Airline Review: KLM (long haul Economy)
Long haul flights are kind of a special experience every time. It is a strange feeling to be disconnected from everyone else for 12 hours. To make the experience a good one, you need a good airline. When we were trying the KLM (KL) Economy Class we felt okay with everything, but the only really good thing was the stewardess.
A flight starting late in the evening in Europe is a joy when you are flying to Asia. You can easily enjoy dinner and fall asleep afterwards. That’s one reason why we decided to give KLM a try when going to Kuala Lumpur.
- Airplane: Boeing 777-300ER
- Cabin Class: Economy
- Daytime: Evening
- Food: Dinner (Chicken Curry / Noodles) / Breakfast (Omelet)
- Seat Pitch: 31 Inch (79 Centimeter)
- Seat Width: 17,5 Inch (44 Centimeter)
Sadly, Schiphol airport did not offer perfect facilities after you have passed the passport control. At first, everything seems likely with much room for seating and a nice view, but if you have a closer look, you’ll see the problems (more of these in our upcoming Airport guide).
What made us not really feel good before boarding the plane was the fact that we had to sit on the ground after we passed security (security directly at the gate) because there were way too few seating spots offered for a Boeing 777-300 plane in the waiting area. Anyway, we made the best out of it and waited for the boarding.
Delayed boarding and “okay” seating
After boarding started, we entered the light blue plane what, surprisingly, didn’t take long. The organization of boarding did work out fairly well. The seats themselves (window and middle) in a 3-4-3 configuration were pretty small (luckily, I’m such a sports freak!), the seat-pitch was okay though. The comfort when seating was nothing special but not too bad for economy class either.
As we were pretty tired (we got up at 4 in the morning and toured through Amsterdam all day), we did not care too much and so waited for the take-off, so we can fall asleep soon. After some minutes we got an impression that did not go away even after hours of flying: The 777 was not only an old airplane, it was also very loud. In my opinion, one of the loudest airplanes I’ve been flying with so far. Not the best thing when you are on a sleeper service…
Some films and complimentary earphones
As I decided not to sleep before having dinner, I tried to make myself comfortable with the in-flight entertainment. The system was one of the older ones (no touchscreen) and did offer a small screen size. Yet, the choice of movies, music and other things was pretty decent. There were some new films and some older ones. I did see a better choice on many long haul planes (for example when flying Lufthansa) but had worse ones, too (for example US Airways or American Airlines).
Interestingly, we were offered complimentary earphones. With complimentary I mean complimentary: You were allowed to take them out of the airplane (nobody was running around to collect them at the end of the flight). Sadly, the quality of the sound was really bad (you had to put the volume to the maximum to hear anything due to the noise around you).
From bites to real food aboard KLM
What was a really nice feature when it comes to catering was the fact that they went around serving drinks and little bites after approximately 15 minutes in the air. That did make the waiting time till dinner way more convenient. The bites did even taste good!
But the more important thing for us, we were really hungry after the long day, was dinner. We had the very special choice between noodles or chicken (I think I never had another choice in my life). As we want you to have a good overview (just kidding, we just have a different taste), we decided to take both. After we had finished our main course, we chatted about the food.
Our impression was that the chicken with rice and vegetable (I’d give the food 7 out of 10) was the way better choice than the boring and soggy noodles (maybe 3 out of 10). The rest of the food, salad, cheese and a bread roll was nothing special but did taste solid/good as well. What we did like very much was the profiterole offered as a dessert. It was not only something special (not cake again!) but tasted pretty good, too.
The morning says hello with turbulences
After catching some sleep (Sabrina can sleep everywhere, every time and did so for hours in the plane), I was awakened by turbulences after a very bad night. Some minutes later the stewardesses were on the way to serve, so I thought the turbulences were gone again. The pilot was of other opinion and told them to stop the service first and even asked them to sit down (not the best sign) some minute slater. The turbulences were gone like 20 minutes afterwards and so the service began again.
We were offered a tray filled with many things. The warm dish was an omelet with hashed potatoes and tomato (not my favorite), moreover there was a bread roll, fruits as well as some cake. The latter things were of a good quality and tasted good (for everyone who was able to eat anything after the turbulences), the omelet was close to inedible. The drink service (first minutes of the flight, dinner and breakfast) was okay but nothing special. In my opinion, they did not go around often enough but that’s a personal impression.
A good overall experience flying KLM
When it comes to drawing a conclusion, we have to admit that we were very pleased by the good service offered aboard. All stewardesses were friendly and kind. The woman that served our food and our drinks was the by-far most motivated stewardess I’ve seen in a time. Due to that, we will remind the good service and the good food (not the noodles and the omelet). What we will try to forget soon are the small seats (in terms of width) and the very loud engines. Apart from that, our flight with KLM was okay and we would fly with them again after this experience. But anyway, I think there are better choices to fly with, too. Fly KLM if they offer a good price or good departure/landing times, avoid them if neither the price nor the times are favorable. Easy as that.
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