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  #61  
Old 14.01.2015, 21:46
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Depending on the type of Swiss ticket you buy, you pay for cvhecked luggage too !
Not sure what you mean, but not when flying to Amsterdam. Even on the cheapest Economy Saver fare one piece of checked luggage is included in the price.
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Old 14.01.2015, 21:58
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Wait! You argued so long that you missed your flight? Did you lose track of time? That, my good (wo)man, is commitment to the cause.
Naaa, most of the time was wasted while the check-in woman called her superior to ask if she could check the bag in. She then disappeared off for about another 20 minutes to check in person. She was painfully slow. I was only discussing and then arguing for about 10 minutes.
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  #63  
Old 14.01.2015, 23:13
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Not sure what you mean, but not when flying to Amsterdam. Even on the cheapest Economy Saver fare one piece of checked luggage is included in the price.
Go and have a look on the Swiss website, i think it's called "economy light" and whilst this may or may not be available on the GVA-AMS route, it certainly is on the GVA-LHR routing.

http://www.swiss.com/ch/en/Book/Outbound/GVA-LON

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Naaa, most of the time was wasted while the check-in woman called her superior to ask if she could check the bag in. She then disappeared off for about another 20 minutes to check in person. She was painfully slow. I was only discussing and then arguing for about 10 minutes.

and you just waited and waited and finally missed your flight.....

Last edited by 3Wishes; 14.01.2015 at 23:28. Reason: merging successive posts
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  #64  
Old 15.01.2015, 03:12
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

I simply love KLM. And not only because I'm Dutch. I used to make a lot of round trips between Geneva and Amsterdam and I had to choose between Easyjet and KLM. Even though Easyjet is often a bit cheaper (depending on whether or not you're traveling with luggage), I got fed up of the constant delays and decided that, flying on time, was worth the extra money.

With KLM I have never had any delays. Ok, at times they can't leave from the airport at the scheduled time, but they always catch up during the flight. It's actually more common to land before schedule.

Whenever a flight is not certain (in case of weather conditions), I immediately receive a text and/or email well in advance, explaining the situation and what I can do in case my flight is canceled.
Whenever I've had problems, a short phone call to their customer service was enough to solve things. And I always book the cheap ass economy tickets, so this doesn't make a difference, though I tend to do it through their own website. (Like one time I was trying to book a ticket through their website, for some reason it didn't went through and the next attempt I made, the tickets had increased in price. I called customer service and they just asked me at what price I had originally booked the ticket, and made a ticket for me for the original price. )

Sure they only serve snacks, although I believe they also serve a sandwich for very early fliers, but I really don't mind packing something to eat in case I think I might be hungry. In the end you'll always end up paying for airplane food in your ticket anyway and it more than often sucks.


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I've just flown KLM return from BSL to AMS. Had no problems at all. I didn't book on the KLM website as I found I could book on the Air France website, for exactly the same price, but it includes a check-in baggage allowance of 23kg. The KLM website doesn't.
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I'm Dutch, but always try to avoid them and book Swiss instead when flying back home. Swiss costs the same or less, allows me to bring a piece of check-in luggage for free (KLM charges EUR 30 for a round-trip), and offers me a normal sandwich (KLM serves a dry biscuit or a handful of crisps).
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If you become a member of flying blue, they allow you one checked baggage for free. It saved me a lot of hassle and I was able to make take overweight baggage back at a lower cost as well.
If you are a flying blue member, you are allowed to take one piece of check-in luggage for free. This was something that was introduced last year, before everybody could just bring one piece of luggage for free.


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I think if the airlines are happy to accept money off third party booking agents then they should be held partly responsible when things go wrong. My beef with KLM isn't about the mistake itself, rather how I was treated by their ground staff, but more so at their inability to rectify the mistake.

Even a half-wit could have recognised the mistake and sorted it. Unless you're smuggling crack, why would you go away with no bags and return with two?! The ground staff I dealt with had the IQ of farm yard animals.
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I do wonder if the people working at the airport here are actually employed by KLM, or a company like Swissport.
I have always wondered about this too.

Whenever I fly from Amsterdam, I notice a huge difference in customer service level. (Especially back when I had a flying blue silver membership card.) But Amsterdam is KLM's hub.

