Review: KLM Business Class Boeing 787-10

Review: KLM Business Class Boeing 787-10

FROM: ORD
TO: AMS
CABIN: Business
DATE: June 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: While not the world's most exciting product, KLM offers one of the better transatlantic business class experiences, between the reverse herringbone seats, reasonably priced Wi-Fi with no data caps, and above average food and entertainment.
68

To kick off our trip to Europe, we flew KLM business class from Chicago to Amsterdam. While I’ve flown KLM’s business class several times before (including on the A330 and the 787-9), I was excited about this flight because it was operated by a Boeing 787-10. Not only does this plane have a different business class seat than KLM’s other 787s, but it would also only be the second time I flew on the 787-10 (with the other flight being on United).

How I redeemed miles for KLM business class

Our first destination in Europe was Stockholm, and I found great award availability via the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program. Specifically, I booked the following for a per person cost of 60,500 Flying Blue miles plus $240 in taxes and carrier imposed surcharges:

06/30 KL612 Chicago to Amsterdam departing 4:15PM arriving 6:55AM (+1 day)
07/01 KL1109 Amsterdam to Stockholm departing 10:40AM arriving 12:40PM

I continue to get tons of value out of the Flying Blue program. Members have access to more Air France & KLM award space than through other programs, award rates are reasonable, and Flying Blue miles are easy to come by.

Flying Blue is partners with all major transferable points currencies, including American Express Membership RewardsCapital OneChase Ultimate RewardsCiti ThankYou, etc.

Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD)

We had connected the same day from Tampa to Chicago on United, so we had planned a very long layover, especially as we were getting coronavirus tests at the airport. At around 1PM we headed over to Terminal 5, where KLM departs from.

The check-in process was efficient, and security only took a few minutes. Once airside, we headed towards the Air France-KLM Lounge. We ended up spending about five minutes in there, before deciding we were better off just sitting in the gate area.

Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD) exterior

This lounge has zero natural light — even though it has windows that span the entire length of the lounge, they seem to face a wall or something, as it was totally dark outside the windows, even though it was light outside.

Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD) seating

The lounge was crowded, and the food & drink selection was minimal. The lounge didn’t even have bathrooms.

Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD) food & drinks
Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD) food
Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD) food
Air France-KLM Lounge Chicago (ORD) drinks

We decided we were better off just sitting in the gate area. In the meantime I believe the lounge has now closed (maybe even permanently?). Good riddance, as far as I’m concerned. Air France-KLM does a phenomenal job when it puts effort into lounges, but some of the lounges in North America that are also open to Priority Pass members are just plain depressing.

Boarding for our 4:15PM flight was scheduled to start at 3:30PM at gate M13, and that’s also exactly when it started. First those who needed extra time (including families) were invited to board, which seemed to be about half of the plane. After that business class was invited to board.

KLM Boeing 787-10 exterior

KLM Boeing 787-10 business class cabin & seats

We boarded through the second set of doors, where we were greeted by the purser and pointed left into the business class cabin. The Boeing 787-10 has a massive business class cabin that takes up the entire space between the first and second set of doors (which is large on the stretched variant of the 787).

KLM’s Boeing 787-10s feature a total of 38 business class seats, spread across 10 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration (there’s one more row of seats along the windows vs. in the center section).

KLM Boeing 787-10 business class cabin

Interestingly KLM chose an all new business class seat on these planes. While KLM’s Boeing 787-9s have Safran Cirrus seats (similar to what you’ll find on Air France, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Finnair, etc.), KLM’s Boeing 787-10s have JAMCO Venture seats, which not many airlines have. I thought the differences were very subtle, and I can’t say for sure which seat type I prefer.

KLM Boeing 787-10 business class seats

I appreciated how the seats had partitions, giving passengers a bit of privacy from the aisle. For those seated next to strangers in the center section, there was also a privacy partition that could be pulled forward.

KLM Boeing 787-10 business class seats

I had assigned myself seat 10A (the seat on the left side in the last row), and I assigned Ford the seat right in front of me, 9A.

KLM Boeing 787-10 business class seats
KLM Boeing 787-10 business class seats

On the left side of the seat was an exposed storage area, which also contained the entertainment controller, a reading light, and a power outlet (including a universal and USB outlet).

KLM business class seat storage Boeing 787-10

The tray table could be extended out from the side of the seat. When stored it flipped over in half, and then you could make it bigger when extended. The tray table was still wet when I opened it, so we’ll hope that it was just sanitized thoroughly. 😉

KLM business class seat tray table Boeing 787-10

There was a cute little leather pocket underneath the area where the tray table extended, where you could store a cell phone, reading glasses, etc.

