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Weird (unfortunately usual) experience at Schiphol

Weird (unfortunately usual) experience at Schiphol

 
Old Sep 17, 07, 1:35 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by gpez View Post

Having nothing to lose, I sweated through the ticketing line and talked to an agent who was super helpful and put me on the direct flight no problem in about 3 minutes. I still have no idea what the GAs were doing…were they just trying to get me to leave or did they really believe that I couldn’t get on the flight? The SEA GA who told me "no" the first time was expressionless when she scanned my new boarding pass after I went back to her gate.
The Dutch would say: A no you have for sure - but a yes you can sometimes have.

The mindset is to start with a no (no matter the question) - but persistence often pays in these situations.
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Old Sep 17, 07, 1:46 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by gpez View Post
I still have no idea what the GAs were doing…were they just trying to get me to leave or did they really believe that I couldn’t get on the flight?
I don't have an educated answer to your question (I don't know exactly how their system works), it's purely based on my experience. KLM GA's have very limited power. (It's not just AMS, it's every KLM station.) The scope of their roles and responsibilities is well defined. GA's don't have the authority to change itineraries. Transfer/ticketing desks do that.

Originally Posted by gpez View Post
The SEA GA who told me "no" the first time was expressionless when she scanned my new boarding pass after I went back to her gate.
She may not have remembered you. Even if she did, if it wasn't under her authority to make that change for you, she had done nothing wrong.
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Old Sep 17, 07, 2:15 pm
  #33  
 
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I flew KL0681 AMS-YVR a couple weeks ago.

On my NW outbound I UG'd at check-in w/ miles. It was unclear to me if the 30k was O/W or R/T and because it was one of those nifty OTP tickets, I didn't want to rock the boat. So I decided to wait till my return day.

While in Lounge 52, I inquired about the possibility of an UG. I was politely told, "No, sorry", I thanked her for her help and went on my merry way.

Since I had a Row 9 aisle in Y, I hung back at security and waited till the very end to board. My BP beeped and I was given 5A.

So, I'm not sure why I was UG'd. Status? or the Lounge? I do not know.

On board, after being addressed with surname, I told my FA to call me by my first name. She was tongue-tied for a moment, explained that it might be difficult but she would try to remember to do so. We had a nice chat about their (KLM and Dutch) formality. I noticed from that point on though she didn't address me by name, period. It was probably easier for her to do that than veer into uncomfortable territory.

Last edited by boxo; Sep 17, 07 at 2:21 pm
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Old Sep 17, 07, 2:33 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by boxo View Post

So, I'm not sure why I was UG'd. Status? or the Lounge? I do not know.

On board, after being addressed with surname, I told my FA to call me by my first name. She was tongue-tied for a moment, explained that it might be difficult but she would try to remember to do so. We had a nice chat about their (KLM and Dutch) formality. I noticed from that point on though she didn't address me by name, period. It was probably easier for her to do that than veer into uncomfortable territory.
Sometimes they can't be bothered to check; if too close to the flight, the gate takes control over the flight and the lounge matrons can't do anything. Although I have upon enquiry in the lounge asked about a better seat been told that the upgrade is already given. Most likely they did not know until closer.

The reason why she did not go by your first name is that the manifest usually only contains your surname and prefix and she probably did not remember your name.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 9:35 am
  #35  
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I, as a FB PLT, have the same experiences as some of you. I was using my 2nd YVR-OTP ticket and wanted to leave AMS for YVR on the 5th day (7 day minimum stay according to the rules). Talked to about 5 agents at the landside ticket desk who quickly gave me the brush off after seeing what fare I paid. I finally told another agent the ticket was a miles + cash fare and she gave me a BP, which an agent airside gave me an upgrade for miles. On my 4th ticket 2 weeks ago, I first got an UG for my companion (mere NW GE) first as only 1 seat was available in the AM. On trying to get an UG for myself (when the seats), I was told 1) "yes" but after a call and quick chat in Dutch "no", 2) only gate can UG, until 3) went to the 52 lounge where the agent UGd me straight away (and mistakenly charged me no miles )

Some flights may have been oversold. On our 3rd return, it seem the back was oversold so 7 WBC seats were reserved. They did arrange (on 1st try) for a mileage UG though. Did get 3 UGs on 8 AMS-OTP or v-v flights. Once was the turnaround trip in advance, the last was when we got to OTP.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 10:37 am
  #36  
 
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Ha, I found this through a link on another thread:

"Is the tour free?

