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elite plus on skyteam flight not allowed into KLM lounge (Wien / Vienna)

elite plus on skyteam flight not allowed into KLM lounge (Wien / Vienna)

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Old Feb 3, 11, 1:11 am
  #1  
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elite plus on skyteam flight not allowed into KLM lounge (Wien / Vienna)

Hello,

I'm in Vienna flying with KLM to Amsterdam, I'm skyteam elite plus, after trying to get into KLM lounge I was told that elite plus doesn't apply here and I either present a valid Flying Blue card or Dinners card.

I remember last year I was here couple of times, flying on Airfrance / KLM ticket and the same skyteam elite plus card, there was no problem there.

What's happening? Can anybody explain?

Thank you

After few thoughts, calls and googling, it seems there isn't any SKYTEAM lounge in Vienna since mid January 2011. All the lounges here are contracted, so you have to have KLM flight and KLM frequent traveler status. sucks.
Skyteam said bye bye Vienna.

This will most likely apply to any other Skyteam members flying from VIE (Like Airfrance and Alitalia)

Last edited by rejden; Feb 3, 11 at 2:04 am
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Old Feb 3, 11, 9:25 am
  #2  
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IMO, it's clearly a big mistake from the lounge dragon. At VIE particularly, they are pretty rude. KLM doesn't have it's own lounge so contract another lounge but the same perks apply. You should write a complaint to KL customer service.
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Old Feb 3, 11, 12:04 pm
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This looks like a training issue to me. Perhaps you should have asked for a supervisor there and then?

If you're Elite Plus and you're flying on a Skyteam carrier then you have lounge access, and lounge dragons should know that. My guess is she was new to the job and hadn't been properly trained.
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Old Feb 3, 11, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
This looks like a training issue to me. Perhaps you should have asked for a supervisor there and then?

If you're Elite Plus and you're flying on a Skyteam carrier then you have lounge access, and lounge dragons should know that. My guess is she was new to the job and hadn't been properly trained.
I actually was maybe a bit angry at the first time, but then I calmed down and told here to check, and check again and she was only talking something about they don't have contract with Czech Airlines anymore (since two weeks), I told here that I don't care about Czech Airlines, since KLM is skyteam member and I was elite plus (I had a OK Plus Platinum card). She declined and declined, then I told her okay, I want to talk to your manager and then she was calling two times somewhere and discussing for 4 - 5 minutes in German and I heard Czech Airlines, Czech Airlines. I again told her to say Skyteam elite plus and not czech airlines, she didn't reply. Finally he get me somebody on the phone who should "explain it to me", it was a guy, claimed a KLM Vienna supervisor or ..., said me the same thing, the lounge is not KLM lounge, is contracted and bla bla bla, I told him this is against the Elite Plus rules since I'm flying International skyteam flight the same day (KLM) and have Elite Plus, so I should be entitled with also a guest. He declined.

Then her colleague tried to save the situation with, do you have a dinners or something something visa ultra gold? I was like eh, no and I'm so pissed I'm leaving.


Maybe I should write a complain, because this was my first try to switch almost totally to KLM, except using FB, which sucks for miles gathering...
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Old Feb 3, 11, 5:19 pm
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Unfortunately this may happen where lounges are managed by third parties and for the operating carrier would cost much more to let you enter inside (even if I know that the price of a lounge access has nothing to do with the quality of the lounge itself...).
Basically you had a KLM ticket but a CSA Elite Plus card.
This mean that the lounge administration should bill CSA...but CSA is not paying for such benefits in many places (usually the most expensive ones...) and KLM do not wanted to pay the lounge owner to let you enter inside.
Being an OK Gold member I have plenty of such stories... but also some small tips: that OK card work only where the benefits can be offered directly by one member of ST (like MXP lounges...where you can use only AZ and AF lounges but not -like 2 years ago-the lounge of the airport owners, SEA lounge; the same rule apply to fast-track...CSA doesn't pay) or by some cheap operator (like VNO, AGP or TLL lounge which are a third party operated lounges).
In the other cases, do not count on the solidarity of ST carriers like the very bad KLM...
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Old Feb 4, 11, 1:03 am
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Actually I think the operating airline has to pay the lounge fees? Which in this case is KLM, and with which the lounge has a contract..
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Old Feb 4, 11, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Actually I think the operating airline has to pay the lounge fees? Which in this case is KLM, and with which the lounge has a contract..
Absolutely. That's what I think the rule was (or I should say is !). After that KL is doing whatever they want with OK (bill them or not).
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Old Feb 4, 11, 6:23 am
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Hi,

You could actually have run into the qualifier specified on skyteam.com:

SkyTeam Elite Plus* members, regardless of their travel class, also have access to most SkyTeam lounges as long as travel is in conjunction with a same-day international connection on a SkyTeam-operated flight
(bolding mine)

Add: And Vienna is not listed on the list of Skyteam lounges: http://www.skyteam.com/downloads/abo...ounge_list.pdf

Back when CO was in Skyteam, I was refused lounge entry at GVA as CO was contracting lounge access from Swiss. They were only providing lounge access to CO elites. (Fortunately, KLM had a lounge contract at GVA as well, so I went to the KLM lounge instead).

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer

Last edited by GenevaFlyer; Feb 4, 11 at 6:28 am Reason: Added link to lounge list
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Old Feb 4, 11, 8:43 am
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Anybody got email on the KLM customer service?

