KLM Is Commencing Flights To Boston In 2019

Filed Under: KLM

KLM already operates a fairly comprehensive network to the USA, with direct flights from Amsterdam to the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York JFK
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Francisco
  • Washington Dulles

Now you may notice something unique about that particular combination of cities – there are quite a few Delta hubs in the list. That is because as well as being SkyTeam partners, KLM and Delta work extremely closely together and have a transatlantic joint venture agreement, along with Air France. Virgin Atlantic was recently added to this as well, given Delta’s ownership stake in them.

KLM 747 Combi

Delta also operates a hub at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, KLM’s main base. I’m blown away with the scale of Delta’s operations in Amsterdam every time I pass through there – it’s always impressive to see overseas hubs working this way.

Amsterdam to Boston

KLM operated services to Boston until 1994. They have just announced they will again fly to Boston with a three times weekly schedule from March 31, 2019, as follows:

  • KL617 Amsterdam to Boston, departing 5:00PM arriving 6:00PM (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)
  • KL618 Boston to Amsterdam, departing 10:00PM arriving 10:35AM (+1) (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)

The planned service will then increase to four times weekly from July 1, 2019, with an additional service both ways on Mondays. Delta currently operates this route on their own metal, with KLM code-sharing. The new service on KLM metal will operate with an A330-300 featuring 30 seats in business class, 40 seats in Economy Comfort and 222 seats in standard economy.

All of KLM’s A330-300s have recently been refurbished to feature similar fully-flat 2-2-2 business class seats, to those found on KLM’s Boeing 777s and 747s, which Ben reviewed here saying:

As far as forward facing fully flat business class seats go, these are among the more private out there.

I can see some very limited award availability on this new route already. If redeeming Delta Skymiles, this will cost you 75,000 miles one way plus $5.60 in taxes, assuming you originate in the US. If you book an award starting in Europe then there will be carrier imposed surcharges as well.

Bottom line

I’ve only flown KLM once on the ridiculously short flight from London to Amsterdam, which lasted all of 40 minutes, but found them to be a pleasant airline with friendly staff. I adore Amsterdam as a city (I’d definitely consider moving there if it had better weather), and am heading there again this weekend for the Pride Festival for the third year in a row, which is one of my favourite weekends of the year.

It’s always great to see airlines expanding their route network and I would be very keen to try KLM’s long-haul product, especially to get my hands on one of those cute little Dutch houses that Tiffany has explained the history of here.

Are you considering redeeming miles for this flight?

  1. KLM never flew to Boston. Northwest and KLM started service in the early 1990s on Northwest – operated DC-10s but KLM never actually flew to Boston. This will be their first time serving it. In addition, Delta flies BOS-AMS 2 times daily, as part of their joint venture.

  2. Air France and Delta are night and day better, especially in business-class, than KLM. KLM is basically a glorified low-cost carrier. The business-class experience is far from superior.

  3. No, but paying, because from Western Europe, connections to Boston are rare and really expensive, much more so than say to Southeast Asia. I just flew KLM business class from AMS to Lima and back two days ago, and while Schiphol is hectic and has a reputation for losing luggage whenever possible, KLM remains an airline with prices below those of carriers like Lufthansa (but not with a really rotten hard product like BA), and AMS-BOS will likely be as much with KLM in business as with LH in premium economy. The seats are okay and indeed the privacy is nice, especially the aluminum separators that one can’t, and thus doesn’t have to, lower during start and landing, and of course there are the houses. 🙂

  4. You know what is also very “pleasant” about AMS from a business perspective? The Dutch hardly if every strike! Delta must be elated with the Dutch’ work ethics!

  5. The seats are not the same, they are narrower and appear quite cramped.

    Sadly, KLM now has three different business class products across their fleet. Inconsistency is not good for the consumer.

    The 787s have reverse herringbone seats, which are the best of the fleet.

  6. I’m psycged about this!

    @FNT Delta Diamond – AF does not always beat KL. In the last three weeks I’ve flown AF’s angled-flat biz on the A380 and KL’s fully-flat biz on the B772. KL won for hard product hands down. Also, KL has fully-flat biz on all wide-bodies except some Airbuses. AF has angled flat biz on all A380s plus the A343s, A332s plus some B772s and B773s. And KL B772 flatbed biz beats every DL B767 biz seat I’ve ever been in.

  7. Having flown KLM on AMS:ATL route a few times I can say that their food and service are a bit better than DL; however the seat and IFE are a few notches lower. I’d pick AMS and KL over CDG and AF in Biz every time as they don’t have all of the strikes.

  8. @FNT Delta Diamond – I couldn’t agree with you more. Back in the day KLM used to be excellent, but then they got the AF treatment as a result of their asinine merger with that carrier. Their business class is so bad I go out of my way to avoid flying them. As for the 2-2-2 seating in business; no thanks. I’ll stick with Delta’s 1-2-1 seating, better food, and all around better service.

  9. @ Ben weather ?? You’re joking ??

    It’s considerably colder in winter. Not as hot in summer And Schiphol is plagued with wind and fog disruptions

    Another first in Europe , KLM will introduce the JAMCO seat on the 787-10.

    Many airlines have varying buss class products depending on the aircraft

    No one gives a gift like KLM – the Delft house

  10. This is definitely good news. Last time that I purchased a ticket to Boston through KLM I had to take Delta on the AMS-BOS leg and I’d rather take KLM instead even better if they decide to deploy the 787-900. Love that plane.


    If you don’t care about the cute tiny gift, go fly another airline.

  12. @ James: ”Ben – yes I’m a bit surprised KLM is getting so much hate too!”

