Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye, KLM

Vince, the natural-born pilot and lover of planes already dislikes KLM. He hates what he sees as their sloppy onboard service and he hates their expensive seat upgrades for extra leg room and he hates what he calls their 'antiquated' video system.

Don't even ask Ellen what she thinks of KLM (remember the nightmare trip to South Africa?).

I was far more ambivalent.

But now I hate them, too.

I often have to make one date change to my return ticket to South Africa.  In fact I've been making that change for over a decade. There's a penalty, of course, always about $150. Not chicken feed, but worth it.

Today, I noticed that I could not make that change online. So I called. A woman answered the phone and uttered these fatal words: "Delta Airlines?"

Slow motion, N-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Oh, no. An unholy partnership. One I should have remembered better because of this Delta travel nightmare.

KLM codeshares with Delta. And whenever you deal with Delta, things go squirrely. My e-ticket was issued by Delta.

And squirrely things went.

How much to change the ticket?

Fve minutes of muzak later:

"$1,000, " she says.

Me: "One. Thousand. DOLLARS?"

Maybe she meant cents.

She did not.

That's it. Goodbye, KLM.

Hasta la effing vista.

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