Review of KLM flight Amsterdam Atlanta in Economy

Airline KLM
Flight KL623
Class Economy
Seat 31H
Aircraft Boeing 777-200
Flight time 09:40
Take-off 01 Nov 17, 09:30
Arrival at 01 Nov 17, 14:10
KL   #37 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 465 reviews
CounterSurprise
Published on 12th November 2017
Introduction
Hi everybody and welcome to this Photo Flight report.
This report is part of the following routing/trip I made recently:
- 01 NOV KL621 Amsterdam - Atlanta (Economy) (B777) <– you are here
- 01 NOV DL1349 Atlanta - San Antonio (Delta Economy Comfort+) MD90 {not reported}
- 05 NOV DL2131 San Antonio - Atlanta (Economy) MD90 {not reported}
- 05 NOV DL2811 Atlanta - Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) A320 (Economy) {not reported}
- 09 NOV KL652 Washington Dulles (IAD) - Amsterdam (Economy Comfort) B787 {not reported)

As you can see many of the legs won't be reported due to the fact that I simply don't have enough photo material to make a proper report. Perhaps I'll crank out a short report on the ATL-SAT leg but I can't be sure. Delta made some interesting changes in the way they board and upgrade people so that's perhaps nice to show.

OK so back to this trip. The reason for flying this route is because I needed to go to both San Antonio and Washington for work. I chose for KLM/Delta because their connections out of Amsterdam are great, it helps to add to my status and quite honestly because they were the cheapest on this route. The difference between business and economy was so great that the choice was not hard and I chose economy routing for this trip. I ended up paying around $1200 (€1000) for the entire flight which is not bad. Unfortunately this also meant I got credited sometimes as little as 25% of the miles flown but that didn't bother me; I chose this route on price, not miles earned.

So please join me int his trip report of the KLM-part of this route: Amsterdam - Atlanta on November the first, departure 09:30.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
I started out early in the morning by train to reach Schiphol. I've had bad experience with this on work days because the train system is not error-free, but this time trains ran perfectly. I had to change trains in Leiden Central Station to catch the intercity to Amsterdam/Schiphol.

I had to carry a lot of stuff this time so I brought two suitcase tot check in + my usual hand-carried bag with laptop, work documents, iPad, various chargers, pens, etc.
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Service to Schiphol was smooth and after checkin in at the Sky Priority section of the KLM desks, I quickly made my way through the centralised security and found myself airside of the terminal. As you can see, Schiphol is already in Christmas settings.
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After making my way to Lounge 52, I checked in with the desk to see if there was an option to upgrade to business but J-cabin was completely full. Now don't get me wrong, this is excellent for KLM/AF since they sold all the seats and if you read their reports, you can actually see that AF/KLM is able to fill their planes close to 90%. However, frequent flyers such as myself nowadays can almost never upgrade to business anymore. Oh well. I was happy with my exit seat and as said: this works better for the airline since they actually make some money now.
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The lounge was still quiet and empty.
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My breakfast selection. Some juice and french croissants.
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Drink selections (sorry, not my best picture)
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A B747 in the vicinity being loaded. This beauty is slowly retired with KLM
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A new section was added to the lounge to accommodate for the increase of passengers and the rebuilding efforts. This new section looks quite fresh although the seats lack individual power ports.

After enjoying my breakfast, I made my way over the gate F06 for an on-time departure to Atlanta.
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The flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta
Flight : KL623 Amsterdam - Atlanta
Seat : 31H Exit Row
Plane : PH-BQN Boeing 777-200
Name : Nahanni National Park
Delivered : 19 April 2006 to KLM
Plane age at flight : 11.4 years

Boarding
The Sky Priority line was quite long as usual but I found that this time the ground crew was vehemently checking wether you actually belonged to the Sky Priority line. Several people where kicked out because they "accidentally" moved to the Sky Priority line and had to go all the way to the rear of the economy line. I've never seen this before at Schiphol but believe this to be a good step forward. Anyhow, I ended up being one of the first to board the plane. Here is my exit-row seat which I prefer over Economy Comfort. I was able to snag one for €25 (US$ 30) at time of booking
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Now let me give you my opinion of these seats. KLM has them arranged 3-4-3 which means 10 abreast. This can only fit if you make the seat quite narrow and the aisles narrow as well. This leads to two problems. First, I found myself constantly wrestling with my neighbour over armspace. Either he had his arms up and I had mine down or the other way around. Both down or up at the same time was not possible. These seats are REALLY narrow. Both me and my neighbour are average size (but European tall) - imagine how this is when you have a plus-size neighbour.

