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What is 'newcomer' KLM going to do? LIPPO CIKARANG - Although KLM is flying to destinations like Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia through a 'detour' - by codeshares with Malaysian and Singapore Airlines for example - they will also fly to Bali with their own blue swans three times a week later this year. This means that three plane loads of Dutchmen can fly to Bali to celebrate their holidays without leaving the Netherlands behind during their long flights.

My last flight with KLM was last May. I flew a return trip between Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam because they offered me the cheapest ticket. I had a transfer of just a few hours. The leg between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur I flew with AirAsia. The transfer was just a couple of hours, just like they worked together. Nothing to complain about, however you will have to transfer from the LCCT (low cost carrier terminal) to KLIA in Kuala Lumpur, which takes about 15 minutes.

Services offered by the Malaysian groundstaff are perfect. Comparable with 'Malaysian Hospitality' from Malaysian Airlines of Singapore Airlines. I printed my e-ticket - booked by - directly after I made the booking, so there was no KLM airline code on it yet. I was the only one in queue for check-in three hours before departure, but because the airline code was missing, I had to be checked in by passport only, which was not a problem of course.

After that I had a snack and a really expensive Corona beer before I fell asleep in one of the chairs on the large airport. At the start of the flight to the Netherlands it became clear to me that I was indeed flying KLM. The staff that walked through the boarding room didn't seem too enthusiast about going to work with their straight faces. Staff came with the plane when it was delivered some two decades ago so it seemed.

For the amount that I had paid for this ticket to the Netherlands - and back to Indonesia eight days later - I did not feel I was in the position to complain. It was my single cheapest ticket ever for less than 600 euro from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur, including all taxes but not that expensive beer. I realized that these are the flights that people just have to make sometimes, whether you want it or not.

After dinner was presented to us - halal, just another sign how far KLM has sunk - I drank two little bottles of local brand wine and fell asleep reasonably fast just to be interrupted by a fat ass in blue every hour or so. That is being interrupted indeed, because a nice ass in red (AirAsia) or dark blue (Mandala) is slightly better to be interrupted by.

Upon arrival in the Netherlands you will be confronted with more KLM-like things, which soon prove to be real Dutch. People at the passport check are still sleeping. Fortunately I did not bring luggage, which saved me from quite a substantial wait early in the morning. Because I went through customs first they only looked at me, almost asking whether I did not forget my suitcase. That question is not asked in the Netherlands however, in contrary to Indonesia where they ask it to be polite, out of curiosity or just because I am that bule without suitcase.

For the Dutch that are going to Bali soon, it might be a nice trip, but they should ask themselves whether they still want to fly back with KLM as well, realizing what kind of services they are missing because they fly with an European airline while they can fly 'MH' or 'SQ' for the same price as well.

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Related blog entries (category 'Travel') Tags: flight, direct, bali, klm

Posted in Travel @ 15 October 2009 12:51 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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