KLM business class seat storage Boeing 787-10

For this configuration, the 18.5″ personal television is in a fixed position on the seat in front. The TV was high definition, and could be controlled either with the entertainment controller, or via the touchscreen. There was a small shelf underneath the TV, and another USB outlet there.

KLM business class seats Boeing 787-10

Along the side of the seat were the easy to use seat controls.

KLM business class seat controls Boeing 787-10

One challenge with reverse herringbone seats can be that the footwell can feel tight when sleeping. This configuration had a good size footwell, and most people should have no issues getting comfortable, regardless of whether they prefer sleeping on their back or side.

KLM business class seat footwell Boeing 787-10

Along the aisle-side of the seat was an armrest, which could be raised (for support) or lowered (for a wider sleeping surface).

KLM business class seat armrest Boeing 787-10

As is standard on the Boeing 787, the window shades were dimmable at the push of a button.

KLM Boeing 787-10 window shade dimmer

While I do like sitting in the last row, row 10 isn’t ideal if you’re wanting to look out of the window, as there’s only a single window, which is also partially obstructed.

KLM Boeing 787-10 window shades

My one frustration with the seats was the lack of individual air nozzles, but that’s unfortunately standard on European airlines.

This flight was also noteworthy for being the first mostly full transatlantic flight I had taken since the start of the pandemic. The back of the plane was mostly full, and in business class 33 of the 38 seats were taken.

KLM business class cabin Boeing 787-10

KLM business class amenities

Waiting at every seat on boarding were a pillow and blanket. KLM’s bedding is decent, but not amazing. There’s a full size pillow that has good padding, though it’s also a bit rough. The blanket is also okay, though there’s much better business class bedding out there.

KLM business class pillow & blanket

Also waiting at every seat were a pair of headphones, which were fairly good quality.

KLM business class headphones

There were also amenity kits at each seat, which featured a dental kit, eyeshades, socks, earplugs, a pen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, and a face moisturizer. I liked the colorful bag the amenities came in.

KLM business class amenity kit

Menus were also at each seat, along with an antibacterial towel.

KLM business class menu

Then there were pre-departure drinks — I selected a glass of champagne, though I’m always amused by KLM’s selection, including full cans of beer.

KLM business class pre-departure champagne

A pretty departure from Chicago

Shortly before departure the captain announced our flight time of 7hr15min to Amsterdam. The main cabin door closed at 4:25PM, and at 4:30PM we began our pushback. We had a roughly 15 minute taxi to our departure runway, where we took off at 4:45PM.

Taxiing at Chicago O’Hare Airport

We had a fairly steep climb out of Chicago, and the views were great. That’s especially true when sitting in row 10, given the amazing engine and wing views.

View after takeoff from Chicago
View after takeoff from Chicago

KLM business class dinner service

The seatbelt sign stayed on for about 30 minutes after takeoff, so it took a while for the dinner to get started. At that point orders were taken for main courses, and shortly thereafter the food & drink service began.

KLM business class cabin during dinner service

The dinner menu read as follows:

KLM business class menu
KLM business class dinner menu

The drinks list read as follows:

KLM business class alcoholic beverages list
KLM business class alcoholic beverages list
KLM business class non-alcoholic beverages list
KLM business class special cocktail

First a cart was rolled down the aisle with drinks. I ordered another glass of champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve was on offer, which is perfectly nice) and a sparkling water. That was served with some packaged mixed nuts. In the past the pre-dinner snacks were served in ramekins, but that has been suspended due to coronavirus.

KLM business class dinner — drinks & nuts

Ford ordered a negroni, which was described as the anniversary cocktail.

KLM business class dinner — drinks & nuts

Starters were served off a cart around 20 minutes after the initial drink service. This included an appetizer of seared tuna with a wakame and edamame salad, pickled ginger, and wasabi mayonnaise. Then there was also a side salad with tomato and feta cheese, served with a lemon dressing. There was a bread roll that was served in a package — it hadn’t been heated, and was hard as a rock.

In general I love KLM’s cute little service touches — for example, the clog-themed salt & pepper shaker, the fun tray liner, and the unique china.

KLM business class dinner — appetizer & salad

About 20 minutes later main courses were served. These were served with aluminum foil on top, as we’ve seen many airlines do nowadays.

