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COMPLAINT: Nightmare Coalition Delta/KLM/Air France

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Old Sep 18, 2013, 6:27 PM
shonabby shonabby is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1

Our Booking Ref # was 7BEHDG. My wife and I were looking forward to our trip to Africa and Amsterdam for a year. Approximately 1 month Before the trip, my wife herniated four discs in her back. In order to make the flights more endurable, I went online to upgrade all of the seats I could to Comfort Economy. I couldn't finalize it online, so a KLM agent helped me on the phone. I spent about an addition $1000 to upgrade 6 seats, 3 flights, for about $189 per seat.The agent immediately emailed me an official KLM seat and flight confirmations with the new seats, a "CONFIRMED" appearing after eat flight.

When we arrived at JFK, the nightmare began. At the Delta check-in, the agent said we only had the old seats in the back. I showed her not only the email confirmation with my upgraded seats, but the bank transaction print outs proving we paid for the seats. She refused to budge, and treated my wife and myself as an annoyance. I got angrier, and finally, she got a supervisor, which took about 20 minutes to get for me, because the supervisors were in "a meeting". The supervisor was just as arrogant, as if we were giving them a hard time, just because we wanted the seats we paid for, as if WE were the problem. Finally, after so much stress and trouble, they gave us the seats we paid for. Consequently, on the plane, we actually happened upon the couple who paid for the same seats, but were displaced. They weren't as fortunate, and had to sit separately.

If this was the only problem, I would not be writing this letter. The next leg of the journey, Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, had the exact same problem. The agent was friendlier, and more apologetic, and finally was able to get us two upgraded seats together, though not the 2 I paid for. We also had to stand in a long line at the Amsterdam airport in order to resolve this leg of the journey, and we had extreme stress and unease until the problem was resolved. While waiting for our flight, we, again, met two unhappy KLM travelers, who had paid for upgrades, and had to endure a huge hassle to get what they paid for.

But, our problems did not end there. Kilimanjaro to Amsterdam, we paid for 12 A and B, window and aisle seat. What we got was center aisle and the seat next to that, with me in between 2 people, for the 11 hour flight. The people next to us had paid for upgrades, too, but in order to get the seats next to us, the flight attendants had to rearrange the seats of, and depend on the benevolence of some random passengers for the husband and wife to sit together. They told us when they got on the plane, their seats were way in the back (they hadn't checked the boarding passes), even though they paid for economy upgrade.
Returning on Air France from Amsterdam-Paris-JFK, continued the nightmare. The night before our flight, I attempted to check in. I was able to obtain the boarding confirmation for the flight from Amsterdam to Paris, but was told I would have to check in at the kiosk in Amsterdam for the Paris-JFK leg of the journey. At the Amsterdam airport, I was unable to check in at the kiosk. I then waited in line to speak to an agent. She told me they could not issue the passes from Amsterdam, and that IO would have to wait until I got to the gate at Paris. This seemed odd, but what could I do? When we arrived in Paris, we had to go through Customs, sans boarding passes, which was very weird and unnerving. We went to our gate, and no one was there. My wife waited with our carry-ons, while I frantically searched for an agent. Running back a long distance, I found an agent who lookerdd at my email confirmation, and proceeded to tell me we had no seats on our flight. She offered me good seats on the next flight, which we declined. I insisted we be given our seats. after about 15 minutes, and out boarding time quickly approaching, she arrogantly told me the agent was now at our gate, and she would take care of us. Running back to the gate, I found no agent there. My wife and I were approaching panic mode, when an agent came. After re-explaining, she got us two seats on the flight to JFK.
But, when we arrived in NY, our bags were not on the flight. They said it must have been a computer glitch, but I am certain it had something to do with our not "officially" having assigned seats in the computers, until 10 minutes to boarding. We filed the lost baggage form.
Almost 48 hours later, at about 12:15 AM, our bags finally came. The nightmare had officially ended.
I must complain about the horrible way passengers are treated in this unholy alliance of Delta-KLM-Air France. They screwed up every stage of our travels, and treated us like annoyances each time we stood up for what we had paid for. This would not be allowed to happen in any other business. They treat you like garbage, and get away with it because they pass you along with false promises of getting it resolved at the next city, or next gate, or next phone call. Speaking to several equally poorly treated customers, I know this is not accidental. I am not a natural complainer, but, in this case, some compensation is most definitely due my wife and myself. What do we do?

My wife and I are serious, experienced travelers, taking two large vacations every year. We know what should be. Obviously, this problem is pervasive, and systemic. Delta/KLM/Air France seriously put a damper on our vacation, each step of the way, causing worry and stress each time, until the seating was resolved. Sometimes it wasn't. My wife and my documented medical condition (my heart condition and her back problems) had no affect on the airline's hollow attempts to resolve the matter. This wasn't just an inconvenience, it is unbelievably terrible business practice.

If ever it was called for, some sort of compensation is definitely in order. I expect to receive a voucher for a similar set of flights in the same Comfort Economy seating, so we can experience what we paid for, the proper way. In any other business, this would constitute fraud. The attitude that we were the problem conveyed to us by your staff (with one exception), only added insult to injury in this whole sordid mess.
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overbooking, rude employees, wrong seats

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