KLM is sometimes a baffling airliner.
The first time I stepped on board of a KLM aircraft ( age 7, 31 years ago, a DC-10 to Hamburg ), it set in motion my undying love for aviation. I – seriously – love to fly. I sometimes joke I am most comfortable at 35,000 feet zooming along at a good 900 km / hour. (depending on wind).
KLM – as the country flag carrier – has been a very solid factor in all that. Whenever I fly, it’s usually KLM, mostly because it has a vast network that pretty much takes me from my own backyard ( the airport is a 40 minute drive ) to anywhere in the world.
I might not have raked up as many frequent flyer miles as a lot of people ( or even as much as my girlfriend, who flies a lot on business and to visit friends ), but I have a solid accumulation, and in general, there is not a year that goes by without at least 4 flights, 2 of which intercontinental. It used to be more when my girlfriend still lived in Vienna. (I would say a good 16 flights at it’s peak).
Because we are a traveling couple, and love to visit Japan amongst many other countries, we got ourselves Privium. Privium is a quick-border passing service at Schiphol, it works based on an iris-scan. You get a special card to use the special privium border control gates, and it also gives you access to the speed-lanes ( the lanes commonly reserved for businessclass travellers) in the common sections of the airport. Privium also has a very lovely lounge which provides a nice place to camp out for a while, and have something to eat. But best of all: you get to not stand in line for passport control and central security check. (and we all known how busy those lines can get, right?).
On top of this you get priority parking ( though some of the services depend on which level of privium to subscribe to ) at P1 and P2, discounts here and there, and businessclass check-in at airlines that are cooperating with privium.
And here we get to todays source of bafflement. KLM – despite Schiphol being its home port – does not cooperate in privium. THE airline a privium user is most likely to use the most! I can not wrap my brain around how this could be. Clearly the privium user is the type of user KLM would want to service, the one that pays extra for speedy access, because they are a frequent flyer.
It is a strange world we live in.