ZakHH
Topic Author
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Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:01 am

This is kind of the "next episode" to my LH Rant thread. Sabena332 wrote in that thread:

Be glad that you end up on KLM.

Well, I'm not anymore. I don't know – is it perhaps me? Am I expecting too much? Is asking for a reliable service and a good troubleshooting if something goes wrong, is that out of bounds? Well, you are the judge.

So, my wife wanted to fly from ALA to HAM with KL via AMS on friday. ALA – AMS with KL410, AMSHAM with KL1781, ETA HAM 13:50.

Okay, so KL410 was delayed for over 5 hours. Not nice, but okay – shit happens. So my wife was re-booked on KL1783, ETA HAM 17:30. Okay, she didn't catch the flight as passport control took over 30 minutes at AMS. Alright – not KL's fault.

Okay, she didn't catch KL1785 (ETA HAM 18:20) either, because it took some 90 minutes to master the huge queue in front of the KLM transfer desk. Yeah – it's getting a bit nasty now. But here's the good news – at least she caught KL1789 and arrived at HAM at 22:00.

The bad news was – her luggage didn't. Okay, that can happen. So it will arrive with KL1779 on saturday, we will be called and get the suitcase by taxi. No big deal.

Well, we were not called. And the suitcase did not come. So I called KLM's ground handling agent at HAM. The lady apologized for not calling, and the suitcase did not travel with KL1779 as "the plane was full". It will arrive with KL1781, and this time she will really call us.

Well, no one called us. And on top of it, no one answered the phone there anymore upon my call. KLM's German hotline does not work on weekends, and KLM's Dutch hotline does not answer calls on lost luggage. You can only inquire with KLM directly if your luggage still was not delivered after 5 days.

So we drove to the airport (HAM). The baggage claim area was deserted. We went to the airport info desk and got a staff call over the PA. No one showed up.

So we went to the KLM ticket desk. The poor clerk who met us there (okay, I still was surprisingly calm, so he wasn't that bad off) went looking for the Swissport lady and found here in one of the neighbour offices. She forgot to forward her phone there and did not hear the PA call. Okay, shit happens.

She apologized for not calling us (I had a déjà vu) and checked the baggage status. Well, the suitcase did not arrive with KL1781 (no reason given), but it will arrive with KL1783. No, really, she was 100% sure it will arrive. I wasn't however. She promised to call us, but...

... no, this time she did call. Bad news – it was to inform me that I was right. The suitcase did not arrive with KL1783. But it will arrive with KL1789, no, really, that is absolutely for sure. We will be called.

We were called. The suitcase did not arrive. She called AMS baggage cellar. They were not even aware that the suitcase did not fly on friday, and were sure they did not have any items for HAM left in AMS.

I asked her if we were the only problem. She said: no, they have a huge pile of lost baggage with KL and AF right now.

Well, we will receive a call after KL1779 arrived tomorrow. At least she hopes her colleague will call, because she will be off duty tomorrow. I still accept bets, but I can tell you that the odds for "we will be called and informed that our suitcase arrived" are ridiculously low.

So we are sitting here, my wife has close to no clothes left here, as all her summer clothes were in the suitcase (she was travelling for over 4 weeks). It's our first wedding anniversary today, and we wanted to make a trip to Copenhagen, which we can forget now.

Thank you, KLM. Your onboard service is great (pax were served food and drinks by KLM staff at ALA due to the delay – unthinkable with LH), but the rest you f*cked up pretty well.

[/rant]

Cheers
ZakHH
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:05 am

Sorry you had such a bad time. I transited AMS three times this summer on a vacation with my family. Not once did any of our bags get misconnected. However, they did tear off the hangar hook from my rollaboard on the last leg probably by the offload crew at LAX.
 
Floris
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:15 am

Thousands of bags get 'lost' all over the world every day. It can happen on any airline. What if all these people started topics on Airliners.net to whine about their lost bags? Things happen. United lost my bags on a flight from San Francisco to Maui this past Monday. I had to enjoy the beach and the swimming pools without shorts, swimwear, and so on. I didn't like it, but made the best of it...
 
ehho
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:38 am

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
She called AMS baggage cellar

Yeah, they're the ones to blame. Upon my arrival with NW41 from BOM a few weeks ago it took almost two hours for handling folks to locate my case, which was "lost in the cellar". I already gave up hopes, and wondered to what nice places my clothes may have travelled to from BOM, when it finally showed up. "Yeah, it just probably fell off the conveyor belt", the nice KL handling lady said. All's well that ends well I guess, but it's a nuisance still.

