On Novemebr 20 2011 I was booked to fly business class YVR - AMS on KLM 682, scheduled to depart at 20:25 local. I arrived at the airport at 18:00 to a mass of confusion. The normal TV screens identifying the KLM check-in desks were turned off, and there were a lot of people.
Eventually I found out that the flight was cancelled, but not before my other flight options with competing airlines had departed. This caused some serious grief due to the combination of the missed connection and meetings on the AMS end, as well as the time lost and expenses incurred to show up at YVR for nothing.
Now I know that sometimes flights gets cancelled, as no airline is immune to poor weather, crew health, and airplane mechanical problems. I suggest that what KLM should have done was to telephone the passengers to let them know the flight was cancelled, and to provide some kind of information and assistance to the hundreds of passengers who showed up at the airport with good intentions.
I was traveling alone and, except for my canceled business meeting, was not inconvenienced as much as the poor families with young children who were left stranded. KLM's customer service agents at the airport did a terrible job of handling the situation.