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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines / terrible klm flight

1 Madison, WI, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Dear KLM Authority,

I want to describe you what I have experienced during my flight with your airline 5 weeks ago. I had a flight from Chicago to Istanbul through Amsterdam on December 20th, 2007 (KL 612 from Chicago to Amsterdam and KL1613 from Amsterdam to Istanbul). My first flight from Chicago to Istanbul was delayed about an hour and after a long trip, I arrived to Amsterdam on December 21st, 2007 at 09:20AM. I had a seat next to the exit and when the door was opened, a KLM representative announced that Istanbul passengers should not waste their time in the airport and should immediately go to their gate because the plane was waiting for them. Meanwhile, the original flight time of Istanbul plane was 09:05AM. After that announcement, I ran to my gate but I realized that the plane has already left the gate more than 15 minutes ago which meant that the previous announcement was completely wrong. Following, I went to the transfer point in the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to reschedule my flight. However, due to delays, there were more than 200 people in line before me. I waited in the line more than 2.5 hour and finally, I requested a ticket to Istanbul. However, your representative was so rude and he tried to give me a ticket next day although I have explained that I came from a long trip (from Chicago). In addition, I knew that your airline had a flight on that day at 9:00PM. She, your representative, did not rebook me to that plane. I was given a ticket next day at 6:45AM. Following, I realized that no hotel reservation was made for me. Then, I wanted to talk with the director of her whose name was M.J. Schot and he was also rude and told me that they could not make a reservation because I missed the plane due to weather conditions. But that was completely a lie because my flight was not canceled and there was not even a delay for my flight. Although I discussed with him and your representative on the desk, they did not make a reservation for me and finally, they told me that I had to wait in the airport for the next day flight, exactly 21 hours. I was so irremediable and started to find a comfortable chair to sleep after coming from Chicago. After 13 hours in the airport, I wanted to check my ticket for the next day and realized that ticket was to Paris, France and from Paris to Istanbul. But I could not fly to Paris because I did not have a Schengen Vise. I am a Turkey citizen and your representative and Mr. Schot saw my passport and they did not even asked if I have a vise. I am sure that that behavior was intended and it was not a mistake. Because I definitely believe that your representatives know that a passenger without Schengen vise may not fly to Paris. Then, I went to your desk about 09:00PM, as I said before after I waited more than 13 hours in the airport. Then, I waited in the line 2.5 hours, again and an announcement was made by your representatives. They stated in the announcement that they would close the desk and would open at 6:00AM next day. After 13 hours, I had no ticket because Paris ticket was not valid for me without a Schengen vise. I stayed overnight in front of the desk during night because there were hundreds of people. Of course, I could not sleep in front of the desk on the floor. Next day, at 6:15AM I was talking with another representative from your company and was stating that I had been waiting more than 21 hours in the airport and I wanted to change my ticket because I could not fly to Paris. After her answer, I was shocked again because she told me there was no available place for me in the Istanbul flight at 9:00AM. Thus, she gave me a piece of paper and I had to give that paper to another stewardess in the gate and he/she may give me a seat if someone else would miss that flight. At that time, I was so tired, their behavior was discreditable. Then, I waited more than 2 hours in front of the gate and gave that paper to the stewardess and again, waited an hour more. Finally, after all passengers went aboard, I was told that I could also enter to the plane because there was an available seat for me. Could you imagine how it was stressful and burdensome to wait an additional an hour in the gate after exactly 24 hours in the airport without knowing whether I could fly to Istanbul in that plane. I request you to compensate that terrible story and your faults in the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. I will be waiting for an immediate answer for my letter.

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  • An
      18th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    You can wait forever for an exuse or compensation. KLM staff are the rudest and most arrogant of all airline staffmembers. I am not sure what kind of client service training is offered by KLM to their staffmembers but the handbook used must read something like:
    "Rule No.:1, the client is a pest and should be handled with utmost disgust, be as horrible as you possibly can be and never forget, you might be a trolly dolly but you're still better than the average business flyer. Those flying KLM economy should by default be treated with utter contempt"

    Only a clause like that explains the attitude of one of the worst non low cost airlines in the world.

    They call themselves the reliable airline, and indeed, you can rely on being treated like dirt when flying with them.

  • Zo
      22nd of May, 2008
    0 Votes


    Here's my story about KLM:

    KLM's "Compensation for flight disruptions and denied boarding". It says: "In the unlikely event that you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled, or your flight is delayed for more than two hours, we will provide compensation and assistance relative to the specific situation. In such situations, we pay special attention to children traveling unaccompanied, physically challenged passengers and visually impaired passengers."

    The way I was treated is not in accordance with what is stated there... don't believe everyhting that KLM says in their nice brochures and articles.

    Original route was BUD-Schiphol-CTU. It happened still in mid January 2008. Connecting flight at Schiphol was missed, I was rerouted to Beijing. My baggage was lost because of the rerouting. In Beijing I had to wait 8 hours even though there were at least 2 codeshared KLM flights from Beijing to Chengdu during the 8 hours, I could see it on the display. I tried to contact KLM office at Beijing airport but it was closed at 3 PM. Communication in China is kind of hard if you only speak English. I was left there completely alone without any assitance form KLM. Finally after waiting 8 hours, I could fly to Chengdu around 11PM. About 5 days later my baggage arrived to the Chengdu airport (without the tag that was sticked to it at check-in, they could only guess that it was my suitcase). I had to go to the CTU airport myself to pick it up, they were not willing to deliver it.