KLM business class dinner — main course

For the main course I ordered the chicken breast in morel sauce with red skin potatoes, endive, and Swiss chard. The dish tasted fairly good. Presentation wasn’t great, but I guess that’s to be expected when they keep a cover over the meal until it’s served.

KLM business class dinner — main course

Ford had the slow cooked beef in mustard sauce with snow peas, grilled patty pan squash, and garlic potato mash, which he enjoyed.

KLM business class dinner — main course

Once main courses were cleared, a dessert trolley was rolled down the aisle. There was the choice of dessert or cheese, and I selected the former, which consisted of chocolate and fruit petit fours and a macaron. I had a glass of dessert wine to go along with it.

KLM business class dinner — dessert

At the conclusion of the meal some packaged chocolates were handed out, which were supposed to look like KLM’s famous Dutch Houses.

KLM business class dinner — chocolate

The meal service wrapped up around 2hr15min after takeoff, with about five hours remaining to Amsterdam. I’d say the meal was fairly decent, especially when you consider how other airlines have cut back service due to coronavirus. However, I’ve had better meals in business class as well.

After the meal, a small snack basket was set up in the galley, for anyone who was hungry.

KLM business class snack basket

KLM business class entertainment & Wi-Fi

KLM’s Boeing 787-10s have excellent entertainment systems. Not only is the 18.5″ screen high definition and responsive, but the selection of movies and TV shows is very good as well.

KLM business class entertainment selection

I didn’t end up watching much, though, but rather just enjoyed keeping an eye on the moving map for most of the time that I was awake.

KLM moving map
KLM moving map

I did use KLM’s Wi-Fi, which was hugely improved compared to the last time I flew KLM. There were three Wi-Fi passes available, including:

  • A one hour messaging option (free)
  • A one hour web surfing option (8 EUR)
  • A full flight surfing option (18 EUR)
KLM Wi-Fi pricing Boeing 787

What’s so great is that there are no data limits. Back in the day KLM would have limits on Wi-Fi data, but that’s no longer the case. Admittedly this wasn’t as important on an overnight flight as on a daytime flight, but on a daytime transatlantic flight I’d consider decently priced Wi-Fi with no data caps to be one of the best features there is.

KLM Wi-Fi pricing Boeing 787

Wi-Fi speeds were fast, so I was impressed by that as well.

KLM business class lavatories

KLM’s Boeing 787-10s have three lavatories in business class — there’s one at the front of the plane, and then two behind the cabin. While the lavatories weren’t particularly large, I love how they have wallpaper with Dutch Houses on them — how cute!

KLM business class lavatory Boeing 787-10
KLM business class lavatory Boeing 787-10

KLM business class bed & sleep quality

I fell asleep shortly after dinner, just under five hours from Amsterdam. I slept extremely well, and in particular appreciated that I didn’t at all feel constrained by the footwell. I’m a side sleeper, and had no problem bending my knees a bit and getting comfortable.

I got roughly three hours of solid sleep, and woke up just under 1hr45min from our arrival in Amsterdam.

KLM moving map
KLM moving map

KLM business class breakfast service

About 90 minutes before arrival the mood lighting was turned on, so that people could start to wake up for the breakfast service.

KLM business class cabin during breakfast service

The breakfast menu read as follows:

KLM business class breakfast menu

While I wasn’t hungry (dinner wrapped up just over three hours earlier), I figured I had to take one for the team and sample breakfast. 😉 The breakfast was excellent for a short transatlantic flight.

It included coconut chia oatmeal with mixed berries, a roll with gouda, turkey ham, cucumber, and jam, and a hot baked egg dish with turkey bacon and cheese, served with tomato concasse. I ordered a cup of coffee to go along with it.

KLM business class breakfast

The coffee, oatmeal, and egg dish, were excellent. The room temperature, hard bread roll (the same one served with dinner) with Smucker’s jam, wasn’t.

KLM’s Dutch Houses & landing

Shortly before we started our descent, the crew passed through the cabin with KLM’s famous Dutch Houses. Each business class passenger can pick one, and there’s a fascinating backstory to these.

KLM Dutch Houses for business class passengers

At around 6:20AM we began our descent towards Amsterdam, and 10 minutes after that the seatbelt sign turned on. We landed in (dreary) Amsterdam at 6:55AM.

View approaching Amsterdam

From there we had a short five minute taxi to our gate, where we arrived slightly behind schedule.

