KLM states in a statement that it will process passenger requests as soon as possible. “We look at the circumstances of the cancellation per flight and per case and we follow the European guidelines,” said the company. “For example, we look at the reason for cancellation, duration of the delay, whether or not a rebooking has taken place.” KLM is also looking at additional costs. “We will compensate and pay everyone who is entitled to compensation within the specified period of seven days.”
People whose flight is unexpectedly canceled can usually choose between a rebooking or a refund. Travelers who were in transit and missed a connection due to the cancellation can also be reimbursed the costs of any return flight. Furthermore, in addition to the cost of a hotel, injured travelers can also be reimbursed for meals and refreshments that are in reasonable proportion to the waiting times. Compensations can also be paid in accordance with the generally applicable rules. The compensation can be up to 600 euros for a long-haul flight.
KLM was forced to intervene on Saturday. Because only one runway was available due to maintenance and unfavorable working conditions, KLM did not consider it responsible to fly travelers from European destinations to the already busy Schiphol. Also because fewer flights departed from Schiphol and it was therefore becoming busier at the airport. Instead, dozens of aircraft flew back empty.
KLM emphasizes that there was force majeure. The decision to reduce runway capacity came from air traffic control acting for safety reasons. Furthermore, the processes at Schiphol could not cope with the extra pressure if KLM had flown back with full aircraft.
A total of 42 aircraft returned to Schiphol without passengers. The company did not give numbers of victims of travellers. They were rebooked on a later flight. That is usually the next flight. On Sunday and Monday the flights were again carried out according to schedule.