Being KLM means never having to say you’re sorry

Being KLM means never having to say you’re sorry


norman lebrecht

July 18, 2017

The morning after we posted Steven Isserlis’s harrowing account of his treatment by the KLM desk at Heathrow – they refused to recognise the ticket he had bought for his cello – we were bombarded on social media with adverts from KLM offering to fly us practically anywhere in the world. Dream on.

At this stage, our advice to fliers is: don’t go Dutch.

Despite admitting their Heathrow error, KLM have neither apologised to Steven nor refunded him. They told Slipped Disc they had been ‘in touch with the customer’, but that was PR flammery. They have done nothing.

Customer care at KLM is conspicuous by its omission.


  • Qwerty1234 says:

    I appreciate your continued coverage on airlines and instrument travel, Norman. Hope we can slowly make changes so this sort of stuff happens less and less.

  • Steve says:

    “Drumpf” anybody? – Never admit you’ve made a mistake. Roy Cohen?


  • Brian Cooper says:

    While I feel really sorry for Mr Isserlis, one of the finest musicians of our day, for having had to go through such an aggravating ordeal caused by a silly git, I do find Mr Lebrecht’s knee-jerk calls for boycotts not only rather tedious, but in fact very disturbing.

    To my mind, they smack too much of that abhorrent sentence beginning with “Kauft nicht bei” and should make anyone with a sense of fairly recent history feel very uncomfortable.

    Yes, you can boycott whatever you like, by all means, but inciting others to do the same reminds me of the very dark times. And I don’t mean the Middle Ages.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. No-one is drawing the Nazi analogy. But it is important that musicians who are frequent fliers should be aware of the attitude they will face at KLM once something go wrong.