Although it is one of the best airlines in the world, KLM flights are delayed just like those of any other airline.
If you’re seeking a flight compensation from the national air carrier of the Netherlands, you’ve come to the right place. We’re used to securing those KLM flight compensations for travellers in need like yourself.
We are experts when it comes to helping passengers who were victims of a delayed, cancelled, or overbooked KLM flight.
Here’s what you’re going to learn here:
- How to claim a KLM flight compensation
- What’s the KLM EMD voucher they may have offered you and whether you should accept it or not
- Your passenger rights when your KLM flight is disrupted
- More about the Dutch airline, including how punctual they are and how they handle customer complaints
But first, if you’ve had an overbooked, cancelled, or delayed flight with KLM, you might want to check if you’re entitled to compensation right away:
You might be entitled to up to 600€ from the airline!
The easiest and fastest option is to let ClaimCompass get your overbooked, cancelled, or delayed KLM flight compensation for you.
This is what we do. We have the expertise and the tools to get you the money you’re owed by the Dutch airline. Once you fill out our flight compensation calculator, you need only sit back and relax while we collect your EC261 compensation.
The best part of letting ClaimCompass handle the KLM complaint? We work on a “no win, no fee” basis. It means that should we fail to get your money (and if you are indeed eligible, we won’t), you don’t owe us a thing!
You can also contact the airline yourself, of course. Check out the “KLM Customer Service” section below to know how to get in touch with them.
The reason we don’t recommend submitting a complaint on your own is that airlines aren’t always completely honest with their passengers and abuse their lack of knowledge about their passenger rights. Or some, like KLM, find alternative, less valuable (for you) forms of compensation.
With us, this won’t fly (pun intended).
This is a perfect example of how airlines try to “cheat” their way out of paying the compensation due under the EU Regulation 261/2004 (EC261 or EU261 in short).
When you submit a compensation claim for a disrupted flight on klm.com, you may receive an EMD voucher instead of the bank transfer you were expecting. An EMD voucher is an electronic voucher sent to you via email.
There are two kinds of KLM compensation vouchers: refundable (least worst option) or non-refundable (evil). The former can be exchanged for cash, so it’s not all that bad, but the latter CANNOT. The only way to redeem it is to purchase another flight with an airline that belongs to the Air France-KLM group.
Which you may or may not want to do anytime soon if you’ve just experienced a long delay or cancellation, right?
So if you have a choice between a KLM compensation voucher or a bank transfer, get the latter. We have a post on vouchers as flight compensations if you want to know more about it.
Under EC261, you can get up to 600€ in compensation for your overbooked, cancelled, or delayed flight with KLM. That’s about $655, or £500.
The exact compensation amount is different for each disruption scenario, but as a rule of thumb, you can get:
- 250€ for flights shorter than 1,500km
- 400€ for flights between 1,500 and 3,500km and intra-EU flights longer than 3,500km
- 600€ for flights longer than 3,500km
Here’s a bummer:
There are exceptions. Depending on the length of the delay at your final destination, the flight cancellation compensation amount can be reduced by 50%. The same applies for flights delayed by 3 to 4 hours that are longer than 3,500km. You’ll “only” get 300€ instead of 600€.
Note that if you agree to a non-refundable KLM voucher, its amount should be higher than the one planned by EU261: 350€, 500€, or 800€ depending on the length of the flight.
When your KLM flight is delayed by at least 2 hours at departure, you have what EU law calls a “right to care”. This means that KLM must provide you with:
- A meal and refreshment (usually in the form of a food voucher)
- A means of communications (at least 2 phone calls, if required)
Now, if you’re really not in luck and you’re flight is delayed by 6 hours or causes you to stay overnight, KLM must also provide, free of charge:
- Hotel accommodation
- Transportation between there and the airport
If they refuse to organize all of the above for you, make sure to keep the receipts of the additional expenses you incurred as a result of the flight delay. You can ask for a full refund at the end of the trip.
When your flight still hasn't departed after 5 hours of waiting, you can claim a delayed flight refund from KLM.
In addition, and perhaps more importantly, delayed flights with KLM may make you eligible for compensation. You are entitled to the amounts listed in the previous section if:
- You reached your final destination 3 hours late or more
- Your flight was departing or arriving in the EU
- KLM was responsible for the delay
This last point is very important, because that’s where many passengers get scammed by the airline (not just KLM, mind you). If the flight delay was caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, KLM doesn’t have to pay.