Whenever I fly from Geneva, I always get the feeling the ground staff doesn't know what the hell they are doing, since they are never up to date on any special arrangements or deals KLM offers or anything. And if I recall correctly, they wear the generic Swissport shirts indeed.


So yeah, in my opinion you should have just coughed up the extra money and taken it up with cheaptickets, instead of taking this out on KLM.
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  #65  
Old 15.01.2015, 04:10
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Let me start by saying I’m not normally one to recommend avoiding a company or a service provider based on my own experiences, just check my posting history. That said, I would implore you all to never fly with KLM. Why? Because they’re literally a flock of bastards.

It’s been a month and a half since my unfortunate encounter with them. I’ve been trying to reach a satisfactory resolution with them but all I get is empty apologies. I’ve got the feeling it’s very easy for them to say sorry whilst doing this . Exasperated I’ve decided to share my experience with my fellow forum members.

I am a frequent flyer, on many airlines, to many different parts of the world. Flying with KLM twenty years ago wasn’t a bad experience, but since then they’ve jumped into bed with Air France, and it seems they’ve taken on the French model of customer service. I’ve flown with KLM a few times since the merger, and most of these times they’ve managed to screw something up: I once turned up to my gate to board a connecting flight in Schiphol to be informed that KLM had decided due to my late inbound flight I wouldn’t make the connection. The plane for my connecting flight was stood in front of me on the tarmac. And boarding hadn’t started yet. When I pointed this out they said that they’d taken it upon themselves to allocate my seat to someone else but that I would have the pleasure of a night’s stopover in Amsterdam. For a journey what was supposed to take three and a half hours. Thanks KLM.

There are other reasons why I used to hesitate booking with KLM: their apparent inability to seat groups together which number two or more, or the fact that they believe 4 miniscule pretzels constitute an on-board snack (although you do get the choice between sweet of savory). But following my latest experience, I do believe KLM have managed to outdo themselves in their discourtesy and ineptitude.

I had to fly to a destination that had no direct flights from Switzerland, this left a choice between KLM and Air France. Aids or Cancer. But it was a pretty important engagement so I went with the lesser of two evils and booked my flight through cheaptickets.ch. First mistake. However I had used cheaptickets.ch a number of times in the past, without issue.

When making the booking there was the option to pay for a checked bag. Normal for a Budget airline, but not for a national Flag Carrier, but that’s for another discussion. Knowing my partner, and judging by the length of the trip I decided one bag would be sufficient for us both so paid the extra fee. All well and good we were ready for our trip.

We turned up at Zurich airport in good time, ready to fly with cheaptickets.ch issued tickets in hand and our single piece of checked luggage. At check-in we were surprised when we were informed by the check-in assistant that we would have to pay extra for the baggage. “No!” said I, and produced my ticket which clearly stated a single piece of checked luggage for outward and return journey.

The check-in assistant examined the ticket and saw that I had a point. After much umming and arring, she decided to call her superior. The superior told her over the phone that according to “the system” we had not paid, so would have to pay again once again. She passed the message on to me and in disbelief I pointed again at my ticket, where it was printed in black and white. Agreeing with me she then went to check in person with her superior taking my ticket as proof, moving off at the speed of John Goodman. Without legs.

An age later she returned to say that the situation was still the same and we’d have to resolve it at the Customer Service desk. Off we trundled to the desk and were confronted by a Customer Service assistant who’d printed off our ticket and pointed out that we didn’t any check in luggage for the outbound flight but had TWO bags for the return leg. “Ah ha!” I said, “There’s the issue, we don’t need two bags for the return journey, just this one there and back will do”. Thinking the issue would be resolved there and then, I was astonished at the reply that came back. “Sorry, you have to pay, I can’t change it, I’m not allowed”, the words of a small cog that will never be a big cog, “There’s nothing I can do.” A jobsworth.

It came on immediately, a burning behind my eyes, a hotness in my belly, and a sudden urge lean over the counter and grab the assistant and shake the life out of her whilst screaming unpleasant names into her face. However I didn’t do this, I bit my tongue, and tried again to elucidate where the issue was and how it could easily be resolved.

