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KLM World Business Class EDI-DXB (w/pics)  
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 25220 times:

Introduction

So here goes, my first Trip Report for Airliners.net. All feedback is welcomed, especially if I can improve for a next time.

KLM World Business Class

I've had a few upgrades in the past, particulary with my SkyTeam Elite status enabling me to be upgraded with Northwest and the occasional 'Europe Select' trip, but this was to be the first "full paid" trip. It's debatable, but I think £1295 return to Dubai from Scotland isn't all that bad for a business class flight. After checking both KLM and Air France's prices (which were exactly the same), I decided on KLM. The main reason being that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a league ahead of the madness that is Charles-De-Gualle. From what I've read, some people prefer Air France to KLM, but strangely I find the Dutch accent of KLM far sexier than Madame Air France. Anyway, by June the flight was booked, and I held my reservation for KLM Europe Select/ World Business Class to Dubai on 24 July 2008.

Flight: KL1280
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:00am
Actual Departure Time: 09:55am
Business Class: 20% load
Economy Class: 80% load


Check-in

As usual, the sun decided to shine on the day I left. Not to worry, after checking the forecast for Dubai (which was a broiling 44◦C) I was happy to be leaving the rare Scottish sunshine.


Edinburgh's busy terminal exterior

I arrived at Edinburgh at 08:35am, a cheeky 1hr 25mins before take-off. To my delight however, there was nobody in line for Business Class check-in. I walked right on up...
It was an Eastern European girl who served me. Whilst she did work efficiently, I struggled sometimes to understand what she said. Not to worry, it was the usual answers "No..No..No" to the security questions. She gave me an invitation to the Servisair lounge at the airport, KLM's handling agent for Edinburgh.

Business Lounge

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l400/conrad1402/Dubai002.jpg
Servisair Lounge at Edinburgh Airport - apologies for poor image

The lounge appears to have had a few renovations, and seems to be in good shape. Apart from myself, there were only 5 other people in the lounge which made for a nice (very quiet) atmosphere. A rather annoying part of Servisair lounges is that regular passengers can pay in. At Edinburgh this costs £13.50, and suddenly the lounge access loses some of its exclusivity. Additionally, internet access is NOT free! I think that's outrageous?! All SkyTeam carriers, apart from Continental, use this lounge.

Boarding

The boarding procedure at Edinburgh for KLM flights is fairly simplistic, but works fantastically. Europe Select are called first, followed by Elites and those requiring assistance. Unlike other airports, passengers tend to be very patient at Edinburgh, and make way for the Business Class passengers.

Our flight had arrived in from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol at 08:54am, so there were no delays to the aircraft's turn around.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Klm.b737-300.ph-bdp.arp.jpg/800px-
KLM Boeing 737-300

Europe Select

I still think it's outrageous that KLM configures Europe Select with the same 3-3 seating as Economy Class. Nevertheless, with only 3 of us in a cabin for 15, I managed to take advantage of the spare seats.  Wink

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l400/conrad1402/Dubai005.jpg
The famous KLM logo on the bulkhead

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l400/conrad1402/Dubai004-1.jpg
KLM use the same configuration in Economy as they do in Europe Select

My seat number was 2A, which is actually the first row of Europe Select on the aircraft's left side.

Europe Select dining

The service on Europe Select is simplistic, but well presented. Meals arrive in a box, accompanied by hot rolls and unlimited refreshments.

Smoked tuna with a sesame crust and smoked prawns, served with horseradish cream.
Banoffee with eggnog sauce.



Before long, Captain Meyer had us descending over the Netherlands coast. The purser approached me:

"Do you like to fly?"
"Eh... yes," I said wearily.
"I see your magazine."

Of course, sitting at my feet was Airliner World which by this point, had been read cover-to-cover. The purser asked me to complete a questionnaire, and as a nice touch he let me keep the KLM pen! (which writes very well, by the way...)  Smile

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l400/conrad1402/Dubai008.jpg

Landing was flawless, and before long we were at the gate. Although we arrived 25 minutes early, we had to wait 5 minutes for a jetway before we could actually disembark the aircraft. Our arrival gate was D39.



Transfer at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

As usual with Schiphol, everything went smoothly. The one-terminal-layout really does streamline transfers between flights, and the connection was perfectly timed.
I decided to head to KLM Crown Lounge 41, which was full.

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l400/conrad1402/Dubai089.jpg

So, following the sign, I went to 52. Personally, I think 52 is a far better lounge. Of course the modernised Schengen lounge is very nice, but I wasn't up for two security checks to cross areas.

