Saturday, January 19, 2008

Struggling with Plan B

I was on a delayed flight from Bergen, Norway last night with colleagues who were trying to find out if their KLM connections in Schiphol, Amsterdam were also delayed by the bad weather in the Netherlands or whether they could start making alternative plans in Norway - perhaps by booking a last minute easy-jet flight.

So there we were in Bergen airport with no wifi connection but a mobile phone. So, I take out the Gold card Flying Blue KLM loyalty card and phone the helpline in France for information. I have to enter my account number and hold for 3 minutes. The person in Paris seems to have a screen in front of him with status details - puts me on hold a couple of times - and then (as it turns out later) gives me a whole string of incorrect information. The plane to the Middle East is delayed by 3 hours I am told. No it is isn't. It is boarding on time when we get to Schiphol. It was never delayed.

So why on earth can't Schiphol talk to KLM - and get this information to KLM websites, mobile services and personnel? Lack of information MUST come out of surveys as being a top frustration for people on a schedule. If TripIt and other such travel sites want to help, this is a serious area they can focus on.

When I am next in a fix like this, I know who I am not going to call. Flying Blue.

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