR-YQR but when he tried he said it would not work as there was no availability on AMS-YVR. I called again later and unfortunately got a very inexperienced agent who could not figure out why it would not work.

Is there something I am missing? If the KL agent said they could book the YVR-YQR on AC and there is availability on AMS-YVR it should work, right?

I will try calling one more time but after that will just cancel on the trip as we leave on the 5th and I don't want to mess around when we are travelling.

Thanks folks!

Last edited by arf04; Jul 3, 22 at 12:55 pm
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Old Jul 4, 22, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by arf04 View Post
When I called KLM, the agent told me he could book NUE-AMS-YVR-YQR but when he tried he said it would not work as there was no availability on AMS-YVR. I called again later and unfortunately got a very inexperienced agent who could not figure out why it would not work.

Is there something I am missing? If the KL agent said they could book the YVR-YQR on AC and there is availability on AMS-YVR it should work, right?

I will try calling one more time but after that will just cancel on the trip as we leave on the 5th and I don't want to mess around when we are travelling.

Thanks folks!
OP, HUCA.

There are clearly availabilities on those flights, they shall be able to rebook you. As long as it is their own metal, they must be able to open up space for you. Or you may consider asking to reroute through FRA with LH.

Worst case scenario, you may get rebooked in the lounge on your outbound trip, if you have enough time.
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