Those include adverse weather conditions, air traffic control restrictions, airport staff strike, medical emergencies, security risks, etc. In short, things over which KLM has no control.
Extraordinary circumstances do NOT include technical problems, mechanical issues, operation reasons, etc. The airline may try to use those as excuses to waive their responsibility and avoid paying delayed flight compensations. We won’t let them.
According to EC261 again, a missed connection caused by the delay of the first leg of your journey with KLM may make you eligible for a flight delay compensation from the Dutch airline.
In addition to the conditions above, however, both of your flights must be under the same reservation. If you’ve booked them together, they most likely are. If you had to make separate purchases… they’re probably not.
How to know for sure? If your reservation number (also known as PNR or booking number) is identical for both flights, you are entitled to compensation.
When claiming compensation with ClaimCompass, you don’t have to take care of that. Just send us your travel documents and we’ll tell you immediately if you’re eligible.
Flight cancellations are arguably worse than flight delays. In most cases, KLM will rebook you on another flight to your destination. But here’s what to do if a flight cancellation with KLM happens to you.
If KLM doesn’t automatically provide you with an alternative flight, request one immediately. But don’t feel obliged to accept whatever arrangements they make. When your flight is cancelled, EU law states that KLM must give you a choice between:
- A rerouting flight to your destination (if seats are available), or
- A flight to your destination at a later date of your choosing (again, within the limit of seats availability), or
- A flight cancellation refund (partial or full)
But that’s not all.
In addition to the above, you may be eligible for a cancelled flight compensation. The rules are similar to those for flight delays, but you should check out our guide on the topic. Or just let us handle the compensation claim for you.
If you cancel your ticket within 24 hours after booking the flight, KLM will grant you a full refund. This is similar to the flight cancellation policy of many US airlines, as requested by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
ClaimCompass can handle your KLM complaints related to flight delays, cancellations, and boarding denials. We will claim the compensation you’re entitled to and handle the process for you.
If you wish to get in touch with the Dutch air carrier yourself, you may do so over the phone by calling 1 (800) 618-0104. They also have an online chat if you want to contact their support team and get an immediate response.
KLM claims that they process refund requests within 2 to 4 weeks.
At ClaimCompass, we analyzed how long it took KLM to process compensation claims in 2019. On average, they confirmed the payment 72 days after receiving the claim.
That’s more than what they boast, but that’s still much better than most airlines. Save yourself the hassle and let us take care of it for you.
What does KLM stand for? Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij. No wonder they go by their acronym instead, right?
Their headquarters are located in Amstelveen, Netherlands, but the main hub of the national flag carrier airline is Schiphol Airport, in Amsterdam.
They are a member of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance and since 2004, part of the Air France-KLM group. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines also boasts several subsidiaries:
- KLM Cityhopper: a regional airline also headquartered at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, operating mainly short-distance flights within the European Union.
- Transavia: a low-cost airline also part of the Air France-KLM group.
- MartinAir: a cargo carrier you probably never heard of.
The tab below provides specific data regarding the airline's on-time performance. It includes the amount of flights operated by the airline each month, which portion of these flight arrived on time (i.e with less than 15 minutes delay), which portion consists of delayed flights, and the average delay of their flights in minutes. Source: Flightstats.com
With an average on-time performance of 86%, KLM can be considered as one of the most punctual airlines in the world: 14% of the Dutch airline’s flights arrive 15 minutes late or more. Even when KLM’s flights are late, the average delay is “only” 41 minutes, allowing the airline to rank among the best again. The Dutch airline’s performance is stable along the year, with only a slightly less performing second quarter. KLM registered its best on-time performance during the last quarter of 2018. As a result, the overall flight performance of KLM should be regarded as very good, with a rating of 8.5.
While their flight performance is very good, KLM’s claim processing score is only barely above average. Take a look at the table below for more details:
On average, KLM provides a statement to the submission of a claim in about 3 weeks, thus performing slightly better than the rest of the industry. It takes about 11 weeks for passengers of the Dutch airline to have their claim solved. Some complicated cases require the intervention of the court or a National Enforcement Body (NEB). When this happens - because the airline claims that EC261 allows them to waive their responsibility - and the court rules in favour of the passenger, it takes the airline about 12 weeks to send the compensation. This slightly above average performance is reflected in the 5.6 rating.