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KLM to introduce charges for suitcases

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Dutch airline KLM is to introduce fees for baggage, in line with the trend set by budget carriers.

People using internal European flights will have to pay €15 for each piece of hold luggage they take as long as it is paid for in advance. Luggage checked in at the airport will cost €30 and hand luggage will remain free of charge.

‘60% to 70% of our European passengers only carry hand luggage,’ a spokesman told Nos television. ‘We know people would rather pay less for their tickets and that is why we are going to lower the price for flights.’

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Has anyone told KLM managers that KLM is not a budget airline at all?
Their basic fees are slightly more expensive than low cost airlines (but include the hold luggage). So if now the keep the same fares, but without hold luggage, there will be absolutely no reason to fly KLM.
From Schiphol, Easyjet covers most of the European destinations of KLM and it is cheaper. Oh wait, wasn't it on the news that KLM tried to get rid of Easyjet from Schiphol?

By joanna | 13 February 2013 9:01 AM

in addition to limiting the service on board... I'm seriously considering switching alliance once and for all

By the_expat | 13 February 2013 9:17 AM

Passengers of course want to pay less, but with all these extra and hidden fees they actually can end up paying more. I didn't know KLM was a budget airline now...

By Al | 13 February 2013 9:30 AM

That was actually one of the few things distinguished KLM from other low cost carriers.
(bad management)

By Alessandro | 13 February 2013 10:11 AM

Thats stinks...I always travel with an extra suitcase e so when I come back from the states I have everything I need that I can't get here! Actually I would need many suitcases but I just get things I can't live without. I wish The Netherlands was more of a consumer-orientated society.

By M | 13 February 2013 10:23 AM

And what will be the difference with low-costs? Why should I fly with KLM then? Next step is to fly remote airports.
Why Lufthansa manages and KLM not?
Was KLM always "deep inside" a low-cost?

By Max | 13 February 2013 11:23 AM

I seriously doubt that this will lead to a 15€ decrease in the fare for people with only hand luggage. Rather, they're simply going to tack on 15€ to the existing fares for those with checked luggage. Nothing more than a money earning scheme in disguise.

By Sedirea | 13 February 2013 11:53 AM

I always considered KLM to be a first class airline and enjoyed traveling with them... if they are going to start charging for carryones Im going to look into traveling with the budget carriers.

By dee | 13 February 2013 12:02 PM

So far,they haven't lowered ticket prices, in line with the trend set by budget carriers. Hypocrites.

By as.nl | 13 February 2013 12:46 PM

Silly decision, IMHO. We recently paid slightly extra for flights precisely because KLM don't charge for baggage and have 23kg limit instead of 20kg with EasyJet.

Do KLM want to get a budget airline reputation? Will they be charging for in-flight refreshments next? I trust that this won't act retrospectively for flights booked already.

By Paintmaker | 13 February 2013 12:51 PM

Ok well then actually check the hand luggage. I fly out of ams every monday and every idiot takes the pi$$.

By David | 13 February 2013 1:27 PM

They say customers will pay less for a ticket, which is very noble of KLM , but lets face it, it is the extra revenue they are after and I doubt I will see cheaper flights.

By Andrew | 13 February 2013 2:52 PM

And if you believe their crap about "cheaper flights" then you'll believe anything.

By Flying European | 13 February 2013 3:35 PM

Guys.... It only apply to KLM EU flight and ad the result the prices are lowered too.... I now can fly to London for a weekend for as low as EUR 80 return! Previously the lowest was EUR 130! I think it's a good deal as I don't usually have any checked in luggage. And if you have status with them. Not only that it is free for you but you also pay cheaper price!

By Jorick | 13 February 2013 4:01 PM

As an expat , I visit The Netherlands every 5 years or so .
I have always preferred KLM, but the last time after the merger with that French airline I was shocked at the shoddy interior and the terrible food . The coffee and tea were served in a cheap and nasty papercup.
Never ever again shall I fly with KLM !!!!!!
You better pull your socks up.
The current management seems to be hell bound to run the oldest airline in the world into the ground .
Not proud of this airline anymore !!!

