(Unexpected) European Customer Service

I think that title is a bit of an oxymoron.  You really don’t come to Europe for it’s customer service.  As an American, this takes a bit of getting used to since we are used to the ideology of the customer is always right and we do our utmost to service that customer to the best of our ability.

Service, the American way, just doesn’t happen here.  But it did recently and I’m still blown away by it. And to add to that, it was an airline.  Curious?  I know – that never ever happens (even in the US). The winner of such affections?  KLM – the Royal Dutch Airlines. And I am going to use them as much as possible in the future because they’ve proven to me that they are willing to go above and beyond for their customers, both big and small, and that kind of service is important to me.

Josh and I just recently starting to collect KLM miles.  The kids too actually.  I don’t know why we didn’t do it when we first moved here but we didn’t.  I communicated with KLM via Facebook a few times with some questions regarding miles not showing up, trying to add old miles that we had from before we were loyalty members.  They were always quick to respond and incredibly friendly to boot.

But I didn’t think much of it at the time.  However, returning home from Portugal a few weeks ago, we were collecting our baggage at Schiphol Airport and Liam left his favorite stuffie, Sailor, in the baggage claim area.  We have no idea how since he was holding her one moment and not the next, but it’s also not a first for him (let’s go back to the Ninjago incident in Belgium from 2012).  The unfortunate thing is that he didn’t realize he was missing her until we were already in the taxi and on the highway home.  Too late to go back to get her.

I contacted KLM customer service right away via their Facebook page and explained where we lost Sailor and what she looked like, in addition to how much of a beloved “friend” she was to Liam.  They sent a very kind note back stating they would have their Sherlock team start searching for her and to also fill out a form on their website (which I did).

Liam was devastated by the loss of Sailor and asked me regularly if they had found her. Unfortunately, I heard back last week that the Sherlock team was unable to find Sailor. Someone must have picked her up and brought her along on their travels.  My hope is that some other little boy or girl is giving her a nice home (though I question those parents who see someone’s stuffed animal with their child and don’t return it to lost in found thinking perhaps another child might be missing it).

But the story isn’t over.  Yesterday morning, I went out to my mailbox and saw this postcard from KLM (and Sailor).  It literally brought tears to my eyes because it was an incredibly kind gesture to a small boy who’s lost his favorite friend.

I showed Liam the postcard when he got home from school.  He was slightly confused because he thought this also meant that someone had found Sailor – so it took a little bit of explanation on how the postcard came about.  But he and I enjoyed taking some time to talk about all the different places she might be playing on the beach – could she have gone back to Portugal because she liked it so much?  Could she be in Turkey where a lot of dogs (strays) roam free?  The possibilities were endless and he felt comforted knowing that she was off having adventures and that hopefully they will meet again.

You don’t see companies going above and beyond like this any more, but I can say for sure that KLM has done so and their kindness will always be remembered, especially by Liam I’m sure.

Knuffels en kussen,


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