KLM, the airline that charges couples to sit together

We recently returned from an excellent two week stay with Angelika’s family in Germany.

We flew KLM from Bristol to Amsterdam and then by train from Amsterdam to Hengelo with the final leg by car. Before flying out we checked in online and when you do this you can see the seats that have been selected for you and review them. We booked in October, fully two months before we flew, and expected to have been given two seats next to each other.

When we checked in however we discovered we were not sitting together, one of the seats was next to the Comfort Zone and one further down in the aircraft.

Interestingly the aircraft was full apart from the Comfort Zones seats next to and behind one of our seats.

To be next to each other, Angelika would have to upgrade to Comfort Zone and pay £11.70. It was the start of our holiday, we felt we had been unlucky to be placed in different zones of the aircraft. So we paid and upgraded to get the holiday off to a good start. On the day the flight went smoothly.

After two wonderful weeks it was time to return and so the day before we flew we logged onto the KLM site to check-in.

embraer190-ec-comf_tcm638-224058Imagine our surprise when again we were sat in two different rows, one in row 16 and one in row 26. Definitely not next to each other.

The aircraft was again full apart from the Comfort Zone which was empty. To sit together we would have to upgrade BOTH seats at a total cost of £23.40. We realised that KLM are determined to persuade people to upgrade in order to sit together.

We did not upgrade and on the return flight sat in our designated seats.

We have never had upgrade problems when flying Ryanair, we are always allocated two seats next to each other. On our next trip we will think twice before flying with KLM, who are definitely not a low cost airline



  1. Hi Steven,

    Sorry to learn about this. I can’t imagine Angelika and you travelling separately.

    What explanation do KLM have? Would you have received the same if treatment booked as a Mr. and Mrs., I wonder?

    I think Mrs. Bray and I might have paid the extra money, both for leg-room and the company – but, like you I would definitely be writing a piece here about it.

    Hopefully 2015 can offer you both more than this, because you certainly deserve it!

    Best wishes,

    Stephen 🙂

    • Thank you Stephen

      We booked two months before we flew

      We did upgrade and fly together going , we thought it may just have been a computer glitch that seated us apart.

      On the return journey (it is only 50 minutes) we sat apart , having decided jointly that the program that allocates seats has one mission – to maximise KLMs revenue only .

  2. Sounds like a bit of a cheeky scam! Don’t you normally get to choose your seats when you book the tickets to ensure that things like this don’t happen?

    • With KLM you normally choose your seats when you check in online.

      And if two people are on the same booking and make the booking two months before flying , logically you would expect to be sat together,

      As to being a scam I could not possible comment

  3. Hi Steven,

    It’s such a shame that things like this comes down to making more money. In my opinion, providing a good level of service thoughtfully seating couples together would be preferred, for building good long term relationships with their customers, rather than seeing it as just another opportunity to earn more money… sigh…

    • I completely agree with you, Anita. We were asked to give feedback after the first flight and complained about it, but nothing happened. I tweeted this post this morning and got a reply from KLM: “We are very sorry to hear you were not seated together, Angelika. We always try to meet everyone’s demands but in your case unfortunately weren’t able to do so..”

      I can understand that this could happen once, but not twice …

  4. When I used to fly frequently on KLM, last minute business passengers could hardly ever get in the non-smoking section. Separation on flights is no fun. Imagine the charges they could impose now, if you wanted to get one of you out of the smoking section? Your alternative choice would be a dry cleaning bill, professional hair wash and skin cleanser at a local spa.