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
my wife has close to no clothes left here, as all her summer clothes were in the suitcase



Quoting Floris (Reply 2):
I had to enjoy the beach and the swimming pools without shorts, swimwear, and so on

You know that you can get pretty nice "per day" compensation for your missed bags? Certainly with summer clothes, it should suffice to buy some new ones. I've had a 50$ voucher at JFK for one day, and that was almost ten years ago.
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
 
kappel
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:27 am

Quoting Floris (Reply 2):

I hope the rest of the guests still enjoyed the beach and pool with sitting there without any swimwear or shorts... Big grin
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TK787
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:30 am

This kinda stuff happens all the time, and this is what you do. Start shopping immediately, and enjoy your time and it will be reimbursed by the airline. Last year friends from NY went to Italy for a two week vacation, and LH lost their luggage for 4 days, well did they just sit at the airport and wait for them to show up? No they went to the Amalfi coast, bought some local clothing and charged it all to LH.
 
bluewhale18210
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting TK787 (Reply 5):
This kinda stuff happens all the time, and this is what you do. Start shopping immediately, and enjoy your time and it will be reimbursed by the airline. Last year friends from NY went to Italy for a two week vacation, and LH lost their luggage for 4 days, well did they just sit at the airport and wait for them to show up? No they went to the Amalfi coast, bought some local clothing and charged it all to LH.

Sure, and make sure your jaw doesn't drop when YY airlines tells you that you are only entitled to $50, one time (not per day), payment. It is standard unless the airline feels particularly guilty, you have a good connection, or a communication skill/temper.
I would like to say sorry to ZakHH on behalf of all the L/F guys worldwide...but usually we have what we can work with on hand. If bag is not on certain flight when it is supposed to be, a number of things can go wrong and WE DON'T KNOW. Maybe it fell off the belt. Maybe it's in a section of the bulk hold that rampers neglected to check. Maybe it "fell off the back of a tug". Maybe it missed the transfer. Maybe it was mixed with transit bag and was sent to the next destination. Maybe (god forbid) someone thought the bag looks nice and wanted to see what goodies it has inside, and got rid of the evidence after the act. Maybe (geez I hope not) the bag is just sitting in the cage/storage closet and the L/F staff on duty is either too lazy or too stupid to check if someone was waiting on the other side.

In any case I wouldn't put too important stuff in the checked bag after a tour of duty as L/F. I even traveled with a change of clothes in my carryon just in case...

Hope nothing is missing when you get your bag back...GOOD LUCK!!! Big grin
JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
 
PHKLM
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:12 am

Reminds me of a nice scene in EZE a month or three ago; I arrived on a JJ flight from Brazil and the conveyor belt in the terminal was completely jammed with luggage. I checked all the labels and they were routed BCN via MAD on IB. Typical example of the luggage guys messing up big time - luggage that was supposed to leave EZE ending up in the arrivals hall, where no-one seemed to care  Wink
I know IB is often blamed for their crappy long-haul product (especially in Y), but this was definitely not their fault.
 
TACAA320
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:52 pm

Quoting Floris (Reply 2):
I had to enjoy the beach and the swimming pools without shorts, swimwear, and so on.

Next time try a nude beach  Wink

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 7):
I know IB is often blamed for their crappy long-haul product (especially in Y), but this was definitely not their fault.

Never ever have problems with them.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
ehho
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:01 pm

Quoting Bluewhale18210 (Reply 6):
I even traveled with a change of clothes in my carryon just in case...

Wow... I'm already doing that, always actually. But to hear such advice from an ex-L/F'er.. Thanks for sharing!
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
 
jwenting
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:55 pm

so the flight was delayed. That happens all the time, with all airlines.
Instead of making her wait she was rebooked on another flight, service beyond what KLM is contractually required to give.
Then she due to her own fault of not taking the time needed to pass security into account misses that flight and she's rebooked again, again quite beyond what KLM is required to offer her.

