Couple cut vacation short saying they couldn’t take it anymore after KLM chaos

A relaxing trip to Rome to recover from two bereavements ended with two days of queuing for June and Paul Gordge.

A trip to Rome to deal with two deaths in the family ended in disaster for Low Fell couple June and Paul Gordge, who spent a weekend at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport before giving up and return to Newcastle.

The couple said they had to queue at the KLM help desk at the Dutch airport for two days before deciding to cut their trip short to recover from losing two parents in two years “because We just couldn’t take it anymore.”

After returning to the airport for the third time and being told a flight to the Italian capital was not guaranteed the next day, June and Paul decided enough was enough and headed home.

But June, 62, said as if missing their holiday wasn’t enough, they had to spend two months trying to communicate with Dutch airline KLM to get the compensation they believe they deserve for their ruined holiday.

“We were supposed to fly from Newcastle to Schiphol and then to Rome, and the whole return trip was booked as one booking with KLM,” June said.

“But our first flight from Newcastle was delayed due to fog, meaning we missed our connection from Schiphol to Rome. At that point we weren’t too worried as we knew KLM would have to put us on another flight to Rome Rome because we booked everything with them.”

However, June said nothing could have prepared them for the “shameful” experience they faced upon arriving at Schiphol, which she said was like nothing she had ever experienced before.

“We didn’t have any problems with the delay because of the fog because it’s obviously a safety issue, but we expected that things would be sorted out for us on the other side,” June said.

“Instead, the KLM counter was so crowded that it was closed twice by security guards.

When we finally arrived at the front, the KLM employees said that they couldn’t book us a flight to Rome that day and that they didn’t know when they would be able to do so.

We were told to find and pay for a hotel for the night, as KLM could not help us with this, and to recover the costs later.

“We did so and the next day we returned to the KLM counter, where we stood in line for eight hours before the security guards closed the counter again.

After a second night in the hotel we returned to the KLM counter and after another long queue we were told that we could not be booked on a flight to Rome that day and that “maybe it would be possible” the next day. .

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back: we had already lost two nights of a seven-night holiday, with no guarantee that we would be flying to Rome the next day, even if we stayed another night at Schiphol.

We decided to cut our losses and return home. I really couldn’t wait another day in line only to be disappointed again when we finally got to talk to someone.

“We left Newcastle on Friday 9th September and returned on the night of Sunday 11th September, and in all that time we only received one bottle of water direct from KLM.

Everything else had to be organized and paid for by us, which left us left a credit card bill of £850. We received a refund of £360 from KLM and were told to claim the rest on our travel insurance.”

The Gordges returned to Newcastle without their luggage as they were held up in Amsterdam waiting for the next flight to Rome, and June says it was only thanks to the helpful staff at Jet2 that they got their luggage back.

“I called KLM every day after we returned to collect our luggage, but they didn’t care,” June said.

“They didn’t bother to locate him and didn’t respond to calls as promised. Finally, in desperation, I called Newcastle Airport on the Friday after we returned and spoke to someone at the Jet2 counter.

Jet2 staff actually went to check: “I looked for the luggage and discovered that it had been at Newcastle Airport since Wednesday and no one from KLM had thought to let us know.

Jet2 2 even organized the luggage to be returned to our house and I can’t thank the staff enough. KLM, on the other hand, was a total disaster and our experience was an absolute disgrace.

A KLM spokesperson said the airline regretted the “inconvenience” caused to June and Paul and was disappointed they had missed their holiday to Rome.

The spokesperson said: “KLM apologizes to Mr and Mrs Gordge for the inconvenience caused during their trip with KLM on September 9, 2023 and for the disappointment of having to forgo their holiday to Italy.

Their flight from Newcastle was delayed due to heavy fog coming from Amsterdam, causing them to miss their ongoing flight to Rome.

“Unfortunately, many passengers found themselves in the same situation as air traffic control authorities reduced the number of flights that could take off from the airport, which had an impact on the following days.

KLM is aware of its responsibility under EU/UK261 and has done so. » reimbursed Mr and Mrs Gordge for the costs of care and assistance.

“Our passengers returned to Newcastle the following day and KLM will refund their flights in full.

As the flight delay at Newcastle is beyond the airline’s control, any additional costs incurred will need to be claimed through travel insurance.

As a gesture of goodwill, KLM offered Mr and Mrs Gordge a voucher for £200 each in recognition of their disappointment. .

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