WORLD BUSINESS CLASS
Date: December 26, 2008
From: Lima, Peru
To: Amsterdam, Netherlands
KLM Flight 744
I had decided to go to Prague with my family for a small end of the year holiday and also to spend New Years there. After looking at flight options from PTY
(that is where I live) I could have easily taken KLM’s PTY
non-stop and then AMS
on Czech Airlines which code shares with KLM. However, fares out of PTY
were pretty high and WBC was pricing into the higher fare classes. I didn’t mind booking it but I wanted to check out the fares departing from Lima as I know they are pretty cheap sometimes. Indeed, the fare for LIM
was a lot cheaper than from PTY
so I booked it. All I needed now was to book a separate ticket from PTY
with Copa Airlines. After making all the bookings on KLM.COM and Copaair.com I realized that I would have three flight segments and each one with a different SkyTeam airline!!
After having arrived from PTY
on Copa I passed through the connecting passenger’s area and soon enough I was in the departures hall. This was my second time in Lima and the airport looked a bit bigger and I felt as if they had done some renovations. I knew beforehand that KLM uses the SUMAQ lounge so I decided to go over there to shower and rest before the flight to AMS
could not check me in on the KLM reservation in PTY
I did not have a KLM boarding pass so I had to explain to the lounge attendant that I was in transit from Panama and I showed her my KLM reservation. She wrote down the details and then let me in the lounge.
Upon entry into the lounge I took a seat on one of the sofas and had some sandwiches along with some Inca Cola. I never tried Inca Cola and it was pretty good!! After the snacks I went to take a shower and lounge around.
About 1hour 45 minutes before departure I went to the departure gate to see if there was anybody from KLM (remember, I was still not checked in for the flight as I was on a separate ticket than my Copa flight). I wanted to check in for the flight or at least notify KLM that I was in Lima and not a no-show. I started getting nervous because I did not want to be left behind because they could argue that the flight was closed and that it was too late.
I stayed at the gate until someone from KLM arrived (about 1 hour before departure). I notified her that I was in transit and was booked for the flight. She was pretty nice and within a few minutes she handed me my boarding pass. I mentioned to her that I had checked in a bag with COPA and gave her the voucher so that KLM would retrieve the bag or at least ensure that it was on the flight. She assured me that it would be.
I went back to the lounge a lot less nervous because I was already checked in and had my boarding pass. I decided to check my emails a bit more until they called for boarding.
About 30 minutes before departure the lounge attendant announced that KLM was now boarding and I made my over to the gate. Boarding had already begun but thankfully there wasn’t a massive swarm of people blocking the entrance and I was able to make my way to the boarding pass scanner and soon after made my way down the jet bridge.
Upon entering the aircraft I was engulfed in a sea of blue! There were two flight attendants who were very polite and asked to see my boarding pass. I showed it to one of them and she directed me to turn left (I already knew where to go).
I found my way to my seat, 1A, and began to settle in by storing my bags in the overhead bins and giving my coat to the flight attendant. She came around again and handed out the dinner menu, breakfast menu, amenity kit, and headphone. My overall impression so far was very positive and all of the flight attendants were very friendly and ready to assist.
After taking a lot of cabin pictures before it started to fill up, I took to my seat and a glass of champagne was delivered to me.
Pushback was on time and it was already starting to get dark. We made a very quick taxi over to the runway and made a very quick and powerful take off heading south. I love the sound of the 777 when it spools up the engine and tonight did not disappoint!!
After take off the cabin crew started the meal service and I was brought a bowl of warm nuts and red wine. This was my first time using KLMs AVOD and I spent some time checking out the movies, music, and shows on offer. I decided to recline my seat, enjoy the wine, and watch a movie.
After the nuts came the starter. The only thing I ate was the shrimp and it was good. Then came the main course. I was a bit skeptical of the pasta dish when I first ordered it, but when it arrived I was very pleased because it was restaurant quality and very good. Continental Airlines also offers a pasta dish in its premium cabin, and I must admit that this pasta was MUCH better than what I have tried on Continental. After the pasta came desert which was ok and not great.
