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KLM / gross incompetence

1 Netherlands Review updated:

On a recent flight to Cyprus, flown by KLM to Prague and then Czech Airlines to Cyprus, my partner's ticket was checked by the KLM people before boarding. only later to be sent back to Holland because the Czech Airlines stewardess in Prague, the official partners of KLM by the way, said she couldn't read the Dutch on his official papers (he is a foreigner, staying legally in The Netherlands with all the correct papers for it).

KLM have done absolutely nothing about it, saying that they have contracts with their partners making them responsible for dealing with claims. All very cute: take the money, and when things go wrong, leave the customer stranded.

Needless to say, Czech Airlines have not even had the decently to respond to anything I sent. Czech Airlines has always been known in Europe as a third rate airline, but as a regular KLM passenger, I am extremely disappointed with KLM. Now that they need money, they are making everyone a partner, but beware when things go wrong because you will be stuck with the results.

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  • Th
      14th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I purchased tickets for my girlfriend that was going to fly Moscow-Prague-Amsterdam (Czech airlines) and then Amsterdam-Cancun (Martinair, a wholly owned subsidiary of KLM). First, Martinair surprised me when I called them 4 days before the flight to confirm the departure. I was told that my girlfriend called Martinair and cancelled her flight. She didn't. She couldn't have. She doesn't speak any language besides Russian and we both really wanted to go on that trip. After confirming with her that she did not communicate with Martinair, I contacted the airlines and requested to reinstate the ticket.

    Now…, bare with me for a moment… it was hard to have a meaningful conversation with martinair. A Dutch company (martinair) has an office (decision makers) in the USA (that’s where I live!, great!) but… the customers are not allowed to talk to the USA office directly. Instead, the calls go to India, and, I have to talk to someone who never was on a plane or crossed an international border. Very difficult…

    My request to reinstate the ticket was denied at first. Then, they promised to conduct an investigation. Then, after two emails (with a promise to initiate litigation process) and about 3 hours on the phone… they agreed to listen to the tapes of the recorded conversation between the operator and the person who cancelled the ticket. Finally, the ticket was reinstated. Martinair never played the tape back to me and refused to provide a copy. Pretty sure they overbooked their flight and were trying to get rid of some passengers that might have been easy targets (not Dutch, not from western Europe).

    Then, the departure day came. My girlfriend arrived to Sheremetyevo airport (Moscow) to board her flight to Prague-Amsterdam. But (insert the needle-drag sound here) the Czech Airlines representative told her that she could not fly with them because she does not have Schengen visa. This is a total nonsense because transit passengers from Russia do not need Schengen visa. Using logic with the Czech Airlines representative and referring to official documents did not help. Furthemore, the incompetent representative told me on the phone (and in a rude manner too) “I, as a representative of Czech Airlines, have a right to deny flight to anyone and that’s what I’m going to do”. I had to urgently buy another ticket online (thank you Internet!) so that my girl can get to Amsterdam and catch her flight to Cancun. The rest of the trip worked out fine and she did arrive to Cancun but it only happened because (1) I was always on the phone, (2) was willing to pay more, (3) had great experience in travel and (4) dealt with incompetent people before. Project management and legal training paid off!! So, what happened there? Just the stupidity of the representative or was the flight overbooked and they were getting rid of easy targets? If they don’t return the money for new ticket I am going to sue them. Then, they will have to reveal their booking records under subpoena and, if they indeed overbooked, they will not be able to get away with just the ticket refund.

    An attempt to contact Czech Airlines with complaints and ticket refund failed when I tried to use their online form. Then I called the European office and they gave me fax# in Czech republic. Haven’t heard from them yet. My advice to you: stay away from KLM, Martinair, Czech Airlines and anything that’s associated with them.

  • Di
      11th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Do not use Czech Airlines if you can at all avoid it. They are rude, very very rude. All complaints go unanswered. They overcharged me for my ticket and when I asked for refund of the excess - simply told me to speak to my bank. I had no further replies from their Customer Service even though I was promised a reply.

    Under no circumstances buy a ticket with them over the phone. Because apparently the money is taken out of US in US dollars even though on the phone they sell you tickets in your local currency, which is British Pounds in my case and then you get done on the exchange rate. This is absolutely outrageous considering that during my telecon with Czech Airlines operator I asked him at least twice maybe even three times to confirm, which amount I am paying. Lo and behold when I checked my balance it was more.

    I am outraged by this conduct, which is absolutely illegal. Do not under any circumstances use this awful airline.

  • Ta
      15th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Alas it is not only Czech Airlines; I find it even worse that KLM sell you a KLM ticket, make you fly Czech Airlines, then leave you in the dump when something goes wrong.
    Had similar problems, I paid KLM for the flight, not Czech Airlnes and was told to contact them when there was trouble.
    No answers, nothing.
    Avoid Czech Airlines at any cost is my concurring advice with this post above.

  • Ve
      8th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am also very disappointed with Czech airlines. Last April (2010) me and my boyfriend saw an offer on the internet for flights to Prague so thought it was a great opportunity for our dream summer holiday. We went online and tryed to book seats but had some trouble there so we called the offices in our country and said we had some trouble and needed help. The lady said that there was no problem with there program and refused to make the booking for us. Said we had to do it ourselves. We even called in Prague and asked for help but nothing from there either. Anyway after many attempts a couple of days later we managed to book a flight. We had a responce saying that our card was authorised and waiting for ticketing. A few days later another email came in with the flight itenerary saying thank you for booking online. That was in April and our trip was end of july. Silly us (we thought we could trust them) the moment to go was near and we didn't think we should confirm our seats so we arrived at the airport at 1:30 in the morning and completely freaked out when we heared the check in lady say we had no tickets. We started complaining and she sent us to a desk to ask. There the girls said that we had no tickets because they were never issued. The papers we had were not our tickets and the company although they first took the money from the card they returned it witout any notice or explanation. So we ended up buying two last minute very expencive tickets ( double to what we had booked) on the last two seats of the flight, thats ironic don't you think? We though of not going but we had already booked and paid both hotels in C.Z.
    Well of course after coming back we made a complaint that took them ages to answer and again of course it wasn't there fault or the systems and they were sorry for our inconvenience.

  • Mh
      10th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    We enclose acopy of the complaint we send to your damascus office 30102010 un fortunatly we have not reseived any reply
    kindly check the inclosed complaint and let us have your reply soonest possible
    yassin najjar

  • Bi
      31st of Oct, 2013
    0 Votes

    I flew on Czech Airlines back in June. My bag was lost. The airline promised they would call the next day to give me the status of the bag. They never did. Seeing that I was traveling, I had to call from my hotel (phone costs are expensive!). It took Czech Airlines 5 days...FIVE DAY! locate and return my bag. When I submitted receipts for the items I had to buy, they dedicted the costs for the phone calls I had to make to them and then charged me an additional $20 to return my money to me! I emailed the more than 10 times about this issue and keep getting, "Sorry, but our bank charges us $20 to pay you electronically, so we pass that cost along to you, and we don't reimurse phone calls that you had to pay for even through we were incompetent and did not call you as promised". So frustrating. If you fly Czech Arilines, never check a bag. I basically had to pay $40 of my own money to get my luggage returned to me 5 days after my flight. Customer satisfaction is not a priority for them.

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