Petroleum Club, Flying Blue's membership for its oil and gas industry customers have long had access to KLM's Crown Lounge at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. But some changes effective from March 2014 brought the value of the programme to a grinding halt for many of its most valuable customers.
It's been a very long time since I flew KLM and went to the Crowne Lounge, certainly before March when this change appears to have kicked in, and therefore I had not noticed any changes. But this rant on Facebook with the associated comments confirms that…
Unless you are transferring at Amsterdam and flying on AF/KL, you will no longer be granted lounge access.
So if you are starting your itinerary in Amsterdam, then you will be denied access too. If you have two separate tickets which connect in Amsterdam, you'll probably have to plead nicely as my guess is they'll say no.
Here is KLM's Facebook representative's wording:
Our Gold and Platinum members still have access to the lounge. For all our other members the lounge is only available unless they are on a stopover in Amsterdam. This is because most people departing from Amsterdam do not have long waiting times at the airport. We hope to have informed you sufficiently. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask us!
Well…what utter rubbish that most people do not have long waiting times. How long is “long”? How long is a piece of string?
The wording on Petroleum Club's website (in Dutch) has been updated to reflect this change. The rough translation English, courtesy of Google:
Relax or work in our airport lounges
- KLM Crown Lounge at Amsterdam-Schiphol
- The Flying Blue Petroleum private lounge at the Pullman Hotel at Paris-Charles de Gaulle
All in all a rather customer unfriendly move by KLM, especially since Netherlands is home to one of the world's largest oil and gas giants (Shell), and hundreds more consultancies and contractors. I'm sure KLM will have significant amounts of negotiated rates with them too.
You could potentially bypass this by doing a status match to China Airlines, though the caveat is that you need to already have elite status with another airline.
Just another reason to loathe AF/KL…if you're in the Oil and Gas industry.