Itinerary was Boston to Manchester on Thomas Cook Airlines, and Manchester to Munich on Lufthansa. Computer system was down for Thomas Cook. 300 passengers checked in with hand-written boarding passes. Poor communication between airline and passengers. Delayed departure. Arrived in Manchester at 5:55am, an hour late. Misinformation in Manchester about what would happen with our checked bags. We were directed to transfers, only to find out that the hand-written bag tags were not accepted by transfers and we had to exit transfers to claim the bags. This delay caused me to miss my 7:25am connection to Munich. Better information and communication would have allowed me to make the flight. Was rebooked for 10:50am flight but at gate found out it was oversold, I had no "priority" because it was a rebooking, and my seat was given away to another passenger. I was then rebooked for 17:55 flight. I was told that my checked bag would be on it. At the gate for this later flight, I asked about my checked bag but was given no information, and the staff was not helpful in confirming my bag would be loaded. After a 12 hour layover in Manchester (should have been 2 hours), I boarded the 17:55 flight. I arrived in Munich and of course my bag did not make the flight. Effectively I lost a day on my trip, and this was a terrible experience. Flying multiple airlines on a single trip can really be awful if there is rebooking involved, as they don't work together, and neither treats you like a paying customer. I also would advise against flying Thomas Cook. Their computer system going down is inexcusable, and created a massive headache for not just me, but many passengers who missed connections.
I flew with multiple international airlines this summer and KLM was by far the best. The crew of KLM were exceptionally attentive, polite, and helpful. The meals were by far the most enjoyable of my airplane travel meals; and I learned that KLM does not charge for it's drinks on international flights, unlike most other international airlines that I traveled with this summer. In a sentence, flying with KLM was a very pleasant experience and I will recommend this airlines to others.
If I were going to list any negatives, I would say that the little travel pillow that was given to the passengers was so thin that it was practically useless, but I brought my own with me, so I was none the less comfortable.
The Amsterdam airport is super disorganized, with rude employees great at making excuses for their incompetence.
The boarding crew really struggled to organized the boarding and wouldn't really care about people's status. We had to take a bus to the airplane, and even though both plane's entrances were open, they sent everybody to the front entrance.
The comfort of the plane was horrendous, with seats over 20 years old and their business class was the same as the coach, but with no one sitting in the middle (can you get any lower than this?)
The flight attendant woke me up to shove a food tray that I didn't want.
We had to wait over 45 minutes after the plane landing to start seeing some luggage show up on the conveyor bell.
The overall flight experience make southwest look like a luxury airline. This was my first and last time flying on KLM.
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