Review of KLM flight Chicago Amsterdam in Business

Airline KLM
Flight KL612
Class Business
Seat 4A
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 07:45
Take-off 19 Aug 18, 16:30
Arrival at 20 Aug 18, 07:15
KL   #45 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 525 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 1048
Published on 7th September 2018
photo kl612 cover

Hello Flight-Report #Avgeeks. I've been away for awhile, mostly making changes to this RTW adventure I'll be sharing over the coming days. Planning for this trip began back in 2017 when the schedule opened for reward tickets to be used in August 2018. The destination was Australia. I was waiting for a specific flight going west to Australia to become available when the schedule hit 331 days out. At that time Qatar had just introduced their Q-Suite business class seat. It was only being flown on Paris and London routes to Doha. On a whim I searched for CDG to Sydney. Bingo, Q-Suites to Doha and A380 service in first class to Sydney. Going east now. (BTW: the westbound flight opened but this was more fun!)

Numerous changes were made, what else is new, but in the end

it was an Epic Journey.



KLM ORD-AMS B747-400 Business Class - this report


KLM AMS-CDG B737 Business Class - no report
Qatar CDG-DOH B777-300 Business Class / Qatar CDG Lounge - to come
Qatar DOH-SYD A380 First Class / DOH Al Safwa First Class Lounge - to come
Qantas SYD-CNS B738 Business Class - to come
Virgin Australia CNS-BNE B737 Business Class - to come
Qantas BNE-MEL B787-9 Business Class - to come
Qantas MEL-SYD A300-2 Business Class / MEL 2nd day open Business Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines SYD-SIN Suites Class / SYD Krisflyer First Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines SIN-PEK First Class / SIN Private Room - to come
Lufthansa PEK-MUC First Class - to come
Lufthansa MUC-FRA A321 Business Class / MUC First Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines FRA-JFK Suites Class - to come
JetBlue JFK-ORD E190 Economy Class - no report

photo map of trip


Going East now. The only issue is I had to get to Paris. Enter KLM

Booking a year out is when many great reward seats are available. In this case I had the choice of flying KLM in their 747 or Air France in their A330. Easy. However a year is a long time to wait for this…

photo kl 612 board 1

Chicago's O'Hare International Terminal 5 is not known for outstanding lounges. I've been in the Swiss lounge and it's nothing to get to the airport early for. Today's lounge was the Skyteam lounge next to gate 9 and Swiss wins that battle hands down.

Narrow, crowded, no washrooms and limited food.



I'd rather stand at the gate.

photo kl612 board 2

They rent cars in Amsterdam, I think.

photo kl612 plane 1

With a view of something I will end up riding soon or later, maybe.

photo kl612 scenic plane 3

My favorite part of any airplane, the nose of a 747.

photo kl612 cabin 2

And when you book a year in advance on a KLM 747 you can select what is really a first class seat, in terms of space and privacy. 4A where you have no one next to you and full access to the aisle.

photo kl612 seat 1

There are 2 other single seats in a KLM 747, 1A and 4C which is very nice as well, assuming you don't mind the galley activity and no window.

photo kl612 cabin 4

1A would be a nice snag as well. Everyone else in business class, including the upper deck, are configured 2x2.

photo kl612 cabin 1

Here's the TV for 4B.

photo kl612 seat 4

Prior to flying KLM I didn't like the pictures of their cabins. Once inside they are attractive, clean and pleasing.

photo kl612 cabin 3

Separating business class from economy are 2 lavatories for business class use only.

photo kl612 cabin lav 1

A stock 747 Lav without a whole lot in amenities.



KLM has the galley similar to Thai's 747 (and probably others) where it's set alongside the starboard side of the aircraft in front of forward doors.

photo kl612 cabin galley

Since you got a sneak peak of the amenity kits in the prior photo, let's take a closer look.

photo kl612 amenity 1

The contents, which were basic, i.e. eyemask, toothbrush, etc., got tossed but I lugged the kit around the world, not sure why.

photo kl612 amenity 2

The first of many nuts and champagnes too.

photo kl612 food champ 1

For unknown reasons, as I certainly can't blame it on lack of sleep an hour into this marathon, I didn't snap a photo of the champagne being served. But the Le Grand Verdus Bordeaux was a useful wine at 36,000 feet at a cost of $12 on the ground.

photo kl612 menu wine 1
.
photo kl612 menu wine 2
.
photo kl612 menu wine 3

The food menu was adequate and surprisingly specific for this flight, at least in terms of menu identification.

