This review explores the new KLM 787-10 World Business Class. Considering the relatively small population of Netherlands, its flag carrier KLM is a major airline. Even if now having joined forces with Air France, they still operate under their own identity and branding.
KLM can perhaps be characterized as a quirky airline with the branding and experience influenced by specific elements of Dutch-ness. I have not flown KLM long haul since I was a child and was curious what the latest KLM Business Class would be like?
Route: Amsterdam – Chicago O’Hare
Flight No: KL611
Departure Time: 12:20pm
Flight Duration: Blocked at 8 hours 30 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 787-10
Check In & Security
Once again, I checked in for the flight on mobile and travelling without checked bags, thus had no interaction with check-in staff on the ground.
I headed straight through to security after arriving at Schiphol airport. As a business class passenger, you can use the Sky Priority lanes to make your experience of going through a little faster.
AMS airport has been notoriously bad at managing security and many other operations at it’s airport recently but thankfully this seems somewhat resolved at the time of my travel.
Lounge in Amsterdam Airport
My boarding card showed invitation for KLM Crown Lounge 52, where I spent almost 2 hours prior my flights. It is worth visiting, but I would not go out of my way to do so, if my time was precious otherwise.
I arrived at our designated gate around 30 minutes before departure..
And as you can see it was rather chaotic, there was no clear visible Priority Lanes for Premium travellers!!
I was not at all keen on pushing through so many people so just hanged back for a while, until they actually started general boarding..
Eventually, I was able to get through the crowds while they were calling forward Business Class passengers.
My boarding pass was flagged up as needing extra checks! They needed to see my covid vaccination certificates. They could have asked for me to do this on the app while checking in?
I later noticed I got a SMS from KLM giving me a heads up about this, so I guess that’s something!
KLM 787-10 World Business Class Cabin & The Seat
KLM’s largest Dreamliner’s have one large business class cabin consisting of 38 Seats in standard 1-2-1 config..
Signature KLM blues colour each Seat. This was a also new seat type for me..
The choice of seat here, while only subtly different to KLM’s 787-9s, is unique. The JAMCO Venture seats are only used by 3 other airlines now. These reverse herringbone seats are much lighter and easier to install and maintain, thus not only boasting sustainability credentials but also reduced operational costs.
First impressions, it looks good but stops short of evoking anything excitement ! From some angles the cabin just looks dull and boring, and you would rarely guess its a brand new plane!
The cabin looks much better in full mood lighting however where the design seems to come to life more..
Storage options felt quite limited within the seat, with the open space at the end of the countertop being the main storage area.
KLM 787-10 World Business Class Amenities
Placed in each seat was a full size pillow, noise-cancelling headphones and an amenity kit. A bottle of water on the side panel too
There Rituals amenity kit itself contained a Face cream, lip balm, dental kit, eye shades, earplugs and flight socks. There was also a KLM branded pen.
Further amenities are available in the lavatories such as facial mists and hand cream.
KLM 787-10 World Business Class Lunch Service
Immediately upon boarding Business Class passengers are offered a welcome drink of choice from Champagne to juices. I opted for a fresh orange juice at that point.
The menu already on the seat was as follow:
Then about 20 minutes post take-off, there was a hot towel service with further drinks. I chose champagne for the drinks service
Daniel, the gentlemen serving me most of the flight was very polished and enthusiastic about his job, which helps setting a good tone. He always addressed me by name.
Given Dutch people generally speak good English, it was no exceptions here. When I seemed unsure of my choice, he was more than happy to elaborate and interject with his thoughts..
The meal started with a Large Salmon Pasta shells, with a side of salad..
As you can see it was very elegantly presented. It was a great starter to eat. I particularly liked the Mesclun salad here, with pine nuts, olives and deliciously sweat pearl drops..
When Daniel came by to check if everything was ok, I specially commented on the salad to which he responded by offering to bring me another spare one. I refused knowing I have much more to go still..
For the main I opted for the Thai themed “Tasting of Delicacies“ option, this consisted of:
- Tom Ka Kai Beef Curry with Beef Strips
- Chicken Red Curry
- Green Curry Sauce, bamboo shoots & stir-fried veg
- Jasmine rice
All the dishes very super fragrant, fresh and flavourful. I was getting quite full already, I still finished it knowing I will still want dessert!
Finally, after a little breather the dessert arrived, and immediately looked rather like an afternoon tea selection !
The entirely of which was washed down with a nice mint tea 🙂
KLM 787-10 World Business Class Entertainment & Connectivity
While the 787-10 are Wifi enabled, KLM does not provide Business passengers any complementary access besides basic messaging apps like WhatsApp. Unfortunately, the WiFi did not work majority of the flight!
THE IFE programming however was very decent and had plenty of things you can watch.. you can even check them out in advance here
While the main IFE screen can be controlled by touch, you also have a handheld controller which can act as a secondary screen if you wanted to watch the flight map or a game or something.
KLM 787-10 World Business Class Bed
A couple of hours after lunch I decided to have a little nap and setup the bed.
Turndown service is not offered by KLM nor is there a proper mattress padding..
The bed felt reasonably comfortable until I turned around a couple times and found my knees were hitting the shelf below the IFE.. hmm not great !
Another thing I noticed, though this is supposed to be possible, I could not tilt the IFE screen down when in bed mode, so you cant really watch anything properly if in fully flat mode.
KLM 787-10 World Business Class Pre-Landing Service
There was about 1 hour, where there was no sign of any staff at all.
About 1 hour prior to landing the crew sprang into action with the second meal service, which I would classify as something between a snack and full meal. I chose the burger..
the burger was excellent! To finish of I ordered some more tea which was serviced with some nice chocolate biscuits
Your Own Mini Dutch House
Just before landing the CSM went around the cabin thanking us for flying KLM and offering a choice of mini Dutch houses that you see all over the Crown Lounge as well as various places of KLM marketing.
This is indeed a very uniquely Dutch memorabilia. It is ceramic so weighs a little!
I opted for house number 8, which some say is a lucky number 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed my flights and think this is a very solid hard product with the few minor caveats that might bother some ( yes yours truly ). Boarding experience needs improvement also. What I was pleasantly surprised by was the quality of catering and the staff were some of the best European crew I have had the pleasure to interact with.
KLM is also reasonably generous with making award availability, and this route costs just 58,500 miles plus around 300 Euros in tax and surcharges. Sometimes being Flying Blue Gold you have access to awards that are not available to partner airlines.
I would happily fly KLM on these Dreamliner again but still actively avoid any 777s/A330s on the carrier until end of 2024 when they are scheduled for retrofits! If you are keen to see what sister airline Air France is like, check out my Air France 777 Business Class and Air France A350 Business Class reviews.