A short while later a colleague of the customer service assistant, having until this point nothing to do with our discussion, lent in and told me it was my fault for booking with cheaptickets.ch as they’re “shit”. That was too much and I lost my temper. How could it be that this mess was my fault for booking through a third party? What was perhaps most shocking as that once my voices were raised, this other assistant started screaming and shouting at me. He told me “to f**k off” and that I should have some “ respect”. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t aware working as a customer service assistant in an airport was a position that automatically commanded respect.

By this time a good hour had past and realising we were getting nowhere I decided in the end to pay the excess and run to the gate in order to catch my flight. Which I didn’t. Returning to the customer service desk to try and rebook the flights I found the assistant who had shouted and sworn at me already on the phone to cheaptickets.ch telling them a complete fabrication of what had gone on before. As a result of his efforts, the cheaptickets.ch agent was completely uncooperative, as was he. I left the airport with no refund, no rebooking and a big fat “f**k you” for my efforts.

After a few dozen phone calls and several weeks later I’ve eventually received a full refund from cheaptickets.ch. KLM on the other hand have not accepted any responsibility for the way I was treated or that they were in some way culpable. I guess the lesson is for stress free flying, never book through a third party. Hindsight also says I should have coughed up the luggage straight away, but call me old fashioned, I expect once you’ve paid for a service and have proof you’ve paid, that you should get it.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is my story. Sorry that it is so long winded, but I hope truly and deeply that you’ll bear this in mind if you ever have the choice between KLM and another airline. If that isn’t enough, just remember the pretzels.



While it was declared as a MERGER it in reality was a TAKEOVER by Air France. In AirFranceKLM. the French hold a heavy majority of shares
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  #66  
Old 15.01.2015, 04:18
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Inderdad, but Treverus is German, so he would say that, wouldn't he?
But I am a German who has lived in the Netherlands and like most stereotypes is there a true core in it. I found the Dutch to be very very cost focussed (while Swiss are completely focussed on perceived quality and Germany is not just geographically right between the two). Just as I find Swiss people strange who pay any price just because they are convinced that "Swiss made" got to be best did I equally shake my head about Dutch friends trying to save money in the silliest ways. So the Dutch were more often than not about finding a "good enough" solution to a problem while the Swiss would find the "best" one regardless of costs. Many times is a good enough solution my preference, but when it comes to airlines to I prefer a bit more than the minimum...

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Turns out you have a pretty good personal scale. According to Which? magazine, that's exactly where KLM sits. With our very own Swiss head and shoulders above the competition
I flew both Lufthansa and SAS last month in Europe and cannot find a difference at all. Wonder how they rated them.
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  #67  
Old 15.01.2015, 04:42
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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But I am a German who has lived in the Netherlands and like most stereotypes is there a true core in it. I found the Dutch to be very very cost focussed (while Swiss are completely focussed on perceived quality and Germany is not just geographically right between the two). Just as I find Swiss people strange who pay any price just because they are convinced that "Swiss made" got to be best did I equally shake my head about Dutch friends trying to save money in the silliest ways. So the Dutch were more often than not about finding a "good enough" solution to a problem while the Swiss would find the "best" one regardless of costs. Many times is a good enough solution my preference, but when it comes to airlines to I prefer a bit more than the minimum...


.



Reminds me of the often praised Schweizer Eier
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Old 15.01.2015, 05:40
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Go and have a look on the Swiss website, i think it's called "economy light" and whilst this may or may not be available on the GVA-AMS route, it certainly is on the GVA-LHR routing.
These fares are available to most destinations out of GVA but not out of ZRH.
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  #69  
Old 15.01.2015, 07:54
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

A bit like Swiss then?
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Old 15.01.2015, 09:52
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

I'm avoiding Lufthansa right now since they seems to make that strike thing as new hobby. Was one of the victim and have to purchase another ticket with KLM last minute (direct on their website) since LH, in my opinion, was not capable to resolve the problem.. The story with KLM was also not that great (apart from the very expensive last minute ticket!)..

