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KLM : What Is Going On With In-Flight?  
User currently offlineFLYGUY767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6122 times:

Greeting from the wonderful Nederlands..

I was questioning whether to post this in the Trip Report or Civil Aviation Forum, if I have posted it in the wrong place I apologize. I just was wondering if anyone else has seen any of the following in regards to KLM in recent years..

Last night I departed from JFK on a delayed KLM Flight 644/ NWA 8644 a 747-400M bound for Amsterdam to attend a cousins wedding, we arrived early this afternoon at 1245pm. The flight was so not to the KLM standard that I have known in the past. I have seen the airline decline in service and quality further and further in recent years. Is there some reason that KLM and its service is seeming to be so lack luster compared to just a few years ago? Has Air France given KLM the backseat touch? The flight was fine, the service and cabin cleanliness was a whole other story.

The World Business Class seats were fine, but I noticed frayed fabric, uncleaned tray tables, the IFE screen was filthy with fingerprints, their were crumbs on the floor along the wall paneling, the Flight Attendants didn't seem to interested in anything but talking in the galley during the flight. The restrooms smelt of blue juice, the linen hand towels and flowers I have seen on previous KLM flights were no longer present in the World Business lavatories. The Flight Attendants overall weren't of the KLM standard in reference to grooming and personality that I have known KLM to be known for in the past. The Purser was nice, but didn't have much in the area of personality.

Has anyone else noticed KLM's product deteriorating over the recent months and years, or is it just myself?

I am off to Dubai on Sunday at 140pm bound for Dubai for another wedding and a beyond sizzling summer holiday, I am hoping that the old KLM I know will rear its head at some point during this trip. The flight I got off of a few hours ago left a lot to the imagination as far as quality, and service are concerned.

-JD

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5941 times:

Seems that you got a bad, talky crew, probably tired from the JFK delay.
Yeah, their WBC product is dated - but most of the time I fly them crews are excellent, and what give KLM the edge over AF.
-A



What now?
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5910 times:

Quoting FLYGUY767 (Thread starter):
uncleaned tray tables, the IFE screen was filthy with fingerprints, their were crumbs on the floor along the wall paneling

You said the flight was delayed which may have meant the inbound flight was also delayed. They may have cut back on cleaning to reduce the turnaround time and get the outbound flight out a little earlier. That may be an acceptable tradeoff if it helps passengers make their connections at the other end.


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5860 times:

I too flew KL for the first time in a number of years. WBC seats were uncomfortable - seemed like a spring had sprung and was poking me. The headrest which should have been adjustable was simply floppy - when I mentioned it to the crew their response was, 'oh, haven't they fixed that?' Late departure out of SPL but the crew didn't 'hustle', stayed in their seats almost 20 mins after TO - took the meal order, and then served drinks. During turbulance they seated other 'passengers' (obviously children of the FAs) in the jump seats.

1 1/2 hours out I gave up and put on my eyeshades, put in my earplugs and tried to get to sleep.
They then figured that I really wanted to eat and not sleep so they woke me up. Noisy service for what was now after midnight.

IMHO their business class is suffering, crew isn't particulary good or attentive. I won't be flying them again, although they are almost always have the cheapest business class fares.


User currently offlineZoom767 From Canada, joined May 2004, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5810 times:

I Flew YYZ to AMS via KLM this past June... 747 to AMS, 777 back to Toronto (cattle car class unfortunately). I felt the jumbos are really showing their age: worn, rough around the edges, no personal IFE. The 777 was much more comfortable: better seat pitch, lots of choices on the IFE. etc.
Then there was the food... in the last five years I've done trans-Atlantic about 20 times on six different airlines and I have to say that the food on the the way to AMS, but especially on the way back was the worst I've experienced in that time. Now, like most of you I'm sure, I have low expectations for meals in economy, but I'm not a fussy eater and usually manage to gobble up everything they put in front of me. Not this time. I won't bother with a detailed critique... it was simply unpalatable... although I'm told the crackers and wrapped gouda were great (I had to give mine to my wife who gave up on the entree after the first bite).
To add insult to injury they were serving only CHINESE wine... when people asked "Chinese wine? Why?" they were told it was a month long promotion. However, I'm always up for something new so I ordered one hoping to be pleasantly surprised ("Wow, those buyers at KLM are amazing... this is great!"). Alas, no surprise. It was as bad as you might think. Fortunately I was able to snag a Heineken on the next pass.
However, I'm happy to report that the quality that in the past has always made KLM a favourite of mine remains the same: friendly, courteous, unflaggingly professional service from the flight crew. Between that and the joys of efficient Schiphol airport (please shoot me if I ever again makes plans for a transfer at LHR or CDG) I'll be more then happy to use KLM again.


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5777 times:

Quoting Zoom767 (Reply 4):
Alas, no surprise. It was as bad as you might think. Fortunately I was able to snag a Heineken on the next pass.

Forgot to mention - they ONLY had Heineken, no other beers Dutch or otherwise. While I may respect their marketing people, I don't respect their brewers. I don't like their beer and even BA have a choice of 3 (two lagers and a bitter). FA said something rude when I asked for another beer.


