Review of KLM flight Denpasar Amsterdam in Business

Airline KLM
Flight KL836
Class Business
Seat 2H
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 16:00
Take-off 16 Aug 16, 21:30
Arrival at 17 Aug 16, 07:30
KL   #42 out of 106 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 447 reviews
CounterSurprise
Published on 13th November 2016
Introduction

This is part 2 of my family vacation to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia and covers the return flight from Denpasar to Amsterdam in J.
Part 1 can be found here: KL835 AMS-DPS 28JUL2016 / J (old world business class)

Days before our departure I found via the Schiphol app that the incoming aircraft, which would also carry us back, would be the PH-BVR. I was very excited about this for two reasons. First, the PH-BVR was newly delivered to KLM in June 2016 so the plane would be only one month old. Second, not all the 77Ws of KLM had been rebuild to the new World Business Class at that time but some if not most (like the PH-BVD, which I had on the outbound flight) still had the old world business class seats (NEV3-like). The PH-BVR had the newest lie-flat seats so that was of course the second reason to be excited about this flight. Reasons NOT to be excited was because we were flying home after a fantastic vacation in Bali which I will remember as one of the best I've ever had.

Check-in and lounge at DPS
After a quite quick taxi ride from Nusa Due we arrived at the airport way too early. I had factored in a long taxi-drive since the outbound trip from Denpasar to Sanur (8 km) took us well over 2 hrs, but it wasn't until later that I learned that you need to tell your taxi driver to take the toll road (it costs extra but trust me - it's worth the money). So the trip back to the airport was quite quick and comfortable.

You have to pass security two times before you get to the check-in area which is quite large and obviously build for handling a large number of tourists:
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There goes our suitcase:
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Next it's time to go airside. Unfortunately there are no fast-lanes to get there, when I was there it wasn't that busy but I can imagine that during peak hours, you have to wait for a long time which is a down-side when flying with a J-ticket.
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Once you pass security, you are forced to visit a number of "tax-free" stores which are best ignored. When you get to the central plaza, you are directed to the lounge area


The lounge KLM uses can be seen on the second floor with the red letters on top, making it look like a TGI Friday.
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We took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the Garuda-lounge, which was probably the better choice anyway. I must say: Garuda knows how to make a proper lounge! It was quiet, food was excellent and we had some great wines which isn't always that easy in Indonesia. Wine was a welcome change after a lot of Bin-tang (the local Schnapps).


Our travel documents. Electronic boarding passes can't be used at DPS.
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Some more wine, because it tastes so great :-)
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When I went to the bathroom, I found the shower and decided to try it out. The front desk has towels, shampoo and body wash upon request so I had a nice, hot shower before boarding.


Boarding area was close to the lounge, busy but priorities were strictly adhered to when boarding.
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First leg: DPS-SIN

We arrived in KLMs fresh, new business cabin. I really like this seat and the spacious cabin layout. J was completely full, as was Y and Y+. Makes sense of course; Bali is a popular tourist destination for the Dutch and the tickets for these flights were quite cheap. I never saw this many children in J before. All were over 5 so even though I don't mind parents with babies who cry on aircraft, I was still glad not to see any here.

Again you can really notice that the Cabin Crew has to work hard to get everything done. As with our inbound flight, they were sometime too busy, so the soft-product isn't that great. It doesn't help that the cabin crew complains about it as well, it's not that I can do anything about it, I'm a paying customer so complaining about it to me doesn't seem to be the best approach.


IFE is large!.
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The first hop is DPS-SIN, we departed on time. Unfortunately it was already dark (sunset is around 18:00 on Bali and since Bali is near the equator, it's always around 18.00).
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Seat pitch:
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The infamous divider between the seats. I didn't find it as uncomfortable as I would have thought. It doesn't hamper interaction with your neighbour, even when your neighbour is your 5yo son.
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The amenity kit by Jan Taminiau
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The contents misses the lip-balsem and the pen that used to be there.
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The noise cancellation headphones, moderate quality as always. Again, as with my previous trip, I hated that I forgot my own Bose-set.
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Another image of the IFE:
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Enough possibilities for charging your devices:
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I really like the new remote / IFE-combination
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The carpet is quite nice (sorry for the image quality) and was made of old KLM uniforms.
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The menu and beverage list:


Service started with hot towels
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Again, great combination of the IFE and the remote
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This is the KLM WBC-kid menu:
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Any my menu, great food from KLM again:
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Some red wine with a good meal. Sorry I forgot which wine I tried.
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What's wrong with this picture?!?
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The bathroom is the same as the Y-bathroom, except for the Xenology products
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Arrival at Singapore
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Once you are in Singapore, you have to leave the plane so KLM can change crews. You exit the plane and immediately go back to the same gate area through security which is set up near the gate. There is a separate boarding area for Sky Priority which is strictly guarded.