Taxiing to gate in Amsterdam

KLM business class service

I’ve found KLM to have rather mixed service, with some flight attendants being fantastic and hospitable, and some being indifferent and a bit arrogant. This crew was reasonably good, though not among the best I’ve had on KLM.

The flight attendant working my section was quite friendly and enthusiastic. The purser, on the other hand, had a bit of an attitude with some other passengers (though I didn’t interact with her directly).

Bottom line

We had a pretty good KLM business class flight from Chicago to Amsterdam. As an avgeek and airline product geek, I was excited to fly the 787-10 for a second time, and also to experience a type of reverse herringbone seat I had never flown before.

Was this the most amazing business class flight ever? No, it wasn’t. The crew wasn’t that exceptional, the bedding could be a bit better, and the food wasn’t amazing.

That being said, I think perspective is important. For a pandemic-era transatlantic business class product on a European airline, I’d say this was pretty great. There were excellent reverse herringbone seats, reasonably priced Wi-Fi with no data caps, and more or less the full pre-coronavirus service levels.

On Lufthansa you won’t find a single plane with direct aisle access from every business class seat. On American, Delta, and United, inflight service is still hugely scaled back. On British Airways you’ll find a lot of inconsistency when it comes to seats, and I also avoid Heathrow as a transit point whenever possible.

So when you consider all those factors, I’d say this was a very good transatlantic business class experience.

If you’ve flown KLM business class (especially on the 787-10), what was your experience like?

Conversations (68)
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  1. ECM Guest

    About to take this flight as well! Took advantage of Flying Blue promo and paid 43,500 miles (+ $230 taxes) for Chicago to Paris in Business. However, I did have to pay 8,000 Delta miles to position myself , but total came to 51,500 miles (+$236 taxes). I have taken AirFrance and KLM in the past as well, and concur with Lucky's overall assessment (though I found KLM service to be slight more sharp?). It's...

    About to take this flight as well! Took advantage of Flying Blue promo and paid 43,500 miles (+ $230 taxes) for Chicago to Paris in Business. However, I did have to pay 8,000 Delta miles to position myself , but total came to 51,500 miles (+$236 taxes). I have taken AirFrance and KLM in the past as well, and concur with Lucky's overall assessment (though I found KLM service to be slight more sharp?). It's not Singapore Airlines or JAL, however, great seat to cross the Atlantic, crisp service, and good food/wine selection. At around 50,000 points/miles, a steal every time!

  2. Alonzo Gold

    Those were not morel mushrooms lol. It's always amazing to me that not a single airline can match Jetblue Mint in regards to food without serving caviar, foie or lobster. Jetblue's catering should teach classes to the rest of the planet.

  3. Frog Guest

    Were one of the toilets in business class blocked for the crew? KLM has been doing this on flights to Asia / Africa during the pandemic and I'm curious to know if this is done only on some routes or if it is a policy across the board.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Frog -- Interestingly I don't think so...

    2. Frog Guest

      Thanks. That is indeed interesting. I have recently flown round-trip KLM business class on AMS-NBO (787-9/10) and AMS-DEL (777-300), and AF business class CDG-BLR (787-9 going and A350-9 return) where one toilet was reserved for the crew. On some flights there was only one toilet available for a completely full business class cabin.

      Any thoughts on how one might get AF / KLM to clarify what their policy around this is?

      I brought this...

      Thanks. That is indeed interesting. I have recently flown round-trip KLM business class on AMS-NBO (787-9/10) and AMS-DEL (777-300), and AF business class CDG-BLR (787-9 going and A350-9 return) where one toilet was reserved for the crew. On some flights there was only one toilet available for a completely full business class cabin.

      Any thoughts on how one might get AF / KLM to clarify what their policy around this is?

      I brought this up with the purser who all said it was being done due to the pandemic. I wrote to KLM asking about it but got no response. To me it seems like a selective practice employed on only some routes.

  4. Meep Guest

    Your web server is having problems. The majority of photos aren't loading. Some do, some are taking minutes, and some are timing out. Happened when review was first posted yesterday, and still happening today.

    1. Adolf Guest

      Meep it’s your phone. You are a stroke.

  5. Mark D Guest

    Somehow, similar to you Lucky, I actually flew very similar flights over the summer. I flew EWR-ATH roundtrip in Emirates Business Class on the 777-300ER in mid-July (with my parents) and then in early August, I flew JFK-AMS roundtrip in KLM Business Class (with my partner), the 787-9 going there and 787-10 coming back (seat 6A on both flights).