By leon Begrave | 13 February 2013 4:39 PM

Great If they reduce flight prices

By Tony | 13 February 2013 5:06 PM

This is utter nonsense. They will most likely take down ticket prices 5-10 EUR and charge EUR 15 for a 20 kg luggage, not to mention the surplus they gain by flying lower weight aircrafts (fuel).

By Flying KLM no more | 13 February 2013 5:21 PM

"I always considered KLM to be a first class airline ..."

excuse me! when was that?

By me | 13 February 2013 5:39 PM

Although I am not happy with this news, it would have helped to 'report' all of changes.
Such as that this does not apply to Flying Blue Members and that it applies to the lower fare tickets, not 'fully flexible'.
Also, there are some European destinations not affect, such as Italy.
It also appears that KLM's owner Air France has the same provisions.

By wilber | 13 February 2013 6:38 PM

KLM has basically become a USA airline as a result of the Northwest/Delta merger a few years back. As the final integration of this merger comes to pass, you need only to look at the US Airlines to see what KLM is getting up to ... the Netherlands is rapidly becoming America in almost every aspect of life.

By Xeno | 13 February 2013 6:47 PM

This is crazy! The ONLY reason I check in luggage is because my overnight bag (with razor, shaving foam and shampoo) is not allowed in handluggage. SO I check in my (what is essentially a carry-on bag) along with anything else which may be a problem during the striptease at security. Including my coat, mobile and shoes when possible). It's a major inconvienience, since KLM loose my luggage on 3 out of 4 flights anyway (they say there's a black hole in our solar system - I know where it is, it;s under Schiphol). SO now I'm expected to pay EXTRA for this hassle?

By Andy | 13 February 2013 7:04 PM

Lol, KLM looking again to increase their profits by making a surcharge of up to €30, per suitcase?

This will not stop me flying a seventh time non-stop A'dam - Manila (The only direct flight from EU). The real downer with flying ANY airline is the daily 'price-shift'.

Last year I flew KL803-4 for €733: 2011 (Same flight) cost me €899, 2010 was €1,100, so I went with Cathay pacific(y):)

KLM also charges for a 'long-seat', next to exit with more leg room.

If KLM wants to continue in the competition & remain healthy, then it had better encourage it's loyal customers & not introduce sneaky & unnecessary EXTRA COSTS!!

By The visitor | 13 February 2013 7:52 PM

Maybe KLM should charge their own flight attendants for their bags. I am always curious why a flight attendant needs three huge suitcases, they must have a lot of uniform accessories.

By Amsterdam Chooch | 13 February 2013 8:44 PM

KLM - come off it! Lower your ticket price as an offset to charging for checked luggage?? I will believe it when I see it. The airline already behaves like a budget airline in many ways, only without the lower ticket prices. You are losing the plot (i) against the budget airlines and (ii) on long haul against the Middle East and Asian carriers. The customer is king and can choose - forget that at your peril!

By Iain Percival | 13 February 2013 9:30 PM

I'm happy KLM will lower the price of their tickets with 30 euro. (according to the newsarticle they will charge 30 euro for 1 suitcase if checked in at the airport) So that means we will have to pay 30 euro less if we don't have any suitcase! They will never do this. It's just an other way of earning money.

By Yce | 14 February 2013 12:31 AM

How stupid do klm think we are ? ... reduce luggage allowance and we will reduce prices ..** (** on only a couple of routes by a little and are still more expensive due to made up taxes / fuel surcharges )
Do they think that passengers stupid?

By paddy | 14 February 2013 1:20 AM

Like the USA? Apart from the punitive taxes, poor forced paid for health care, lack of customer service and sky high prices for everything you mean?
KLM just announced to me that their unique selling point in the market will no longer exist so they just lost a customer.

By joost | 14 February 2013 5:32 AM

Its time KLM realises where it is lagging behind with true competition. Overaged and overpaid crew. Hire foreign professionals I say.

By bigsam | 14 February 2013 11:17 AM

The article states that this refers only to travel within the EU.
It also reports that most internal passengers (myself included)carry only hand luggage.
Therefor the majority of passengers will not be effected.