After the meal service I reclined my seat even further and watched some more movies and dozed in and out of sleep.
WBC LIE FLAT SEAT REVIEW
I had read and heard so many bad comments of KLMs WBC seat and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After reclining the seat all the way and having already spent a couple hours in it I could form an opinion. The seat was bad, but not AS
bad as many people say. Some people hate it, but I think that is a bit extreme. The seat is a bit firm and there is not much “softness” to it, but it is not unbearable. When fully extended there is a weird feeling in the lower back which makes it a bit uncomfortable to sleep, but if you bring the seat forward a bit then it feels much better. Also, many people say that you keep slipping down and have to use your feet to hold yourself up. I did notice this phenomenon when fully reclined, but I was slipping down so slowly that I didn’t realize it till after about 20 minutes. However, when I brought the seat forward a bit, I was able to find a comfortable position that allowed me to sleep but not slip down.
Overall I would say that this seat is not as good as Continentals BF
in the 777 or Air France, but my opinion is that most of the negative sentiment and harsh criticism of this seat is exaggerated.
After getting some sleep I woke up and I could see that daylight had already appeared. I went to the bathroom to freshen up and walk around the cabin to stretch my legs.
Upon returning to my seat I watched some more movies and waited till the flight attendants would serve breakfast.
About 2 hours before arrival, the flight attendants turned on the cabin lights and began their service by handing out hot towels, juice, and began rolling out the breakfast. One thing that I noticed was that they served the food from back to front. I have always seen the opposite (front to back).
Breakfast was pretty good and I was pleased with my meal although I felt a bit bad for ordering everything on the menu because I did not eat everything that they brought me.
After the breakfast service was completed people started going to the bathroom to freshen up and prepare for the eventual arrival into Amsterdam. I lounged around in my seat listening to music (DJ Tiesto if you must know) and counting the minutes till arrival.
We began the descent about 25 minutes before arrival and the cabin crew did a great job of handing back the jackets, collecting the headphones and making sure that all the seats were in the upright position.
Landing was very smooth and we exited the runway very quickly. We then taxied over to the gate and luckily it was a very quick taxi. Upon disembarkation, the flight attendants were holding back the Economy class passengers so that WBC passengers could exit first and this was very nice.
Once inside the terminal I made my over to the KLM lounge so that I could take a shower and rest up before my 7pm departure to PRG
I finally made it to PRG
and Czech Airlines is actually pretty good and offers good food. However, when I arrived to PRG
my bag did not make it. I remember asking a customer service rep in AMS
if my bag arrived from LIM
on the plane with me and he assured me that it arrived fine. However, the OK
reps in PRG
had no clue of where my bag was and could only offer me a SkyTeam amenity kit and the opportunity to fill out a report. I did this and went to my hotel. I called OK
for about 2 days and they still had no idea where my bag was. One of the customer reps even confessed that this kind of thing happens frequently and that they usually show up on the third day. Well turns out that she was correct, and on the third day the hotel concierge informed me that I had a “package” waiting for me in the lobby.
The last time I flew KLM before this trip was in June 2008 on PTY
in WBC and my experience was average. I had written that the service and overall product was average and that I was disappointed. My expectations for this trip were the same, but the results were very different. The service and product on this flight was much better and I am glad that I was able to experience an improvement.
The main thing that I did not like about my PTY
flight was the service: flight attendants were cold and not very friendly. However this flight was different as the flight attendants were very friendly and did an excellent job. The actual product- seat, entertainment, food, and lounge was also very good and beat my expectations. The only reason that I flew KLM was because I can earn miles (I am a Continental OnePass member). However, once CO
leaves SkyTeam I will most likely not fly KLM long haul and having a positive experience on KLM made me realize that I will probably miss KLM and that I should travel on it as much as possible while CO
is still part of SkyTeam.
If I had to give a grade to the overall experience and product I would give it an A-.
I hope you enjoyed reading my trip report and please dont hesitate to leave any questions or comments.
Thank you and look out for the return segment along with the CM