KLM backtracks, restores US routes due to easier entry rules

Sep 24, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Thanks to a big policy change earlier this week, KLM is going to move forward with plans to grow its U.S. network after all.

On Friday, the Dutch flag carrier announced that it would indeed resume flying to Las Vegas (LAS) and Miami (MIA) beginning on Dec. 7, just three weeks after scrapping those plans due to tightened European entry and quarantine rules for travelers.

KLM cites the “recent easing of travel restrictions” as the reason for moving forward with its plans to serve Las Vegas and Miami once again.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Just this week, the U.S. government announced that vaccinated travelers from the EU and U.K. would be welcome to the country beginning in November, following a nearly 20-month-long ban that first started at the outset of the pandemic.

Additionally, the Dutch government also decided to withdraw the previously announced quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers from the U.S.

While KLM is moving forward with flights from Amsterdam (AMS) to LAS and MIA, it’s postponing the start date. They were originally scheduled to commence on Oct. 31, but that’s now been pushed to Dec. 7 — just in time for the peak winter holiday period. Additionally, the carrier was planning to add Orlando as a new route-map pin, served in a triangle route along with Miami.

KLM’s latest press release doesn’t mention Orlando, and the airline hasn’t responded to our inquiry about whether those plans have been scrapped. We’ll update this post when we hear back.

In the first week of September, KLM issued a strongly worded statement about its network pull-down, citing the Dutch government’s strict entry policy as the reason for the move.

“The decision by the Dutch government is a big step backwards,” KLM’s press release read. “Health and fighting COVID-19 are paramount but the measures taken must be effective and proportionate. It looks like other EU member states, such as Italy, France and Belgium are not putting a triple lock on the door for travelers from the US,” the release said.

Now that both the U.S. and the Netherlands are easing entry restrictions, KLM predicts that there’ll be enough demand to warrant resuming these flights. And experts agree.

According to data from the travel site Skyscanner, visitors to the site’s U.S. platforms were 20% higher the day the U.S. government announced the end to the European entry ban, compared to the previous week.

“With the option for transatlantic travel now open, we expect a large portion of these searches to convert to bookings very quickly, as friends and families make plans to be reunited and vacationers head to their favorite spots,” said Martin Nolan, traveler rights expert at Skyscanner, in a statement.

Featured photo by Katherine Fan/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.