KLM Needs An Attitude Adjustment

klmThis past week I travelled to Scotland from Austin on a KLM flight. I won’t do that again. There are far too many airlines to choose from these days: I suspect that other airlines take care of their customers better.

The planes were ok. Movies old, food horrid. I can live without movies and with bad food. But after a nine hour twenty minute flight, I really needed to freshen up. Given I had a Business Class ticket, I was entitled to use the President’s Lounge. And it was an experience, especially in relation to other Lounge’s I’d been in over the past 20 years.

As I signed in to the Lounge, I asked the woman at the desk if she could tell me if my connecting flight was on time. “Look at the screen yourself. Next.”

“Excuse me?” I had gotten used to people in airline lounges answering my questions about flight details given they were sitting in front of the computer.

“Next,” she said, again.

That wasn’t getting me anywhere so I gave up. I then went to the Ladie’s Room to wash up after my long flight, and as I approached, there was an attendant out front speaking with two friends of hers, mop in hand, chatting and laughing together. As I ented the Ladie’s Room, I heard someone inside say, “This place is disgusting.”

I entered a filthy mess. Water everywhere. Everywhere. On the floor. On the countertop. Then there was the paper. Paper on the floor, on the counter. Wet paper. Dry paper. Used paper.

The women inside were talking together, complaining about the filth. I went out to the attendant, who was still standing with a mop in her hands.

“Um. Do you think you could come in and clean this room?” She gave me a withering look. I wanted to apologize for asking her to do her job, but I stopped myself.

The problems with KLM continued after I left the Lounge. The gates were changed at the very last moment, with one announcement and nothing up on the board, and no one was there to direct. Everyone was asking each other what to do, where to go. At the gate, there was one massive group with no lines, no one directing traffic. Then there was no one to let us on the plane, and everyone stood around not knowing what to do.

No matter the problem, no matter the fallout, there was either no one there to help, or someone putting me down or being rude.

I was a Business Class traveler; but even if I were traveling coach, there was no need to be treated with such rudeness and disrespect.

In today’s world of Frequent Flyers and multiple carriers, I have options. Until KLM realizes that they are here to serve, I suspect they will be losing business if they don’t clean up their act. And their Ladie’s Room.


4 thoughts on “KLM Needs An Attitude Adjustment”

  1. What a horrible service they have! I will be sure not to book anything with KLM, thank you for sharing this story with us.

  2. Sorry you had such an experience. Poor customer service is a real pet peeve of mine. When I experience good customer service, I try to let people (including the one serving it up) know my appreciation – including written notes and letters. I have often offered my consulting services to help, but so far no one has taken me up on it! Too bad, because the ones that are most closed to it need it the most.

    Did you make any effort to contact KLM? Probably not – as the old axiom goes, you have told loads of people, and will just stop using them. They might have little clue, and their key leaders likely think every negative thing occuring is the result of external threats.

    What really is at the heart of most of these experiences (not just an isolated person having a bad day), is a solid culture that has taken some real time and effort to produce. It starts with those at the top . . . (and then they blame their people).

  3. Pingback: Thoughts From A Weary Traveler | Sharon-Drew Morgen

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