Flight: KL427
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER (Epidaurus)
Scheduled Departure Time: 13:40pm
Actual Departure Time: 13:50pm
Business Class: 100% load
Economy Class: 100% load


Boarding

Schiphol is very organised, with emphasis is on very. Boarding is stated to open over an hour before the flight, so when I arrived at the gate I was faced with a large queue. I was very impressed with the seperate Economy/Business Class waiting lines, and the exclusive Business Class/Elite Plus waiting lounge.

As soon as boarding was called, an army of passengers (most of whom Economy) rose to their feet and headed for the jetway doors. Perhaps their English wasn't pefect, but I'm sure one could understand:

"We are now boarding WORLD BUSINESS CLASS ONLY."

In fact, the gate agent had to clear a path for us. For a cabin of 35 people, there seemed to be A LOT of 'World Business Class' passengers refusing to back off. Elites were going to be called next, at least.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER Epidaurus

There she sat, glistening at gate F7, having flown only the previous evening to Cairo.



Before long, I was at my seat. 1A. My seat-mate arrived a little later, and we were both offered pre-takeoff drinks, amenity kits, KLM Shopping in the Air Business Class exclusives, and our menus (which I'll elaborate more on later Wink).


I opted for the orange juice, which was soooo good!


KLM did not offer the 'beanie' cylindrical pillow on this flight, have they stopped using these in World Business Class?


Now that's what I call legroom. I'm 5'11", and my feet don't touch the wall.

Inflight Entertainment

Since launching its fleet renewal programme, KLM's inflight entertainment product has been consistently good. The 10.4" screen in World Business Class is far larger than the Economy individual screens, however the programming is almost indentical. My system crashed once, but whatever, I think I pressed too many buttons at once?


KLM Inflight Entertainment AVOD - Main Menu

World Business Class Dining Experience

Before the lunch service, the flight attendants came round with hot towels, nuts and more drinks. A nice touch is that they set your tray table with a tablecloth before serving the meal (which is served on fine KLM crockery, as you would expect).

Appetiser

Smoked salmon (no surprises...but it's a favourite with most airlines),
Served on a grapefruit and fennel salad garnished with pickeled ginger

Main Courses

Roasted chicken in chilli-ginger sauce,
Offered with a basil pesto risotto, spicy carrots and asparagus

Lamb entrecote with rosemary sauce,
Topped with thyme and parsley accompanied by couscous tartlet, ratatouille and a red onion and orange compote.

Red mullet tandoori,
Garnished with pine nuts and lemon shavings, served over minestrone with skin potatoes.

Dessert

Sweet lime yoghurt with citrus cream and whipped cream, and a cheese plate with grapes.

In between service

For your comfort, bottles of mineral water will be distributed after your meal.


Not a bad choice at all, I must say. I chose the chicken and I wasn't dissapointed. Shortly before we landed in Dubai, we were served a snack. Usually there is the option of hot or cold, however the flight attendant gave me both as I was fairly indecisive.
The hot box consisted of meat satay sticks in sauce, whilst the cold box included two tortilla wraps of tuna, olives and lettuce, or goats cheese and lettuce.

Descent and landing

As we prepared for our arrival, the cabin crew passed through the cabin with a tray of Delft Blue houses. My seat mate asked:

"What is it?"
"It's a gift! Something to remember me by," replied the stewardess.
I love the humour of the KLM team. They really are the best in the European sky. They're always there when you need them, but not overly attentive like Far-Eastern carriers.

We arrived into Dubai about 12mins behind schedule, however from what I'm aware the flight rarely lands ahead of schedule.

In summary

□ KLM Europe Select is seriously not worth the price. Particularly when the lounge you can access charges you for internet access!
□ Amsterdam Airport Schiphol remains one of the best airports to transfer through. Everything is so simple!
□ The KLM World Business Class seat is not as bad as others have stated. I noticed only a little slip on the surface. I just wish they'd gone the extra 10degrees and made the chair completely flat! The 2-3-2 configuration is also less appealing. But they're an airline, so in these hard times I can understand higher capacity to generate revenue.
□ Entertainment on KLM was a joy as usual.
□ KLM staff maintained the excellent image of the airline.


Hello Dubai!


This really is the life...


conrad1402

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 25160 times:



Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
still think it's outrageous that KLM configures Europe Select with the same 3-3 seating as Economy Class.



Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
KLM Europe Select is seriously not worth the price.

 checkmark  Totally ridiculous.

Funny how I was only 1 flight behind you. Next time I will take the day flight as well. Flying the route more often in the future?

Nice report and you managed to get through it without insulting anyone! Big grin

Well...

Almost...

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
I love the humour of the KLM team. They really are the best in the European sky. They're always there when you need them, but not overly attentive like Far-Eastern carriers.

Thats the nice way of saying what I meant.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineKlm685 From Mexico, joined May 2005, 1577 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 25156 times:

Definately a very enjoyable trip report! Great pictures and an easy read!

congrats! Keep the return leg coming soon!

