Dutch pride is evident in every aspect of The Netherlands' national airline. KLM operates an impressive global network making it an integral part of the SkyTeam alliance. Together with sibling Air France, KLM flies to five continents with its own Business Class - delivering comfort and reliability along the way.
The Amsterdam-based carrier's long haul Business Class offering is branded as World Business Class, while the premium cabin on flights within Europe is named Europe Business Class.
Its Flying Blue loyalty program encompasses other airlines including Air France and Kenya Airways. Members can earn and redeem frequent flier miles when flying KLM or any of its SkyTeam partners including Delta Air Lines or Aeroméxico in North America, China Airlines or Garuda Indonesia in Asia, and Middle East Airlines or Saudia in the Middle East. This global alliance opens-up hundreds of destinations and lounges for KLM World Business Class passengers in cities where the airline does not fly.
Operating all its flights to or from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport means KLM has a vested interest in assuring the transfer experience at its hub is enjoyable. And that it is. Schiphol boasts amenities that include art galleries, a plethora of shopping outlets, and excellent dining options.
KLM Business Class fliers beginning their journey in Amsterdam will find an easy-to-navigate terminal and security checkpoint. A dedicated SkyPriority section for Business Class travellers, SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus fliers gives access to fast-track security. Once airside, KLM operates two lounges - one on the Schengen side and the other for non-Schengen destinations. The latter is the airline’s newest and features a glorious display of the Genever-filled Dutch houses it gifts to Business Class passengers on long-haul flights. The massive 6,800 square metres lounge spans two floors with multiple dining areas, bars, work sections, shower facilities, napping room, and a plane-spotting balcony for al fresco relaxation.
The lounges are both popular respites away from the main terminal although they can get quite full at times. Self-serve bars have a range of tipples to enjoy including Champagne, wine, liquor - including Dutch Bols Genever and of course, the Dutch-finest, Heineken. Sweet and savoury snacks plus fresh fruit are always available. During mealtime windows, heartier fare is on offer with hot items including stews, pasta, meat dishes and other tasty dishes. Dutch cheeses, cold cuts, biscuits, fresh vegetables, and fresh bread are welcome additions.
KLM lounges offer complimentary Wi-Fi, computer workstations, showers, and relaxation areas. Beyond Amsterdam, KLM has a branded lounge in Houston and Toronto.
In most cities, Business Class passengers receive access to a partner or third-party lounge where they can enjoy pre-flight refreshments or get some work done.
No matter how far you are flying, take a look at the side of your plane when boarding. KLM gives each of its aircraft a name. These vary depending on aircraft type. For example, its A330s are named after famous squares in global cities while many of its B777s are named after national parks around the world.
All KLM World Business Class long-haul flights boast flat-bed seats, but the layout varies by aircraft. Look closely as you will notice thoughtful design touches like the crown logo pattern in seat and carpeting fabrics. Blue, brown, and grey hues feature prominently in the design.
Each seat has a pillow and duvet blanket to help passengers rest comfortably on long flights. Plenty of storage space is available including a pocket for magazines plus power and USB outlets for charging devices.
The majority of KLM’s long-haul fleet (Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s) have a 2-2-2, forward-facing layout while its newer Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a 1-2-1 design. If all-aisle access is an important aircraft feature, look for routes operated by the Dreamliner or reserve flights early to choose an aisle seat. Window passengers on most KLM flights will have to step over the aisle passenger’s feet to access the aisle.
Solo travellers will prefer one of the single seats on Dreamliners or a center-section aisle seat on other planes so that no one has to cross over them. Those travelling together will find any pair of seats to work well. Dividers between seats offer a little, but not complete, privacy between them.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested, before making your choice.
KLM World Business Class offers two styles of dining. On some flights, it offers a dine anytime service that allows passengers to select the meals that suit their taste - to enjoy when they are ready. On most other flights, the service operates on a set schedule, usually right after takeoff with a lighter meal before landing.
The meal begins with aperitifs from the bar and the option between salty nuts or Dutch cheese. Few other airlines offer cheese as a nibble with drinks, and almost always, a toothpick with the Dutch flag comes with it to use as a fork. It is one of the many cheeky touches to come that show just how proud the Dutch are of the numerous products that are produced in KLM’s home country.
Appetiser and salad are up next with everything served on decorative trays placed on linen-lined tables. Menus in Business Class have been developed in partnership with top Dutch chef, Jonnie Boer. Marcel Wanders is the Dutch designer who created the unique pieces used in the airline’s inflight service. He has taken the crown logo and subtly woven it into service items like tablecloths and napkins. Flight attendants use galley-style service carts to do their service. This facilitates a faster delivery with the option to top up drinks with each course.
Of note, KLM World Business Class offers both olive oil and butter with its warm bread. The main course follows, and there is usually a Dutch option and sometimes one related to the destination. Another clever detail is that the printed menus KLM gives to Business Class passengers are created specifically for that flight with the actual date of travel and destination printed on them.
A sweet dessert follows with after-dinner drinks, coffee, or tea.
When the service is delivered from the cart, meals are typically pre-plated and warmed in the galley. However, the dine-on-demand service usually has flight attendants plating dishes in the galley. This takes more time but is also more impressive in presentation.
KLM flights to China and Korea offer traditional Asian menus developed by local chefs, served on Asian inspired serviceware. Flights to and from India feature genuine Indian meals developed by chefs from the Oberoi Hotel Group. For Japan flights, KLM has partnered with chef Masanori Tomikawa from the Michelin starred Japanese restaurant Yamazato at Hotel Okura Amsterdam. Japanese noodles and snacks are also offered, accompanied by Japanese beverages such as sake or Oolong and Japanese teas.
On long flights, there are refreshments set up in the galley or available upon request from the crew.