Second, the aisles are so narrow that the trolleys fit but barely. If you extend your legs and move them a little into the aisles you run the risk of your toes being run over by a trolley. KLM Flight Attendants don't do this on purpose (they hate the narrow aisles just as much as I do), but it happens. All in all, I'm not a big fan of this arrangement.
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As you can see the legroom situation is quite OK!
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After take-off, I took out the IFE and starting playing around with it. A feature I especially liked is the option to select the movies and/or shows you like and flag them with a little heart (like) button. After going through the entire library, I had my own little selection ready to play! The IFE was filled with lots of great movies & music and the screen is intuitive and great. My screen still had some red wine of the previous occupant on it - something a nice flight attendant quickly resolved for me with some wet wipes (you can actually see a red drop on the white bar in the picture below)
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Movie library:
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Some red wine stains. Short turnaround means quick cleaning I guess…
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Quick visit to the lavatory which is nice and clean
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Tie wraps, WD-40 and Duct Tape make the world go around - even in aviation! This closet didn't close so well so somebody used some tie-wraps:
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Clean sink with Zenology soap:
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When I returned to my seat we where over Ireland close to Shannon. In the old days, when planes couldn't go transatlantic on one tank of gas, Shannon was always used to refuel as a last stop before going transatlantic.
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Time for dinner; I chose the vegatarian meal handed out by again a very friendly flight attendant who made some small talk as well. This is definitely one of the great points of KLM. No matter where you sit, they FAs always give you attention and talk to you, they are always friendly and always go that extra mile. Dinner itself was quite good!
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Time to stretch my legs. This is door 4R.
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The trolleys are nicely decorated with a 50s photograph:
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The aft lavatory was out of order. I saw the FAs going in there quite a lot - I think they were trying to get it up and running again but it stayed out the entire trip.
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The minibar is a nice touch; several drinks and snacks are available for people who want to:
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Quicky restocked:
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The aft-galley is used for the crew to relax and eat when not busy. The curtain is used throughout the plane and also separates economy from business.
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Overcast below us. Nothing to see anyway - we were over the ocean:
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This hang down from the ceiling. I really wanted to pull it. Ended up not doing it :-)
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Back at my seat, a picture of the IFE in front of us and the FA-seat.
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Overview of the forward economy and economy comfort cabin:
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Half-way some ice-cream was served and a small container of water.

A thoughtful wet towel after that:
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Back to a movie while recharging my iPhone:
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A small meal was served about 1,5 hours before touching down. Pizza, some salad and a desert. Again the food was actually pretty good:
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I found out the IFE has a picture-in-picture feature which I enjoyed a lot:
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The IFE has a USB-port for charging you devices and a standard 3,5mm (or is it 2,5mm??) port for audio. This is great - in older planes you needed a specialised adaptor to make your own headset work with the IFE but no longer - this is just the right size for my much used Bose Quietcomfort 15s.
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Almost there!
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Getting ready!
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At the gate around 2pm. Gate F3 was in use. Our plane looks really nice in the Georgia sun:
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Immigration was fast for change!
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As usual in the US, you have to pick-up your suitcases and check them in again when arriving from outside of the US. There was a man collecting all the yellow-tag sky priority suitcases - a nice touch!
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See more

Verdict

KLM

8.6/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment9.5
Meal/catering8.0

Klm Crown Lounge 5 - Non Schengen Terminal

7.3/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment7.0
Services7.5

Amsterdam - AMS

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Atlanta - ATL

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

In conclusion, KLM flights in economy are great but the new seats suck in my honest opinion. This is the one thing I dislike the most and is probably one of the most important factors that contribute to a flying experience. I came out of the plane not that well rested. I did speak to the flight attendants about this and they acknowledge that a lot of people complain about this problem - including themselves. Let's hope that with the general population getting taller (and larger) the trend of making seats smaller stops somewhere. I would gladly pay more for a seat in between economy and business with just 1 or 2 inches more width. Perhaps I should try Air France's Economy Comfort which seems to be doing just that.

Meal, cabin crew and the plane itself were all great.

Informations on the route Amsterdam (AMS) Atlanta (ATL)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → Atlanta (ATL).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is KLM with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 9 hours and 40 minutes.

  More informations

10 Comments

  • Comment 419022 by
    Enivit 7 Comments

    Very nice the idea of the mini bar specially for economy

  • Comment 419038 by
    KL651 3523 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    These new seats look good but also pretty stiff, and with the width issue of 3-4-3, it really makes for an uncomfortable long flight.
    I agree with your comment on the general friendliness of KL crew.

  • Comment 419224 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3948 Comments

    Another great report by one of our resident KLM experts! I believe this is your first KL report in Y? I'll say that the new Y cabin looks good--nicer colours that the older cabins. But those ironing boards cannot be comfortable. No matter how pretty they are, 3-4-3 Y sucks! Everything else seems great though. And since pretty much every airline is putting 3-4-3 in Y on 777s, we can't really fault KLM too much. They did hold on with the 3-3-3 much longer than most other carriers. it was good while it lasted I guess...haha

    If you think the 25% mileage earning is bad...wait until the new FlyingBlue changes come along! Lol

    I agree with you; it would be nice if KLM could introduce a real Premium Economy cabin like sister AF.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 419450 by
      CounterSurprise AUTHOR 67 Comments

      Hi Kévin, thanks for your reply and that's not a bad nickname to have :-) This is my first Y TATL flight report; I did one on a F70 Flight as well 2 years ago. I am too very interested in the flying blue changes; experience points instead of level miles... Feels like playing World of Warcraft instead of flying carriers :-)

      • Comment 419474 by
        KévinDC TEAM 3948 Comments

        Haha, well you know how AF is trying to appeal to the Millenials now, so the video game reference was surely purposeful! Now...let's see how well JOON will do....I don't have high hopes, haha

        • Comment 419633 by
          CounterSurprise AUTHOR 67 Comments

          Haha you are so right! Well I'd like to add Joom to the list of carriers, I'll definitely try them out sometimes. They are on a long list of carriers I'd still like to try, together with OpenSkies, La Compagnie, etc! If they really want to appeal to my millennial feeling, I'd be collecting coins instead of level miles / XP by jumping against overhead luggage storage (it's Mario time!) :-)

  • Comment 419370 by
    LostLuggage 20 Comments

    Great report, thanks for sharing. €30 for an exit row on long-haul is a steal.

    Do KLM still have two flights a day to ATL? I flew this same route a few years ago, however on the A330-300 as a late afternoon departure. Certainly looks best to fly on the Airbus if given the choice, especially with the new seats and 777's layout in Y.

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