Cheers!



KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 25090 times:

I enjoyed your informative TR on KLM. Thanks for posting.


cheers: DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 24389 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 1):
Funny how I was only 1 flight behind you. Next time I will take the day flight as well. Flying the route more often in the future?

I fly to Dubai about 4 times per year. I usually fly SkyTeam, depending on where I depart from, with KLM and Air France being the favourites. As I've said before, I prefer to transfer at Schiphol so KLM are the usual favourite. Particularly the 07.00am flight from DXB, as I don't really enjoy flying on the 00.10am flight.

Quoting Klm685 (Reply 2):
Keep the return leg coming soon!

I'm just working on the return TR just now. Hopefully have it online in a couple of days!


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 23847 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, thanks.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
It's debatable, but I think £1295 return to Dubai from Scotland isn't all that bad for a business class flight.

- Not bad at all, though KL J is not that good.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
After checking both KLM and Air France's prices (which were exactly the same), I decided on KLM. The main reason being that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a league ahead of the madness that is Charles-De-Gualle. From what I've read, some people prefer Air France to KLM, but strangely I find the Dutch accent of KLM far sexier than Madame Air France

- I'd take KL over AF anyday, CDG is a dump and can be worse than LHR to connect through. Re the accent, i'd go for the sexy french girl Smile

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
still think it's outrageous that KLM configures Europe Select with the same 3-3 seating as Economy Class

- Pretty poor in this day and age.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Shortly before we landed in Dubai, we were served a snack. Usually there is the option of hot or cold, however the flight attendant gave me both as I was fairly indecisive.
The hot box consisted of meat satay sticks in sauce, whilst the cold box included two tortilla wraps of tuna, olives and lettuce, or goats cheese and lettuce.

- Hmm, this is not impressive soundig, I'd be expecting a proper tray service with plates etc, not a box!

Lokk forward to the return, KLM are interesting for sure!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 23678 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
- Hmm, this is not impressive soundig, I'd be expecting a proper tray service with plates etc, not a box

You make a valid point. I had been expecting the sort of experience I'd had only a few hours previously (at lunch), where there had been plates and tables laid with bright white tablecloths. I think catering for KL427 that day was just a bit of a muck up, considering Economy Class had the choice of beef - or nothing!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
Pretty poor in this day and age.

Re the Europe Select configuration, had the cabin been more than 20% full I would've probably been outraged at the layout. However, since there was only 3 of us in the cabin for 15 I didn't have a problem. KLM do seriously need to reconsider their premium European product. The premium domestic product on most US metal offers a far better seat configuration, to distinguish itself from the Economy pax.

Do KLM still use the moveable bulkhead for Europe Select? So they can change the amount of pax in the section depending on ticket sales?


User currently offlineHardiwv From Brazil, joined Oct 2004, 8780 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 22981 times:



Quoting Conrad1402 (Reply 6):
Do KLM still use the moveable bulkhead for Europe Select? So they can change the amount of pax in the section depending on ticket sales?

Yes, KL still has moveable bulkead for Europe Select changing the availability of seats from row 1 until and up to row 10. This is a very smart move by KL. However, I dont think is smart selling the middle seat!

Rgs,


User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 22683 times:



Quoting Hardiwv (Reply 7):
This is a very smart move by KL. However, I dont think is smart selling the middle seat!

I'll never understand why KL sells middle seats in Europe Select! Thankfully on all my European flights, the middle seats remained vacant. Other European carriers such as Lufthansa bridge the middle seat with a drinks table, which shows a greater awareness of customer comfort. I tend to fly Europe Select mainly as part of a mileage run. The 200% Flying Blue miles is the main selling point for me.


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3108 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 22200 times:

Great report, but would have liked to see more of the seat/cabin.

Nice legs, though!  Wink



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineCAP2008 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 22102 times:



Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
I decided to head to KLM Crown Lounge 41, which was full.



Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
two security checks to cross areas.

That is a pain in the ass, I really wish they would make a direct entrance to 52 from all concourses.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
KLM Europe Select is seriously not worth the price. Particularly when the lounge you can access charges you for internet access!

It was free when I was in lounge 41 in AMS a month ago, just ask at the service desk, and the agent will give you the password.



The mother of the last KC-135 pilot has yet to be born.
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 21751 times:



Quoting CAP2008 (Reply 10):
It was free when I was in lounge 41 in AMS a month ago, just ask at the service desk, and the agent will give you the password.

Oops, don't know if I made my point clearly there. The lounge at Edinburgh Airport, which is operated by Servisair (the handling agent), does not provide free internet access. Don't worry, at AMS I took full advantage of the free internet access!


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