This is a copy of what I've sent to KLM customer care after my disastrous flight from Amsterdam to Cairo:
My flight was KL0553
On Friday, the 10th of July, I arrived at Schiphol to catch my connecting flight to Cairo, Egypt.
I already had a boarding card from Helsinki. I checked in online a day before (On Thursday).
The ground crew treated me in a bad way. I did not find my seat.
I originally asked for a seat by the corridor and found out that they changed my seat.
They explained that there's a handicap person and 2 young children are flying alone so
they gave him my seat. I asked them to check if the new seat they offered my is also by the corridor and they said no.
I explained that I can't take that seat because I'm a tall person and it'll hurt my body in a long flight like that.
I've been told that I should be happy I have a seat already.
I completely felt shocked. I payed the fees the company asked for and I checked in online a day before the flight so how can you treat me like this ? How can they tell me that I should be happy ?
I asked her to give me the old boarding card along with the new one and I'll go explain to the cabin crew the problem so they can solve it. Unfortunately refusal was the only thing I've got.
I did not like how I'm being treated, Said that I'm not accepting that seat and I'm not moving from here until they find me a similar seat and explained why do I need a similar one.
The response I've got was an offer to offload my luggage!
I asked for a manager to speak to and I've been denied that too.
After a lot of debate and contacting the cabin crew, they offered me a suitable seat and been asked to move along after telling me that the cabin crew are aware of the problem. I entered the aircraft to discover that the ground crew lied because no one at the aircraft knew anything especially that the new seat was also taken.
The crew there were helpful but they had to contact the ground people. I've seen a lot of suitable seats but the irresponsible ground crew refused to offer me anything but a middle seat. I had to accept at the end.
Now, I did all what KLM asked for, I complied yet I did not receive the service I've payed for.
I got back, neck, shoulder and leg pain because of the middle seat. I've been treated in a bad way by the ground crew and they also lied at me.
I'm completely disappointed and I doubt I'll ever use KLM again.
And here's their reply back:
Dear Mr. Hassan,
Thank you for your email dated July 12, 2009 regarding your recent journey with KLM. Please accept
our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience we may have caused you.
We regret that at check-in we were unable to offer you the seat of your choice.
In general, seat reservations may be requested three months prior to departure for intercontinental
flights. For European flights seat reservations may be made via our online check-in facility from 30 hours prior to departure. In our General Terms and Conditions of Carriage, article V.4, it is mentioned that we shall make reasonable efforts to meat seat allocation requests, but cannot guarantee the allocation of a given seat, even if the Reservation is confirmed for that seat. KLM reserves the right to change the seat allocation at any time, including after boarding, for operating, security or safety reasons.
We are very sorry to learn that you were unhappy with the service you received while checking-in for your recent flight. We share your opinion that, even though the Conditions mentioned above, our staff could have cleared these rules to you on a friendly way. We are very sorry to read that they did not make any effort to assist you finding another preferable seat. A sincere apology is offered for any discourtesy you encountered.
Naturally you expect our staff to provide the best possible service and it is inexcusable that you should have been confronted with anything else.
We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with this valuable feedback and we will use it to further improve our service.
We sincerely hope that this experience will not deter you from flying with our company in the near future.
Scum, I replied back:
I booked the seats almost 2 months before the flights.
I'm sorry but given the bad level of service, the severe body pain I've had, the rude way the staff dealt with me and the inability of customer care to take an action, the return flight to Helsinki shall be my last flight with KLM.
No, You don't threaten people by telling them we will offload your bags and just say sorry.