I purchased that so called comfort seats for the long haul flight. During check-in, i learned that those seats were sold to another passenger. They assigned another seats which are in my opinion would not be so comfortable. As we prepare to board the flight in Amsterdam, the captain came into the boarding lounge to inform us that the plane is not airworthy. I have to stay 2 nights in Amsterdam because of that and miss 5 appointments at my destination! The hotel assignment were chaotic because i have to change hotel, and KLM did not inform me which one to go. I have to go back and forth between both the hotel and schipol. The last hotel located under the fly path of the planes, so you hear them loud!

They refund the seat purchase one month after the trip. I wrote them a very long email on how dissapointed i was with the service . Their customer service answered it. She said that they have deliver the best solution they could give me. And that they are sorry that my trip were kind of ruined because of the incident. In the end, as a nice gesture, they sent me 2 voucher worth CHF 310 each . So now i will give them another chance!
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:01
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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As we prepare to board the flight in Amsterdam, the captain came into the boarding lounge to inform us that the plane is not airworthy. I have to stay 2 nights in Amsterdam because of that and miss 5 appointments at my destination!

Probably better you missed just these 5 appointments rather than all of the appointments for the rest of your life....
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:04
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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I'm avoiding Lufthansa right now since they seems to make that strike thing as new hobby. Was one of the victim and have to purchase another ticket with KLM last minute (direct on their website) since LH, in my opinion, was not capable to resolve the problem.. The story with KLM was also not that great (apart from the very expensive last minute ticket!)..

I purchased that so called comfort seats for the long haul flight. During check-in, i learned that those seats were sold to another passenger. They assigned another seats which are in my opinion would not be so comfortable. As we prepare to board the flight in Amsterdam, the captain came into the boarding lounge to inform us that the plane is not airworthy. I have to stay 2 nights in Amsterdam because of that and miss 5 appointments at my destination! The hotel assignment were chaotic because i have to change hotel, and KLM did not inform me which one to go. I have to go back and forth between both the hotel and schipol. The last hotel located under the fly path of the planes, so you hear them loud!

They refund the seat purchase one month after the trip. I wrote them a very long email on how dissapointed i was with the service . Their customer service answered it. She said that they have deliver the best solution they could give me. And that they are sorry that my trip were kind of ruined because of the incident. In the end, as a nice gesture, they sent me 2 voucher worth CHF 310 each . So now i will give them another chance!
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure even in their "nice gesture" they've still kind of screwed you. I think according to European travel regulation if you're delayed by more than a certain time, and it's the fault of the Airline, then you're entitled to cash compensation and not some voucher to have to endure their crappy service again.

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I flew both Lufthansa and SAS last month in Europe and cannot find a difference at all. Wonder how they rated them.
"How we rate short haul airlines
In October 2014, members of the online Which? Connect panel took part in a survey about their experiences of flying in the previous year. We collected 11,257 responses relating to long and short-haul flights. We asked members to rate their experience on aspects such as seat comfort, punctuality and the boarding process. We need a minimum sample size of 30 to report on an airline, and our research has allowed us to report on 20 different airlines."
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:22
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Wait! You argued so long that you missed your flight? Did you lose track of time? That, my good (wo)man, is commitment to the cause.
The trick is to check in before you start an argument. This makes them less likely to fly without having at least called you out and puts the pressure on the airline staff who are holding you up.

A friend of mine did this in Amsterdam and they had to search for his bags in the hold while he was happily arguing with customer service. The irony was they couldn't find his bag so they had to let him fly. Basically KLM was prepared to delay a flight with several hundered people on it for half an hour over an argument over 10 CHF. You can't win against people like that but you can make them look the fools they are.
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:26
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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The trick is to check in before you start an argument. This makes them less likely to fly without having at least called you out and puts the pressure on the airline staff who are holding you up.

