As part of a flight deal and a recent trip to Dubai on KLM, I tried the carrier’s 787-10 business class cabin in Amsterdam and my experience was significantly better than from Houston to Amsterdam.
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Ground Experiment/Crown Lounge 52
I posted about the lack of experience I had as my first impression of KLM’s business class product at the Crown Lounge in Houston. For those who do not continue on another KLM flight and experience the renovated lounges in Amsterdam, they would think that the customer experience is not important for the carrier.
However, if they visited the lounges in Amsterdam, they would realize how amazing the Crown lounges offered by KLM can be. Matthew did a great job (over 100 images) of Crown Lounge 52 in Amsterdam. I wanted to write this message, but there is no way I can match his efforts. That said, the lounge is key to connecting passengers, so it’s too good not to include a few shots here.
The lounge has a pay-to-play restaurant on a mezzanine overlooking an innovative mixed-use space in the middle of the lounge. While I’m sure the food is impeccable, I think the idea of a restaurant paying for that portion is a little odd when United is offering it for free at Polaris.
The lounge became excessively busy as flights from the Americas arrived before connecting east and throughout Europe. I took the opportunity to freshen up with a shower and the system was efficient (QR codes, self-check-in and text messaging when the room was prepared and assigned). However, I found a strange stain in my shower cubicle (which appeared to be permanent but didn’t investigate other than avoiding it) and thought it was strange that there wasn’t of toilets in the shower cubicle. It is the first salon of its type to not have a toilet.
The food was much better at this lounge and as I stayed from breakfast to lunch I am happy to report that the food on offer was top notch throughout my experience. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has set the bar high for major international gateways if the rest of the experience is as high-end as my encounter.
One of the clever things about flying KLM in business class on long-haul flights is that each passenger is offered a small KLM house (made of ceramic and filled with a small amount of Dutch alcohol) each with a design and a unique numbers. In the lounge, attendants will help guests swap one KLM home for another, allowing passengers to expand their collection. It’s a small touch, but left a lasting impression.
Unlike the 2-2-2 configuration of my previous KLM flight from Houston (777-300), this aircraft offered a modern 1-2-1 configuration. I was looking forward to writing this KLM 787-10 business class review as the products were very different and in the future I will see this aircraft come out.
As with my previous flight, the remote not only provided the ability to control the screen, but also to display flight information that did not interfere with the entertainment screens.
Business class offered a fully extended experience. Comfortable seats provide direct aisle access for each passenger. An international outlet with a separate USB outlet kept my devices charged and ready upon arrival in Dubai.
The amenity kit on this route was significantly different from my previous kit on the previous flight. These miniature magnetic clasp amenity kits made a great keepsake for my 8 year old daughter who quickly used it as a handbag when I got home. Inside were the contents of a standard toiletry bag, such as an eye mask, socks, pen, face moisturizer (which she loved) and lip balm.
One thing I liked about the KLM experience from Amsterdam was the little details they seemed to care about. Even the plane’s restrooms featured the design of his iconic little houses and top-of-the-line soaps and sanitizers.
Food and drink
After boarding, a pre-departure drink was available: water, orange juice or sparkling wine for those interested.
Although I did not accumulate Flying Blue miles for this trip, I am a Delta Diamond this year and my status in the KLM partner loyalty program has been recognized. I was offered my first menu choice but gave in to my stewardess as I had just eaten in the lounge.
She recommended the vegetable stew after a mezze plate starter. Although I appreciate his opinion, the vegetable stew was inedible, as were most entrees. Eat in the lounge or order something else from the menu.
Unlike my inbound experience, Amsterdam to Dubai on KLM was a great trip. The aircraft was top notch, the attention to detail was superb and the experience on the ground was exceptional. Although I no longer order the vegetable stew, the little touches here and there made KLM stand out. As the airline updates its business class product across the fleet, I could understand why some might choose KLM or Air France for all of their applicable long-haul flights.
What do you think? Did you fly this plane or this route? How was your experience?