Lounge access with award ticket?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Sweden's Ford Fairlane, Apr 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. I have searched both the forums at Flyertalk and Milepoint for this, but so far I've come up with nada.

    The background is; I'm Flying Blue Elite Plus (KLM Gold) and I just bought an award ticket for my brother ARN-AMS-ACC and back. Due to Flying Blue's tacky award system, my brother needs to spend six hours at Schipol on the way down (I live in Accra in Ghana) and eight hours on the way back home to Sweden.

    Now to my question - on his ticket it says that he can bring three pieces of luggage, two standard and one for the Elite Plus status - does this mean that he will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the Elite Plus? For example - lounge access at Schipol...

    I've really tried to find a clear answer but it seems to me that KLM either are reluctant to admit that it is ok, or either they have no idea that anyone could ever have such a question.

    Let me know if you have any idea on how to find an answer!

    Cheers!
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    My guess is that the luggage information is wrong and that there will be no lounge access or other privileges. I say this because everything that I know about SkyTeam gives travel privileges based on the status of the passenger and not the status of the account for miles (unless, of course, you were travelling with brother, which doesn't seem to be the case here).
     
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  3. Thanks for a quick answer - I'd guess you're right, but it sucks. I mean, after all I am the one who have done all the flying to get the miles, and no matter if I benefit from those or if it is someone not in their program, Flying Blue should treat it as if it was me.

    But to be on the safe side I'll just tell him to go to the Crown Lounge and ask. After all the worst case scenario is a simple "No."
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    If it's a WBC/affaires/BE ticket, then he will have lounge access based on the cabin class, even on an award ticket.
     
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  5. DestinationDavid
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    Right, I was gonna say we should probably ask the class of service for the ticket he redeemed. :)
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    Two bags doesn't sound like coach, but it's Africa so I don't know the rules.
     
  7. DestinationDavid
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    Since OP says his brother is flying AMS-ACC I'm assuming it's with KLM. In that case KLM's economy ticket allows 2 bags according to this.

    Business class is a flat 2 bags as far as I can tell though, so still not sure if the ticket is Y or J with regards to lounge access.
     
  8. Oh, yeah - my bad. My brother travels on an economy class ticket. Not sure what letter that is though.

    But as I said earlier, I guess the best way to find out is for him to go to the lounge and ask. I'll keep you posted.
     
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  9. Cholula
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    Please do that as we'd be interested in hearing the answer.

    And welcome to Milepoint!
     
  10. torbster
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    Welcome to MP Ford! "So many assholes.. so few bullets" :D
     
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  11. Will do. He's travelling on Thursday so you'll have to wait for a while longer.

    However, I just came think of one detail that further supports my own idea (that he'll be let into the lounge) - when I chose seats for him, I took 31A (Boeing 777-200), with extra legroom. Normally such a seat should cost 35€, but since I am Elite Plus I get them for free. And he did as well. So even though he is the passenger on the ticket, never having travelled with KLM before, he got the seat for free.

    Anyway, I'll have an answer for the whole ordeal on Friday at the latest. :)
     
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  12. torbster
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    Some very valuable info here (and only your 4th post, impressive) :)
    would be very interesting to hear if his boarding pass reflects your status as well, if so he should have no problemo with lounge access IMO..
    Thanks for the update!
     
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  13. MSPeconomist
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    Yes, and welcome to MP, Sweden's Ford Fairlane.
     
  14. ACMM
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    Let us know how it all turns out :) And another welcome to milePoint and a like to continue you on your journey here :)
     
  15. ...and the saga continues. I just got this from the Flying Blue Customer Service:
    I am still in doubt though, especially considering I managed to book the seat for free, plus the fact that my flying blue number is attached to his ticket. We'll see...
     
  16. GenevaFlyer
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    Hi,

    Two conflicting bits of information to add:

    - When my wife traveled on an AF award using my miles, she was treated like a Platinum ... the AF agents even sent her to the lounge.

    - The catch could come at the lounge, when they ask to see your FB elite card. I don't know if they do name matching when they scan the boarding pass.