A friend of mine did this in Amsterdam and they had to search for his bags in the hold while he was happily arguing with customer service. The irony was they couldn't find his bag so they had to let him fly. Basically KLM was prepared to delay a flight with several hundered people on it for half an hour over an argument over 10 CHF. You can't win against people like that but you can make them look the fools they are.
That's the thing though, we were physically checked in and had the boarding passes, the argument was over the baggage. The difference is that obviously my bag wasn't on the plane in this instance. Half hour delay over 10 bucks?! Shows what chumps they are.
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:37
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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"How we rate short haul airlines
In October 2014, members of the online Which? Connect panel took part in a survey about their experiences of flying in the previous year. We collected 11,257 responses relating to long and short-haul flights. We asked members to rate their experience on aspects such as seat comfort, punctuality and the boarding process. We need a minimum sample size of 30 to report on an airline, and our research has allowed us to report on 20 different airlines."
LOL, no wonder that Swiss wins by a margin... given that the average customer is likely to be Swiss and has by default a rather strong bias towards anything which has a cross on it. So the list is about the perceived quality of the consumers rather than some measurable facts as say for example seat size?

I reminds me of some study I read on Facebook where a Turkish research team asked two hundred men and concluded that guys with a big belly are the best lovers...
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:43
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

Just tried to book a flight to England with KLM. Even with my Blue Card, I was charged SFr. 9.80 for one checked-through piece of baggage. The price is double without being a member.

Air France also charged me for checked-through baggage.
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Old 15.01.2015, 10:45
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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LOL, no wonder that Swiss wins by a margin... given that the average customer is likely to be Swiss and has by default a rather strong bias towards anything which has a cross on it. So the list is about the perceived quality of the consumers rather than some measurable facts as say for example seat size?

I reminds me of some study I read on Facebook where a Turkish research team asked two hundred men and concluded that guys with a big belly are the best lovers...
The seat pitch is included in the ratings. I can't say how many Swiss were included in the survey, but I doubt it's many seeing as it's a UK publication. Which? is the go to consumer magazine for middle aged men up and down the country looking to buy a new lawnmower or satnav.
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Old 15.01.2015, 11:02
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

Lots of interesting posts in this thread, some amusing and some that I could have written myself.

But I thought it worth adding that if your flight involves a European airport (origin, destination, or stopover) and you arrived at your destination
  1. two hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 kilometres or less
  2. three hours or more in the case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres and of all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres
  3. four hours or more in the case of all flights not falling under (a) or (b)
then you are entitled to compensation under EU legislation 261/2004.
  1. EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less
  2. EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres
  3. EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b)
All you have to do is contact the airline, provide the details of the flight and its delay, and state that you wish to claim compensation under 261/2004.

http://www.airpassengerrights.eu/en/flight-delay.html

Word of warning 1: apparently RyanAir are notorious for ignoring this legislation, and invite you to come to a Dublin court with your lawyer and sue them for the money.

In 2012 I had a flight back from Scotland to Zürich, via Amsterdam. The plane was late in taking off (technical fault with KLM's aircraft) so I missed my connecting flight by about 5mins. At the airport they issued me with the details of that night's hotel stay and a EUR 50 voucher for KLM and Air France.

About a year later I found out about 261/2004 and contacted KLM, who then offered me EUR 250 cash or EUR 350 KLM voucher.

I opted for the voucher.

Word of warning 2: it appears that when KLM issue you with a voucher, this is not sufficient to be entered on an online booking form. To get to that stage one must first post the voucher to KLM in order to then get a voucher which can be redeemed.

Lastly, there's no defined time limit on how long ago the delayed flight was, so even if it was 5 or 6 years ago it's worth having a go.
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  #79  
Old 15.01.2015, 11:37
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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... I found the Dutch to be very very cost focussed (while Swiss are completely focussed on perceived quality and Germany is not just geographically right between the two). ..
But cost focussed is not the same as "cheapskate"!

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... So the Dutch were more often than not about finding a "good enough" solution to a problem while the Swiss would find the "best" one regardless of costs.
I disagree with the above. The Dutch people* I have met and got to know very well have been anything but what you describe. It is not even a generational thing. But perhaps it is a region thing - the people I know are mostly from the North of Amsterdam and the Groene Hart areas.

* Ironically the only family I know who is stingy (I mean really stingy) is composed of a German father and a Dutch mother. But then I won't go as far as to say German men are stingy

Anyway back to crappy airlines.
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Old 15.01.2015, 11:51
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Re: Avoid KLM - the flag carrier that think's its a budget airline

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Probably better you missed just these 5 appointments rather than all of the appointments for the rest of your life....


I do think it that way at that time! That is the thought that keep me calmed down during my layover in Amsterdam! .
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