Then she notices her bags are not on the aircraft. Hardly surprising given that she's now been checked in for 3 flights. Most likely they were on one of the other flights and have been stored at the destination in the lost luggage locker waiting to be claimed.
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HB-IWC
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:14 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
Instead of making her wait she was rebooked on another flight, service beyond what KLM is contractually required to give.

As it goes adn contrary to what you say, it seems as if KLM make here wait and rebooked her on the next AMS-HAM connection, womething they were very much under contractual obligation to do!

The B763ERs which ply the AMS-ALA route have been a bit of a pain lately, with multiple delays rippling through the network. The fleet is down to 5 units only, so not much chance of having a replacement aircraft on standby. In the past week, also ATL and THR suffered heavy delays, the latter even over 24 hours.
 
Leskova
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:36 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
Then she due to her own fault of not taking the time needed to pass security into account misses that flight and she's rebooked again, again quite beyond what KLM is required to offer her.

Complete nonsense - as you wrote yourself, she had been rebooked by KLM by this point already, so it was KLM's responsibility to take care that she had enough connecting time. She was travelling on a single ticket, so the connection was clearly part of her booked itinerary; as long as she stayed within the MCT that's published for a connection at AMS (including any, if indeed there are any, exceptions for an ALA-AMS-HAM connection), she clearly and absolutely fulfilled her obligations of the deal.

And, no, rebooking her on another flight is not "beyond what KLM is contractually required to give": the passenger wasn't delayed, it was their flight - so it's clearly and simply up to them to provide the connection (if required, they may even need to rebook passengers on other airlines on this).

As for the rest of your post - since it builds on the completely wrong premise that the passenger is to blame here, the rest of your conclusions follow the same pattern.
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sk601
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:41 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
Hardly surprising given that she's now been checked in for 3 flights

KL uses a automatic rebook tool in order to rebook passengers, except for "difficult" destinations/multiple legs. She missed KL1781 due to late arrival of KL410. Her check-in will be cancelled from KL1781, and the rebook system will check her in on the next available flight, together with her baggage details. The only thing a passenger needs to do is to pick up her boarding pass at the transfer desk (problem is that almost ALL passengers start a discussion about the delay/alternative flight/compensation etc etc, hence the long waiting times at the transfer desks). The airport bagage system will recognize her bag for the alternative flight (regardless what is printed on the the original bagage tag), and the bag will be loaded on the alternative flight.

Problem in this case is that she missed her alternative flight due to immigration procedures. No show at gate = bag will be offloaded. The bag will go to the bagage service center at the bagage department and will be forwarded to the final destination after a PIR is made. Usually this will be the first flight the next day, however "Expedite/rush" bags have a lower priority than "regular" bags. The Swissport lady told that the bag didn't fly because the plane was full (volume reasons or payload restriction), hence the extra delay.

IMO KL can be blamed for lack of communication (although the progress of your lost bag can also be done from your pc, via the KL website, so no need to go to the airport). Most lost bags are re-united with the passenger within 48hrs.

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
because it took some 90 minutes to master the huge queue in front of the KLM transfer desk.

KL has major staff problems and -as stated before- passenger always argue about the rebooking (and they are entitled to do so, but it slows down the process)

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
but the rest you f*cked up pretty well

I guess with "the rest" you mean the handling of the lost suitcase.

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
It's our first wedding anniversary today

congratulations  birthday   champagne 

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
and we wanted to make a trip to Copenhagen

After 4 weeks in ALA, I would love to stay at home, after all: home-sweet-home.
 
lamedianaranja
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:47 pm

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
we wanted to make a trip to Copenhagen, which we can forget now.

Only because she has few clothes?! As pointed out you could receive a compensation from KLM. I would also go to KLM's website and in the lower left corner file a complaint with Customer Support. Just copy and paste your post from a.net!

Then, as it's your first wedding anniversary, I know a way to spend it with no clothes on  Wink
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
ZakHH
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:09 pm

Okay, so first for the update: no, we were not called. No one answers the phone at KLM's ground handling agent at HAM. And according to KLM website's baggage tracing section, the suitcase is currently in BRU and will arrive from there with SN2625 this afternoon at 16:45.

Now for the answers:

Quoting Floris (Reply 2):
Thousands of bags get 'lost' all over the world every day. It can happen on any airline. What if all these people started topics on Airliners.net to whine about their lost bags?

As I wrote: sure, shit happens. Delayed flights, delayed baggage - can happen anytime, anywhere. It is the way things are handled here, that make me upset. No one knows where it is, no one cares, and the customer can see how he handles the situation by himself. As Sabena332 would say: pax are treated as self-loading cattle.

Quoting EHHO (Reply 3):
You know that you can get pretty nice "per day" compensation for your missed bags? Certainly with summer clothes, it should suffice to buy some new ones.

According to KLM's agent in HAM, KLM policy offers a compensation only if you stay at a hotel at the place of destination. If it is a home adress, they suppose you will have some clothes there, so they don't care how you get along without your luggage.

I smell BS with that statement, but as mentioned before, KLM won't accept your complaint before the baggage is delayed for more than 5 days.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
so the flight was delayed. That happens all the time, with all airlines.

As I said.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
Instead of making her wait she was rebooked on another flight, service beyond what KLM is contractually required to give.

Read my post again. They made her wait. She was not rebooked (at least not on the ALA-AMS leg). Anyway, no blame towards KLM here, there were no alternatives.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
Then she due to her own fault of not taking the time needed to pass security into account misses that flight and she's rebooked again, again quite beyond what KLM is required to offer her.

Bullshit. Did you actually read my post, or was the combination of the words "KLM" and "Rant" in the thread title enough to get you go off?

She arrived with her hugely delayed KLM flight at AMS, proceeded to the connecting gate as quickly as she could, and when she arrived there, she was informed that the last bus to the a/c left 2 minutes ago, and gate agents did not intend to call another one just for her and sent her to stand in the transfer desk queue instead.

So exactly where was her fault with this?

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 10):
Then she notices her bags are not on the aircraft. Hardly surprising given that she's now been checked in for 3 flights. Most likely they were on one of the other flights and have been stored at the destination in the lost luggage locker waiting to be claimed.

Same happened to me in FRA several times, and my baggage arrived at HAM even with a transfer time of below 30 minutes in FRA.

I will not even rule out that the bags are in HAM already. Anyway, according to KLM's tracing system, they were in AMS until yesterday night, and right now are in BRU.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 13):
IMO KL can be blamed for lack of communication

Thanks for understanding me!  Wink I am not whining about a delayed flight - that happens. I am not whining about delayed baggage - that happens. I am complaining about lousy communication - no one seems to know where the bags are and when they will arrive. No one calls, no one cares. That is what I call "f*cked up". KLM's attitude is: "So your bags didn't arrive? Well, that's your problem, not ours. Go home and wait until the bags will arrive. Don't give us a call before 5 days are over."

Quoting SK601 (Reply 13):
No show at gate = bag will be offloaded.

I doubt that here, as the mentioned flight actually left AMS 5 minutes early. If offloading would have been required, calling another bus for her when she showed up 22 minutes prior to scheduled departure would have been the far easier solution for KLM.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 13):
congratulations

Thanks!  Smile

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 14):
Only because she has few clothes?!

Indeed, no. Problem #1 was that KLM told us the whole yesterday that the bags will arrive in about 1 hour. Had they told us from the beginning that they have no clue where the bags are, and when they will arrive, it would actually have been better for us.

But to be completely honest, reason #2 was that I am suffering from a flu and we would not have gone anyway. But that was not such nice fuel for my rant, so I left it away above... Big grin

Anyway, sitting the whole day at home waiting for KLM to call was still annoying, to say the least. No matter where we wanted to go.
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Delta777Jet
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:34 pm

I flew this year with KLM some 45 times and there were some really short connections, aircraft changes etc. and my bags got never lost. Depending of course on the time of arrival but I experienced never a longer waiting line than 10 minutes at AMS immigration. When you have a very short connection you should ask people to give way if you want to get the connection. If not you need to wait until next flight which is also fine for some people.
But you are right, Swissport Hamburg sucks. They also handle other airlines where I had baggage complaints and they never returned to me any call. It seems that this is usual practise over there. Last winter they forgot to order de-icing on time and the line for de-icing vehicles was so f.... long that we waited 2 hours, got missed connection in AMS and needed to stay one night thanks to Swissport Hamburg. I read somewhere that this company got even an award from Air France or KLM for good service. In my opinion unbelieveable ! By the way you can save time writing to KLM customer service. Since Air France is in the game they never compensate everything. To them every delay or something unusual is unusual circumstances out of control from the airline. Even if they are short of aircrafts due to the fact that they went to regular maintenance and they need to cancel flights its "beyond the control of KLM".

