Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “KLM

The trend is spreading……more extras from the airlines…

Thought for the day…” Common sense ain’t common”

” If you do not fight for what you want, then do not cry for what you lost”

I have had many good flights with Lufthansa.   Sometimes they have problems, but they are usually very good at trying to sort alternatives out.   Same thing with Swiss Airlines (now also part of the Lufthansa group).    So I had been loyal to them for a long time, and generally very happy with the service and fares.  But it appears that they have now gone the same way as airlines in the USA and also the European budget airlines.   Sad to see that they are now charging for seat reservations (up to 25 euros each flight for long haul for a basic seat).   Not only that, but Swiss airlines are now offering a bag-only fare (to Geneva), ie. if you want to travel with a check-in bag then you must pay more.    And Austrian Airlines are offering Economy passengers the chance to enjoy a better meal on payment of an extra 15 euros.  And KLM (part of Air France), who I refuse to fly with on the grounds of previous bad flights and bad customer service, add in extra charges for paying by credit cards, and also an extra fee of 25 euros if you book by telephone, as well as an extra 15 euros if you check in a bag.   And if you want an economy ‘Comfort’ seat, (are the other seats called discomfort seats on KLM?) with UP TO 10 cm more space, then KLM give you the chance to pay between 5 and 160 euros EXTRA for the UP TO 10cm extra.   And the final straw…..Wizzair airline is also charging for carry-on baggage.

So the quality airlines are copying the budget airlines, and the lines between them become less clear.     But the trend does not stop with airlines.   Swebuss, the Swedish long-distance bus company is offering passengers who pay extra the chance to board the bus first.  Viking Line, the Finnish ferry company that operates around the Baltic is giving passengers even more chances to pay extra…..extra charge to reserve a window seat in the restaurant, extra charge for late check in with a car, extra charge for priority disembarkation with a car etc.

People used to mock Ryanair because although the basic fare was cheap, everything else was extra.    That was the standing joke.  Now it seems, that bus companies, ferry companies and even quality airlines are all going the same way.  You pays your money and you takes your choice, as they say….

Today’s photo comes from Interlaken, near the centre of Switzerland.  A paraglider frames the 4158m Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Oberland in  Switzerland.  If you are feeling energetic, then you can enter for the annual Jungfrau Marathon, which is run uphill.  One nice touch is that they have Swiss chocolate at the refreshment points during the race.    No doubt that the runners will need a lot of chocolate to run the 42 km uphill.

LOW-RES-Jungfrau

and another photo from the archives…capturing the moment in Korea…

wordpress-Korean-women

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Never again Air France/KLM – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Have you ever thought that the word ‘politics’  comes from the Latin word ‘poli’ meaning ‘many’ and tics, which are blood sucking creatures?”

“Why does round pizza come in a square box?”.

Another airline on the ‘no-fly’ list, or rather, the AirFrance/KLM group.    I cancelled some flights with them about 2 years ago, and whilst I knew that the ticket was non-refundable, the taxes were (because they had not been incurred).  Yet try getting these unused taxes back from Air France (who are collecting the taxes in advance in anticipation that they will become payable WHEN you make the flights).     Lots of useless replies from their so-called Customer Service, many unanswered emails and also wrong answers from them when they did reply.  The matter dragged on and on, and eventually, a partial refund of the taxes was received, but even then AF took out an extra administration fee.

It should not be a difficult and frustrating matter to get unused taxes refunded, but with the KLM/AF group then it is.    The poor customer ‘service’ from AF, their frequent wrong answers, and also their use of  no reply email addresses just made the whole matter so frustrating.    Life is too short to have problems like these, so based on my experience of AF/KLM ‘customer service’ then I will not be making any more bookings with them.   Better to avoid problems in future, and I do not want another exercise in frustration, which is what dealing with AF/KLM turned out to be.    And any airline that sends out emails to which you cannot reply should be avoided.   Lesson learned !!  Good customer service is important, except, apparently at AF/KLM.     So by sending out emails that you cannot reply to, and by making the whole business of getting a refund of unused taxes so frustrating then they have lost all future custom.    Why send out emails that you cannot reply to, especially when those emails come from the CUSTOMER SERVICE department?     And why mess people around when refunding unused taxes should be quick an easy??   AF/KLM will not be seeing me onboard again.

An abstract photo today for a change.    Some beachside railings on a promenade taken from an unusual angle, and then cropped to make it a little more unusual.   See what you think.

web-version-promenade

 

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New, looking old – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Better to be a star rather than a spark.  Sparks are for the moment, stars are for the future”.