    While many commenters seem focused on the negatives of KLM, I can confidently say that while...

    Somehow, similar to you Lucky, I actually flew very similar flights over the summer. I flew EWR-ATH roundtrip in Emirates Business Class on the 777-300ER in mid-July (with my parents) and then in early August, I flew JFK-AMS roundtrip in KLM Business Class (with my partner), the 787-9 going there and 787-10 coming back (seat 6A on both flights).

    While many commenters seem focused on the negatives of KLM, I can confidently say that while Emirates had a vastly more extensive menu and the presentation was better than KLM (actually - only for the appetizers, the pre-plated main meals in Emirates had awful presentation), the quality of food on Emirates was...honestly...pretty disgusting. Like mostly inedible in Business. I have flown Emirates business before and felt that way in 2019 but wasn't sure if it was a one off. My mom couldn't find a single thing on the ATH-EWR flight back that she liked, so the Emirates FA gave her a crew meal at her request.

    KLM doesn't try or pretend to be an Emirates or Singapore or ANA, and I appreciate that. They have a personality that none of those airlines have (I've flown them all multiple times), and the food on KLM wasn't amazing, but it was better than Emirates. Especially the breakfast (similar to what Lucky had above, except we did have fresh croissants served from a basket and an additional entree option since we flew the late night to AMS where dinner was a one tray supper service and breakfast had more options). The breakfast Emirates served arriving into ATH was disgusting. I have photos of all 4 flights including meals and menus.

    Just wanted to share my two cents! For what it's worth, we had absolutely lovely flights on KLM both ways. Emirates' seats + food took away from all the other glitz and glam of flying them. I found the food in Emirates' coach to be better on prior flights.

  6. DLPTATL Guest

    We took an AF ORD:CDG:LIS trip at the end of September and unfortunately the horrible lounge was still very much open and in operation. I was utterly confused by the fact that they had 4-6 attendants working in the lounge the entire time adding packages of potato chips to the trays but were completely befuddled when a guest asked for a glass of ice to go with his vodka or another complained that they were...

    We took an AF ORD:CDG:LIS trip at the end of September and unfortunately the horrible lounge was still very much open and in operation. I was utterly confused by the fact that they had 4-6 attendants working in the lounge the entire time adding packages of potato chips to the trays but were completely befuddled when a guest asked for a glass of ice to go with his vodka or another complained that they were out of hand towels in the restroom. The bathrooms were significantly worse than those in the terminal. I'm hopeful that with all of the construction happening in ORD's international terminal that AF/KLM manage to open a new lounge. The Delta SkyClub at ORD isn't anything to write home about, but it's dramatically better than the AF/KLM lounge, unfortunately you can't access it from the international terminal. My next trip on KLM/AF that isn't out of ATL/DTW/MSP/JFK will probably be from Dallas or Houston. I do find that the redemption rates and availability for AF/KLM operated flights booked through FlyingBlue are MUCH better out of non-Delta hubs for somewhat obvious reasons, so I'm generally willing to fly West to go East to Europe.

  7. Jawn Guest

    After flying Lufthansa J to Europe, KLM AMS-ORD on the way back was like JAL 1st class in comparison. Hard and soft product ex-AMS was better than EVA, Cathy, & Singapore J (and a half dozen European carriers I've tried).

  8. Gsmith318 Guest

    Lucky - ORD Terminal Five is going through a huge renovation/expansion (and after its complete the rest of the airport...). I suspect the lounge windows were blacked out by the expansion construction.

    Still a rather meek lounge to begin with (BA lounge doesn't have actual windows fwiw) but hopefully the expansion will allow better lounges to be built. Delta and their partners are consolidating to T5 so I assume it will get a new Sky Club as well.

  9. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    For what it's worth, the Air France website still lists the Chicago lounge as being open and operational.

    https://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/guidevoyageur/salons/salon-ORD-CHI.htm

  10. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    KLM is an airline of contradictions. They waste money on little things like the gift houses, upscale chinaware or even serving a meal on 1-hour intra-Europe flights, but then they have school cafeteria quality food and generally the cheapest wine, even in business-class, of all the major Western airlines. Same for the KLM lounges. I find myself wandering around AMS because KLM's flagship lounges are just depressing. $5 wine, lousy food, and overcrowded. At least...

