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Who gets priority at KLM?

Gold and platinum members of Flying BlueAir France/KLM’s frequent flyer program – can reserve seats in the so-called comfort zone, where the pitch is somewhat larger than in the rest of coach class, without paying a fee.

Recently, they got the possibility to include their seat preferences (window or aisle) in their profiles. Several members wrote us that KLM

disregards their preferences. On intercontinental flights they could reserve middle seats in the comfort zone, but no aisle seats.

One of them asks the passengers in the aisle seats left and right of him whether they are Flying Blue members. The answer is “No”. Next, he asks whether they paid a fee for their seats. Again they say “No”.

Our readers consider it strange that an occasional KLM flyer gets an aisle seat and a platinum member a middle seat. One of them wonders: “Does KLM take it for granted I will fly them?”

KLM’s web site states about seat selection: “We can’t always guarantee your choice, but we’ll do our very best – whether you’ve reserved online, by phone or through a travel agent.”

A KLM-spokesperson admits that Flying Blue members have no priority in seat selection. Our readers's problem, however, is that KLM gives priority to occasional travelers.

The spokesperson points out that travelers “can select their seats themselves through Manage My booking from 90 days prior to departure and online from 30 hours before flight. If you are fast you have more choices and, thus, more chances to get your favorite seat.”

But occasional flyers not paying a seat fee cannot be faster than Flying Blue members. Could our reader be right that KLM assumes he will fly them anyway?

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