Getting nowhere with KLM compensation claim - next step?
Hello. I would really appreciate a little advice regarding a claim that was logged with KLM 3 months ago, before being rejected last week and my case being closed on their online case tracker.
We were due to fly back from Las Vegas to Manchester, via Amsterdam in early July (both flights with KLM) We should have left Vegas 4pm Sunday, overnight to AMS, then AMS to MAN, arriving in MAN late afternoon Monday
We got an email from KLM while we were out in Vegas, 4 days
before return date, to advise that the AMS to MAN flight had been cancelled and
they were working on an alternative routing. We were subsequently advised that
the new routing would be Vegas overnight to Atlanta, departing 11.30pm Sunday,
spend all day Monday at Atlanta airport, then another overnight flight from
Atlanta to MAN, arriving on Tues morning. This new itinerary was totally
unacceptable to us. We would have been physically sick with tiredness with that
We did some research and found a Delta flight leaving Vegas on Monday morning to JFK and an overnight Virgin flight from JFK to MAN arriving Tues morning, i.e. around the same time as KLM’s suggested new routing. In other words, we still arrived well over 12 hours later than originally scheduled, but at least with our routing we got to spend Sunday night in a hotel bed, rather than on a plane.
By some miracle we managed to contact KLM whilst out in Vegas and they did amend our return flight as per our suggested route. I guess it helped that the new flights were with their Alliance partners. We then obviously had to pay for an extra night in our hotel.
Upon our return, we put a claim in for €600 x 2 for the delay, $200 for the hotel (supported by invoice) and a small amount for seat reservation fees that we had paid on the 2 legs of the cancelled flights. We didn’t claim any food or incidental costs for our extra day in Vegas.
We received a claim reference number but had no other communication from KLM until a week ago, when we got a short email saying that the cancelled flight was operated by Virgin Atlantic and we should contact Virgin for compensation. Whilst I am aware of codeshare arrangements, our travel documents received the day before our outgoing flight clearly say that all flights are KLM flight code KLxxxx, operated by KLM, (as opposed to KLxxxx, operated by Virgin). I have also spoken by phone to Virgin who completely refute they operated the cancelled AMS to MAN flight on that day (or indeed any day on that route).
I’ve emailed KLM with this information, without response do far.
Somebody did suggest going down the court route (£80 fee I think) via Money Claim Onine (MCOL) to get KLM’s attention. Or to go down the ADR route which may take a good while longer. Also, I’ve just realised that I’ve got a home insurance policy that covers legal fees to engage Solicitors in pursuing claims in relation to contract disputes etc, so that may be another option.
Any advice/suggestions re the best way forward would be welcomed
Thanks in advance.
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