    KLM is an airline of contradictions. They waste money on little things like the gift houses, upscale chinaware or even serving a meal on 1-hour intra-Europe flights, but then they have school cafeteria quality food and generally the cheapest wine, even in business-class, of all the major Western airlines. Same for the KLM lounges. I find myself wandering around AMS because KLM's flagship lounges are just depressing. $5 wine, lousy food, and overcrowded. At least Air France manages to spend a little more money on wine and has better food, despite being part of the same company as KLM.

  11. Guri S Guest

    Not flying KLM, I rather fly SQ to Frankfurt.

    The food choices sucked, I rather not eat that crap.

    1. Chico Davis Guest

      #grammar Guri; you don’t deserve to fly anywhere other than in the cargo area.

  12. E Nash Guest

    We flew this in reverse a few weeks ago. Very comfortable seats allowing for a great nap. The food was interesting. A veal and a fish meal were our choices. Both loaded with carrots which my boyfriend is allergic to. The fish was served raw and im allergic to that. It was ironic how limited our choices were because of the allergies. Neither of us felt well enough to drink alcohol due to being awake...

    We flew this in reverse a few weeks ago. Very comfortable seats allowing for a great nap. The food was interesting. A veal and a fish meal were our choices. Both loaded with carrots which my boyfriend is allergic to. The fish was served raw and im allergic to that. It was ironic how limited our choices were because of the allergies. Neither of us felt well enough to drink alcohol due to being awake for 24 hours by that point. Food and drink are better on Delta comfort plus but the seat was wonderful on the KLM flight.

    1. DLPTATL Guest

      I've pre-ordered GF meals on KLM multiple times and the food is generally good and has reduced allergen ingredients as they also use the GF meal as the dairy free, shellfish free, etc. I would warn you that they have all featured carrots though as they were generally stews of beef and root veggies.

      On AF the GF meals are hilariously bad. They consist of 3-4 salads for dinner all featuring the same vegetables...

      I've pre-ordered GF meals on KLM multiple times and the food is generally good and has reduced allergen ingredients as they also use the GF meal as the dairy free, shellfish free, etc. I would warn you that they have all featured carrots though as they were generally stews of beef and root veggies.

      On AF the GF meals are hilariously bad. They consist of 3-4 salads for dinner all featuring the same vegetables and fruits just cut in different shapes. For breakfast it's 4 fruit salads. Oh and both have inedible Udi's pre-packaged rolls which should be banned by the FAA as they could be used to stone a fellow passenger or FA.

  13. Jill Guest

    Wasn’t this route a 744 Combi plane
    RIP Queen

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jill -- Yep, back in the day it was. I remember flying this route on a Boeing 747-400. RIP the Queen of the Skies indeed.

  14. Brian Guest

    So, Ben, what was your take on the 787-10? Comfort, noise level, etc.?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Brian -- The 787 is an all around great plane. Personally I have a preference for the A350 over the 787, but compared to virtually any other plane, it's a fantastic ride.

  15. VT-CIE Gold

    Don’t know why you’re not including the star rating, origin/destination and Ben Says at the top of trip reports any more. I loved that feature in the early days of the redesign. Please bring it back!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ VT-CIE -- Sorry, my mistake, will add it back. Wasn't intending to get rid of it, just sometimes forget to add it, so I appreciate the reminder.

  16. Connor Guest

    I just booked FLR-AMS-ORD in business for the return leg of my vacation next May. 55k Chase points transferred to Flying Blue was too good of a deal to pass up, especially considering no other major airlines are currently showing any saver business class awards next summer. Looking forward to flying KLM and the 787-10.

  17. Neil Guest

    The KLM 747 -400 is sorely missed . Nothing replaces it according to passengers and crew members .

  18. JohnM Guest

    Too bad those were not Morels in that sauce, and those poor snow peas looked like they were microwaved to death. Still, the food looked light years better than anything I've been served on United in the last year.

  19. Vancouver - Char Gold

    happy to read this KLM review including the interesting story of KLM’s Dutch Houses over the years

  20. Mick Guest

    All the lounges at ohare are woeful :(. Swiss. Klm. Even the British airways first class. Am I missing something?

    Usually you have a good view of planes at least from that lounge. Including the klm 747 that used to fly that route. Last time I took it in 2018 they unloaded a vintage army jeep from its hold. Pretty cool.

    Beer on draft is pretty cool on klm

    1. Mick Guest

      All the lounges in terminal five I should say

  21. Alex Guest

    A pity that KLM got rid of individual air vents on the 787. They had them on the 747 combis. I wonder if Air France management had anything to do with it.