No our tours are not free as for example at Singapore Airport. We are a private company, trying to make money.


"... trying to make money." No mincing of words there!
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Old Sep 18, 07, 10:56 am
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Talked to about 5 agents at the landside ticket desk who quickly gave me the brush off after seeing what fare I paid.
Both of my intra-Europe UGs last week came on... an award ticket.
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Old Sep 20, 07, 9:31 am
  #38  
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Weird but usual

I made the original post, and was not at all complaining about the fact that I did get an upgrade. What bothered me was what preceded it! I have had many such experiences, such as arguing at the Royal Wing Lounge at Schiphol whether I, as both a WorldClub member and a Platinum Elite, was allowed to take a shower. The following is from a letter that I wrote to NW in 1998:

I made reservations in August for my family to use award tickets to accompany me to Europe. There was great difficulty in finding seats on the KLM segments, and as a result we needed to take a 5:30am flight (KLM 1692) from Lisbon to Amsterdam on Monday, 30 November. Even then, we could only get confirmed Business Class seats for two people. My daughter was placed on a “waiting list” for a Business Class seat. Several times before 30 Nov. I asked Northwest customer service agents about the status of this segment, but was told that she was still wait listed, and there was nothing more that could be done until the flight.

When we arrived at the Lisbon airport, I asked the KLM agent at the check-in counter about the status of the wait list for my daughter. She said that there was no wait list, and my daughter has a coach class seat. After much fruitless discussion, I asked to speak with a supervisor, and was told that she would be at the gate. When I explained the problem to the KLM supervisor, she said that her ticket shows a Coach Class seat, and that is that. When I asked her why every other segment of my daughter’s ticket (there were six segments) was in either First Class or Business, she said that “maybe I did not have enough miles” for the entire trip in Business. Further discussion appeared pointless. We then boarded the plane, and were surprised to find that of the 17 Business Class seats, the only two that were occupied were by us! We spoke with the lead Flight Attendant, who was extremely kind and allowed us all to sit together in Business.
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Old Sep 20, 07, 11:58 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ehe123 View Post
I made the original post, and was not at all complaining about the fact that I did get an upgrade. What bothered me was what preceded it! I have had many such experiences, such as arguing at the Royal Wing Lounge at Schiphol whether I, as both a WorldClub member and a Platinum Elite, was allowed to take a shower. The following is from a letter that I wrote to NW in 1998:

I made reservations in August for my family to use award tickets to accompany me to Europe. There was great difficulty in finding seats on the KLM segments, and as a result we needed to take a 5:30am flight (KLM 1692) from Lisbon to Amsterdam on Monday, 30 November. Even then, we could only get confirmed Business Class seats for two people. My daughter was placed on a “waiting list” for a Business Class seat.
To be fair to KL, your problem was a NW problem. KL BC award inventory was simply not available to NW and apparently never was made available for your waitlisted seat (which was probably NW's WL and not KL's despite the supposed close integration). At any rate, it wasn't for KL to rebook your daughter in D (or whatever the BC award inventory was) even if you had paid for it. NW would have had to rebook your daughter and reissue her ticket. A few years ago, I booked a front-of-the-plane award on QF using US miles. One sector (SYD-PER or v-v) was not available in BC. I had to wait until the seats were available then go to a US ticket counter to have the paper tickets reissued (I live approximately 150 miles from the then-nearest US station). If I had not has US rebook and reissue, I could not have realistically expected QF to do anything once I got to Australia.

What was NW's response to your letter?
All one can apparently do is keep checking for the inventory to become available (was this easy to do in 1998 before someone made bucket inventory easily available on the internet?) then grab it.

