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KLM chief wants railways and airports to help pay for delays

Thursday 22 November 2012

Dutch Rail should be made to pay towards the cost of flight departure delays caused by problems on the trains, KLM chief executive Peter Hartman said in Thursday's Telegraaf.

The cost of delays, as passengers and crew are held up by problems on the trains, runs into millions of euros, he said. In particular, a spate of recent problems and fire alerts in the Schiphol railway tunnel have led to late arrivals at the airport.

Airlines are responsible for paying passengers compensation of up to €600 each for delays, the Telegraaf points out.

KLM is now looking into the possibility of recovering part of the cost from the NS and Schiphol airport authority which manages the tunnel.

In addition, KLM should not be held responsible for strikes, snow and ice and other airport-related problems, Hartman said. 'We pay to have these things taken care of,' he said.

Is Hartman right? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

If Dutch Rail had to pay for the delays it causes, it would go bankrupt. This week, again, none of the trains in the Randstaat were on time in the pick hours. Shame.

By phantom | 22 November 2012 8:37 AM

Has Hartman ever heard of the term "cost of doing business?" Besides that don't airlines have a dislaimer saying they are not repsonsible for delays or cancellations due to inclement weather? As for poor scheduling or over-booking..the onus is on them to correct it!

By M | 22 November 2012 8:57 AM

I agree with this, especially for passengers who miss their flights for being more than 30 minutes late because of delays with trains.

The airport should also be held responsible for causing delays and cancelled flights. Some time ago I had relatives over for christmas and they were stuck here for an extra day and had to buy more expensive tickets with a different airline because their flights were cancelled. I still had to pay for the train trips to the airport just to find out flights were cancelled and head back home.

@phantom They either go bankrupt or ticket prices will go even higher.

By Michelangelo | 22 November 2012 9:09 AM

As someone who flies in and out every week I've completely abandoned NS and use the bus. Cheaper, faster and reliable.

By david | 22 November 2012 9:28 AM

I think one can also plan to take a train earlier just in case there are delays (as people do in the rest of the world). Moreover, NS will usually set in buses for schiphol if need be, and if you can show your plane ticket with the time, proving you cannot make it then NS is obliged to pay you the taxi (in the geld-terug-bij vertraging formulier there is a field where you can claim your costs for alternative transport).@phantom, I don't know what times you pick, but with 4-6 trains per hour in the Randstad I still claim the NS service is better than most countries

By the_expat | 22 November 2012 10:19 AM

@david that's a good solution to the problem. Why don't folks catch an earlier train to the airport especially when the weather is bad? I do think tho that the airport should be responsible for all the problems they are having in the tunnel with smoke; that's not DR fault? or is it? If it's DR problem then they should take care of the problem.

By dee | 22 November 2012 10:43 AM

It's been years since I was on an NS train that was on time.

They should state on their timetables that the times indicated are not the times at which the trains will leave the station, but rather the time before which the train will NOT leave the station.

By H. | 22 November 2012 3:44 PM

Nice to know that it is not just in the UK that trains do not run on time and are late, although the local trains where I live in the west of Scotland have a 95% rate of being on time.

By almorr | 22 November 2012 5:57 PM

David is right. There are early morning busses that go directly to the airport. No need to change trains and wait in the cold and about half the cost of taking the train.... NL should extend their bussing infrastructure and let NL do their own thing and hope they survive...I certainly hope there is no public funding going into NS at the moment cuz if there is I want those tax Euros back!!

By Michael | 22 November 2012 6:07 PM

Definitely agreed with this.

It's one thing to be sometimes late. It's another thing that you see screens full of train delays and even cancellations twice a day 5 days a week. Glad I only walk through the central station to catch the bus, which IS always on time no matter how busy it is (well, some busses have delays of up to 5 minutes, but that's acceptable).

By Someone | 22 November 2012 6:48 PM

@Michael: NS operates at a profit, a healthy one, indeed. Pro-Rail barely breaks even, though.

Many complaints people have about "the trains" should be directed at Pro-Rail instead of NS.

By Andre L. | 23 November 2012 6:54 PM

Yes the trains a late or concelled a lot. It would help the finances of both NS and Pro Rail if the conductors came to check tickets. I travel to work every day and am lucky if my ticket is checked 3-4 times each month on an hours journey. Instead I regulalry have the conductors sitting with me in 1st claas using their mobile phones or eating their food. Suggest NS become more efficient and give Pro Rail more money to solve the underlying infrastructure issues.

By Alan | 24 November 2012 9:58 AM

Dee david and others.
It is nice to take the bus but only if it an option. Where I live it is not.
I took a a train from Nijmegen to Schipol I had 3 hours of slack. In Utrecht there was a problem I asked the staff what should I do I was told no problem go via Hilversum (I could have taken a taxi>
I arrived with more than 4 hours delay at 1 in the morning flight was gone - had to find and pay for a hotel as I could not get home and I had to pay for a new flight ticket loss >>Eu600 did NS even say sorry - NO

By nd | 24 November 2012 10:03 AM

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