If everything works well its a nice airline, but if not it is better to be Elite Plus member that you get at least the hotel paid from them.
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ZakHH
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:22 pm

Thanks for the hint, Delta777jet. I indeed considered writing a complaint to customer service. Probably, I'll save the time then.

My wife and me switched from LH to KL some 3 months ago for our frequent route HAM - ALA. In this time, we travelled 4 times, out of which our baggage was lost 3 times. Once, it was delivered the same day (so no big deal), once the next day (which was in ALA, thus understandable as there is only 1 flight per day), and now this.

And I fully agree with you - onboard service with KL is good, far better than with LH. But as soon as something goes wrong, you're pretty lost.

Well, latest update: I just got a call from Swissport HAM. They wanted to inform me that the bags did not arrive with KL1779, and they did not know what would happen next.

I told the lady that according to KLM's online tracing, the bags were in BRU. She was very surprised to hear that, hacked something into her computer and then confirmed what she just learned from me. She then asked her colleague when the next flight from BRU will arrive, but that was only the next thing I already knew.

So let's see what will happen after SN2625 has arrived... Anyway, this time I have a certain feeling that we may see the bags still tonight.
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Delta777Jet
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:53 pm

My guess, is that they have some kind of trainee sitting there in the Lost & Found which can not handle the worldtracer system  Wink Funny that you always had so bad luck with the bags. I would recommend you for next time to use your home adress in ALA, if you can provide one or just take the bags on board ?!? In this case you can claim at least some hundred dollars. But how stupid they are to send them to BRU instead of to HAM ?!? That is amazing.....
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Beaucaire
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:11 pm

I fully understand Zak's anger and don't agree with statements that this happens all the time.Using this argument leaves the door open for all kind of negletive service standards.
He has gone a far way to communicate ,explain and spend time to trace his wife's luggage-yet KLM or Swissport HH seem unabble (or unwilling ?) to do the extra mile....
It happened to me several times to have luggage lost (with several days delay up to completely lost -with min. compensation..)and is some cased the loss of loggage has made my business-trips useless,since it contained documentation,slides,give-aways and business-support stuff impossible to carry onboard.No airline ever will compensate you for loss of business-meeting due to delayed arrival of luggage.Buta that's what's happening not only to me but to others as well.
I can -at best-understand unsolved luggage probems with Low-Cost's -but serious network-carriers have to improve tremendously.
Please respect animals - don't eat them...
 
ltbewr
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:36 pm

And people wonder why many pax want to carry on huge bags instead of checking in. With the liquid restrictions as to the USA greater use of check in luggage from that and other carry on restrictions (especially until recently in the UK) I wouldn't be surprised at more checked luggage problems.
Still, you seemed to be the victim of a real series of failures of good service. Two points I would make are: did you make sure they put the right luggage destination tag on your bags and did you put good personal ID tags outside and inside the bag. Those things can often make a difference in you bags ending up with you.
 
ZakHH
Topic Author
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:54 pm

Yeah, bags are tagged.

Seems I really attract bad luck. I mean, I don't even fly that much. Perhaps 10-15 travels each year. But in the last year, I had:

- 1 return & emergency landing at FRA due to technical probs,
- 1 hugely delayed flight due to a catering truck having rammed our a/c at FRA,
- 1 odyssey with several flight changes and a huge delay, thanks to LH really screwing things up at HAM,
- 1 incident of almost getting stuck at FRA because the gate agent at MRU used the wrong ticket upon departure (d'oh!), so I found myself in FRA with a valid ticket for MRU-FRA, but no ticket for FRA-HAM, and the last flight of the day leaving in a couple of minutes,
- 1 incident of getting stuck in HEL due to a cancelled flight,
- 4 incidents of delayed baggage (though 3 were no big deal).

I think I'll open a thread where I'll announce all my future flights, so you folks have enough time to change your schedules if needed... Big grin

Seriously, none of the incidents was really that bad. And it's all stuff that happens regularly, no doubt about it (except for the stupid mistake of the MRU agent, perhaps). But I would not object if the next year would just bring on a couple of flights with nothing to write home about.
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halls120
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:04 am

Quoting Floris (Reply 2):
Thousands of bags get 'lost' all over the world every day. It can happen on any airline. What if all these people started topics on Airliners.net to whine about their lost bags? Things happen. United lost my bags on a flight from San Francisco to Maui this past Monday. I had to enjoy the beach and the swimming pools without shorts, swimwear, and so on. I didn't like it, but made the best of it...

