KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – the oldest airline still operating under its original name – was founded in 1919 to serve the Netherlands and its colonies. In 2004, KLM merged with Air France and it is now part of AIR FRANCE KLM Group. I didn’t know that the KLM Group includes also the wholly subsidiaries KLM Cityhopper, transavia.com and Martinair.
Having a chance to fly with various airlines, together with Air France – Klm is at the forefront of the Eurpean ariline industry, where over 32.000 KLM employees work to provide innovative products for their customers and a safe, efficient, service-oriented operation with a proactive focus on sustainability. With a small homebase from which to work, KLM has maintained an international orientation from the beginning. It is known that the future of aviation is impossible without close cooperation between airlines. Long-standing partnership between KLM and Northwest Air Lines (now integrated into Delta Airlines) has shown that such an alliance can deliver on-going benefits.
Passengers travelling with KLM are able to transfer quickly and easily at Schiphol – KLM’ homebase in Amsterdam, but for Air France – this is the Paris airport Charles de Gaulle. Thanks to the airlines joint venture – they both are able to enjoy the benefits of two connected hubs.
Each time, when I search for the flight – I want to make sure I am flying with airline that is known for its good reputation and high-quality standards. This Spring, I decided to book my flight to Poland via Amsterdam through Air France KLM Group. Here, I should mention that I personally didn’t book my flight as it was my special “project” with the airlines who became the sponsor of my trip. From the very beginning, I was very pleased with the way of communication with the airline and its head office in Canada. Dates of my trip as well as details regarding connecting flights& final destination were discussed in advance so I was very happy when one day I received an email with my e-ticket with valid information.
Depending on your destination, you have a choice of different travel classes, including World Business Class, Europe Business Class, Economy Class (Economy Comfort&Economy) as well as Fly La Première, which is the First Class of Air France. On my intercontinental flights – I had a chance to experience KLM’s top class – World Business Class.
My check-in at Sky Priority
Since the very beginning, my journey with the airline was a very pleasant. There are separate check-in stations for each class type. The line-up for Economy class wasn;t that long however I was lucky to be able to drop off my 2 luggage (yes-if you fly with World Business Class you have extra baggage allowance-up to 23kg each) at Sky Priority check in station.
Before heading for boarding I had a priviledge to rest in thee KLM Crown Lounge – spacious room with comfortable seats and good selection of food items and both non and – alcoholic beverages.
KLM Crown Lounge in Calgary
Boarding started with inviting passengers on wheelchairs(with help of airline cast) as well as families with small children and World Business Class passengers, followed by the rest of the travellers.
Our boeing flying from Calgary to Amsterdam
World Business Class is being transformed on increasingly more KLM aircraft. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius designed the new cabin as well as the new flat-bed seat which will replace the angled flat seat that are currently offered in the class. When fully flat, the bed is about 2 metres (6.6 foot) long and it is equipped with a massage unit. Each passenger has privacy canopy and personal entertainment system with 17” screen. The cabin features a world’s first, a carpet made from old uniforms woven in an intricate pattern, combining with new pillows and curtains following a similar intricate design language.
Seats in KLM's World Business Class
Right after taking my seat I was welcomed with World Business Class comfort kit designed by Dutch design duo – Viktor&Rolf. The design and color of amenity kits change every 6 months (mine was beige) and you can find everything you might need during your flight, including socks, eye mask, toothbrush&toothpaste, earplugs, and V&R lip balm.
My Wiktor&Rolf "gift-bag"
A wardrobe service was offered upon entering the cabin(yes-I’m always taking a coat with me), together with welcoming drink (choice of water, freshly squeezed juice or champagne). I chose the last option-of course.
Welcoming glass of champagne - perfect to start enjoyable flight!
From the very beginning I was very impressed with flight-attendants uniforms. In 2010, KLM introduced new uniforms - designed by Dutch couturier Mart Visser - in beautiful blue color that is perfect for suit jacket, suit pants and west.
Right after departure, flight-attendant offered newspapers&magazines as well as menu cards (both in English and Dutch language) so I have enough time to decide what I would like to eat. All meals are prepared specially by top Dutch chefs and are served on Marcel Wanders crockery. Hot towels were offered before dinner.
The meal service started with tasty appetizers of hot-smoked salmon on a tomato cucumber carpaccio and Mesclun salad followed by a 3 choices of main course, such as grilled chicken with maple chipotle sauce, rice pilaf and Mediterranean vegetables; sun-dried tomato and goat’s cheese ravioli complemented by creamy tomato pesto sauce and mushroom medley or braised beef offered with broccoli and sweet potato mash. Each meal was accompanied with top selection of red&white wines (with one of my favourites – Juien Schaal Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 from South Africa). After dinner, they invited everyone to select dessert, with the choice of chocolate tartlet, raspberry mousse, a cheese plate with Cheddar and Brie and seasonal fruit accompanied with coffee or tea served with chocolates created by famous Dutch parisserie Van Wely.
Just in case you are hungry and cannot wait till the breakfast time, KLM offers between-meal snacks, with selection of savoury&sweet snacks, such as sandwiches, raw vegetables with dip and organic Australian ice cream.
I was so happy when I saw personal entertainment system – more than 1000 hours of entertainment, including over 80 films (recent releases, classics and world cinema), TV programmes, including comedy, drama, travel, concerts, sports, news and lifestyle; Euronews, hundreds of CDs and exclusive KLM music specials (my favourite Chris Botti and Andre Rieu!!), language courses, audio books and games.
Personal Entertaining System (including my favourite Chris Botti for KLM)
About ninety minutes before landing more hot towels were distributed, followed by tasty breakfast , including warm egg strata, fresh fruits and joghurt, selection of buns with butter/jam/hone and of course – morning coffee/tea.
During both of my intercontinental flights – I have to admit that I received 100% attention from flight-attendants who were asking once in a while if I needed anything.
Airport in Amsterdam
From Amsterdam to Berlin-Tegel(my destination) I was flying Europe Business Class, where I had a chance to experience similar quality of services – but of course the flight was way shorter(only about an hour comparing to over 8 hours on the intercontinental flight). If you are on a flight under 120 minutes – KLM offer cold meal (depending on the time of a day – they serve fresh sandwiches, main course salad or tapas platter, together with organic joghurt, hors d’oeuvres and/or desert). On KLM flights that are longer than 120 minutes –you can choose between two hot meals.
Re-assuming my whole experience with KLM – I have to admit that this airline is in my “top3”choices. The flight was very pleasant experience with outstanding service. Although you have choice between different flying classes – I would definitely recommend investing more and book World Business Class ticket (to experience highest quality of services on board as well you would earn up to 175% Flying Blue Miles).
What is so unique about the airline is that since 1950s, KLM presents every World Business Class passenger with a unique gift – a Delft Blue miniature traditional Dutch house (one out of 94), filled with Dutch gin – also known as genever. Every year, in October, the airline celebrates the anniversary of KLM’s founding in 1919 by presenting a new house. To browse Delft Blue houses, click here:
My special “Thank You” note to AirFrance KLM Group for partnering with me on my European trip and KLM crew for its outstanding service. It was perfect timing and true pleasure to celebrate KLM’s 95th Anniversary and AirFrance 80th Birthday!!
For more information about destinations and rates – visit KLM website at: