To begin our journey home, we flew from Zurich to Amsterdam onboard a KLM Embraer 190 in economy class. The flight was smooth, though we faced a bit of stress upon arrival after a departure delay.
KLM Embraer 190 Economy Class Review (ZRH-AMS)
I had tried to check us in the night before using the KLM app, but because our final destination was to the United States and my wife is not a US citizen, I was unable to complete check-in online.
However, check-in took mere moments at Zurich Terminal 2. We had a stopover of roughly 27 hours in Amsterdam so I was curious if 1.) we would be checked in all the way to LAX and 2.) if we could check our bags all the way through. The answer was yes to both.
The agent asked to Heidi’s green card and when the baggage tags came out I saw that they included both segments, despite the stopover in Amsterdam. Our boarding passes also included both flights (KLM printing multiple segments on a single boarding pass, which is quite efficient).
After a quick stop in the Marhaba Lounge, we proceeded to our gate to board…where we encountered our first delay. While no announcement was offered, and posted boarding time came and went, with passengers still waiting to board. Boarding began at about 8:40 am, 20 minutes before scheduled departure. In typical European efficient, the flight boarding quickly…but we weren’t moving quite yet.
Zurich (ZRH) –Amsterdam (AMS)
Monday, January 16
Depart: 9:00 AM
Arrive: 10:45 AM
Duration: 1hr, 45min
Distance: 375 miles
Aircraft: Embraer 190 (ERJ-190)
Seat: 17C (Economy Class)
Onboard, we encountered an air traffic control delay, which delayed our pushback and takeoff by 30 minutes. We were informed we would be arriving about 15 minutes late into Amsterdam.
The aircraft includes 100 seats in a 2-2 configuration. Business class is variable (based upon demand) with the adjacent seat blocked while both business class and economy comfort class have 32 inches of legroom. Economy class has 30 inches of legroom. The aircraft is configured such that the the first seven rows contain extra legroom…in some cases that may be economy class, so choose as close to the front as possible.
There are no power outlets or wi-fi onboard…a missed opportunity considering how many of these aircraft KLM operates as part if its “Cityhopper” service, but also not a dealbreaker for a flight under two hours.
We were treated to some amazing view of the Alps during takeoff: it was a beautiful winter day.
Service began after we leveled off. Today’s snack consisted of a vegetarian Beemster cheese sandwich and choice of beverage. Alcohol is free in KLM economy class, though most appeared to be drinking coffee or tea (including me). The sandwich was fresh and quite light – a great sandwich that reminded me of the sandwiches Lufthasna and SWISS used to serve onboard in economy class.
Flight attendants offered a nifty activity book for the kids, which included a passport case and a packet of colored penciled.
This helped to pass the time nicely…
…though by the time we landed Claire Marie had fallen asleep.
Families that travel with young children know that you move a bit slower. As I mentioned earlier, we arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol 15 minutes late and waited for others to deplane before gathering our things to get off. We weren’t traveling particularly heavy, but each had a carry-on bag and Heidi and I also had a personal item.
While gathering are things, the pilots (very nicely) came up to us and offered to help. I figured they had a plane to catch and this was confirmed. So picture flight attendants and pilots carrying our bags to the jet bridge to expedite our departure so they could scamper off to catch their next flight.
It was a bit stressful to be rushed out (as in, “We really need you off this plane now. Let us help.”) but they were very kind about it…no complaints. I may do a separate post on this. Has that ever happened to you?
In the terminal, we used the restroom then continued outside to catch a ride into Central Amsterdam, where we would spent the next 24 hours.
KLM was just fine, despite the delay, for this short service. In fact, I thought the crew was lovely and sandwich delicious, so this was a perfectly fine flight in my opinion.
Oh, last gripe. COVID-19 is over…turn the drinking fountains on.