Yes, bags get lost all the time. But when an carrier is completely inept in locating the missing bag, there is no excuse.

Here's my contribution.

We left IAD for EDI through LHR on 9/12 - IAD-LHR on United, LHR-EDI on British Midland. When we arrived at Edinburgh the morning of the 13th, one of our bags was missing, so we filed the proper paperwork with British Midland, a carrier I will NEVER fly again.

At 4pm on the 13th, we called the BMI call center (outsourced, of course) to see if our bag had been located. We were told "we don't start looking for the bag until it has been missing 24hrs." Figuring that was BS, I called the UA baggage service desk in Chicago, where a very nice person (who ultimately saved our vacation) said that's ridiculous, and accessed our claim and advised us that indeed the bag had not been found, but it WAS being looked for. At 9am on the 14th, we called BMI again, and this time were told that the bag was still missing, and that "we don't start looking for the bag until it has been missing 48hrs."

At 4pm on the 14th, still no bag, and no word from BMI. So I called UA once again, and the same person from the day before again checked our file, and advised me that a bag matching the description of our missing bag was in custody of BMI at Heathrow, but had no identification on it - only a UA tag with no name or address. She suggested that we go back to EDI, and ask the BMI people there to call their colleagues at Heathrow to open the bag and check its contents. So it was back to the airport we went.

At EDI, we explained our dilemma to the baggage office agent. We told her what the UA agent advised, but at first she resisted, saying all she could do is send a telex to LHR. After begging her to make the call, she finally did, and lo and behold, after the Edinburgh agent begged her Heathrow colleague to open the bag in question, it was indeed our missing bag. Everything solved, you think? Of course not!

The agent advised us that the bad would either be on the 10pm arrival, or the first flight in the next morning. We decided not to make the trip out until 9:30 am on the 15th, guessing that they might not be able to get it on the late flight. Good thing, because not only was it not on the 10pm flight, it wasn't on the first flight of the day on the 15th. Or the second. At which point we again asked the baggage office to call London. They did, and were told they would "try to get it on a flight that day." ONE BAG, and they would TRY??? At this point, I demanded to speak to the BMI Station Manager, and after explaining all of the above, asked him what we needed to do to get our bag - drive down to London? He apologized profusely, called London, and FINALLY the BMI staff at Heathrow put it on the next flight to EDI.

Bottom Line? Only because United still believes in customer service did we find the bag, and through driving out to the airport and demanding that people actually LOOK for the bag, did we get it. I am convinced that if we hadn't gone to the effort we did, that bag would have never been found, and instead been sent off to the warehouse where lost baggage and contents are sold.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
ZakHH
Topic Author
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:33 am

That is a good example, Halls120. Mistakes happen all the time, no big deal about that. But it's the way they are handled that make the difference. In your situation, UA did care, while BD couldn't care less about whether they just ruined your holidays or not.

Same with KL in my story. There is no one you can adress. Nobody cares. They generously allow you to contact them if your bags did not show up again after 5 days. Until then, you can see how you solve the problem which they caused. And according to Swissport, KL / AF causes a lot of these problems these days.
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halls120
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:52 am

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 23):
That is a good example, Halls120. Mistakes happen all the time, no big deal about that. But it's the way they are handled that make the difference. In your situation, UA did care, while BD couldn't care less about whether they just ruined your holidays or not.

Agree. Bags get "lost" all the time, but it is how an airline responds that makes a difference.

This wasn't the first time I've been saved by United's Chicago CSR's. If UA ever outsources that office, that will be a dark day.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
trojanAE
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:40 am

Quoting EHHO (Reply 3):
You know that you can get pretty nice "per day" compensation for your missed bags? Certainly with summer clothes, it should suffice to buy some new ones. I've had a 50$ voucher at JFK for one day, and that was almost ten years ago.



