My name is Diana Moreno Averhoff, and I'd like some guide on an issue occurred in Panama, August 5th of the present year with KLM airlines.
My itinerary was Costa Rica - Panama - Amsterdam - Stockholm. Once I arrived in Panama, my flight with Copa Airlines was a little bit late, however we were quickly located on the gate to take the flight to Amsterdam operated by KLM.
Some questions were made to me, for example where in Sweden I was going, my relationship with the person waiting for me, to which I replied it was a citizen of Sweden and a friend, and they kept on asking if that person was 'only my friend' which I didn't find relevant to answer, and since when I knew him. As long s I'm concerned, that information must be asked once I am on the UE and if it was in Panama it had to be asked by some migratory entity, not the airline itself.
They asked me for an invitation letter, which I had, and they said it was nothing without the copy of the passport of the person who was invited me.
Also asked me how much money I had. As long as I'm concerned a minimum of 520 Euros is asked, I had more than that amount but they never counted my money and didn't show any interest on helping me. When they insisted I didn't have enough money, I told them I could contact my family if they allowed me so I could get a transfer to my international debit card and once they did (less than 5 minutes) I could show them the funds they were asking for. They denied the help and a phone call.
I understand the requirements to travel to the UE, however they treated me bad, disrespectfully, even laughing and making jokes while I patiently was waiting for some answer and politely answer to all their questions. In your website there's a section where you can enter your origin country, connection country and final destnation and the requirements for the trip are listed. If I enter such information what I get is:
- Passport and/or passport replacing documents must be valid
Visa required, except for A max. stay of 3 months:
- for nationals of Costa Rica;
- Visitors must hold visible means of support and need to hold
required documents (i.e., passport and where required, a
visa) for return or onward journey.
I had all the documents required with me, but even like that, they denied me to take my flight to Amsterdam. That was at 8:05 pm and they didn't provide me any information, an employee came with an offer of some hotel, they didn't even say they would cover the transportation, and said I had to pay for the hotel, which to my opinion, was not a thing I had to pay for, since I was traveling with all I needed. They denied everything that they could help me with, including to provide me with a fax number or an email where my contact in Sweden could send the scanned copy of their passport that they were requiring from me.
They blamed the other airline when I replied it wasn't my whole fault what was happening, and told me that next day I had to talk to Information on the airport at 7 am, and they said their shift was over, I had to look for them on a coffee shop because they left me sitting on the waiting room without saying anything to me. Told me they would be back next day at 2 pm but that I could find personnel at the airport around 10 am, which wasn't true, since next day I asked and I got informed that they were there around 6pm, because they only operated the Amsterdam flight.
I asked for some written document if they wanted to send me back to my country, to specify the reason why, they said there was nothing they could do if I didn't know about the rules to enter the UE, to which I replied I had knowledge of them, one of the ladies asked me very impolitely if this was my first travel.
They all were very rude to me, and I don't understand, if I am a customer on that airline, at least I deserve a concrete explanation and a little bit of help, because after all I'm the person paying for their services.
They knew my ticket was non refundable or subject to changes, however they told me I could fly next day if I had all that they asked me for, I don't understand why they lied to me. I got that information when I called the KLM offices in Panama, a lady tried to help me but said that my ticket was blocked with a note saying that I had incomplete documentation. I was stuck for 24 hours to hear that in the end. And the day before they even had taken my boarding pass and told me to go sleep to a hotel, knowing if they had my boarding pass it means I'm not able to come back to the airport later, however, an officer got my boarding pass back and gave it to me. I didn't have any idea of where my baggage was, they didn't help me at all.
I'm very disappointed, because after all I had to pass through on a country which wasn't mine, under their "rule" saying I had to pay $250 for staying in Panama because of their fault which in the end I found out I didn't have to pay, I came back to my country thanks to the help of Copa Airlines, they didn't charge any fee to me because they said I had a ticket back for August 20th and I was able to use it to come back on that day.
When I came to my country I discovered that KLM in Panama said that the reason I couldn't travel was because I didn't have a ticket back, which was an absolute lie. Since I had my ticket with me and I still have it here as a proof I acquired a round trip.
I expect an answer from them, because I believe I have been victim of an abuse from part of the personnel of their airline. They promote on their website that
"Compensation for flight disruptions and denied boarding: at KLM, we pride ourselves on providing a punctual, reliable service to all our passengers. If your flight is overbooked, canceled or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation"
So I hope I can get a prompt answer to my very bad experience, because I know they are a big airline and they should also give their customers support.