Let’s start this post that I love how KLM does most things but a recent email they sent seemed to be something a bit amateurish with some obvious mistakes. Before each flight KLM often sends out a checklist email but this one for my upcoming flight to Milan but I want to highlight some of the things they managed to mess up. This is a bit of a long post that highlights how KLM could have done it’s email to customers like me better based on all the data they already have in my profile.
Timing for email? Feels more like spam!
The email was sent on the 18th September which was 2 weeks before my flight which I don’t think is ideal and something that just annoyed me more than anything. The reason was I booked the flight on the 16th September and got a checklist reminder email less than 48 hours later which is just a wasted connection they had and I’m more likely to ignore future email communication from KLM as I assume it’s unnecessary emails like this. You have very few opportunities to connect with your audience so don’t screw it up!
My flight is to Milan, Italy and not the United States
This one peaked my interest, it’s important to know that an emergency passport is not accepted in the USA. That’s great advice but the flight is to Milan, Italy but maybe KLM thought I was flying to Milan, Michigan, USA? It’s important to note that the flight is a European flight and you don’t fly to any other Milan destinations such as Michigan, USA.
The second part of the issue is that in my KLM profile you have my Advanced Passenger Information that contains both my nationality and passport details. You have this data please use it and don’t scare your travellers about their upcoming flight that my passport is not accepted in the USA. I might not travel much or might not have read the sentence correctly and now I’m going to potentially freak out and use up your customer service resources to calm me down that my current passport is fine to use.
How to freak out your passengers about disease!
Asking passengers if they vaccinations are up to date is a good strategy for high risk locations, but since Italy like the rest of Europe has a chance of Tick-Borne Encephalitis is that something I need to be concerned about? Sure Tick season runs from April until October but you are putting too much into this email I’m still recovering about the news that my emergency passport is not valid in the USA and now I have to be concerned about getting vaccinated against Ticks?
A visa is required when travelling to Milan! No it’s not!
Again you have my Advanced Passenger Information on my booking and you can see that my nationality is Australian.
If you visit the Consulate General of Italy’s website you can clearly see that Australian’s don’t need one, and since you have my return travel details is less than 90 days. Below is a screenshot highlighting the most important part, I do NOT need a visa for up to 90 days.
Another issue is that if I did actually click on the apply here button I got taken to a broken page shown below.
This is a fairly bad experience for the passenger that is now freaking out about their emergency passport, the fact they need to be vaccinated when travelling in Europe and they now can’t apply for the Visa they don’t actually need.
Again Italy is in Europe, why the push for ETSA Authorisation?
Ok please just let it go I’m not flying to the USA on this trip, it’s just to Milan…. also if I click on the link it just takes my to My Trip and doesn’t specify that I don’t need a ESTA authorisation to travel to Milan, Italy as it’s in Europe.
Now all the extra items buried in the email?
Special Diet Questions? Yes, special diet questions is something that is actually important, but if I check the flight details I only get a snack, sandwich and/or meal. You should be able to know that it’s a short flight so you don’t actually offer à la carte meals for this flight so I understand there is nothing you can do anyway if I had a special diet or allergies.
Travel Insurance? I’m scare enough by this stage that I might just take out travel insurance but again you ignore your own data and can see I have a FlyingBlue Amex card attached to my account which offers travel and cancellation insurance. So why waste my time selling me something you know I don’t need or likely want?
Baggage? Well that’s something that is suitable but why not just include the details in the email as you know what I booked and what is my current KLM status level. Please just include those details in the email and don’t make me click another button!
How much crap do you want to put into a single email?
Sorry KLM but this is ridiculous you are now asking me even more random questions in the checklist email, I might have fallen asleep by this point or reported your emails as spam. The idea of important emails like this is not to try and throw as much as you can at your audience and see what sticks.
Travelling with Children? You can see from my booking that is not the case, please don’t waste travellers time asking questions not relevant to their booking!
Legroom matters? Sure this is a good one and probably something I would have considered if you told me about it 30 minutes ago when I started reading this novel worthy checklist you just emailed me.
Choose your favourite seat for free? You know when my flight is so why do you advise 334 days before departure instead of 16 days which it actually was.
Delicious à la carte meal? Again we have checked and as a passenger I’m not disappointed I can’t get a delicious à la carte meal on my flight but you keep reminding me just to annoy me I assume?
Choose your favourite seat? Wait am I slow or did you just ask me about this no more than 2 items before…. should I have picked the previous option which was free…. I’m getting the feeling you really want me to pick my seat before my flight…
Privacy? Yes that sounds like a great idea as you can see from my booking I’m travelling alone so is this just to remind me that I’m a loser for travelling alone? Well heck I want to do it anyway… let’s click the link and see what we get below
Try your luck for a seat in Business Class? Well they must have known the link for sitting together wouldn’t work as you can see above with the 400 error. Sadly this option doesn’t appear enabled for this flight which I assume KLM knows already based on the seat configuration but wanted to taught you about it for fun. It’s not that hard KLM don’t include extra items in the checklist that passenger’s can’t actually make any use of. I’m still heartbroken because I can’t sit together with my imaginary friend in a row of 2 seats which is not actually possible in the Boeing 737-800 which has only row of 3 seat configurations as you can see from the picture below which you should already know based on my booking.
Ok I’m over this email by now…
I don’t care about the KLM Crown Lounges, Renting a Car or booking any Accommodation by the time I’ve got to the bottom of the email which means KLM misses out on extra revenue from their passengers and that money will go somewhere else instead. I mean gmail actually clipped the message off that it was that long…
I had to click the link to view the email online to see there was a plug for their mobile app, a plug to download RingCredible and don’t forget their shopping services. KLM should be really concerned if their checklist emails are so badly stuffed with everything they could think of that Gmail clips part of the email off. I have included just some of the stuff that was clipped off it you don’t believe me on how much KLM is just trying to stuff into their emails.
Oh that’s not actually the end of the email, they forgot to include important links that should have been at the top of the email, links to their resources plus a large text footer that offers 3 unsubscribe links which I think I’m going utilize atleast one of them and escape from these types of emails ever getting into my inbox ever again. Yep after writing this post I’ve decided unsubscribing from these emails they class as booking support emails, as this is a commercial message they are trying to hide in their support emails which I don’t appreciate as you can see below.
KLM use data to offer a better personalised email
So you can see why I think KLM could do email marketing far better and this email checklist is something of a dog’s breakfast, and they really should make an effort to get their email checklists in order and start using data to personalise them or they will continue to upset their passengers before they have even boarded their flight. You ruined the opportunity you had with me before my next KLM flight and I’m sure many other people might consider opting out of your emails if you can’t get them right!