“Talent is the key to success, but you have to find the door”.

Update on the story about the refund from Air France.    I cancelled an air ticket with AF, and understood that the actual ticket was not refundable, as the conditions stated, but asked Air France to refund the taxes.  Things like departure taxes had not been incurred, as I had not travelled, so I expected a refund of these.  After many many emails to Air France, and to some very unhelpful customer ‘service’ departments, then finally I got a refund, minus a 20 euro ‘administration fee’.  Still very unhappy with Air France because I had to write so many emails to them, but at least I have got most of the taxes back.   So the moral of this story is that even if the airline says no in the beginning, then keep on at them as they ARE supposed to refund the taxes.

A new photo made to look old for today’s picture.  The shot comes from the museum at Ballarat in Australia, and started off as a colour photo, then was converted to black & white and finally was given the sepia touch to make it look old.    It was just a matter of waiting for the tourists to disappear out of the scene then an easy job to capture this scene, which could be from the 1800s but is actually quite recent.

LOW-RES-Ballarat


More colour, new apartments Oslo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….”  A fool and his money are soon elected”                     ”  Money often costs too much”

21st century.  Some companies have still not accepted this fact.  Far too many companies are not making it clear how to contact them using email.  There are so many websites where email addresses are either hidden or else are just not there.  Try contacting a customer service department directly at an airline.   Air France/KLM for example, seem to make it near impossible to get hold of their customer service department, and even when you do, they do not want to help.   Other companies hide their email addresses, making contact difficult.   Very easy when you want to pay or buy something, but when you have a query or want to get a refund, then it is a very different story.    Just been trying to contact AVIS to cancel a car reservation, but have spent a lot of time trying to find their email address.    Lesson learnt for next time !

Proving how bright colours can improve a modern building, here is a photo of some new apartments in Oslo.   The effect of the bright colours in breaking up standard concrete and glass apartments is wonderful, and the warm shades catch the attention of passers-by.  This was one of a series of shots, just waiting to get a passer by in the right position to finish off the photo, as here.

low-res-oslo-Aker-Bryga-colour

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Desperation in El Salvador – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” A good idea without action is as pointless as a spear without a tip”.

”  The hardest part of getting to the top is getting through the people at the bottom”.

How stupid is this.   I am still trying to get a full refund from Air France (not a good airline), and after sending yet another email to them, I received the following reply-

“Thank you for your Email alerting us to the problem you have been having with your refund .For further investigation , I would like to advise you to contact our Customer Care Department directly.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused, but there is no direct Email addresse to contact the Customer Relations Department .”

How stupid is it that Air France claim that their Customer Care (and there is a misnomer if ever there was one) do not have an email address.  They even answered my email to say that they do not have an email address!   And how are people supposed to contact them?   What a way to run a business.    So if anyone from Air France is reading this, then get your act together.

With a population of around 6 million, El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.  It has frequent earthquakes as it is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, , and also has around 20 volcanoes, with two of them active recently.  A large part of its foreign earnings come from residents who work abroad, maninly in the USA.  Sadly, it has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with drugs and gangs being prevalent.  Spanish is the main language, and the US dollar is used as currency.    A popular national dish is the pupusa, which is a corn tortilla, usually hand made and often filled with cheese or beans.    Fried plantain is a popular breakfast item, as is deep fried cassava root.    The capital, San Salvador, has around 2 million people, and lies in a volcanic valley.

The photo here comes from the town of Naza, El Salvador, the look is either desperation, sadness or hopelessness.

Wordpress-Naza-woman-2-final

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Simple but powerful, shapes and colour – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with”.

”  Love is like a war, easy to start, hard to end”.

Stupid companies.    There are a lot around, run by stupid people.   I am hoping that they go out of business fast, but sadly they are still around, bugging me.   Air France is one example.    Try finding an email address on their website.    Of course, they freely give out numbers to ring on an expensive telephone line, but very conviently hide their email addresses.   They are quick enough to take your money, but when you want to get a refund, then the walls go up and they just do not want to know.   A good company will not cover up its email address, as email is the normal way of communication in the 21st century, except for Air France of course.  Until I get my refund from them, then Air France/KLM/Transavia will not see anymore of my money.

