KLM stinks

Old Dec 10th, 2014, 06:00 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
KLM stinks

I had a ticket for myself and my two children, to fly from Nairobi, to Amsterdam and to connect into the US on the evening of December 3, 2014. Our tickets were purchased through a travel agency. On the day of our flight, I attempted online check-in 3 different times, each time using a different computer. Each time I tried I got a message stating that I could not check in online for this flight. Eventually it was simply time to leave for the airport. The traffic was horrible in Nairobi that night. We ran into a jam but still arrived at the airport a full 70 minutes before our flight. There was no traffic sign indicating KLM departures, no door sign, no indication of where to enter for our KLM flight anywhere outside the international departures terminal. This lack of signage definitely slowed us down. When we eventually got to the correct entrance, the supervisor at the door refused to let us in. This supervisor stated 'This flight is closed' . I stated that we had tickets and we had seat assignments; we should be allowed on. He stated that we were too late and that I needed to go to the reservations desk to re-book. This was still 60 minutes before the scheduled departure. Another party walked in the terminal and proceeded to go through the pre-flight screenings. As I witnessed this I complained to the supervisor. Why is this person getting on the flight? the response that I got was "He checked in online. You should have checked in online" . This angered me because I tried at least 3 different times to check in online! It did not work! I asked two other staff in the area to please let us on the flight with no success.
I am a mother with two school age children, each of us had only one bag to check, I had my passports in hand and seat assignments. My final plea to the supervisor was met with yet another no . Instead he directed us to an office to make alternate reservations. We go there and the place was empty! Once again, we go back to the KLM check in area, for help with this problem. This time we are directed outside the terminal to another office. Once there, I explained our predicament to the attendant, who was unable to help us with anything. She explained that our ticket was booked through Delta, and that she could not re-book us on that computer system. She did not understand why the supervisor at the entrance would not let us in.
The following morning, I called the customer service number for KLM and asked to get checked in for my flight. The operator said that she could not help me, I asked to speak to her supervisor, who told me the same thing. I did the same with customer service numbers for Skymiles and for Delta. Nobody could check me in for the flight. So I had to take my chances on getting to the airport extra early in order to check in at the airport. There were problems with getting us checked in at the airport KLM desk, but we finally had an agent who could help us get checked in.
My experience with KLM in Africa was nothing but a wild goose chase. I was misdirected so many times and wound up spending extra for lodging and food, not to mention the hefty "change fee".
After returning to my home I contacted KLM customer service. The response that I got from KLM was very disappointing. It essentially stated, use our website, which I did, but it did not work. Or call our support team, which due to the time difference, was not open when I needed them. When I eventually did get through to them, they were not allowed to check us in via telephone for security reasons.
My Final Words: I will avoid KLM flights from here forward.
angeladaly is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 06:25 AM
  #2  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. KLM website is very clear - absolute cutoff time for checkin is 60min. Not 59, not 58...
J62 is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 06:34 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My recommendation would be to heed the clear KLM advice - plan to check-in 3hrs before the flight, not arrive just before the cut off time. The same advice holds for any airline.
J62 is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 08:40 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As I read it, having been unable to check-in online, your problem then was arriving at the airport only 70 minutes before flight time. In NO way is that an acceptable time to be arriving at an airport for an international flight. IF you had arrived 3 hours before your flight time, you would have been able to check in and had NO problem.

You want to blame KLM and accept no responsibility for your own actions. Arriving at an airport 70 minutes before flight time isn't even acceptable if you had checked in online. There is no one to blame but yourself.
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 10:58 AM
  #5  
TC
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have my sympathy. KLM agents can be quite unyielding if they want to. They can also be quite helpful...if they want to. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of continuity. I agree, that under the circumstances, you should have left for the airport much earlier. Nairobi traffic is notorious and you did have a problem that needed attention -- so add extra time. But the misdirection for further help and the charge for changing the tickets could have (and should have) been handled better.