photo kl612 menu food 1
.
photo kl612 menu food 2
.
photo kl612 menu 1

When ordering the flight attendant offered a cup of saffron carrot soup to go with the seared tuna selection. How could I say no!

photo kl612 food app 1

Boy was it good too!

photo kl612 food app 4

And the appetizer was not to be outdone by the soup. It was beautifully presented, colorful and tasty. The tuna was fresh, the roasted peppers were perfect and the chili aioli gave the dish a huge kick. Delicious.

photo kl612 food app 3

While small, the salad was fresh which is all that really matters.

photo kl612 food app 5

And in case you missed them, how cute. And stealable too!

photo kl612 food pres 1

I ordered the beef shank for my main meal. The concept was great and it was almost really good. But as typical on a plane the meat was a little over done.

photo kl612 food main 1

But nothing that this couldn't overcome.

photo kl612 food wine 1

Sweets or cheese, hmmm.

photo kl612 food cheese 1photo kl612 food cheese 2

Sweets came from a Belgium Callebout chocolate house.

photo kl612 food choc 1

The problem with European flights that leave the US in late afternoon means you are landing in Europe when it's time to go to bed. Translation, no sleep. So I really didn't even try, just made use of their IFE system and my own mobile content.

The IFE screen was large. Much larger than the 777 monitor as shown to the left.

photo kl612 seat 5photo klm835 seat monitor

Obviously it wasn't HD but size made up for that and the airshow was good. The remotes with that little ball as a selector can be frustrating, not at times, but all the time.



What's most viewing fun on an overnight evening flight to Europe in the summer?

photo kl612 scenic horizon 1photo kl612 scenic horizon 2

KLM's World Business Class Seats in all long haul aircraft other than their new 787 are B/E (now Rockwell Collins) Diamond seats. A guess is that this seat is one of the most used seats used in premium cabins by airlines across the world. They are really comfortable seats. The only issue is the design of 2/2 or 2/2/2, unless you snag 4A on KLM's 747.

photo kl612 seat 2

This seat even has an extra storage area and cup holder.

photo kl612 seat 3

I'd fly this to Europe anytime.

I do have a complaint with the Diamond seat. And that is where the power outlets and AV connections are placed.

photo kl612 seat 8

How many times the headset cord has been yanked out of the jack when bending forward is countless for me. And on this aircraft there is another issue. No USB charger. I was SOL until one of the VERY friendly KLM Flight Attendants offered me her personal AC adapter. (Mine was layers away in the carry on bag resting above me.)

KLM has a nice little feature of a nightlight when the cabin lights are dimmed.

photo kl612 seat 9

Before long it was time for breakfast. While not really hungry, why not? I must admit I wasn't familiar with the term Strada even though 2 of 3 choices were such a thing. But I figured an Apple Pie Strada served warm had to be good. And besides, no airplane eggs please.

photo kl612 food bk 1

In a word, outstanding!

photo kl612 food bk 2

And another example US legacy airlines on how to be a little creative with your fruit presentation.

photo kl612 food bk 3

Only a little over 6 hours going east with tail winds and soon enough the little houses were offered. I took 59.

photo klm612 house

For information on the price of this ticket as well as KLM's 737 and CDG's CitizenM hotel go to rewardflying.com
See more

Verdict

KLM

7.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment7.5
Meal/catering8.0

Delta Air Lines Sky Club

3.0/10
Comfort3.0
Meal/catering3.0
Entertainment5.0
Services1.0

Chicago - ORD

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Amsterdam - AMS

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

While the upper deck on a 747 is like a private jet, the nose and a seat by yourself can be called the ultimate flying experience, in any class. I'd take it anytime.

Flight attendants were super nice on this flight. Organized, friendly, and helpful they made for a great flight.

This was a perfect send off to what's expected to be a great trip. But there are always things that can go wrong. And that's next.

Informations on the route Chicago (ORD) Amsterdam (AMS)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Chicago (ORD) → Amsterdam (AMS).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is KLM with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 7 hours and 45 minutes.

  More informations

5 Comments

  • Comment 464210 by
    757Fan 442 Comments

    Looks like a nice flight with KLM!

  • Comment 464550 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 378 Comments

    Hi 757Fan, yes KLM has a solid BC product. Thanks for reading!

  • Comment 464561 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 4312 Comments

    Hi RewardFlying!

