As a frequent traveler, I have had the opportunity to experience a range of business class offerings by different airlines. One of those airlines is KLM, the Netherlands’ national airline and a member of the SkyTeam alliance. With an extensive global network and a significant history – being the world’s oldest airline – I was eager to explore what KLM’s business class offered.
I tried KLM’s business class seats onboard the mighty KLM Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Liberia, Costa Rica, to Amsterdam during my most recent journey. This aircraft features the popular Zodiac Aerospace-made Cirrus Business Class seat, known for its comfort and privacy. With a pitch of 106 cm (42 inches) and a width of 53 cm (21 inches), I found the seat quite accommodating, especially for a long-haul flight.
Throughout my flight, I had the opportunity to experience the seating and cabin environment and the quality of the in-flight amenities, service, and dining options available in KLM business class. I was eager to discover if KLM’s offering would live up to the reputation and standards of their fellow SkyTeam alliance members.
Boarding and Check-In
As a KLM business class passenger, my check-in process was smooth and efficient. I quickly cleared security at Liberia International Airport, thanks to the priority line provided for SkyTeam Elite travelers like myself.
Before boarding the KLM Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, I usually would spend time at KLM Crown Lounge, but the airport in Costa Rica doesn’t have one. I’ve been to the KLM Crown Lounge several times as a SkyPriority member, and it’s stellar.
Cabin and Seat Comfort
Upon entering the cabin, I was impressed by the decor, which featured blue, brown, and grey hues. My seat was a 1-2-1 configuration, providing ample space, privacy, and direct aisle access. The seat controls were easily accessible, and the footwell was spacious, allowing me to stretch out comfortably. The cabin crew provided a pillow, blanket, and an amenity kit that included travel essentials.
I was also pleased to find individual air nozzles, which helped me control my cabin’s temperature.
See Related: SeatGuru Review: How to Find the Best Airplane Seat
In-Flight Entertainment and Wi-Fi
The in-flight entertainment system on my KLM business class flight had a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, and a moving map to track my journey. The entertainment controller was user-friendly, and the screen size was generous.
When on a Dutch flight, I just had to watch the documentary on recreating Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. Here’s a photo of me enjoying the said documentary.
While Wi-Fi was available on board, I didn’t actually use it throughout the flight, so that one is up in the air (ha!).
Food and Beverage Service
Shortly after takeoff, the friendly flight attendant offered me the meal service and a glass of champagne. Throughout the flight, the food and beverage service was excellent. A range of dishes was available, including appetizers, main courses, and desserts.
Unlike the average coach fare, the food was flavorful and well-presented, while the selection of drinks, including Dutch gin and French wine, was diverse and catered to different tastes. I opted for prawns with a glass of Pinot Noir from the Loire Valley as an appetizer, with my main course as the seabass.
The flight attendants were incredibly attentive and willing to help no matter what. The service and attention to detail were carried out in true Dutch fashion – good humor and grace. Here is a photo of our flight’s custom-printed KLM Business Class menu.
Amenities and Additional Services
Along with the provided pillow, blanket, and amenity kit from Rituals, I was given a lovely ceramic Delft house at the end of the flight (my favorite part, and it’s filled with the famous Dutch gin, Bols Genever) – a unique Dutch touch that enhanced my overall experience. And that’s even when I was expecting it!
The first thing I asked was when the Dutch canal houses came out. This year it was the Rembrandt House canal house (#48). I ended up with a house on the Herengracht (Gentlemen’s Canal), one of the most iconic canals in Amsterdam. I Love it! And all it cost me was a business-class ticket!
The cabin crew was efficient, courteous, and tended to my every request, making my journey comfortable and enjoyable. Furthermore, the partnership between KLM, Air France, and Delta offered opportunities to earn and redeem miles, providing additional value for my transatlantic flight.
See Related: Business Class vs First Class
Loyalty Programs and Partnerships
One of the best features of KLM Business Class is its loyalty program, Flying Blue. This program is shared by both KLM and Air France, and it’s where I can earn and redeem Flying Blue miles. With excellent redemption rates, Flying Blue miles make flying in Business Class more accessible and rewarding.
A notable aspect of the Flying Blue program is its extensive list of credit card transfer partners. Members like me can benefit from transferring points from flexible reward programs such as American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou. Transferrable points make Flying Blue a popular choice for travelers who wish to maximize their rewards.
Here’s a brief look at some of the partnerships that I can take advantage of with Flying Blue miles:
- American Express Membership Rewards: As a member, I can transfer points from my American Express Membership Rewards account to my Flying Blue account, allowing me to book KLM Business Class flights using those points.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: Similarly, I can transfer points from my Chase Ultimate Rewards account to my Flying Blue account, making redeeming my points for KLM Business Class flights easy.
