5.20am and stress levels rising

I don’t really like writing about useless airlines, really I don’t, but they keep giving me all the ammo I need.

Even my wife said to me this morning, ‘why don’t you write something positive?’  And I promise to… next week.  This one is just too good an opportunity to miss.

Here’s the full story.

I’m working in Dallas right now and someone (whom I used to like) recommended that I fly with KLM.  So, I booked tickets, fully flex a couple of months ago.  Something changed, though, and I needed to move the flight by a day.

‘No problem’ said the guy when I rang.  (I have to admit he sounded a lot like Mr van Dijl)  ‘Mishter Lambert, I have to requesht from reticketing a new pryshe, which will take 48 hoursh.  At that time you can call back.’

Which I did, but reticketing hadn’t been in touch.  I called back 48 hours later, same story and then 48 hours later, and again, and again.  It took three weeks to get the reticketing information.

Never mind, though.  Now I had the info I could make the change, which I did.  48 hours later, when I was faithfully promised my new ticket would be issued and nothing had arrived.

‘Not to worry Mishter Lambert’, said Dirk when I called, ‘The changes have been made and I’ll send you a new itinerary.’  Which, being an efficient chap, he did.

Let’s fast forward three days to this morning at the airport.  I couldn’t use on-line check in, although my PC couldn’t tell me why.  So, I fetched up at the airport early and just as well I did.  The lady at check in advised me that there was a request to change my flights but nothing had actually been done about it and I’d have to go to the ticket counter.

Now, bear in mind that ticketing for KLM in Edinburgh Airport is actually operated by Servisair and it was sometime before 5.15am in the morning and you’ll understand that my hopes for getting everything sorted out were pretty low.

To be entirely fair to the Servisair desk (who couldn’t speak to anyone at KLM because they were still in bed) they did get it resolved… I have to say that the lady behind the desk used her initiative.  She didn’t want to.  In fact, she tried everything in the book to avoid using her own discretion, but was forced to in the end.  I made it to the flight with 5 seconds to spare.

What had happened?

Quite simply, the guy who was to make the changes to my booking didn’t actually do anything with my request except write it into the notes on my file (including my credit card details for the change fee, number, expiry date and security code) without sending it to anyone.


Just a little!

Editor note: Mr van Dijl denies ever recommending to anyone to fly with KLM at any time except in desperation. There are good reasons this airline got rid of first class many years ago – people with sense and money preferred to fly quality.

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