  • Kk
      16th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree that KLM has appalling human relaionship with their customers, particularly their filght to West Afircan - precisely Ghana. My recent two flights to Ghana this year have put me off to travel with the airline again. My complain logged to them in early May this year has been ignored.

  • On
      16th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    Thank God! I have stopped flying with KLM since last year for the same reason as the above stories. My best experience is with Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific.
    However, I admire the Dutch Soccer Team. Hup Hup ORANJE.


  • C
      8th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    after 2 denied boarding in the last month (airplain overbooked) will send a complaint to the CEO. Not that I expect any answerr, however if nobody is complaining...

  • Ca
      15th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have just had an awful experience with KLM. They are the worst airline I have ever used and I would advise everyone to never use them unless you want the same experience. I booked a return trip from Bristol (connection in Amsterdam) to Rome. We checked in very early at Bristol and waited until our flight cam up on the board. We then watched while it got delayed more and more. When we finally boarded the flight was 1hr 50 minutes late. We then had to wait another 45 mins on the plane because we had apparently lost our time slot to fly.

    On eventually arriving into Amsterdam we found our flight had not left so we thought we should try and make it, especially considering the transfers queue was huge and we really didn't want to spend the first night of our holiday in Rome, in Amsterdam airport. When we asked the woman on the boarding desk about our luggage, she replied very rudely and I was already very upset because I knew our luggage wasn't travelling with us.

    We made the flight, though again we were left sitting there for ages before it left and we told it was because someone had turned the electricity off and it needed another 10 minutes to get going. We finally got to Rome obviously much later than we expected and we then had to go to baggage claim. What a load of good that did us, a telephone number and a really crappy duty care pack, what a joke!!!

    We had to wait 3 days for our luggage in the end and no KLM representative bothered phone to check we had received it ok. In that 3 days we phoned the KLM handling agent over 30 times and twice I got through only to be told phone back in 10 minutes as we don't speak english and someone who does will be back then. I would call back then and someone would just hang up. Another time a woman just shouted pronto at me! We spent loads of money to replace our essentials.

    On the way back from Rome again our flight was delayed and we had to wait another hour. Then from Amsterdam to Rome our flight was delayed, but not by as much luckily, as our patience was wearing thin by then. On our way back however we had to sit next to an annoying and very drunk ukrainian guy. Who let him on I never know.

    And the food on every flight was not edible, it was absolutely disgusting!! And oh my the staff were so sourfaced!! No way am I ever flying with KLM again!!

  • Sa
      5th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    we not arrive at aiport were supposed to travel with klm 4 weeks ago me my family went to check in the lady at desk said we cannot checkin as one more member did not us that we were late arrive at airport we finally went to check in 1 hour left the lady said gate is closed you cannot go through she did not help us in any way we finally went to manager he kept on blaming us as it was our fault and said he cannot do anything about their were 8 peopl traveling 3 people were in wheelchairs andeven special assistance knew that we were their and the staff told him even we have to wait to check in eventually we had to book with another travel operative which cost us another load of money i would like klm to reinburse me and my family the money we lost and offer some kind compensation to me and my family and it ruined our holiday and enjoyment.

  • Ph
      26th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Must say I flew KLM many times between 1970 and 1990 when I worked abroad . Was a good airline then.
    However I booked them for our 30th wedding anniversary trip to the USA recently. while the Holiday was great, KLM was not. Cramped, dirty, abrupt staff, and what is this thing about separating couples on the plane? we could not sit next to each other and when my Wife became airsick I had a hell of a job trying to help her as the seating seemed to be designed by a firm making Sardine cans..
    will never fly with them again!!!

  • Ja
      24th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    My name is James, and I don't intend to hide it. I had plans for visiting my home country using KLM. My flight was to originate from Japan on 23 December 2010. I prepared my luggage based on information provided at At the airport I met very rude checking in attendants who denied me my flight. Their reasons were based on current baggage rules yet my ticket was issued before 28 March 2010. As you may realize from KLM home page there are rules for tickets issued before the above date and after that date. I intend to innate a court action in Yokohama and anyone willing to join me initiate legal actions against these bad monster can join me.. If you are in Japan let us join hands. We need not have suffered these kinds of treatment.

  • Kl
      2nd of Mar, 2012
    0 Votes

    I was injured during a flight on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. I received no help from this airline after the injury. I have made a short video, which is not in detail but outlines my story. I have been trying for over 3 years now to get help from KLM but with no success. I want my story to reach the public. KLM really do do not know how to treat their customers. We should make it known to them that without us, they have no business!

    My video:

    Thank you for watching!

    In GOD I Trust

  • Iv
      17th of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    On May 08/2012.My Loving Mom frail 78 years was coming to meet us From India .We were so anxious.We talked to so many airlines but decided KLM.Made sure that you will take care.Alas made a wrong choice.Requested wheel chair assistance all the way.She did not get it anywhere. Air-hostesses allowed her to walk .This is nothing, at the Calgary airport she was handed all her belongings and left on the escalator where she fell and injured her head. Was taken to hospital .Nobody informed although telephone and contact numbers were there.Gross negligence.She was taken to hospital ER bleeding.I was left breathless and was like HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!! She is OLD .Was that because she is brown you didn't care to help her.I am not sleeping till I resolve this and fire that person who left her at the ESCALATOR.Only a ###ed person can do that.I want you to initiate the inquiry ASAP.I am calling KLM office they transfer my calls to manager but they hang up??

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