Roller Coaster Typhoon

13th September 2008

We arrived at the airport to learn that we were being given an extra twenty-four hours of holiday thanks to Typhoon Sinlaku. The local staff in Taipei refused to provide any assistance other than rebooking me on a later flight. Airlines are indeed not required to provide financial compensation for acts of god, but it would surely have been possible for someone on the ground to help me out with booking accommodation? Fortunately, my trusty laptop came to the rescue, and in due course I'd made a suitable reservation at a nearby hotel.

The next important step was to claim for the additional costs on my travel insurance. My provider told me that they could only process a claim following an official letter from my airline stating why the flight was cancelled, an entirely reasonable policy. When I contacted KLM to obtain such a document, they replied as follows:

Dear Mr. Bannister,

We thank you for your e-mail.

Unfortunately such a document,as the one you are requesting,
does not exist and therefore there is no possibility to send you this
For additional information please contact us on the following telephonenumber:

We hope to have informed you accordingly.

With kind regards,

KLM E-Service Desk
Atif Baig

As requested I phoned the number. After waiting on hold for over twenty minutes, I was transferred to someone who said they'd send a suitable letter out in the post. It never arrived. At the time of writing I've just been on hold for a further thirty minutes to be cut off, and I'm giving up. Thank you KLM, I appreciate it.

Departure Board