By Donaugh | 14 February 2013 1:05 PM

Nice try Xeno, but KLM is part of Air France

By Marc | 14 February 2013 4:50 PM

I am sorry, but KLM is NOT a US airline of any sort! Code-sharing with any airline does not amount to merger! Big, big difference! KLM is very distinctive even from Air France, never mind any other airlines!!

By Sheila | 14 February 2013 5:23 PM

Race to the bottom - way to go, KLM. I've flown with KLM several times every year, this is likely to stop now.

By glenn_uk | 14 February 2013 6:26 PM

KLM has gone down the pan.
Dirty aircraft, insufferable staff.
Now they charge for luggage.
Why fly with them anymore?

By ExtraExtra | 14 February 2013 7:24 PM

@bigsam, you mean young and pretty flight attendants, like the Gulf carriers, who will be dismissed when they reach a certain age?

By pepe | 14 February 2013 7:28 PM

In 1989 KLM acquired a 19.3% interest in Northwest Airlines. In 1991 both airlines began operating codeshare flights on the North Atlantic route. The open-sky treaty signed by the Netherlands and the USA in 1992, and the anti-trust immunity granted to KLM and Northwest in 1993, enabled the airlines to operationally evolve a joint venture. The joint venture agreement was signed in 1997.

Also, KLM, Air France, Delta and Alitalia also have a joint-venture ==> http://www.klm.com/corporate/en/about-klm/joint-venture/index.html

Now that the facts are before you, Sheila & Marc, may I ask you what country did the practice of charging for baggage start?

Cheers ...

By Xeno | 14 February 2013 7:31 PM

KLM is a joke. Sorry but it always been a joke. If you fly a lot then you get miles. The amounts of miles needed for a "free" ticket has increased with 30-45% over the last year. Add to this that the cash charges ON TOP in some cases are more then buying a turn and return ticket with other airlines. Dutch, Please wake up this goes on all over the dutch society. You are cheated by your own people. Personal Responsibility is not a dirty word even if you seam to think so.If you do not change this will not change. when i fly long distances i fly to frankfurt, london or zurich first just not to fly KLM.

By expat-1979 | 15 February 2013 6:10 AM

@ Andy, You put your stuff in the hold because you have razor, shaving foam & shampoo in the bag?
I always have these items in hand luggage & it's never been a problem.

By Donaugh | 15 February 2013 10:01 AM

Not having to worry about awful baggage charges and junk was a big selling point for paying a little extra and flying KLM. Now, why bother? The prices clearly haven't fallen either, so KLM will just lose more customers. Good job guys.

By bobbianderson | 15 February 2013 10:51 AM

I've just received the KLM email about this. Apparently the checkedin-luggage charge does not apply to members of the frequent flyer programme Flying Blue or for tickets booked by BlueBiz or in the higher economy classes. It seems to be targeted at non-regular flyers who book a long time ahead, and presumably the "travel with the kitchensink and everything" tourists who otherwise would probably consider the lowcost airlines. So if you have a frequent flyer card then you are in the clear.

By Andy | 15 February 2013 11:56 AM

So many complaints when there is a simple solution: register for Flying Blue so nothing changes for you...Whining, whining, whining...

By Daniela | 15 February 2013 12:27 PM

And when you think the simple solution is to subscribe to Flying Blue...free of charge instead of complaining on internet. And then nothing is changed. But I guess whining is cooler...

By Daniela | 15 February 2013 2:07 PM

Does not matter to me at all... never fly with KLM :)

By GGG | 17 February 2013 2:32 PM

I love flying with KLM, with their eco-friendly disposable cups, super friendly service, amazing ground staff et al. I've been living in AMS for almost 6 years now, and for me: nothing beats the staff-in-blue!

As far as the €15 is concerned, pffffttttt ... Just get a free FlyingBlue number. Then: there's no €15 charge

Or better yet: join the hordes of travelers who fly within EU without checking in baggage .. And just walk right out of the plane and out of the terminal !

By Neil | 17 February 2013 7:26 PM

Well well, that didn't take long. BA is experimenting with a similar rule. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1440058-ba-launches-new-hand-baggage-only-fares.html

By pepe | 20 February 2013 4:59 PM

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