    That's one hell of a routing with what looks to be a lot of cool reports to come! I just love me a 747...I can't ever decide if I like the nose or the upper deck best--both experiences are so unique to the 747 and special in their own way. I haven't flown in the nose in a while...as many BA 747 TATL flights as I've been doing in J (got another coming up in a few days) I keep hoping for an Op-Up to F so I can have a flight in the nose for a change...fingers crossed!

    KLM cabin crew are always great. I don't think I've ever seen a report on KLM where the crew weren't friendly. 4A looks like the perfect seat...tucked away in a corner for privacy with direct aisle access. I don't think I'd like the Captain Kirk seat in 4C...feels too exposed, but it is cool-looking!

  • Comment 466506 by
    socalnow GOLD 689 Comments

    Hi Mark and thanks for this exciting series of flight reports. Really this is more flying than many people do in their entire lives.
    “In this case I had the choice of flying KLM in their 747 or Air France in their A330. Easy.”
    -The 747 would win the day for me as well but I would like to try the new J on AF. I believe it’s on some of the A330 fleet now.
    “They rent cars in Amsterdam, I think.”
    -It might be difficult to find a crappy American car like the one being loaded. I’m fascinated by the “combi” aircraft. Did you walk back to where the passenger compartment ends and the cargo begins? It must make the 747 feel rather compact.
    “And when you book a year in advance on a KLM 747 you can select what is really a first class seat, in terms of space and privacy. 4A where you have no one next to you and full access to the aisle.”
    -Wow, I no idea this seat exists. Great score! I would be drawn to 4A over 1A. Something about everyone staring at the back of my head.
    “But the Le Grand Verdus Bordeaux was a useful wine at 36,000 feet at a cost of $12 on the ground.”
    -Yikes, that’s cheap wine. At least they’re consistent through the list.
    I really dig the look of the china and flatware that KLM uses. The starter, soup, and salad all look quite acceptable and the braised beef main is a perfect concept for a dish that needs to be reheated. The fake "Gouda" on the cheese plate is unfortunate. Kudos on the presentation of the breakfast as well.
    “Only a little over 6 hours going east with tail winds and soon enough the little houses were offered. I took 59.”
    -What a fantastic tradition. I’m so happy that this hasn’t been “enhanced” away.
    Thank you again for sharing this flight. I would never think of KLM, I’m not sure why, but this report certainly changed that ignorance on my part. Happy flying Mark.

    • Comment 466512 by
      Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 378 Comments

      Hi Christian, thanks for your detailed reply while you patiently wait for the last 4 segments!

      >The 747 would win the day for me as well but I would like to try the new J on AF. I believe it’s on some of the A330 fleet now.
      -Well the ORD-CDG is A330 and is 2x2x2. I read that all A330 would get the 2x2x2 refresh. I could be wrong. If it were AF 787 then I would have gone for that, or KLM 787 but I'm glad it wasn't. 4A on 747 for me anytime, anywhere.

      >It might be difficult to find a crappy American car like the one being loaded. I’m fascinated by the “combi” aircraft. Did you walk back to where the passenger compartment ends and the cargo begins? It must make the 747 feel rather compact.
      -There's a good reason for me to book it again, did't go back there. Thanks!

      >Wow, I no idea this seat exists. Great score! I would be drawn to 4A over 1A. Something about everyone staring at the back of my head.
      -Yeah, 1A in this report's photo is not becoming :)

      -Yikes, that’s cheap wine. At least they’re consistent through the list.
      >But it's only a few hours of drinking :)

      >I really dig the look of the china and flatware that KLM uses. The starter, soup, and salad all look quite acceptable and the braised beef main is a perfect concept for a dish that needs to be reheated. The fake "Gouda" on the cheese plate is unfortunate. Kudos on the presentation of the breakfast as well.
      -Agreed, very attractive presentation, and very Dutch looking as well. Add the food was very good, especially the appetizer and that strada thing!.

      -What a fantastic tradition. I’m so happy that this hasn’t been “enhanced” away.
      >They've been doing this since the 1950s! And they have an app where you can track you houses. I have 3!

      >Thank you again for sharing this flight. I would never think of KLM, I’m not sure why, but this report certainly changed that ignorance on my part. Happy flying
      -You know they are flying some of the last few 747's. If you can, the only downside are the surcharges FB makes you pay, about $200. Otherwise AMS is beautiful anytime of year, even if just the airport!
      Thanks Christian.

Login to post a comment.