User currently offlineZoom767 From Canada, joined May 2004, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5766 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 5):
Forgot to mention - they ONLY had Heineken, no other beers Dutch or otherwise. While I may respect their marketing people, I don't respect their brewers. I don't like their beer and even BA have a choice of 3 (two lagers and a bitter). FA said something rude when I asked for another beer.

Actually, as part of the promotion KLM had on my flight, there was also a chinese beer available. Given my experience with the Chinese wine I played it safe with the Heineken.... well, 4 Heineken's in fact. I think it was the crew's way of apologizing for the wine.


User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5741 times:

Quoting Zoom767 (Reply 4):
To add insult to injury they were serving only CHINESE wine...



Quoting Zoom767 (Reply 6):
Actually, as part of the promotion KLM had on my flight, there was also a chinese beer available. Given my experience with the Chinese wine I played it safe with the Heineken.... well, 4 Heineken's in fact. I think it was the crew's way of apologizing for the wine.

That Chinese wine was indeed undrinkable, but was only served during April. I liked the chinese meals though. And in the end the (free) brandy was still French. I fly KLM every three months out of Nigeria, and the food has actually improved greatly with the new meal services introduced last December (especially on flights out of Nigeria).


User currently offlineZoom767 From Canada, joined May 2004, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Quoting KL577 (Reply 7):
That Chinese wine was indeed undrinkable, but was only served during April.

Well, they must have had trouble getting rid of it because they were still offering it (and nothing else) when I flew home AMS/YYZ June 13. No special chinese meals though... unless the "oriental vegetables" (i.e. soggy veggies with vaguely asian sauce) was part of the promotion.

[Edited 2007-08-10 21:17:46]

User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5680 times:

Quoting Zoom767 (Reply 6):
there was also a chinese beer available.

Tsingtao? Great beer! Heinekin - not. But as I said no choice in J, other than take it or leave it.


User currently offlineFLYGUY767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5550 times:

Quoting Zoom767 (Reply 8):
Well, they must have had trouble getting rid of it because they were still offering it (and nothing else) when I flew home AMS/YYZ June 13. No special chinese meals though... unless the "oriental vegetables" (i.e. soggy veggies with vaguely asian sauce) was part of the promotion

The meal I was served was okay, but not as gourmet nor as European as I have seen on KLM in the past. I have flown in the past when they were offering seasonal menus such as "Italian Festival", and so forth. Like I have said the meals are seeming to go down the tubes as well. I would hate to have seen what was being offered in Econmy. I think the one saving grace that I have enjoyed time and time again was the Fresh Salmon, with crackers and cheeses that they often run as a snack on the longer flights from Amsterdam to the United States

Quoting KL577 (Reply 7):
That Chinese wine was indeed undrinkable, but was only served during April.

Chinese wine on a European airline, most interesting..

Quoting Zoom767 (Reply 6):
Actually, as part of the promotion KLM had on my flight, there was also a chinese beer available. Given my experience with the Chinese wine I played it safe with the Heineken.... well, 4 Heineken's in fact. I think it was the crew's way of apologizing for the wine.

Well there you have it Dutch beer is preferred four to one over Chinese wine.. I have had Chinese wine on a few rare occasions, it is nothing to write home about. I dont think the conditions in China are favorable for decent grapes for any harvest to be had. Gerard Heineken and the Dutch thank you!  

I am off to bed... Good night to all from Marlot/Den Haag

-JD

[Edited 2007-08-10 23:41:13]

User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4056 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5068 times:
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Quoting KL577 (Reply 7):
I fly KLM every three months out of Nigeria, and the food has actually improved greatly with the new meal services introduced last December (especially on flights out of Nigeria

Can you tell me what this new meal service is all about with the exception of the Chinese Wine and Beer?

Since AF bought KL and they are merged but operating seperately, does anyone know if AF is considering upgrading KL's long hard and soft products (cabin seating and amenties) as well as the catering AF has? In my opinion it seems to me it will be much more cost efficent if they had very very similar inflight products and catering to keep costs down. As well, upgrading the 744s, & 74Ms to the standards of their new 332 & 772 fleets.

LACA773


User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4733 times:

Quoting LACA773 (Reply 11):
Can you tell me what this new meal service is all about with the exception of the Chinese Wine and Beer?

The presentation changed as well as the meals served, and there seems to be more rotation in the meals presented. Last time I flew KLM from KAN to AMS (before they had the chinese food and drinks month in April), they served chicken marinated in piri-piri sauce, with fried plaintain and spiced rice. Egg zabaglione with cakes as desert, with some coffee and brandy; it was in fact a very good meal for economy. Now the catering on flights out of Nigeria was abysmal before, so I was presently surprised by this change. I tried to upload the pictures on airlinemeals.net, but that somehow doesn't work properly.


User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4056 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3603 times:
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Quoting KL577 (Reply 12):
I tried to upload the pictures on airlinemeals.net, but that somehow doesn't work properly.

Thanks for the information KL577. I apreciate it. It sounds like they are slowly upgrading their catering.
In regards to airlinemeals.net, the sites owners have been doing a lot of work on the site and from what I understand they are backlogged. I hope they get the site updated soon. It's one of my favorite sites. Maybe someone else can shed some light for us.

LACA773


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