12
February
2006

KLM.com – improved and glued together 23:48 on Sunday

It seems there’s a great new way to revamp your old site: just put the old site within iframes and create a new sugar coating around it! That’s what KLM did, but apparently the approach wasn’t entirely without turbulence.

Here’s a typical day on the internet (I think at this point a rant warning is in place):

I’m online, looking for cheap flights to the Alps for the last week of February and notice KLM has frequent flyer offers to Geneva. I know I have some miles in stock so I go to KLM’s site and enter my old user name and 4-number PIN code (no passwords there…) to the login box on the front page.

Here’s what happens. Pressing enter on the login box yields a page with small red text placed somewhere about the other elements, telling me my account is blocked (or locked, same thing). Right under that red text is a new login box, visually different but functionally equal to the one on the homepage. I enter my login info again and press enter.

Now I get to a page telling me that because of the KLM and Air France merger I need to accept new terms & conditions and select a 4-number PIN code to access the site (notice they did not write “a new PIN code”, although after logging in they should know I already have one). Well enough, I click forward… which lands me on the terms & conditions page, only that all the terms are in French. Everything else on the page, expect the actual terms of use, is still in English. One third of the terms text consists of some kind of photographic credits, detailing copyrights for photos including (but not limited to) american footballers, giraffe curving neck backwards, a Mauritian painter and French farm scenery. It could be worth to point out there are no photos on the page.

I’m not sure if I consent to this weird French giraffe footballers thing, but I click the unlabeled checkbox in the middle of visually unconnected white space, which changes the color of the “I accept the general conditions” button from grey to dark blue. I guess I’m all set? Or maybe not, they might be trying to warn me against pressing the Accept button by making it red whenever I mouse over it. I take the chance and click.

The day is full of surprises, as by accepting the conditions I’m told my frequent flyer card number has changed. Below that I’m instructed to select the new PIN number to go with the new card number. I enter new PIN, and click forward. Now they ask for my contact details, which in entirety include my last name, first name and birthday. Is this KLM or a dating site, I cannot know for sure.

Finally, I get back to the homepage. At least they didn’t ask me to login again.

If you’re wondering what happened to the flights to Geneva, a friendly 9px light grey font told me the offer is only valid starting March 1st. So no joy there. But if you happen to own a cabin in the Alps, empty for the week 8, please let me know. I’m sure I can find a way to get there, if not by KLM.

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