I arrived in AMS from my connecting flight late and only had around an hour before my departure for Chengdu. I headed for my gate, F06 from my arrival at the D gates. The departure board was saying that I should head to the gate for boarding to begin 45 mins before departure. That seemed far too early for my liking especially as there was the Crown Lounge to explore at the end of this pier!
I figured I could have a quick look in the lounge anyway.
There wasn't a great variety of stuff and I didn't notice any warm meals on offer. Perhaps it was too late for that. I sampled a bit of dutch cheese and a glass of juice before heading back out. At least here there was a little bit of space to sit unlike in Manchester. I also noticed that there were signs for improvements going on in the lounge as well. Hopefully even better things are to come.
At the gate I used the sky priority lane and boarded my 747-combi for China.
I took my seat in 3A. I wanted to hang my coat in the wardrobe it the front but couldn't see any hangers and there was no cabin crew to take it for me. So far not great service. Here is the IFE screen and plenty of room for my legs. The Ottoman was a bit of a stretch to get to :P
And the magazines and safety card.
Finally, I was offered a drink. I took the champagne and handed my coat to be hung up.
The amenity kits were then handed out and included al the usual: toothbrush, comb, socks, ear plugs,eye mask and pen (which I almost immediately lost down the side of the seat, nevermind.
The headphones were nice too and did a decent job of blocking out the background noise.
Here's a little better look at the IFE. I knew straight away what I would be watching tonight - Star Wars VII.
The menus were soon handed out. Although I had already order my special vegetarian meal, here were the choices for tonight's flight.
I was asked for my order, and said that I was to have the special meal. Surely the FA should have known this already, or am I expecting a little too much from the business class service? The captain came down and had a chat to each of the business class passengers and mentioned that they were having problems with the power sockets at the seats, but offered to charge any devices we might want up in the cockpit in turn.
Time for push back and the safety video with the KLM blue delft tiles.
Once up in the air, we were offered a choice of cheese or nuts. I took the nuts and ordered a gin and tonic.
Shortly after the real meal service began. Today I was having a quinoa salad with grilled aubergines, and quite nice it was too. It was served with some bread and a small salad and I opted for a glass of sauvignon blanc to with it.
Once finished the plate was taken away (but not the tray and used salad bowl etc. and the main course came along. This was some ravioli and was served with another bread roll. It wasn't a particularly amazing meal.
The tray was taken this time and I chose the cheese for dessert.
After finishing my film, it was now time for bed. I reclined my seat into a fully flat position and got comfy in my blanket looking forward to my first proper sleep in the sky without being wedged into an economy seat. Bliss. Unfortunately I don't sleep well on flights and although it was much more comfortable I remained awake for the most part. But I can say I didn't have to endure and neck stiffness in the morning.
Once the lights came on, I checked our position. I wasn't particularly impressed with the different views the IFE scrolled through. They all seemed to be either too zoomed out or too zoomed in, so it was quite difficult to get a good idea of exactly where we were. But here we are somewhere to the north west of Chengdu.
The view outside was just rather monotonous brown mountains and then it clouded over for the rest of the approach.
Breakfast is served.
Some rather random raisins and cheese (no bread or biscuits) with a bean/potato/egg combination, a croissant and yoghurt and fruit.
Before landing we were offered a choice of Delft blue houses.
Arrival in Chengdu, China.
And here was my plane for the trip.
KLM Crown Lounge 5 - Non Schengen
Amsterdam - AMS
Chengdu - CTU
On this my first long haul business class flight, I thought the food was pretty good. There was a good range of films available on the IFE although the flight tracker was either too distant or too close to be of much good.
It was great to have a flat bed to (try to) sleep on. I think the service however was pretty average. I had expected more from business class (maybe too much).
From what I saw of the lounge, it was ok.
Would I fly KLM business again. Probably. I'm looking forward to my AF return flight as a comparison.
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Well, the Crown Lounge sure is nothing to get excited about.
The KL's amenity kit definitely needs to be updated!
When flying business, oredring a special meal usually means getting something of lesser quality than the standard J options, this is actually the reverse of Y class food where special meals are usually better.
Looking forward to reading the FRs of next flights.
Yes the crown lounge isn't particulary exciting but at least it saves you a tidy sum in some of the foodoutlets in AMS.
Certainly the amenity kit could do with a bit of something, it's not better than the stuff you get in economy with eg Singapore or Virgin.
The food wasn't all bad, just the main was a bit meh. I quite enjoyed the starter. I've had a mixed bag with Y special meals in the past, they can either be great, (Kenya, Singapore) or really bad (some US carriers).
The main plus on this trip is the updated seat and IFE.
However the meal is not very appealing. Perhaps you'll be luckier on the return flight ;)
I'm not expecting a great veggie meal on AF though. We all know the French don't do vegetarian!
I would not grade 8.5 an IFE whose airshow does not provide a clear information on where you are.
This FR is much more pleasant once the pictures are correctly oriented. Thanks for fixing this, and for sharing your flight !
The IFE lost the 1.5 points because of the strange flight views. Otherwise the screen was of a good size in a position that was great for viewing and with a good choice of films.
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