- Citi ThankYou: By linking my Citi ThankYou account to my Flying Blue account, I can transfer points and enjoy the same benefits as the other transfer partners mentioned above.
Along with credit card transfer partners, KLM also boasts many airline partners, making it even more convenient for me to earn and redeem Flying Blue miles. Flying Blue members have plenty of options for flying, car rentals, hotel stays, and retail shopping – all of which can help them accrue miles and enjoy KLM Business Class to its fullest.
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Comparisons to Other Airlines
Having experienced KLM’s business class, I find comparing it with other prominent airlines helpful for a clearer understanding of the offerings. One competitor that springs to mind for a fair comparison is Finnair.
Regarding seat design and layout, Finnair’s business class is similar to KLM’s. Both airlines provide flat-bed seats with ample space for passengers to work and relax during long-haul flights. However, KLM’s World Business Class stands out with its thoughtful design touches, such as its crown logo pattern in seat fabrics and carpeting.
When considering in-flight entertainment, KLM provides a high-definition, responsive 18.5″ screen with an excellent selection of movies and TV shows. I have found that the quality and variety of content are on par with other top-class airlines, such as Finnair, and are sufficient to keep passengers entertained throughout long journeys.
Delta One, another prominent business class product, offers amenities similar to KLM’s offerings, such as flat-bed seats, high-quality in-flight entertainment, and exceptional dining options. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that KLM has a unique aspect that sets it apart – the Delft houses. These miniature Dutch houses serve as collectible items and excellent conversation starters for travelers, enhancing the overall experience.
While Royal Dutch Airlines’ KLM may not be the clear frontrunner in first class in every aspect, the quality of their business class product is competitive with other leading airlines. As someone who frequently travels to Minneapolis, New York, and other long-haul destinations, I appreciate the mix of thoughtful design, comfort, and entertainment offerings contributing to a remarkable journey.
Lounges and Facilities
During my previous travels with KLM Business Class, I had the opportunity to visit their impressive lounges. The KLM lounge in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands provides a modern, comfortable, and expansive environment for me to relax and refresh before my flight. They offered a range of local snacks and spirits, adding a uniquely Dutch touch to the experience.
As a Priority Pass holder, I could access another lounge for the Costa Rica route, although the KLM lounge was more than enough to suit my needs. It was a flagship lounge experience and easily comparable to other top-tier airline lounges worldwide.
See Related: Lounge Pass Review: Is It Worth It?
Check-In and Security
The check-in process for KLM Business Class passengers was a breeze. I was greeted warmly and assisted by friendly staff who promptly handled my luggage. The priority check-in lane was efficient and saved me considerable time, allowing other passengers and me to head straight to the lounge after completing the formalities.
Security procedures were also streamlined for business class passengers, with dedicated lanes and attentive agents who ensured I went through the process easily, ensuring a stress-free start to my journey.
See Related: Clear vs TSA Precheck
Connections and Layovers
Considering that Schiphol Airport is a central hub for KLM, it is crucial to have seamless connections and layovers. I did not have a layover. It was a seamless direct flight from Costa Rica to Amsterdam.
Usually, people will have a layover in the Netherlands before continuing to South Africa or destinations in western Asia, and transferring between flights was smooth and efficient. The airport is well-structured and easy to navigate, with clear signage directing me to my next departure gate.
Additionally, the KLM staff was available and ready to assist with any potential issues, ensuring that my layover went by without a hitch. The experience was a testament to KLM’s high standards for business class passengers at every journey stage.
See Related: Best Airports for Layovers Around the World
Customer Experiences and Reviews
During my recent travels, I had the opportunity to experience KLM’s business class offering. When I arrived at the airport, I was greeted with efficient SkyPriority services, which expedited my check-in and baggage drop-off process. It was a seamless experience that allowed me to relax before boarding the flight.
Once on board, I noticed the meticulously designed cabin by renowned industrial designer Hella Jongerius. The attention to detail in KLM’s first business class cabin was evident. The seats were spacious and comfortable, providing ample room for stretching out and unwinding during the journey.
Another aspect of KLM’s business class flight review I found impressive was the exceptional service provided by the attentive cabin crew. When I arrived at my seat, I was offered pre-departure drinks and warm, welcoming smiles that set the tone for a pleasant experience.
Throughout the flight, the crew was always available to accommodate requests and ensure all passengers were comfortable and well-taken care of.
Is KLM Business Class Worth the Price?
The amenities offered to KLM business class passengers truly enhanced the overall experience. I enjoyed the convenience of having a spacious table for working or dining and a range of in-flight entertainment options to keep me occupied during the journey.
In summary, my experience with the KLM business class was highly positive. Combining SkyPriority services, comfortable travel, impressive design, and attentive service made for a memorable experience, leaving me genuinely looking forward to my next flight with KLM.
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