Last edited by YVR Cockroach; Sep 20, 07 at 12:04 pm
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Old Sep 20, 07, 12:48 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
What was NW's response to your letter?
All one can apparently do is keep checking for the inventory to become available (was this easy to do in 1998 before someone made bucket inventory easily available on the internet?) then grab it.
This was a long time ago, and my (vague) recollection was either that I received some form answer thanking me for sharing my problem with them, or no response. I also thought that I had asked NW up until the last minute about upgrading this segment...
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Old Sep 23, 07, 5:08 am
  #41  
 
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KLM vs NW, ground vs air

I have been flying IAH to AMS (and then beyond) for years now and will fly 6 times this year. With few exceptions, I can say the Houston ground staff has been efficient and civil, the KLM flight staff very nice to deal with, though as noted, a little stiff, on the occasions when I can't get a direct flight, the MSP staff have been the most friendly and helpful people I have ever met (not just airline staff), and the AMS ground staff will lie to your face (repeatedly), just to move you to someone else (even when there is no line) or call you a liar if your version (which was later proven to be correct, not a lie) differs from theirs.

I was connecting in AMS to Moscow and after loading the plane, the flight was canceled due to a volcanic eruption. The pilot said to check at the transfer desk, who disavowed any knowledge (this I can believe), then led me on a tour of the airport, each of six locations telling me they didn't know when the flights would start again (I also believe this), but insisting no other flights were going to Moscow on any other airline (partners or other), because Moscow airport was closed due to the volcano and informing me that I was responsible for my own hotel in AMS due to it not being their fault.

It was only after I called Moscow to inform them I was delayed, that I found the airport was indeed open. Unfortunately, in the time I was walking around the airport and finding a hotel, the last 6 flights of the day had left (including some on partner airlines).

That is not the only time something like that has happened and I have had an occasional very helpful AMS ground staff, but I am just glad I just usually go from plane to plane.

I am probably one of the most easy going travelers around, trying to be pleasant when circumstances put pressure on the employees as well as the traveler, but I only seem to get the help when I insist (I think still nicely) that they contact NWA for confirmation.

I'm paying full fair business class - I hate to think how discount coach gets treated!
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Old Sep 23, 07, 11:21 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by Kazpohlman View Post
I was connecting in AMS to Moscow and after loading the plane, the flight was canceled due to a volcanic eruption.
What the...? Why don't they just say it's overrun with Tribbles or something - that'd be every bit as believable, since there are no volcanoes anywhere near Moscow, or anywhere near the flight path from Amsterdam to Moscow. There's weird, and then there's bizarro-world.
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Old Sep 23, 07, 7:56 pm
  #43  
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what is all the fuss about The OP got an OPUP! You should say 'thank you' and forget about minor stuff at the gate I am a KLM Plat. and never (yes ) received any OPUPs on KL or NW transatlantic!
How can someone bug a check-in agent, the gate agent over and over again. IMO an OPUP should be processed based on priority and not by 'who whines most'.
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Old Sep 24, 07, 5:55 am
  #44  
 
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The volcano was in Iceland and the ash in the upper atmosphere is what they were afraid of. They apparently had a history related to ash and in fact probably were being conservative (there were a lot of other flights cancel for other reasons that day, but I tend to believe the reason for these). I don't have a real problem with the decision, but a big problem with the lies about the Moscow airport closed and no other flights going there.
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Old Sep 24, 07, 7:46 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
How can someone bug a check-in agent, the gate agent over and over again. IMO an OPUP should be processed based on priority and not by 'who whines most'.
Who bugged the check-in agent and the gate agent over and over again? I asked when checking in whether the flight was full, and asked the gate agent if there were likely to be any upgrades. The point of my post was that I have had an amazing history of such experiences with KLM. Once, before all flights were smoke-free, we found that our seats were reissued in the smoking section. We complained strongly, and the Purser told us that if we got off, they determined that we could be placed on one of the many other routings. We got off, they closed the door, and then we were told that there were no available flights that day, and the hotel would be at our expense.
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