    Because it’s easy for you to judge not using a service. I do fly KLM (because of their partnership with DL) TATL every two months.

    Problems with KLM economy:
    – no wi-fi (mostly no, but even if it’s available on 787 and a few 77W its ridiculously expensive)
    – no power (even in Economy Comfort on ancient 747)
    – poor food (a way worse than DL economy)
    – very limited entertainment options (+ early 90-s displays in 747)
    Still, overall economy is fine, much worse than Delta (power, better food, wi-fi, comfort kits).

    Problems with KLM business:
    – poor, very poor food, borderline unacceptable for J (DL miles and miles better)
    – very simplified service in business (they just dump a tray with everything in front of you and make a gesture of removing plastic from plates in front of your face, dirty plates will be sitting with you for the next 40 min – until crew will bring you a main course)
    – cheap wines
    – cheap everything (I mean there is no lip balm or moisturiser in their amenity kit)
    – awful lounge (one of the worst flagship lounges in Europe, even AZ does better)
    – quite unpleasant and not thought ground experience (long lines at Priority check points, it’s often shorter in a regular line, the lounge is far from Priority check points and KLM gates).
    DL inflight experience in comparison is just a paradise and feels truly luxurious.

    To add insult to injury, Schiphol is just not pleasant airport – consistently crowded, lines everywhere, construction barriers everywhere, low ceilings, lack of light.

    I think the problem of KLM is that it’s visible as a subpar partner in terms of quality within AFKL Group by French management. AF has excellent food with various choices in its lounges. KLM normally has 1 inedible hot dish of processed crap and so on and so on.

  13. James, you missed Salt Lake City in you list of where in the US KLM flies to. They have an evening departure operated by 787 (some days might be by 330).

  14. Interesting fact about the flight number that was chosen for the flight. 617 is the area code for phones in Boston, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was intentional by KLM.

  15. It´s interesting how such experience with an airline varies individually. I flew KLM close to 20k butt in seat miles in Y this year, just because they had some hard to reject prices on routes of interest and I conclude they do a bit better than Delta when it comes to

    + food and drinks
    + comfort of seats/upholstery in general better than DL
    + especially comfort economy on the 747 I thought was lovely and their 787´s are a nice change if you´re used to DL`s 767
    + also I found AMS to be a reasonably efficient airport where even during rush hour I havent spent more than maybe 20-25 minutes waiting in line
    + AMS has easy to reach PP lounge when flying DL or KL
    + occasionally upgrade from deep discount economy to business class for roughly 500 USD one way
    + pay your way up to economy comfort for very little money or even for free as Delta Elite instead of hoping to not get the last middle seat in comfort+ on DL

    – Wifi is limited and hilariously expensive

    Overall I think KLM is a good airline.

  16. @denis the crown lounge is being completely rebuilt with new features and an entirely new floor and terrace. 747s are being withdrawn. They invested in a new seat and are hardly going to upgrade again when they will be removed from the fleet by 2020. The food isn’t wonderful, however the service is far better than most other carriers. What they lack in amenities they make up for in service

  17. I find KLM business class to be one of the best as an all-round product. It’s much better than the other major European carriers (AF, LH and BA) and in general I find the service to be much better and friendlier than on AMerican, United or Delta. I used to prefer flying J on EK going to Asia but with all their service cuts I think KLM offers the better product now.

  18. KLM is quite ok in BC. Agree that the food is not overwhelming but I do not buy tickets for a fine dining experience. Service generally is friendly and most importantly the seats are perfect for a good sleep. Way better than eg those strange claustrofobic SQ BC seats.

  19. Ed – It has nothing to do with “work ethic”. Like most of Western Europe (and the civilised world in general), the Netherlands enforce vaguely decent rights for workers. They therefore can’t be exploited as easily as US workers (a bizarre hybrid of third world standards with first world wealth), so have no reason to strike as much.

  20. @Denis
    Maybe you’re being a little harsh in your lounge comparison KLM/AF. To be sure, Crown Lounge ( if that’s the name, from memory) at AMS is not going to win prizes, but from my perspective it’s better than almost all AF venues at CDG.
    The food isn’t gourmet but it’s substantially better that “a plate of hot crap”; at least in AMS it’s easy to find a seat, unlike CDG, a nightmare by comparison.

  21. Wow, looks like the KLM employees and fanboys are out in force in the comments section now…

  22. KL lounge in AMS probably won’t rank top something worldwide – but at least it’s got seats you can sit, something you can have for a meal. It is similar to BA Lounge – not great or fabulous but (kind of) works. Compare that to KE OZ – no seat if unlucky, and their food is joke and makes BA Lounge look like a gourmet.
    Seats just work fine nothing more – food decent
    I don’t love KL business class but there are better targets to direct hatred at. (I’m looking at you, OZ/MU/KE!)

  23. Apologies, but I really quite like KLM. Firstly, they are – together with Iberia – leading the ontime rating. Secondly, they are excellent when it (rarely) comes to issues or irregularities. They still have a qualified staff base on the ground. Thirdly, I find their Business Class really quite good. I get a good time sleep and food is at least o.k. – and yes, you get a Delft house!!! Way better than say LH, LX or SN. So far in defense of KLM.

    Now what really surprises me, is that they never served BOS. I mean BA, LX, LH etc have served BOS for ages …

  24. @James Do you know for sure if all of KLM’s A330-300s have been refitted with the new World Business Class produce (fully flat seats)? You mention that above, but I haven’t found any other reference saying the refit is complete. I know they had planned for July 2018 completion, but I just booked a flight from KGL->AMS for 22 Aug on the A330-300, and I’m not seeing any reference to the new product. Thanks!

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