Flight Singapore - Amsterdam
First time I had the opportunity to see our bird
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Boarding on-time, 23:59 take-off for Amsterdam. We were very tired by that time. The flight DPS-SIN is only 2,5 hours but since it leaves so late, by the time you get to Singapore you are beat. I wonder why KLM doesn't choose earlier times? Here are again some cabin shots, we had the same seats:


The sticker is from my favourite youtube channel. Check it out here: Nevernotflying Youtube
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Blanket and pillow were already on our seats, but were of good quality:
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Some more interior shots

Again hot towel service
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The seat is well made and very comfortable. As said, it can recline into a full lie-flat bed and together with the Ottoman this gives you a 2m04 bed. I had little trouble sleeping here!
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I tried the signature "Flying Dutchman" cocktail made with Bols Dutch Gin. It was very nice but very sweet as well. Nice to try, but I'll have some gin tonic after this :-) Warm nuts were nice as well so I was comfortable and ready to go.
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Table was set, the tablecloth features the KLM logo. I hope you can see it from this picture, but I like the attention to such details.
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Some more close-ups of the seat:
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KLM serves a quick dinner on this flight so you can get to bed as soon as possible. Not a bad choice since I was very tired by this time. The meal was again excellent and enough for me to go to sleep.
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Always nice to use the button-hole :-)
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Well prepared, excellent looking desert:
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After dinner, I slept for maybe 8 hours, unheard for me. I woke up somewhere over I think Iran and treated myself to a nice cup of tea and decided to watch a movie:
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Shortly before landing, meal service started again, which was of little interest to my son who decided to play a game:


Easy breakfast but exactly what I needed:
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Almost there
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I decided to take some more pictures for you to see the cabin, here's the reading light:
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And the galley

Touch-down
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And back to get our bags at the arrival area.
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See more

Verdict

KLM

9.1/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment9.0
meal/catering9.0

Garuda Indonesia International Lounge

9.3/10
Comfort9.5
meal/catering9.0
Entertainment8.5
Services10.0

Denpasar - DPS

7.3/10
Efficiency6.5
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.5

Amsterdam - AMS

9.6/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Overall, this was a great flight with a great crew. I really enjoyed it and love this J-product KLM offers. Some pluses and minuses:

Plus:
+ The new WBC-cabin is fantastic
+ Service overall is great and matches the flight time really well. You get a small dinner before the long leg to maximise flying time.
+ Lounge in DPS is really good

Minus:
- The workload of the cabin crew on the DPS-SIN leg has a negative effect on customers (complaining mostly)
- The flying times could be better (why not leave 17:00 Bali, arrive 19:30 in Singapore, leave again 20:30 and arrive around 05:00 in Amsterdam?)

Related

11 Comments

  • Comment 373697 by
    JW19 51 Comments

    Nice review, but yet again it show cases KLM's missed opportunity to install a better J product. For an airline that does not have a first class product, 1-2-1 config J is almost a must and judging by the price they are charging for a AMS-DPS return trip, I would go for Garuda Indonesia anytime. Better comfort, privacy and meal options ( they have three 4 course choices of different region for the CGK-AMS route which is also flown on a 77W). Even sister company AF noticed that and installed the best and beyond cabin in their revised J product based on the Zodiac Cirrus seats, surprised KLM did not follow suit despite having them in their 787s.

    No hard feelings and good and thorough review btw, just not convincing from KLM.

      0
    • Comment 373890 by
      CounterSurprise AUTHOR 38 Comments

      Hi JW19, thanks for your reply! You are correct imho that Garuda offers a better product but at the time of booking and the times I wanted to fly, KLM came up as the cheapest option right after Cathay Pacific. Ofcourse, CX has a better product as well but with the long layover they offered in HKG, I chose not to take their offer since I was flying with two kids.

      As for the seat, I think it's a matter of personal preference. I prefer this seat over the Zodiac Cirrus which I've flown on their 789 because it feels much smaller and cramped, so I actually prefer this seat. The 789 really gives you the impression that they tried to jam in as much seats as possible, something I didn't feel on the 77W.

      So all in all I gave a good review based on the value-for-money equation I made. For this amount of money this flight was excellent imho.

        0
  • Comment 373729 by
    indianocean 4600 Comments

    Thank you for sharing.

    I understand you were excited the brand new aircraft with new interior but I'm afraid I have to second JW19 about the Business class hard product.
    Didn't you find the storagre for the feet a little bit narrow?

    Nice pictures, btw

      0
    • Comment 373892 by
      CounterSurprise AUTHOR 38 Comments

      It's cramped yes but I think that it matters which seat you chose. I think the window seat has a more cramped area than the aisle seat. All in all, it's big enough for my feet ;-)

        0
      • Comment 380363 by
        Eric V P 16 Comments

        I'm afraid I tried both aisle and window seats and (at least for 777) found they're both equally narrow. I think must be due to the curvature of the fuselage - 777 is noticeably quite flat at the seat level compared to 747 upper deck so there's no extra foot cubby width on window seats.

          0
  • Comment 373875 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    I would like to know which dietician would recommend eating a main of white rice, white potatoes and peas salad. Finished with refined sugar sweets.

    Next time the crew complain about workloads ask them what their manager said after they shared their insightful observations. If management isn't listening neither should you. :)

      0
    • Comment 373894 by
      CounterSurprise AUTHOR 38 Comments

      Hi Caribel, thanks for your reply. I wasn't too pleased with whining cabin crew either, could easily have done without :-) I send a reply to KLM explaining my feelings about this and dropped the matter after that.

        0
  • Comment 380362 by
    Eric V P 16 Comments

    Thank you for the report! Glad I read it earlier before my flight with them - I saw there are quite several things that matched my experience with them.

    Quite funny they depicted the plane as a 787 on the IFE - at least they have rectified it by now.

    Do you think you got to access GA lounge at DPS by your SkyTeam elite membership or by your business class boarding pass? I'm not sure how would GA treat if one got in solely by virtue of their elite membership - my boarding pass got stamped when I entered the lounge solely by my business class boarding pass (I don't have any SkyTeam elite membership up to now) and therefore I was unable to access Premier Lounge.

      0
    • Comment 382605 by
      CounterSurprise AUTHOR 38 Comments

      Hey Eric -- sorry for the late reply. I think I gained access to the GA-lounge based on my ticket since my wife and kids got in without trouble (all are FB ivory). You'er the first in the comment section to notice the 787/777 swap by the way ;-)

      Thanks for your reply!

        0

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