I only can get on the reservation changes on their website, ...

for Vienna, I suppose I get a dinners which should solve that, however
it's a pity when I'll be traveling with my wife and they will refuse us again...
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Old Feb 4, 11, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Absolutely. That's what I think the rule was (or I should say is !). After that KL is doing whatever they want with OK (bill them or not).
The point is that KLM should pay for an OK Elite Plus passenger travelling with them and, because the lounge is managed by a different (and rival) company, I can imagine the price is not that friendly (read also "expensive" for their standard).
Moreover they should bill CSA which likely wouldn't pay for that...because they are not taking some money from the passenger's ticket and this would be a pure cost (read also "loss").

Because CSA cannot pay (by the way, if you stay on their side, it could be theorically also an abuse because CSA do not fly from VIE but they get from VIE airport a bill to pay without a proof except, maybe, a copy of the OK card and a ticket which is not residing in their IT system) and KL do not care about other ST passengers (or it could cost too much for them), you are not let in!

I hope this will help you understanding how it works...
by my side I had so many discussions with lounge dragons that now I understand when the fight can be won or it is a pure loss of time and a disturbing kick in my karma

Finally it's only matter of money...
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Old Feb 4, 11, 4:05 pm
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SkyTeam lounge access rules only apply to lounges operated by SkyTeam or a SkyTeam-member airline.

If a third party is responsible for providing lounge access to a particular SkyTeam airline in whose FFP you don't have lounge-access status, you should ask for a lounge pass at check in at the airport (and there's no guarantee that you'll get one). When third parties are providing the lounge, it's usually intended ONLY for status members of that particular airline's FFP as a service only for that airline's customers, but NOT as a full SkyTeam benefit.
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Old Feb 4, 11, 5:43 pm
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VIE is a weird place, about 9 months after LH ate up OS, I attempted to use the Senator lounge at VIE and was told that I could not as I wa sflying in Y. I firmly explained that as a M&M Senator I had every right to use the lounge, and the idiot persisted, even as two other Senator pax (who were flying OS) told her in German that she was wrong. I got so incensed that I marched into the lounge, and told her to either call the Police or a LH supervisor. She called someone, i do not know who, but then ignored me. When I left I asked her why she had not had me kicked out and she sourly explained that she had been informed by her supervisor that I was in fact correct!
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Old Feb 5, 11, 4:14 am
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again and again: lounge access problem most annoying

Always again one of the most annoying problems:
You count on using the lounge during transit or after a hectic day to link up with your office, get some work done and get some light refreshment.
And you've made some extra efforts, taken weird connections, squeezed in uncomfortable flights just to get or maintain your status to have the right to do so, even if at the time you want to use it you are on a cheaper flight with another airline.
And then some badly informed doorwoman (or man) stops you from getting in or the regulations of your frequent flyer program are useless.
Happened to me with almost every airline and alliance.
Worst case are those codeshare flights not clearly defined in the frequent flier programes rules, like IB not letting me into lounge at BCN with BA-gold on an IB flight operated by IB-daughter Clickair, CX not granting access to lounge at PVG on CX-flight operated by CX-daughter KA (by that time KA's entry into oneworld had already been announced). Same also happened on *A and Skyteam codeshare flights.
And the LH-group has regretfully decided to kick those clients, that fill their planes continuosly (SEN) out of their lounges if not on a *A flight just at that moment. What a reward! That's even worse than the double control of boarding card AND SEN-card at Munich since LH assumes that all their best customers are impostors and forgerers!

What surprises me is that this happened to you at the VIE-lounge used by Skyteam. You were really unlucky! I even put up with having to fly with AF (and that can really be a punishment on European routes or on transfer at CDG) to renew my AF gold only in order to be able to use the lounges at VIE and ZRH when on an AB flight (doesn't work in CGN or BCN though). And I always was lucky enough to get access. Same can said about BA lounges at DUS and TXL with many thanks!
So by trying to make it harder for me to fly AB, LH is forcing me to fly Oneworld and Skyteam for requalification
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Old Feb 5, 11, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
She called someone, i do not know who, but then ignored me. When I left I asked her why she had not had me kicked out and she sourly explained that she had been informed by her supervisor that I was in fact correct!
I'm from a country where everybody pretends to be right but nobody is really sure about that...but when I'm in Austria and Switzerland I feel like in countries where people are always right and they cannot accept the idea to be wrong, even accidentally.
Stereotypes apart, there's an increasing lack of respect for travelers everywhere (I experienced it lately in CPH or MXP) as if we were asking for some incredibly special favour when we enter in lounges which are basically waiting rooms and, after all, nothing so exclusive.
That's why I find very offensive to my intelligence to suggest somebody to pay for entry there
For 20-40 Euros you can really enjoy a real light-meal in a airport....but then I'm off-topic.

Anyway: keep fighting the lounge dragons...or, better, lizards !
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Old Feb 5, 11, 4:50 am
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I think that you underestimate the prices of operating a lounge. If you just compare the food, sure...a couple of sandwiches and a coffee is not worth 20 euro. However keep in mind that:

- You can stay there for quite some hours if you'd like
- You will get free Wifi access
- You will get a proper spacious seat
- It will be quiet, the dragon will get you when your flight starts boarding

Sure the airline gets overcharged for using the lounge, but that happens because they can. But the fact of the matter is that you will receive personalized service throughout your stay and you wont have to sit on an uncomfortably small waiting pen seat. Space at an airport is expensive, and I assume is a rather big part of the entrance fee.

Like you said though, it depends on what you prefer. Some people prefer to spend that 20 euro at a bar and order a large bowl of spaghetti, others prefer to spend it on a more quiet environment and use the time for work. Its not called 'Business' lounge for nothing I guess ;-)
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