Saturday, February 4, 2012

Don't fly Delta

...and don't fly KLM. Same animal, it seems.

Ellen is stuck in Amsterdam. Her KLM flight is code shared with...Delta (which sometimes cancels in mid air).

Initially she raced to JFK because she learned that her flight to Amsterdam was running 3 hours late, meaning she would miss her South African connection...So she jumped on an earlier flight to Schipol only to be stuck there.

Don't. Fly. Delta.

Read this previous post.

Bad news is I am booked back on KLM. My ticket says nothing about Delta. Sneaky. If Delta is involved, I want a refund.

So her stay is cut by at least a day. Plus the Awfulness.

2-4-12, 8:12pm update: 

Spoke to Ellen on Skype. KLM wants to reroute her tomorrow through Frankfurt, to Windhoek (Namibia) to Cape Town. On Air Namibia. To most of us that's like...Air What? In Amsterdam they were stuck on the tarmac for four hours before the flight was canceled. First a story about no potable water and the difficulty of getting trucks out in freezing temperatures. Then left engine problems. Then canceled. They were given vouchers to call KLM, which has no toll free number. But the voucher runs out before you get to speak to a human to sort out a new ticket. She asked me what I know about Air Namibia; all I could do was go online and look at (shoddy) reviews. Mostly about service. At least the aircraft seem sound. This would put her in Cape Town midday Monday. 36 hours late on a nine day trip. Countless stress hours substituted for holiday vibes.

The irony is I booked KLM back to New York because it seemed the most time-saving way to fly. Not. I have already asked for a cancellation of my ticket and refund. Snowball's chance in hell? Anyone willing to bet?

So. Think good thoughts for poor Ellen. Her laptop and cell batteries are dying as she has no European adapters. It's not like she was going to spend time in Europe, right? Wrong.  And the hotel has none to offer.

As the cat would say: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

Read Ellen's blogpost from the road here.

(PS She found a power cord to plug in her laptop. Yay. She's got power.)

2-5-12, 10pm update

Now Ellen's flight to Namibia has been canceled. She is stuck in Frankfurt overnight.


A text. From someone unknown. Ellen will land in Cape Town at 8.30pm. From where? On what? Who knows. Ellen's phone has not been unlocked to Roam internationally so she is incomunicado.

And if you bet that I could not cancel my KLM ticket you would be correct. No cancellation. No refund. KLM's voice over while you're on hold says, "in our fast-paced world we know that time does count..."

Interestingly, not once has the bad weather been cited as a factor...

Ellen's latest post about her adventure is at her blog, which is not set up for linking to individual posts. So scroll through once you are there.

Update: So I googled and tried to find a flight arriving at Cape Town at 8.30pm. One was due in from Windhoek at that time - an SAA Airlink, and an hour later another, Air Namibia. Hm. What to do? So I headed off for the first flight, arriving early as it was ahead of schedule. No Ellen. I roused someone at Air Namibia and was told that the "Frankfurt passengers" were on the next flight, which had been specially delayed to accommodate them. Two hours later that arrived, and there was Ellen. At last!

*** Please read my post about my own experience with KLM. It was good. Go figure.


  1. Extra wine for Ellen when she comes...!!! and figs. No sous vide Frenchmen, though.

  2. Apparently deep cold snap in Europe. Layovers suck without being delayed too, and air nimibia? I dont think so.
    Hang in there Ellen!

  3. Damn! What a shame! I hope she makes it safe and sound. What the airlines don't seem to understand is it isn't the problem that gets them into trouble with the consumer, but their response. I have my luggage "lost" twice. Once with Air France on my way to Paris (luggage left in NY). From the reporting of my lost luggage to the deliver of my luggage (4 days into my week in Paris) it was a nightmare of ineffienciy and "I don't care". The same thing happened again on my way to Zurich with American Airlines. Fast and effiencient reporting, my luggage was already in London and it was delivered the next day even though it was a Sunday.

  4. Got a good night's sleep last night and am headed down to breakfast, then back to the airport. I'm almost afraid of what I'll find there, considering the large number of passengers streaming in to the hotel's "KLM stranded passenger" desk late last night. At least at the hotel I have internet access. At Schipol they only give you 2 half hours. Perhaps I can convince someone to lift that limit today, or perhaps they've already had the good sense to do so! Wish me luck.


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