The busy viola player Rachel Bolt is the latest to suffer the appalling customer relations of the Dutch airline. Here’s what Rachel tells us:
I hope you may take interest in an appalling situation I found myself in travelling to take part in the St Barts Music Festival. I had to fight for two hours with check-in staff who insisted that my viola go in the hold. Quite out of the question of course, the only alternative was to cancel the work and return home. ( No extra seats were available to purchase and my ticket was already $1300.)
Eventually, after a two hour exhausting battle I won. I spent the whole week in fear of a repeat showdown on my return flights.
My KLM flights were London to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to St Martins and then on to the Island of St Barts , I’ve been doing the Music Festival for the last ten years. KLM rules on their website say: 2. As hand baggage
A smaller musical instrument, such as a violin or smaller instrument, you can bring instead of a piece of hand baggage. It needs to fit in the overhead baggage compartment.
The reality is quite different. I have taken this complaint further and had the response:
Dear Mrs Rachel,
Thank you for your e-mail dated 16 January 2017, regarding your flight KL1000, from London to Amsterdam on 8 January 2017.
I regret to learn that you were unable to take your violin as hand baggage. Please allow me to inform you that whenever a flight is fully booked, musical instrument is taken as check-in baggage instead of a hand baggage. Therefore, passengers are advised to book a separate seat for their musical instrument in case these circumstances arise.