Sunday, February 01, 2009

The unpleasant experience flying with KLM

We were taking KLM Airlines to Malaysia and the whole trip was a mess. We were supposed to travel from Paris to Amsterdam then from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The Airlines were very unorganized. We arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport 6 hours in advance before checking in. There were 3 flights going to Amsterdam within these 6 hours. We managed to check in our luggages immediately so the airlines knew we had arrived. 1 hour before the departure, we were called and informed that our flight to Amsterdam got delayed due to the bad weather thus there was a high chance we would miss our connecting flight to KL and had to spend one night in Amsterdam. The crew told us that we were the only two from this flight traveling to KL and he had no information at all whether this connecting flight would be delayed. Basically, they couldn't contact each other even thought they belong to the same Airlines! All they could advise was hoping that the flight would wait for us, there was no other solution that they could think of. We were very disappointed at that time as there were many things organized once we arrived in Malaysia. It also meant that I could miss the family reunion lunch.

From our flying experiences, the airlines could had:
1. Arranged us to take the earlier flight knowing that we have only 1 hour connecting time in Amsterdam and that the weather was bad. The worst thing was on the screen all flights were marked as to depart on time. We didn't even know the flight would be delayed if the airlines didn't inform us.
2. Gotten in touch with the crew from our connecting flight to know what would be the arrangement knowing that we would be late.
3. Told us which gate we would arrive and which gate our connecting flight depart so that we could rush as fast as we can once arrive.

Not only they didn't do that, they kept telling us that they had no information for us and they could do nothing. Eventually, we left Paris without knowing whether we could make it to KL or we need to spend one night in Amsterdam. I was worried for the whole flight. On top of that, we discovered that there were at least 3 more couples traveling to KL. This enhanced the chance that the flight would wait for us. Luckily, once arrived, there was a flight attendance holding a signboard with our flight number. We were instructed to rush to a gate which was situated at the other end of the airport. Once entered the flight, we were greeted with many unsatisfactory glances as we were making the whole flight waiting for us. It was a very unpleasant experience flying with KLM and it again confirmed a lower quality of customer services with the European flight companies.

Finally arrived in KL after 24h of traveling (bus+train+flights).

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