Live and learn.
TC is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 11:00 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is too late to fix this, but since you bought the tickets through a travel agency, you should have called them for assistance when your initial attempt to check in failed, and asked that they fix the problem.

Even though the trip is over, I would suggest you take your facts to the travel agency, and ask that they make this right. They have an obligation to insure the trip they sold you works. Take a list of the additional costs you had to pay. Don't email them; a written complaint, or a personal visit is a better way to deal with this.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 03:44 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with TC. Yes you should have been there earlier but that in no way excuses the ground personnel from being so unhelpful not to mention the follow up with KLM.

Sojourn traveller lighten up. She needed to be on time but from a CS angle she was not treated very well. No one wants to be treated this way.

Cleveland brown gives good advice I think. Good luck.
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 05:01 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't dispute that the customer service could have been better but the real issue was not allowing enough time to deal with the problem.

People always want to put the blame on others and never on themselves. To me this is a clear case of the OP not allowing enough time. NO one else is to blame for that.
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 05:11 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok so you win the blame game. Happy now?
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2014, 09:54 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No all airlines allow online check in for various destinations.

Like others have said, you should of gotten to the airport with more than 70 mins to spare.
MissGreen is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2014, 01:10 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,003
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is it possible that you were caught up in the additional screening at this time for travelers from some parts of Africa due to Ebola? I do not know if Nairobi is still under this restriction, but I do remember reading that travelers should allow extra time to accommodate this screening.

Is it possible that this was a Delta flight codesharing with KLM and you needed to check in on the Delta website?

I am not sure what you mean that the KLM website "did not work".

And your first phone call should have been to the travel agent from which you bought the tickets.

Most international travelers arrive at the airport with lots of extra time to allow for traffic, long lines and the type of problems you encountered. And if one is unable to check in on-line, that is a signal that it might take longer at the airport, so add extra time for this.

I don't think your argument is with KLM
gail is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2014, 05:51 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,370
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A few points:

- Any comments, including mine, will likely never be seen by OP, who registered only to post this complaint (undoubtedly in the foolish hope that it would hurt KLM's bottom line) and will likely never be seen here again.

- OP's Online check-in issue is essentially irrelevant -- even if s/he had checked in online, s/he would still have had to check 3 pieces of luggage, which had the same time requirement as check-in.

- OP's claim that "The traffic was horrible in Nairobi that night" means that she was traveling on a day whose name ends in the letter "y" and has about the same validity as complaining that the ride from midtown Manhattan to JFK took more than 30 minutes.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2014, 06:41 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What is your point jacketwatch? The OP came here to post a 'blame others' post as so many do. As DonTopaz rightly points out, few ever even return to acknowledge comments.

Anyone who arrives for an international flight 70 minutes before departure has only themselves to blame if they miss that flight. Do you disagree with that? Or do you just like to make inane comments about other posters comments?
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,968
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The OP had better not travel thru airports such as JFK or LHR, since the airlines who operate thru those airports for international destinations also have restrictions and check in would close at least 60 mins before departure.

> Travel agents cannot fix check in problems. What precisely do you think they can do? Reservations, ticket purchase etc is a completely different thing to check in.
Odin is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2014, 11:50 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 27,272
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
angeladaly, I feel for you and think there should be a 24-hour number to call for situations like this. Not everyone has access to a computer all the time when traveling.

Most airlines do have a machine for signing in at the airport but, as others have said, it sounds like you did cut it too close.

Sojourntraveller and jacketwatch, how about showing some good manners on this thread? Your bickering and name calling are annoying and nonproductive.
TDudette is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
gail
Air Travel
4
Dec 28th, 2010 04:20 AM
travelenthusiast
Caribbean Islands
5
Nov 4th, 2010 05:30 PM
Poncho
Caribbean Islands
4
Feb 9th, 2009 11:51 AM
joebear
United States
13
Jun 9th, 2008 04:21 PM
4explore
Mexico & Central America
5
Jan 6th, 2008 01:01 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information