KLM flight prices

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by stuartmoss, 10 Jun 2018.

  1. stuartmoss

    stuartmoss Member

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    Hi, does anyone know if there is an optimum window in which to buy flights in terms of prices? I’m looking at KLM one way to Leeds in late August, there are three flights per day, which cost £135 each, which is more than double what budget operator Jet2 are charging, although with Jet2 I realise I’ll have to pay for hold luggage and seat allocation. The main problem is that the Jet2 flight is too early in the morning, so I’m looking at booking on KLM but am wondering are their prices likely to change? Thanks.
     
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  3. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    KLM are one of those airlines who try to discourage people from booking single journeys by making it cost as much for a single as a return. A single flight on 7th August from Amsterdam to Leeds on the 09:50 flight will cost Eur150 but if you book a return trip, say going back on 10th August at 17:20 the return flight cost will be Eur158.

    With Air France they even charge more for singles than returns!
     
  4. AlexNL

    AlexNL Member

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    You could consider flying from Manchester, there are more flights available on the MAN-AMS route.
     
  5. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Fairly certain KLM only move prices upward, and they charge for hold baggage too (I think everyone does on short haul now!).
    If the times suit, alternatives to MAN is Flybe from DSA (Robin Hood), or to Duesseldorf from LBA, both mid afternoon. Flybe might have a sale (it would be around now at a guess) but you wouldn't save much IME.
     
  6. DenmarkRail

    DenmarkRail Member

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    AF / KLM often charge more for singles than return, that being said, on the flights I look at, KLM is always the cheapest, and best value for money. They offer free food and drinks on ALL economy flights, as well as a better vibe than other airlines.

    I just booked (On KLM) BHX-AMS-YVR-LAX-MSP-AMS-BHX for only £854 (2 people)! I had a BHX-AMS-JFK-AMS-BHX for only £500 (2 people) back in April!
     
  7. stuartmoss

    stuartmoss Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. I think I’ll have to put up with the early Jet2 flight.
     
  8. chubs

    chubs Member

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    That's standard for a KLM return flight UK regional airport to Schiphol. A lot of business customers use them so they can get away with it, also people going further via Schphol (who get that segment much cheaper).

    Hold luggage costs extra with KLM for many years now.

    They do still provide a very good service compared to others like BA but if there is a much cheaper loco option then id choose that every time.
     
  9. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Can be annoying that KLM dont do one ways at a fair price. From Glasgow the flight times allow a daytrip to AMS but its dear , as soon as you stay overnight the price is reasonable . I find with KLM.AF the cheapest fares are either double connection through AMS and CDG or a really short connection . Annoying when a time suits you but its +200 for that .
    I did manage to book INV - AMS AMS - GLA one ways on expedia
     
  10. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    Just have to say, I love KLM. They are just about the only airline still flying scheduled services out of Durham Tees Valley plus they serve almost every other UK regional airport which has a terminal bigger than a bus shelter. I'd sooner fly via Amsterdam anyday rather than face the horror of Heathrow, even with a third runway. I've just booked a flight to Chicago and can verify that the return leg cost £0.00. KLM seem to take a leaf out of the old BR system of charging the same or a tiny bit more for a return as opposed to a single fare.

    Third runway at Heathrow - who needs it with KLM?
     
  11. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    +1

    The OP is unlikely to find KLM viable for their needs, as others have noticed KLM incentivise round-trips over one-ways, and if you book a return you generally need to stay away over Saturday night to get the best fare.

    However, like Andrew above, we live near a provincial UK airport (Norwich) with three daily flights to Schiphol, and since starting to use KLM for business a few years ago my wife and I have sworn off Heathrow for life. It usually costs £50-150 more than the cheapest available flight from Heathrow, but avoiding the train/tube or coach to Heathrow is worth it. Schiphol is a breeze to connect through, even though most KLM Cityhopper flights from smaller UK cities use bus gates at AMS.
     
  12. markindurham

    markindurham Member

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    One other point with KLM, and indeed other airlines. Booking early is best - prices usually go up, as 30907 has suggested, the closer to the departure date you get
     
  13. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Though not necessarily cheaper.Especially if (like me) early starts aren't possible. Your best (or least worst) might be to check the price of the 1105 departure. easyjet also fly from MAN, but from casual obs on Skyscanner aren't much cheaper.

    I don't know if it applies in the UK, but I think I once read that following the growth of lo-co airlines in the States and then computerisation of pricing, the best time to search for cheap flights is Tuesday afternoons!
     
  14. James James

    James James Member

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    Heathrow has the additional disadvantage of forcing all non-domestic-arriving passengers through an unnecessary round of security when connecting, which mainland airports avoid when arriving from "safe" origins. It truly is the most miserable airport to transit through, only beaten by connecting international->domestic at a US airport. (Passport control is also shambolic, sufficiently shambolic that some people use airside terminal transfers to reduce their immigration waits.)

    Trust me, Tuesday afternoons are a complete and utter myth. What happens on many routes is that tickets are cheapest 4-6 weeks in advance (I spent over a year regularly flying the same route, which let me confirm that pattern), but it's also never guaranteed (I witnessed some exceptions to the rule).
     
  15. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Never had the oppurtunity to do it myself, but I understand KLM long haul have always had a better reputation than virtually any other Airline (and I'm talking amongst Economy pax). Certainly, KLM via AMS always used to be stress free compared with other hubs, but as I said last week after my trip to Stockholm, I fear both Airline & Airport are letting standards slip.

