Dear Mr. Fung,
Reference is made to your complaint
letter to various departments of our Head Office which has been
forwarded to our Hong Kong for reply.
We are sorry to learn that your recent
contact with our airline, concerning your journey from Hong Kong to
Lisbon via Amsterdam on December 26, 2006, did not meet your
expectations. On behalf of management, a sincere apology is offered to
you and your wife.
An incident report has been received
from our Airport management and we would like to share our findings and
at the same time offer explanations to some of your enquiries.
As per our record, you and Mrs. Fung
checked in at 0945 hours and turned up at boarding gate at 1058 hours.
As per the copy of your boarding pass, the boarding time was 10.30
hours. This was to inform passengers to be arrived at the boarding gate
at that time. We notice that difference airline has its own handling
operational procedures. Therefore, we have arranged a special bilingual
note sticker which is to draw passengersˇ¦ attention. Please refer to
your boarding pass copies. It stated that ˇ§Please board your flight at
least 20 minutes before scheduled departure timeˇ¨. Since our flight was
scheduled to depart at 1110 hours, passengers are required to be at the
boarding gate by latest 1050 hours. The hand-written schedule of 1040
was another reminder to passengers. The check-in staff usually will
circle and remind passengers the boarding time and gate. For special
added remarks, the staff would verbally mention to passengers for their
attention. It was surprised that nothing was explained to you during
check-in. KLM, likes most of the airlines in the world, our boarding
passes will show key information i.e. name of passenger, flight number,
boarding time, gate number, seat number etc. It will not show the
closure time of the airplane door. After the closure of the aircraft
door, there are many operational and safety procedures for the cabin
crew and ground staff to proceed in order to prepare the take off of an
aircraft. It really takes more than a few minutes time. We do require
passengers to be at the boarding gate at least 20 minutes before
departure time in order to ensure the punctuality of the flight ˇV thus
is very important in the airline operation. Also once the passengers do
not turn up to the relevant boarding gate at 1050 hours for our flight,
our staff had to offload the concerned checked baggage ˇV this is as per
security reasons. Once the cargo door of the aircraft is closed, we
could not load back the baggage in short time. These operational
procedures must be adhered strictly by each of our ground staff and
manager as well. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that
December 26, 2006 was one of the peak travel days in Hong Kong. The
landing and take-off activities were very busy and tight. Once our
aircraft was delayed for 10 or 15 minutes, it certainly would cause
longer total delay. The flight KL888/26 December was not full.
However, there were still over 200 passengers on board and most of them
had their tight onward connections in Amsterdam. Another 15 or 20
minutes delay would very likely cause misconnection of those
Regarding the rebooking of your flight
to next day, as your tickets were under special promotional fare with a
lot of ticketing restrictions, changing of travel date was not
possible. Therefore, if our staff had to rebook you on KL888/27
December, you were required to pay the following:
up fee to upgrade your ticket booking class : from V-class to H-class,
the standard fee is Euro 250.00 per
fare difference between these two booking classes.
fee of HK$130 per ticket.
Therefore, in total each ticket was
required to pay extra HK$4450. From the passengerˇ¦s point of view,
it was very expensive in changing their tickets. It is
understandable that special promotional fare tickets usually are guided
by more rules and conditions. Any passenger who wishes to change their
travel arrangements after issuance of the ticket or prior to their
travel, the above mentioned charges have to be levied. As per your
ticket conditions, those tickets were not allowed to be rerouted.
In order to offer other alternatives, Mr. W had authorized to reroute
your tickets to Taipei - Amsterdam without any penalty and
also requested the Station Manager at Taipei to make pre-seated
arrangements prior to your departure from Hong Kong. These were the
possible arrangements within his scope could offer.
For the attitude of our staff, we fully
agree with you that if the staff would be able to render more services
in a professional and courtesy way that the problem could have been
solved. We highly appreciate your opinions and comments. Please be
assured that your complaint has been forwarded to the manager of the
concerned department for their follow up actions and areas of
improvement. We do expect our staff to provide professional services in
a helpful and polite way.
It is inexcusable for our passengers to
confront with discourtesy and impolite attitude from our staff.
We noticed that you had contacted our
Town Office and had phone conversations with our two staff.
Indeed, we do not have a specific staff in Hong Kong for full-time
Customer Care. However, Ms. L is the one handling the initial complaints from
passengers. It is our company policy that we request written complaint
from passenger in order to avoid misunderstanding during verbal
conversation. Also it was complaint regarding the airport operations
which we have to refer to their manager.
Mr. Fung, we offer our sincere
apologies to you and your wife for the discourtesy encountered. Kindly
be assured that the handling was in line with our standard operations.
We regret that it is impossible to accept passengers who arrive late at
the boarding gate. Punctuality is one of the key elements of our
operations and also flight handling involves more complicated handling
procedures than expected.
We really look forward for another
opportunity to welcoming you and your wife again on board of our flight
so as to provide you our services and to restore your confidence in our
With kind regards,
Customer Care Hong Kong