  22. andy Guest

    Does the KLM house have to be sealed in a bag when transiting through Ams? I've only flown it back to the states on klm biz

    1. Bubba Guest

      It depends on where you're coming from. If your arrival flight comes from a region that entails passing security before transit in Schiphol, then the FAs on board can seal the house in plastic for you. If you're coming from NA, no need to seal in plastic. If you have a long connection and want to escape the prison-like Schengen lounge, there are lockers under the stairs from upper-level D (lounge 25 and company).

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ andy -- In this case the houses didn't have to be placed into bags, since we didn't have to clear security during our connection.

    3. andy Guest

      If it's sealed is it ok to carry on? We've got an all day layover in Ams so wanted to go into the city on the layover.

  23. Jerry Gold

    It's funny to me that an airline that appears to have eliminated most Covid cutbacks (evidenced by PDB and glassware) is still serving mains with a cover on them. Is there anybody who views this as some sort of actual safety protocol? Restaurants don't serve your food covered. It just seems odd, and I'm not sure what the intent is.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jerry -- Agreed, but I think this is true across airlines. So many airlines have arbitrary coronavirus-related rules nowadays, often with little rhyme or reason.

  24. Stuart Guest

    While their business product is getting a bit better I still avoid KLM unless a last resort. I find AMS to be the singular worst airport at this point compared to FRA, MUC, VIE, ZRH or even CDG. It's abysmal. Such a hard fall from years ago when it was by far the best.

    1. Khatl Gold

      Wow. Never thought I'd hear anyone advocate for CDG over AMS ;-)

    2. Icarus Guest

      Indeed. Schiphol suffers from frequent weather problems due to its location and noise abatement restrictions. Fog and wind often delaying flights The terminal is also not as easy to navigate as in the past. CDG terminals 2e-f are easier to navigate and linear. At least there’s also a train.

    3. Gareth Guest

      I live in TLS and always connect through AMS. It’s way better than CDG.

    4. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      The selection of restaurants at AMS is horrendous. Dutch passport control also take far longer than CDG. CDG has Sky Priority lanes for passport control, too.

    5. Stuart Guest

      @khati. It's barely, but I honestly prefer CDG now over AMS. It's become a cluster... Of course, give me MUC, FRA, or ZRH any day. And why, even when faced with a lesser product in flight, I will tend to lean towards connections or departures from those airports.

    6. Bubba Guest

      Schiphol: the Polderbaan (36L departures/18R arrivals) sucks, adding a 20-minute commute across two motorways and into the next province. While sprawling, the terminal layout makes sense, although the last few times I went through there, the outdoor area at the base of D, upper (Schengen) floor, was closed. The airport is well integrated into the Dutch rail network, although that network breaks down on weekends.

      Roissy/CDG: A single architect is responsible for all terminals, and...

      Schiphol: the Polderbaan (36L departures/18R arrivals) sucks, adding a 20-minute commute across two motorways and into the next province. While sprawling, the terminal layout makes sense, although the last few times I went through there, the outdoor area at the base of D, upper (Schengen) floor, was closed. The airport is well integrated into the Dutch rail network, although that network breaks down on weekends.

      Roissy/CDG: A single architect is responsible for all terminals, and the whole structure is a testimony to the failure of the French system of rule by technocratic elites, revealing it to be a fig leaf for rule by incompetent aristocrats. T1 has those baffling escalator tubes going all directions around an impossible-to-orient symmetrical circle, surrounded by satellites. I like it for the purity of distopian vision. 2E (Schengen) actively encourages impossible crowds at the gates. 2F killed people. The train station has machines that don't take non-French cards, and the wait for the ticket counter is at least half an hour. The train to the city takes an hour through the Northern suburbs, with hints of the line from Gary to Chicago, only the seats are dirtier and the people not as nice.
      But the AF lounges are pretty good, and, well, Paris ain't such a bad little town.

  25. Airfarer Gold

    Thanks. Perfect timing. ORDAMS next week. Will also be my first time on their 787-10. Oddly, I have usually found the stewards to be more pleasant than the stewardesses on KLM.

    1. MKLDH Gold

      Are you sure it will still be a 787-10 though? I believe they change the equipment to 787-9 starting in November.

    2. Phillip Guest

      It’s been operated by a 787-9 since 31 October.

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Airfarer -- Awesome, enjoy your flight!