    But, as has been said, it does not hurt to try :) (Like I did on a US domestic flight, and still got lounge access in MCO, but only because the lounge was quiet enough)

    GenevaFlyer
     
  17. Allright - time for an update:

    My brother was not allowed into the lounge. In the Crown Lounge at Schipol they did a name check and saw that he was indeed a Mr. Fairlane, but not the Mr. Fairlane. So they asked for his Flying Blue card, at which point my brother bailed out and started mumbling something about his secretary having booked the flight...

    What we can learn from this is (at least) the following:

    • an award ticket with Flying Blue, booked for someone else than the Flying Blue member, and booked via the KLM website, will show the Flying Blue no. of the member - and thus give benefits as cheaper seats, priority luggage, etc - but no lounge access.
    • do not try to fabricate a story in which your secretary made a mistake, especially if you look like a 25-year-old student who never even has been close to having a secretary.
    • if possible, try to see to it that the person you book the award ticket for has the exact same name as you have, that way he/she would be one step closer to lounge access...

    In a week it's time for him to go home - and judging by what I know about ghanaians and their knowledge of lounge access rules (non-existent) - he will at least be let into the lounge at Kotoka International Airport, always something, especially considering the checkin closes three (3!) hours before departure and the airport itself easily qualifies as really boring.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    It sounds like KL processes the award seats similar to CO's policies. CO extends the elite privileges to the ticket for the seat selection and the baggage. It is a "bug" but one that they are aware of and which they have indicated they do not plan to fix. Lounge access depends on the agent. Officially not permitted but I know that my cousin got in on a flight I booked for him with my points because the BP had the EliteAccess and Platinum/*Gold designations on it.
     
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  19. Counsellor
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    How about another update - did he get into the lounge at Kotoka?

    Last time I was there, a few years back, the airlines all used a lounge operated by the airport (no individual airline lounges), and the "dragons" guarding the lounge were relatively clueless, but they did have a book containing instructions from each airline as to who had access on their dime (I think the airlines were charged per passenger), and they tended to follow it to the letter.

    What's the current situation?
     
  20. And here's the latest news:

    Since my brother is my younger brother (and by that also not as handsome, smart and humble as I am), first of all he was late enough to the airport for him to have to rush through the checkin, immigration and everything. Second of all, by that he only managed to be in the lounge for 25 minutes. However - he did get in to the lounge at Kotoka. The crew in Accra are, just as you describe them, "relatively clueless", the system you mentioned with airlines charged per passenger has been changed though to a more logical one - the airlines issue invitations to the lounge if you are entitled to it.

    In the end though I think it boils down to who is sitting at the front desk at the Crown Lounge in Amsterdam, sometimes I only show my ticket and they wave me through, and sometimes they do a thorough checkup.

    And as an epilogue, I can mention that my brother went in to Amsterdam during his eight hours in transit on his way back home from Accra. Saw some tulips, had some Amstel and ate himself full on Edamer cheese. :)
     
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  21. dildooba44

    dildooba44 Silver Member

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    I've had no lounge experience except a few times in Delta Sky Club as a guest w my brother. I'm considering buying an award ticket to Cameroon on UA and the only choice is flying through BRU (now that LX doesn't fly to Cameroon). I'd be flying Business on SN. I can't seem to find anywhere on the web and on here that says if I could get lounge access in BRU. I don't have status on any airline, yet. I did see on the *A site that they note that you must have a revenue tickets for entry.
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    You will have access to the Sunrise Lounge in BRU on the outbound journey. It is the nicest of their lounges in the airport and overall I enjoyed my time there. In this context the award ticket is considered revenue.
     
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  23. dildooba44

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    Thanks much. Why in this context is it revenue? I thought revenue is revenue (but I'm happy it's as you say).
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    In the world of how tickets are treated in terms of benefits (e.g. lounge access and accommodation in the case of IRROPS) tickets paid for with real money and tickets paid for with miles/points are all considered revenue. Employee pass travel, industry discount tickets (ID, ZED, etc.) and other similar types are considered non-revenue. Just is what it is. And it works in our favor so I don't question it too much. ;)
     

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