    Besides, to love KLM (short haul), you must also love tiny egg and mustard sarnies..... yeeuuck!
     
  16. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    Don’t forget the stroopwaffles!

    I’ve done AMS-JNB; my partner has done AMS to SIN, KUL, BKK, HKG, ICN and a few more that I forget. KLM long haul in Economy is excellent... nothing fancy but good seats on most 777 and A330, with fast and responsive in flight entertainment, plus generally charming service from good crew. I wouldn’t pay extra for Economy Comfort, and I haven’t had the chance for Business Class beyond Europe, so cant comment.
     
  17. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    No stroopwaffles on my flights!
     
  18. chubs

    chubs Member

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    Did you actually check how much a one way was? If you entered details and ticked return then the booking engine says £0 not because the return leg is free but because it is the cheapest flight that day and is part of the price it is already showing you. If you choose a different departure that day then you pay the premium of +£40 or whatever, that isn't the total cost of the flight.
     
  19. chubs

    chubs Member

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    KLM economy longhaul is good. It's much better than BA (not hard) but nowhere near the standard of Singapore or Malaysian.

    Shorthaul is very handy but if you need a last minute flight they gouge you because they know they can - Two of us had to fly to Schiphol a couple of days notice for a funeral last year and it was over £300 each. A family member wanted to do the reverse trip the other day due to an extreme emergency and it was even worse.
     
  20. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Our long-haul default, now we've retired, is KLM business class, usually on 777s, from Manchester.
    With no first class, you do get good personal service (they remember your name!) in a small cabin and most of their planes have flat beds.
    I've done MAN-AMS-JNB a few times, and although the times are not ideal (day flight southbound, late night northbound) it beats the Air France 380 via CDG hands down.
    AF evidently reserves its best service for its first class customers.
    We've also been to Toronto and Salt Lake City (new 787) on KLM.
    Connecting in AMS on a business class fare, you get a front seat on the short leg and are first off the plane, and use of the KLM lounges at AMS.
    Generally the prices are as good as you can get for a decent carrier, and often better than more direct routes.
    Not so good for Australia/New Zealand though, as KLM partner with Malaysian and it's a messy journey with high prices.
    Some of this is dictated by the frequent flyer scheme you are in, and I'm in SkyMiles (Delta), so usually go for their partners KL/AF.
    These days, I wouldn't even think of BA, given their treatment of Manchester and the bedlam that is LHR.
    One of the variables at AMS is the runway your flight uses.
    If you use the furthest Polderbaan runway it's a long way to the terminal, which can make a big difference if you have a short connection.
    But you can't beat EasyJet and Ryanair for cheap single-leg trips (ie out to A, back from B), with these days very little difference in service standards.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jun 2018
  21. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    KLM is, I believe, one of the only airlines to fly southbound Europe > JNB / CPT in the daytime, and then northbound JNB / CPT to Europe in the nighttime. Both BA and Virgin fly overnight in both directions, which means their aircraft sit on the ground in South Africa for more than 12 hours. It isn't good fleet utilisation, but it maximises connectivity at each end.

    The advantage is that KLM is one of the only airlines that allows you to see the length of the African continent in daylight. Everyone else flies through the night in both directions. I was pretty mesmerized by the transition from Saharan to sub-Saharan landscapes when I flew south a few months ago.
     
  22. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    I thought it was because operationally, it's difficult for a fully-loaded aircraft to take off at JNB (a 'hot and high' airport) in the heat of the day. I don't know if KLM use different aircraft, or a lower payload in order to do it?

    On LHR, I often hear about 'Heathrow Hell' but I don't see it. Connecting off a domestic and staying within T5 is truly the most painless connection there is. If I'm not in the departure lounge within 3 minutes of stepping off a flight from NCL I'm disappointed in myself.

    AMS is pleasant to connect too, of course. Especially non-Schengen to non-Schengen (or Schengen-Schengen), where you usually don't need to pass security again, but there are some very long walks and, as above, a high chance of bussing. KLM seem to be very good at disruption, too (and I mean that in a genuinely positive way!). Probably 50% of my trips with them have had a problem of some sort (missed connection, lost bag, cancelled flight) but there's system in place and each time I've been rebooked / put up in a hotel / had bags delivered quickly and without issue. BA by contrast...
     
  23. James James

    James James Member

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    It might be something to do with KLM now using the 787, which one would assume has better takeoff performance (assuming the batteries aren't on fire and the engines aren't exploding). And mornings arrivals are better for many connections, presumably AMS-JNB has enough point-to-point traffic to fill those flights without connections.

    Heathrow Hell is usually the opposite direction. Completely unnecessary security checks when flying in from anywhere outside the UK (EU/EFTA and Canada generally trust flights from EU/EFTA/Canada/US, you'll only end up going through security by random selection or if the airport has run out gates in the secure area). And I've heard many ugly tales of huge queues at arrival-immigration at Heathrow (whereas transfer immigration is generally OK). Then there's the baggage chaos which has happened more than once - on both occasions I learned about the baggage meltdown from the handily located TV monitors dotted around T5, of course there was no warning from BA...
     
  24. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Night flights, you get the oilfield fires across Libya, the thunderstorms across the equatorial region, and daylight breaking over the savannah (sometimes over Kariba).
    But once we were snowed in in Paris, with hours queuing for de-icing before escaping to the southern summer. :)
    Day flights you have the Alps, the Med, the Sahara and the rainforest.
    Epic trips, either way.
    Thunderstorms at JNB can be epic, too.
     

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