Simple and powerful for the photo today, and a photo of a well-know petrol station sign in perfect weather and with perfect light.   Simple, but it works.    Did you know that the colour red can make you feel hungry, whilst the colour green has the opposite effect?   The colour blue is said to convey trust and reliability.   Blue is also the favourite colour of most people   Chromatophobia is the fear of colours, whereas leukophobia is fear of the colour white.

Wordpress-sign

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Hats off – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Pay attention, it is free !”    ” There is more than one door into wonder”.

“If anger is your most frequently used outlet, then try unplugging it for a while”.

Air France/KLM deserve to go out of business.   I am still arguing with their so called ‘customer service’ for a refund of taxes on an unused ticket.    Their ‘customer service’ staff clearly have no interest in trying to resolve matters, and seem intent on just annoying even more passengers.   I am not surprised that Air France/KLM group is making big cutbacks.  At one time, KLM used to be a good airline (probably Air France too), but not anymore.    Far too few staff working in their check-ins/ground staff, and also old, tired aircraft and crews that also seem to have lost interest.    Even if their fares may appear cheaper, life is too short to have unpleasant flights, unpleasant staff, and a customer service section that appears to be ANTI customers.   Had Air France/KLM processed (or even agreed to the refund) in a reasonable time, then possibly more bookings would have been made with them.    But their ‘customer service’ has just been so bad over the last flights that they are now no longer an option.   The good thing is that some of the Eastern/Middle Eastern Airlines (for example, Qatar Airways) are FAR superior to Air France/KLM.    The unhelpful replies from their ‘customer service’ have done it now.   No more flights with Air France/KLM.  Not just one flight that has led to this decision, but a series of poor flights and poor experiences with them.   I could write a long story about some of the incidents, over many flights.   Life is too short to endure the poor treatment by Air France/KLM.  I hope that they are soon bankrupt.  They deserve to be.

And for the photo today…..some hats on a market stall.   But can you guess from which country?

LOW-RES-hats-Croatia

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Lift off, Queen of the Skies – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Life is a gift.  Are you going to unwrap it or leave it in the box”

”  Beauty only gets attention but personality captures the heart”.

An estimated 6 million parts go into the making of the 747 jumbo jet, half of them being fasteners.  It has around 274 km of wiring and about 8km of tubing.   The tail of a 747 is about the same height as a 6 storey building.  When it was first built, around 75 000 engineering drawings were used.    The 747 series has been extremely sucessful, and has logged around 78 billion kilometres in flight, equivalent to about 102 000 return trips to the Moon, and is said to have carried around 5.6 billion passengers in total.    Newer models of the 747 can carry over 240 000 litres of fuel.   Interesting that the Wright brothers first flight  could have been performed within the 45m length of the economy cabin of a 747.   The 747 400 seen in this photo is departing from Curacao in the Caribbean for the flight back to Amsterdam.  My experience of KLM is that they are no longer a good airline,  with poor service, poor aircraft interiors and poor customer service.  Whilst they may have been good at one time, I stopped using them a long time ago.  They have been overtaken by other airlines, and I do not recommend them.

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LOW-RES-747

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Photo of the Day Saturday 16th March 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Make peace with your past so it will not mess up the present”.

“Light travels fast than sound.  This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak”

Up into the air for the photo today and the queen of the skies, the 747 (actually a 747 400 in the photo).     It first flew in 1969 and more than 1450 ‘jumbos’ have been built.   It cruises at 920 km/h and has a range of 13 450km.   The list price of a new 747 800 (the latest model) is USD 351 million.   Interesting, the early versions carried URANIUM as ballast to stop a problem with wing flutter, not good in the even of a crash, as did an El Al 747 at Amsterdam in 1992, carrying 282 kg of uranium in the tailplane.  In 1991, one 747 took off with 1087 passenger aboard as part of Operation Solomon.

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WORDPRESS-KLM-2

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Photo of the Day Sunday 3rd February 2013 – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”Don’t take life too seriously, you will never get out of it alive’.

“I used to eat a lot of natural food, until I learnt that most people die of natural causes”.

“Life is sexually transmitted”

If anybody from the ‘Customer Service’ section at KLM/Air France is reading this, then would you please tell me how you got jobs in ‘customer service’.   Apparently, KLM Air France are unable to answer emails and also do not know the importance of customers.    But hey, hopefully KLM Air France will be out of business soon.    With customer ‘service’ as bad as they have, then I am surprised that they have lasted so long.    But the staff that KLM Air France have working now are lucky, they get paid for seemingly doing nothing.   Terrible airline!!

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LOW-RES-GAMBIA-Bakau-woman-