OUR SHOCKING STORY IN SHORT
Temba College have used KLM since 1994 for our annual youth tour to Europe. During this time they transported ±780 students on our behalf for which we paid them in full. The fact that they can fly us into London and out of Amsterdam suits us.
- We bought four sectors (48 tickets) from KLM on the internet namely: See Air Ticket
- Cape Town to Amsterdam 25 June 2008
- Amsterdam to London 26 June 2008
- London to Amsterdam 16 July 2008
- Amsterdam to Cape Town 16 July 2008
- In one instance - one girl from Amsterdam to Johannesburg 16 July 2008.
- We read KLM’s terms and conditions carefully.
- Nowhere in the terms and conditions is it stated that we have to make use of all sectors, neither does it state that the non-use of a sector constitutes a route change. Their terms and conditions further do not state that we need KLM’s permission if we want to surrender one or more sector. It merely states that the carrier (KLM Air France) will refund us if we do so. We never asked KLM or planned to ask for the refund and we made that clear in writing.
- We furnished KLM with written notice that we would not be using flight KL 1000 from London to Amsterdam on 16 July.
- On 15 July KLM in three separate phone calls, advised us of the following.
- The flight KLM 1000 from London to Amsterdam was hopelessly overbooked and they could not accommodate all our students on that flight. See the affidavits.
- That unless our group traveled from Amsterdam to London in order to fly from London to Amsterdam on (the overbooked) flight KLM 1000, they would not honour our tickets from Amsterdam onwards. It was impossible to transport 48 students from Amsterdam to Cape Town at that late stage.
- They demanded almost €8000 from us in order to put us on our flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg. We needed to raise the above amount before 09h00 that particular morning. The amount per student differed between ±€67 to ±€420. The fact that this makes absolutely no sense to any normal human being was of no concern whatsoever to KLM-Air France.
- The front desk staff of KLM – Air France, clearly don’t know what is stipulated in the terms and conditions and were unwilling to read it. I begged the supervisor, Mr Kuijer, to read it. He and all his staff refused. Mr Kuijer was later helpful but the majority of the staff remained extremely arrogant and unhelpful.
- It left me with no other choice other than to try and raise the money. I offered my passport in order to give me time to raise the money. They refused and the aircraft departed without 20 of our students. We were stranded without accommodation, food and needed to deal with extremely unhelpful and arrogant KLM – Air France staff.
- These particular 20 youngsters were then waitlisted.
- One girl lost her passport and the police enforced KLM to support her. The police officer advised both the student and I that this was entirely KLM’s mistake and that KLM were liable for the support of the girl. After they advised KLM as such, KLM gave her meal vouchers and a confirmed seat on the next flight.
- On Sunday 20 July, the 9 boys still stranded were given confirmed seats by the supervisor, Mr Kuijer, for the 22 July 2008. He confirmed this to all 9 boys and I.
- I confronted Mr. Kuijer in front of the boys. It was apparent that Mr Kuijer had not read nor understood the terms and conditions of KLM Air France Internet booking conditions.
- On Tuesday 22 July we arrived 3 hours before departure at the Schiphol Airport and we were informed that two boys had once again been moved to the wait list. After 3 hours of immense stress and some tears, they managed to get on the plane and landed safely in Cape Town where these last 9 boys were eventually re-united with their families.