Quoting TK787 (Reply 5):
This kinda stuff happens all the time, and this is what you do. Start shopping immediately, and enjoy your time and it will be reimbursed by the airline. Last year friends from NY went to Italy for a two week vacation, and LH lost their luggage for 4 days, well did they just sit at the airport and wait for them to show up? No they went to the Amalfi coast, bought some local clothing and charged it all to LH.



Quoting Bluewhale18210 (Reply 6):
Sure, and make sure your jaw doesn't drop when YY airlines tells you that you are only entitled to $50, one time (not per day), payment. It is standard unless the airline feels particularly guilty, you have a good connection, or a communication skill/temper.

Trust me, KLM will NOT reimburse you for lost luggage, at least not if you are a Y class passenger. I fly AMS-LAX every summer and KLM always manages to lose my luggage. The same thing happened to me 7 or so years ago with British Airways, and as someone pointed out, these things will happen. BA however gave me and each member of my family $100 vouchers. The past 3 years every single time I fly KLM loses my baggage and every time I ask for reimbursement they say no, not unless you write a letter to the company or something and even then it's very iffy. The baggage staff at LAX told me that KLM routinely looses baggage and that they have more problems with that flight ( KL 601) than any other. I'm not blasting the airline, a KLM flight is usually quite a pleasant experience, but the baggage policy might need some revamping. The last 2 trips I made were with NW, connecting to L.A. through Detroit, so you would think there's even more places to lose the baggage but it has gotten there on time. Plus I looooove NWA's new 330's - beautiful aircraft, so pleasant to fly in even in Y class, and the in-flight personal entertainment system is absolutely spectacular. Makes time go by that much faster. Wish KLM started putting their T7s on the AMS-LAX route. If I understand correctly, they have IFE monitors in every seat as well.
"My soul is in the sky." -William Shakespeare
 
sk909
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:59 am

thousands of bags get "lost" every dag. Don't whin... Get over it.
And yes it is annoying, but that's the game. Don't like it? Don't fly!
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StarGoldLHR
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:07 am

Thats why you should have travel insurance.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
PHKLM
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:08 am

Quoting TrojanAE (Reply 25):
Wish KLM started putting their T7s on the AMS-LAX route. If I understand correctly, they have IFE monitors in every seat as well.

KL has PTV in both its 777's and 330's; this is a very decent Y product.
The 744 and M11 are and will be the two long-haul birds not equipped with PTV for the coming 10 years or so. I agree this is pretty poor for an airline like KLM; although at the moment matched by LH and IB's offering in Y.

KL is very prone to delays due to high utilization rates and steady rate of M11's that go tech.
That KL looses a lot of luggage is no secret, they rank pretty high in every list you come across. Futhermore the airline caused the largest accident in history- excluding 9/11
So much for "the Reliable Airline"  duck 
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:19 am

Quoting SK601 (Reply 13):
(problem is that almost ALL passengers start a discussion about the delay/alternative flight/compensation etc etc, hence the long waiting times at the transfer desks).

Also the fact that most of the transfer desks at SPL are unmanned at the moment - or at least they were the last 3 times I went through. Pretty poor service for an airport that has such a high proportion of transit pax.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
sk601
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:29 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 29):
Pretty poor service for an airport that has such a high proportion of transit pax.

The airport is not to blame, it's KLM, as I said in another reply, KL has major problems getting and KEEPING staff/agents.

Transferdesk 1: doesn't exist anymore (looong time ago in the B-pier)
T2: Schengenarea, near C-pier. Left counter KL, open from 06.00-22.00. Right counter Star A + others
T3: doesn't exist anymore, used to be located in the Schengenarea, D-pier, near C-class lounge.
T4: KLM, located next to D41, open 06.00-20.00, but will close in case of staff shortage
T5: mainly Oneworld + some other airlines, KL used to be at T5 but now closed due to no staff available
T6: KLM, located next to E3, open 05.30-22.30, + some other airlines like MP/CX/LY
T7: doesnot exist (??)
T8: next to gate F3, used to be a KL counter, but closed due to staff shortage, now in use by some Asian carriers.
T9: near gate G2, Star Alliance, DL, CO and a few others.

Quoting TrojanAE (Reply 25):
The last 2 trips I made were with NW, connecting to L.A. through Detroit, so you would think there's even more places to lose the baggage but it has gotten there on time

If you connected through AMS to the DTW flight, then at least KL did it right this time, since baggage handling for NW is done by KL. but:

Quoting TrojanAE (Reply 25):
the baggage policy might need some revamping

   , correct, but not only the policy, but more the baggage handling.

