Skyteam is Hardly a Team

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Getting into Geneva hopping through Colombo, Frankfurt and Amsterdam from Kuala Lumpur.

I had a few short intra-Europe flights on KLM in June this year. I had the opportunity to experience flying as a top tier Elite Plus member because Alitalia offered to do a status-match and I took up the offer without any hesitance. Unfortunately, I would have to describe my experience with KLM/Skyteam as appalling at best.


During my first leg of the journey, I checked in at the SkyPriority desk at Frankfurt airport and because I was early, I asked if I could be put on an earlier flight being aware that I was not on a flex-fare. Yet, the agent did not even try but rather immediately tagged my bags and gave me my boarding pass. Although the bags were labelled as “Priority” but these tags never made it to Geneva via Amsterdam. I was pretty sure someone ripped those tags off because all three of my ‘priority’ bag tags were missing. What are the chances that all three ‘priority’ bag tags went missing altogether?

Whilst the KLM Crown Lounge at Amsterdam Airport was decent, everything else on board was mediocre. Boarding was disorderly but there was no priority queue, so it didn’t matter if you were Elite or not.

Returning from Geneva to Amsterdam, bags were not tagged as Priority AGAIN because apparently only Business Class passengers were entitled to it. Wrong! Ground staff at Geneva, please read your carrier’s terms and conditions. Thank you very much! Walked all the way to security and saw a snaking line so I went back to the check-in desk to get a fast track sticker but was told they had none. None?! What the … ?!

My final leg out of Amsterdam and there too, the staff had no idea that Elite Plus members should have access to Priority baggage handling and fast track passes. What do Skyteam frequent flyer members get when they achieved elite status really left me puzzling. Every airport, every carrier and every ground staff seem to have their own interpretation of elite members entitlement. What on earth is this alliance thinking? Beats me.

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Andrew is a self-confessed guru when it comes to frequent flyer programmes. He claims that he is more familiar of the terms & conditions than the one who came up with the terms & conditions. His dream is to be able to feast on cookies day and night without getting fat.