Before takeoff, passengers can choose between Champagne, fruit juice, or water. The printed menus detail the many options available, and since service comes via galley carts in the aisle, you never have to wait long to enjoy a tasty beverage when flying KLM World Business Class.
In the air, KLM offers three white wines, Champagne labels include Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Grand Réserve Champagne and two red wines. Typically, there is also a dessert wine and Port on offer.
Heineken is the standard beer option, and there is a long list of spirits, liqueurs and digestifs onboard. Other typical drink choices include fresh orange juice, Perrier sparkling water, Campari bitter as an aperitif and Bols Genever. Coffee and an array of Dilmah teas round off the menu.
KLM offers a signature cocktail in Business Class aptly named The Flying Dutchman. Developed in partnership with Bols, the world´s oldest distilled spirits company, the drink is tasteful and refreshing. The coctail combines Damrak gin, Bols blackberry liquor, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice cubes.
During the flight, Business Class passengers receive a bottle of water at their seats although all beverages are available at any time.
Every once in a while KLM gets creative with its beverage offering in World Business Class. In 2016 the airline worked closely with Heineken to develop the world´s first draught-beer trolley, capable of serving cold draught beer in the air. KLM has repeatedly partnered with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to provide fine wine with labels depicting famous paintings on display at the museum, including Night Watch Wines.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed.
KLM World Business Class crews are reliable and friendly following service protocols to a tee. You know what to expect on KLM, and you get it. At the beginning and end of each flight, the purser greets each passenger by name, which is a nice touch.
Expect a multi-lingual cabin crew speaking Dutch, excellent English and several other languages including the language of destination. Flights to Asia will in most cases include native cabin crew based at the destination, allowing for a more local service especially when flying to China, Korea or Japan.
Large entertainment screens are activated via touch as well as remote control, which is a handy option to have if you have reclined your seat. The programming variety is excellent, ranging between world and contemporary music, Hollywood films and short subject programs including sitcoms and cartoons for children. While the selection is not so vast that you cannot scroll through everything in a few minutes, there is always something that will catch your eye.
Noise-reducing headphones are available at each seat.
Not all KLM planes are equipped with Wi-Fi. On planes that have connectivity, passengers can access messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat without charge. Pricing for further internet access varies by flight and covers set amounts of megabyte usage.
International newspapers are available during boarding, and the airline’s Holland Herald magazine is in the seat pocket with excellent maps of KLM’s route network as well as that of its many partners.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi.
Amenity kits from Dutch fashion designer Jan Taminiau come well-stocked with useful inflight accessories like eyeshades, ear plugs, socks, and dental kits. Lip balm and face moisturiser are sourced from Dutch cosmetics and lifestyle brand Rituals. The amenity kits come in multiple designs and colours, with new designs added each year.
Refreshing facial spray and hand lotion from Rituals await in the lavatories. Hot towels are a nice way to begin a meal on long-haul flight. Another clever touch is the small tins of Dutch Wilhelmina mints served with the meal. Slippers are only provided on selected routes to Asia.
Families travelling with infants can request seats suitable for a bassinet; these should be reserved in advance to guarantee availability.
KLM’s Delft Blue House collection is perhaps the airline’s most memorable calling card. This long-standing tradition dating back to 1952 is a crew and passenger favourite. During the last hour of a long-haul flight, the crew passes around a tray of Genever-filled (a Dutch gin) Delft houses modelled on real buildings in the Netherlands. Each year, the airline picks a new building and story to honour, which is often celebrated with great excitement by locals. Each house has a number on the back allowing travellers to record them via a dedicated phone app and ultimately collect them all. There is one for each year the airline has been in operation – now, over a hundred. While the vast majority of KLM Delft Blue Houses are filled with Genever, unfilled bottles are used on routes to the Middle East where local laws restrict the consumption of alcohol.
Pro tip: If you discover you have a duplicate or simply want to trade, you can ask the staff in the Amsterdam Crown Lounges where you can swap it for the one you really need. It is an entertaining and endearing way to create brand loyalty, and it is a lovely take-home souvenir from any long-haul KLM flight.
Most KLM flights within Europe are only a few hours, yet even on the shortest, there is a meal service in Business Class. In true Dutch efficiency, the crew manages a full bar service - which includes Spanish Cava - and something tasty to eat even on short sectors - between London and Amsterdam, for instance. Similar to long haul flights, the tableware is designed by Marcel Wanders.
Flights under two hours feature a cold meal served in a cardboard box. Fresh salads, Dutch cheeses and sweet treats are often part of the meal. Warm bread is offered on the side. On flights within Europe lasting more than two hours, a three-course meal with a hot main dish is served using trays. The hot main courses have been created by renowned Dutch chef Onno Kokmeijer.
Flights within Europe are operated by narrow body aircraft featuring the same seats in Business Class as in Economy Class, although the adjacent seat is blocked for added personal space and comfort.
The crew’s signature blue uniforms come as no surprise given the blue tones used in the cabin and the airline’s branding. What you may not realise though is that after the airline retires cabin crew uniforms, it recycles them for use in the aircraft - for the carpeting or curtains. This is just one of a long list of sustainability measures KLM takes.
KLM has clear targets for its carbon reduction program and allows passengers to donate toward their flight’s carbon footprint. KLM was the first commercial airline to operate using synthetic kerosene fuel in 2021, and its recycling efforts for inflight service items are impressive.
In partnership with a Dutch university, the airline is working to design a V-shaped aircraft that uses far less fuel than today’s aircraft do. A scale model of the futuristic plane has been in use for testing since September 2020.
KLM is regularly recognised as one of the top airlines in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. It will soon operate the only sustainable aviation fuel plant in the Netherlands using organic waste streams including used cooking oil.
Its Wings of Support charity supports children in need around the world.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.
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