Quoting TrojanAE (Reply 25):
Wish KLM started putting their T7s on the AMS-LAX route.

For summer 2007, KL is planning a second AMS-LAX flight, KL603, operated with B777, leaving AMS at 08.10am. If you connect from VNO, you can only take this flight if you arrive the evening before in AMS, but the return (KL604) might be an option, arriving in AMS 12.20pm.

Quoting SK909 (Reply 26):
Don't like it? Don't fly!

This is too easy. Airlines (including KL) promise all kind of nice things in their commercials/ads. Passengers need to comply with their rules (be on time, pay your ticket on time, baggage allowance, be at the gate at that time and so on) No problem for me, the least that I expect is that they do what they say, and the least is to put my bag on board of the same plane, and in case this is not possible -short connection due late arrival, baggage sorting system breakdown or whatever- I expect them to get my bag delivered ASAP and give me GOOD and HONEST information. I rather have them say, "We don't know", than a false statement, "you will get it tomorrow".

[Edited 2006-09-25 07:30:17]
 
trojanAE
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:54 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 28):
KL has PTV in both its 777's and 330's; this is a very decent Y product.

Totally agree, even in the 744s I found KLMs Y product to be superior to Lufthansa's, although I haven't flown LH in about 5 years, so that may have changed.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 30):
you connected through AMS to the DTW flight, then at least KL did it right this time, since baggage handling for NW is done by KL. but:

 checkmark 
Perhaps they've gotten better. Or maybe it has something to do with the different flight times. Maybe KL601 leaves at a more congested time than the NW flight making it more difficult to load and transfer baggage on time.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 30):
For summer 2007, KL is planning a second AMS-LAX flight, KL603, operated with B777, leaving AMS at 08.10am. If you connect from VNO, you can only take this flight if you arrive the evening before in AMS, but the return (KL604) might be an option, arriving in AMS 12.20pm.

I would love that. Besides for the fact that it would be my first T7 flight, I, among many others, believe the triple seven in KLM's color scheme is a stunningly gorgeous aircraft. It would indeed be difficult to connect from VNO however. Perhaps I'll save up some extra money for next summer and spend a few days exploring Amsterdam and then take the 8am B777 flight. Now that would be a trip worth remembering.
 Big grin
"My soul is in the sky." -William Shakespeare
 
Elite
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:51 pm

Glad we can bring our laptops on board now, wouldn't fancy losing my luggage which contained my laptop...
 
SA7700
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:34 pm

Not on KL, but SA... I came in from HKG this morning, made a wild dash from international arrivals to domestic departures in order to re-check my luggage. I made the earlier flight, my luggage did not. I am happy to report that my suitcase was just delivered by SA ground personnel at my home.  Smile


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
ZakHH
Topic Author
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RE: Lousy, Lousy Baggage Handling, KLM! (Rant Warning)

Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:01 am

Quoting SK909 (Reply 26):
Don't like it? Don't fly!

For the x-th time - prob is not the lost bags, prob is how it is handled by the airline.

Anyway, as for the happy end: last night I reached the same lady at Swissport HAM who took care of this matter all along. She apologized a 1000 times for her colleague not having called us earlier.

Indeed, the bag did arrive with the SN flight, but it took Swissport HAM over 4 hours to get it to us. Anyway, it arrived late last night, dirty but undamaged, so everything is fine now.

I really don't envy the Swissport staff. They are the ones who take all the blame. I asked the lady how many items that were lost by KL they had to handle that weekend. She didn't have exact figures, but spoke of 3-digit numbers.

Seems that the whole baggage of KL1789/22 was mis-directed to BRU, while a significant lot directed to CDG ended up in HAM. (Wonder where the BRU baggage may have ended up.)

If you take a look at the working hours of the Swissport employee - she was at the airport on friday at 22.00 when my wife arrived. She was there from at least saturday 11.00 (when I called first time) until 23.30 (when she called me last time). And she was there from at least sunday afternoon to sunday late night. Nice weekend shift...

Anyway, I fully agree on KL seriously having to do something about the baggage handling reliability. This may not be representative, but 3 delays with 4 flights is a bit much, as fas as I'm concerned. Their doubtlessly great onboard service cannot make up for that.
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