Air France-KLM sure is sharing lots of details about the future of its premium cabins. We’ve learned about Air France’s new business class with doors (coming this summer), Air France’s new first class suite (coming in late 2023 or early 2024), and KLM’s new business class with doors (coming in 2023).
Now we’ve learned the details of KLM’s new premium economy cabin, which will debut this summer.
Details of KLM premium economy experience
Premium economy has become an increasingly popular cabin in recent years, especially among European long haul airlines. While Air France has been installing premium economy on most long haul planes, KLM hasn’t… until now.
The timing here makes sense, since Air France-KLM, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic have a transatlantic joint venture. Delta has been aggressively installing premium economy as well, so it’s logical for KLM to do the same, so that the transatlantic business can more easily sell premium economy fares.
KLM has unveiled the details of its newly introduced premium economy cabin, which will be branded as Premium Comfort. The seats were designed by Collins Aerospace, and it’s noted how they’re lighter than previous versions of the seat. Usually that wouldn’t be great news in terms of comfort, but I guess we’ll see once there are some firsthand reports.
Here are some of the key features of KLM’s premium economy experience:
- Premium economy will be installed on 777s and 787s, and the cabin will feature 21-28 seats; on the 787 the cabin will be in a 2-3-2 configuration, while on the 777 the cabin will be in a 2-4-2 configuration
- Premium economy will feature 38″ of seat pitch and 8″ of recline (compared to 31″ of seat pitch and 5-7″ of recline in economy)
- Premium economy will offer better entertainment and connectivity, including a 13.3″ personal screen (compared to 9-11″ in economy), and both USB and 110v outlets (compared to just USB outlets in economy)
- Premium economy will offer priority services, including SkyPriority check-in and boarding and an extra baggage allowance
- Premium economy will feature improved inflight amenities, including noise canceling headphones, an amenity kit, and better meals and drinks than you’ll find in economy
Below are some pictures of KLM’s new premium economy cabin. It’s always hard to know what to make of seats based on these media images, since I imagine they intentionally don’t choose very large passengers. My first impression is that the seats look a bit above average for premium economy. The only quirk is the location of the outlets.
How KLM is reconfiguring planes with premium economy
The timeline for KLM rolling out premium economy isn’t entirely clear. It’s stated that KLM will first offer premium economy to North America, and that customers will be able to book premium economy “to a growing range of destinations from the end of the July 2022.” That doesn’t necessarily tell us a whole lot about when planes will actually be in service with the new cabin.
KLM has also shared how seating capacity will change on each aircraft type as premium economy is installed:
- The Boeing 787-10 will see an overall reduction of 26 seats; economy will lose 66 seats, while there will be 28 premium economy seats and 12 additional extra legroom economy seats
- The Boeing 787-9 will see an overall reduction of 19 seats; economy will lose 40 seats, while there will be 21 premium economy seats
- The Boeing 777-300 will see an overall reduction of 27 seats; economy will lose 68 seats, while there will be 24 premium economy seats, one additional business class seat, and 16 additional extra legroom economy seats
- The Boeing 777-200 will see an overall reduction of 32 seats; economy will lose 71 seats, while there will be 24 premium economy seats, one additional business class seat, and 14 additional extra legroom economy seats
Since KLM plans to introduce a new business class product on 777s as of 2023, my guess is that we’ll see 787s reconfigured first, and then 777s will likely be reconfigured next year, when the business class is due to be launched as well. I could be wrong, but that’s what makes the most sense to me.
KLM has finally revealed the details of its new premium economy, which should be installed on Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft in the near future. Premium economy is no doubt becoming increasingly popular, and it’s logical that KLM will finally offer this cabin, since Air France has had it for years.
KLM premium economy passengers can expect more spacious seats, priority services, and better amenities, including improved food and drinks. KLM’s new premium economy looks good, though frankly I have a hard time getting too excited about airlines introducing these cabins, since they almost always look very similar. It’s not like business class, where you see airlines take wildly different directions.
What do you make of KLM’s new premium economy cabin?
Is the legroom in the economy sty the same, or now reduced? I assume it is reduced, since I cannot get responds from klm.
How high do the leg rests come up - is it like laying in bed?
KLM already has 110v/220v on all seats , at least on ransatlantic flights
It is width not pitch I care most about in premium economy. By far my favourite was Virgin Atlantic’s old 21 inch leather seats (reduced to 18.5 or 19 on refreshed cabins).
Does it say the width?
Like all premium economy cabins when the person next to an aisle reclines and is asleep - you’re “stuck” , it doesn’t matter what carrier they are all the same
Maybe it's just me, but I find the look and the vital statistics of the seat to be remarkably average. Granted, the average PE seat is pretty good for what they are, but it looks like KLM didn't bother to aspire to be better than everyone else.
Pretty sure I've flown transatlantic business class 20 years ago that what close to this. Just a bit more pitch. All these premium eco cabins seem fine for day flights.
Premium comfort seats will have USB-A and USB-C charging outlets, in addition to 110V. KLM plans to have all 787/777 reconfigured by November 2023. All 777s will receive new business class seats when installing premium comfort. So by November 2023 all 777s will have new business class seats. The a330s will be retired by 2024/2025. The 787s will eventually also receive new business class seats with doors, but no timeline for that at the moment.
Huge devaluation for DL Diamonds though. KL's two class configuration was one of the only remaining bright spots to being able to use the increasingly worthless upgrade certificates from DL.
So it seems economy class will secretly be losing alcoholic beverages?
And this is bad for elites. More class in between your seat with doors when it comes to upgrades.
AF/KLM don't do free upgrades for elites.
My certificate tells me otherwise.
I'm surprised that KLM isn't offering premium economy on A330s, given that this aircraft is used on several trans-atlantic routes (in addition to African/Middle Eastern routes)
Finally. The current system of booking economy and then calling them to get into comfort is just ridiculous in 2022.
May sabotage a little bit of business traffic though. Their 10 across 777s are a nightmare.
This is bad news for Delta Diamonds. Once KLM has premium economy you wont be able to use a global upgrade cert to go right from economy to business
USB-A or -C?
The Premium Comfort vs Economy Comfort nomenclature could create some confusion and disappointment. KLM needs to get these conversions made quickly so that they don't have some equipment with one offering and others without it. This is the case with Delta which has a mix of equipment making purchases and comparisons difficult.
This is great news, particularly because the Premium Economy situation on Skyteam between the US and Europe has been so dire (KLM didn't have it, Delta only started it recently but with limited destinations, and Air France has those terrible fixed shell seats). In addition to Air France renewing their PE as well, we will finally have more decent options especially for those like me who fly mostly between the US East Coast and Paris...
This is great news, particularly because the Premium Economy situation on Skyteam between the US and Europe has been so dire (KLM didn't have it, Delta only started it recently but with limited destinations, and Air France has those terrible fixed shell seats). In addition to Air France renewing their PE as well, we will finally have more decent options especially for those like me who fly mostly between the US East Coast and Paris / Amsterdam and who are not particularly fond of the American carriers ;). Those flights are a bit long for economy but a bit too short to justify business class, so def looking forward to this happy medium.
Alitalia actually had a decent PE seat, good legroom and recline
That's a good looking premium economy. Short of lie-flat seats, I'd pick this over their tired business class.