On December 26, 2020 KLM flight 705 is scheduled for a flight at 10:25 am to Rio de Janeiro with a flying time of nearly 12 hours. The flight, operated with a Boeing 787, departs with a 16 minutes delay. However, the plane doesn’t get farther than the Canary Islands, where the aircraft makes a U-turn and flies back to the Netherlands. Nine hours and 12 minutes after takeoff the plane lands back at Schiphol Amsterdam airport. Thus, passengers experience a long delay.
KLM information not accurate
When we ask KLM what the problem was, the response is uninformative: “After 4½ hours flying the captain decides to return to Amsterdam to solve a technical issue. The safety of passengers and crew has never been compromised and the aircraft landed safely at Amsterdam Airport at 20:00 pm. Passengers board another plane and resume their journey at 20:30 pm. We can’t say anything about the technical problem.”
(This response seems inaccurate. According to our sources the flight arrives back in Amsterdam at 7:53 pm and the replacement aircraft departs at 9:24 pm.)
KLM not informative
Thus, KLM refuses to say something substantial about the incident. However, rumors are that 4½ hours into the flight the airliner suffers a cracked windshield at an altitude of 36,000 feet (11,000) meter). Specifically, it is an outer pane on the right-hand side that suffers a crack.
When only one layer cracks, the damage is minimal according to aviation experts. It just results in a loud bang that can be heard in the passenger cabin. Given KLM’s silence we aren’t sure that a cracked windshield was the problem. But the rumors are specific and credible.
Delay of 10½ hours
The passengers transfer to a replacement Boeing 787 that departs Amsterdam at 9:42 pm, almost 2 hours after their arrival. The flight to Rio takes 11 hours and 13 minutes, so eventually the passengers arrive at their destination with a delay of 10 hours and 35 minutes.
We don’t know whether members of Flying Blue, KLM’s frequent flyer program, earned frequent flyer miles on both flights. But it isn’t likely because the number of miles earned doesn’t depend on the distance flown. Rather, it depends on the ticket price. However, each passenger may be entitled to €600 ($734) compensation per EU regulation 261/2004
Related: KLM pays compensation by exception
Tags: KLM, cracked windshield, long delay