  26. Another Lump Guest

    So then which seat/787 variant do you prefer? Did I miss it in my speed reading?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Another Lump -- Can't say I had a strong preference one way or another (and I usually notice little details). I found the seats to be very similar.

  27. Nelson Guest

    Typicaly Dutch mentality, as beer you only had Heineken...As a Belgian we don't even consider that 'beer.' They should at least have some Belgian beers, just as they have Belgian water on the menu and in your seat pockets. That's one of the reasons I avoid KLM at all time.

    1. Fonzi Guest

      Hahaha Belgian nationalist. Avoiding airline because of beer. How stupid is that.

  28. TomLV Guest

    Does anyone else find the Flying Blue website (whether accessed via Air France of KLM) to be glitchy? It could be me, but the same problems that existed pre-pandemic are still happening. Anyway, worth it for some great deals on flights to Europe from the west coast, but still a bit frustrating.

    1. RJ Guest

      Yes-constantly freezes when doing award searches! I thought it was just my computer.

    2. Airfarer Gold

      Glitchy is a very kind adjective for this programming mess.

    3. andy Guest

      Yes, doesn't work on any browser on my mac. I found the AF or KLM apps are much better.

    4. SQ51 Guest

      Will need to try the app I guess. I can only search for one flight successfully before it falls apart. At least those program is valuable and planes are generally pretty good in the premium cabin, though the IT is a letdown kinda

    5. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ TomLV -- Yes, the site is TERRIBLE for doing award searches. You're not alone. Perhaps a good topic for a blog post in hopes of getting it fixed.

  29. Alec Guest

    I'm flying this from LAX next month. Do you find the last row to be loud with bathrooms/galley behind it?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alec -- I didn't find the noise to be an issue at all.

  30. Icarus Guest

    A new Delta SkyClub will open in terminal 5 to replace the AFKL Lounge

    1. Tortuga Gold

      Icarus, do you know when the Delta lounge is scheduled to open?

    2. Icarus Guest

      Not sure however t5 is being expanded and I understand delta will eventually transfer all its ( domestic ) operations there

    3. Ben Guest

      I asked the SkyClub agent about the move to T5 when I was at O’Hare this summer. If I’m remembering right she gave me a date in October 2022

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Icarus -- Great to know, thanks!

    5. mdande7 Gold

      I talked to them last month about a shower. The current DL lounge at ORD doesn't have one, but they assured me the new one in T5 would have one. I imagine this will be the SkyTeam lounge for all of ORD since all SKyTeam flights will operate there. I anticipate the lounge will be at the Seattle level or better. They told me about 6 months. But of course that's "airport construction time"

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Mark D Guest

Somehow, similar to you Lucky, I actually flew very similar flights over the summer. I flew EWR-ATH roundtrip in Emirates Business Class on the 777-300ER in mid-July (with my parents) and then in early August, I flew JFK-AMS roundtrip in KLM Business Class (with my partner), the 787-9 going there and 787-10 coming back (seat 6A on both flights). While many commenters seem focused on the negatives of KLM, I can confidently say that while Emirates had a vastly more extensive menu and the presentation was better than KLM (actually - only for the appetizers, the pre-plated main meals in Emirates had awful presentation), the quality of food on Emirates was...honestly...pretty disgusting. Like mostly inedible in Business. I have flown Emirates business before and felt that way in 2019 but wasn't sure if it was a one off. My mom couldn't find a single thing on the ATH-EWR flight back that she liked, so the Emirates FA gave her a crew meal at her request. KLM doesn't try or pretend to be an Emirates or Singapore or ANA, and I appreciate that. They have a personality that none of those airlines have (I've flown them all multiple times), and the food on KLM wasn't amazing, but it was better than Emirates. Especially the breakfast (similar to what Lucky had above, except we did have fresh croissants served from a basket and an additional entree option since we flew the late night to AMS where dinner was a one tray supper service and breakfast had more options). The breakfast Emirates served arriving into ATH was disgusting. I have photos of all 4 flights including meals and menus. Just wanted to share my two cents! For what it's worth, we had absolutely lovely flights on KLM both ways. Emirates' seats + food took away from all the other glitz and glam of flying them. I found the food in Emirates' coach to be better on prior flights.

1
VT-CIE Gold

Don’t know why you’re not including the star rating, origin/destination and Ben Says at the top of trip reports any more. I loved that feature in the early days of the redesign. Please bring it back!

1
Vancouver - Char Gold

happy to read this KLM review including the interesting story of KLM’s Dutch Houses over the years

1
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