KLM offers a competitive product in shorthaul business class.
Ordinarily I would not upgrade an intra-Europe flight (unless flying into London or as part of a longhaul premium cabin journey). The value proposition often is not there since I already have lounge access at almost every airport and the seat in business class is identical to that in economy class (with middle seat blocked on some aircraft).
But I had purchased a cheap “light” fare on KLM that included strict carry-on baggage limits and no checked baggage. When the KLM app offered me a 59EUR upgrade at check-in, I took it: it would have cost more in stress if I was stopped at the gate with my large carry-on bags.
You never know when gate agents will be strict, but I’m sure glad I upgraded because the gate agent was a stickler here. She stopped the lady in front of me, forcing her to check a bag (and pay for it). I could tell she was about to stop me too, but held her tongue when I scanned my boarding pass and it showed I was seated in business class.
Boarding passes were scanned to enter the gate area. We ended up waiting another 10 minutes before proceeding down several staircases and a boarding a bus to take us to our flight. This would be my first time on a KLM regional jet.
Frankfurt (FRA) – Amsterdam (AMS)
Sunday, September 9
Distance: 228 miles
Aircraft: Embraer ERJ-190
Seat: 1F (Business Class)
Business class seating on this aircraft was identical to economy class, with the only difference being that business class (and Economy Extra) passengers had 32” of legroom instead of 30”.
All passengers are still fed on KLM. I was surprised, however, at how elbraote the dinner was considering the flight was only an hour long and we were traveling on regional jet. Shortly after takeoff, a menu was offered. Yes, a menu on a 359-mile flight. It did not offer a choice, but did explain the meal that would shortly arrive.
It included chickpea salad with bleu cheese crumbs, a mesculin salad with grilled salmon, “asparagus, sundried tomatoes, and lemon oil. And finally “creamy chocolate and carmel” for dessert, which was like a tart.
The meal was served in a neat Dutch-style box and included a little salt and pepper shaker shaped like a pair of Dutch shoes.
I was surprised at how tasty the salmon was: it tasted more like smoked salmon then grilled, but either way had a very satisfying flavor. The sundried tomatoes and asparagus were great accompaniments, as were two hot bread rolls. I skipped the appetizer and dessert.
Note the cutlery, which is plastic but modeled after the famous cutlery available on all KLM flights in business class.
The FA also offered salted almonds when serving drinks, which I enjoyed.
I had a cup of coffee after and requested a stroopwaffel with it, which was obliged. Note the fine china coffee cups, again on a regional jet.
Economy class passengers received a box with a sandwich and cookie.
I used the lavatory prior to landing and noted that it was small but clean.
We landed in Amsterdam Schipol at remote stand and were bussed to the terminal. That turned out to save us time over some of the far gates at this airport.
Other than a real business class seat, I really could not ask for more on such a short flight. That’s the European model and it is what it is. KLM has now impressed me on both shorthaul and longhaul flights.
> Read More: KLM 787-9 Business Class San Francisco To Amsterdam Review
Why not the ICE from Frankfurt to Amsterdam?
My business partner is adverse to trains. I would have preferred it.
Pretty impressive meal service for an RJ, especially with the menu and the S&P shakers. Does KLM block the adjacent seat for J pax on 2×2 configurations? IIRC, some airlines block them (LO and LH come to mind) on E-jets and CRJs, while others don’t. I remember being surprised on the one or two occasions it wasn’t blocked, and having to share space on an already tight plane in J wasn’t fun.
@Tennen: KLM does NOT the adjacent seat.
Averse to trains? Doesn’t that make travel in Europe kind of inconvenient?
KLM does well on those short flights, J and Y; I’m less enamoured of the long haul, and especially when they continued to have 80/90s J class seats until just the last couple of years. Maybe it’s better now.
If KLM use their intra-Europe 737-800 instead of an RJ and offers practically same soft product on this flight, would you still praise it? Instead of complaining that European business class seat is just economy class seat with blocked middle seat, of course.