KLM Airlines - KLM - Auckland 'Computer Glitch'

Posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2008 at 4:09pm CDT by 73a394b0

Product: Auckland - Heathrow Return Airfares

Company: KLM Airlines

Location: Auckland, 1010, NZ

URL: http://www.klm.co.nz/

Category: Other

My mother is planning a trip to the UK next year around March time. I recieved a phone call from my partner advising me to look at the KLM NZ website as they seemed to be offering very cheap airfares to europe departing from auckland. Naturally, I quickly went on the website and was amazed to see flights for around NZD$400.... BUSINESS CLASS! I quickly phoned my mother and sorted out dates for her and immediately booked the tickets and they were automatically confirmed - with a reference number and everything. As the flights were confirmed and there was no contact from KLM, my mother then proceeded to organise accomodation and connecting flights within the UK and europe and more importantly booking time off work.

I attempted to go onto the website roughly 10 minutes later and realised that they had obviously discovered an error in the system. However - seeming the tickets were already confirmed we figured that it would be safe and having quickly glazed over their T&C's I didn't see anything regarding computer glitches etc etc.

There was no news on the Friday (we had thought that an email or phone call would have been recieved if it was an error). Saturday morning checking on the NZ Herald website, KLM had issued a press release...

KLM spokeswoman Elizabeth Vangalen:

"It's a filing mistake, a human error," she said. "The tariffs vary a lot from day to day, so there are a lot of chances for human error."

The airline did not have the final number of tickets bought at the reduced price, but already more than 100 tickets had been identified. The number could rise to as high as 300, she said. Full refunds would be made "as soon as possible".

The bookings had already been cancelled, Ms Vangalen said, and the airline believed there was no chance any travellers wanting to have their tickets honoured would get their way.

I find it absolutely ridiculous that KLM are not even going to be trying to put a good PR spin on this. Simply - oops our bad... not our problem though. Additionally - the problem started with a computer glitch on their behalf, surely any business attempting to retain customers would attempt to contact the affected individuals immediately and provide some sort of reimbursement (not necessarily the cheap airfares).

Now my mother is stuck trying to sort out all the other things she already booked - more than likely loosing out on money. A simple personal apology from KLM would have sufficed.


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