Quicktip: Avoid KLM booking fees on transatlantic flights by using Delta.

I'm sure this won't be news for most of you, but I discovered this trick by accident. I'd noticed that KLM (KL) imposes a €10 “booking fee” on all online transactions. You can avoid this simply by performing your online booking on Delta (DL) instead as they have codeshare ventures between them.

I haven't checked for intra-EU methods yet, I'll slowly work my way through that (unless a reader wants to share the tip in the comments below!).

Here's a screenshot of DL's booking page for an AMS-YUL round trip codeshared by KL/DL but operated by KL:

For comparison here's the total price on KL's booking page for the same flights:

and when you click into the “taxes, surcharges…” link:

The sneaky €10 booking fee!

Since both price in the currency of your departure city, there's no need to worry about foreign exchange discrepancies between the two, bar a penny or two.

As an educated guess, in order to book on DL, I imagine there's a minimum requirement of at least 1 segment marketed (but not necessarily operated) by DL. I'm not going to bother testing this hypothesis though!

Since both use the same booking engine (Global Distribution System — GDS) you can easily access your reservation on each airline's webpages to change seats, order special meals etc. I've had to do exactly this for an upcoming reservation which uses both KL and DL, thus my accidental discovery.

Other related posts:

Avoid KLM fees for all flights…but with a caveat

Getting started with Matrix ITA 

Introduction to Flying Blue Petroleum Club

How to avoid KLM’s new baggage fees

Aerolineas Argentinas status match


About Tim

Tim Lai is a Chartered Engineer and a typical nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack and is one of the world's leading travel experts. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. He has been featured on the likes of CNN, BBC and also broader websites websites like Nomad Capitalist for his deep knowledge of EU travel laws. An accredited journalist, he is happy to speak to other journalists who need expertise on travel topics.

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  1. For EU bookings, you can use the Irish (Air France) site. Do note whether you are booked under DL or AFKL code when booking from Delta.com for mileage accrual.

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