Review of KLM flight Amsterdam Nairobi in Economy

Airline KLM
Flight KL565
Class Economy
Seat 24K
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 08:10
Take-off 10 Feb 19, 12:00
Arrival at 10 Feb 19, 22:10
KL   #52 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 661 reviews
ThomasDutch
By GOLD 1676
Published on 19th February 2019

Introduction


While I had another week of free time, I decided to hunt down for some tickets back to Thailand once again. The usual airliners that offer cheap tickets from Amsterdam to Bangkok were present once again like Qatar, Etihad, Emirates & Aeroflot. While I am not the biggest fan of taking them on economy flights, I noticed that there was an outsider offering very cheap flights too, which usually sells them for quite an expensive price.

This outsider was Kenya Airways and as I am not familiar with them, I decided to book my flight with them only two days in advance of my travelling date. Another good point of taking up this itinerary was that I would receive some generous mileage for my flying blue points. The downside however is that my trip was extended by an extra five hours compared to direct flights to Bangkok from Amsterdam. This itinerary however meant that I would finally be able to experience the Boeing 787-8 myself as I never had the chance to fly on it and I would finally be able to fly on a 747 once again from KLM to Nairobi as their 747 is going to be phased out by 2021.

To fully complete my schedule for the week, I had to book a return flight to Ubon to visit my parents-in-law and to meet up with my girl. This however meant that I had to choose between Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lionair or Nok Air. As AirAsia and Thai Smile did not really give me any flights on the times suitable for me, It was either a choice between Thai Lion or Nok Air…. That one was easily made for me, so Nok Air it was.

Find my complete routing below.



Amsterdam Airport Schiphol


As my flight was departing on a sunday, I managed to find a ride that would bring me to the Airport and was dropped off in front of terminal two in which KLM is active to check in your luggage. I quickly printed out my boarding card via one of those computers on the left. Yes I already checked in by phone, however I like to have those paper cards as back up in case my battery of my phone gives up on me.


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While check-in counters 6-8 looked rather quiet, they were unfortunately only for European departures. While arriving to my counters (Row 12-15), it looked rather busy.


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Though looks could be very deceiving sometimes and I was done dropping of my luggage within five minutes.


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Security and border control took another good twenty minutes of my time as there are a lot of wide-bodies departing between 12-3 pm. You'll end up in a busy terminal once again with plenty of stores to explore. I slowly went my way to the E-pier to my flight after having had some coffee and a small lunch.


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While making my way through to my gate on a leisurely pace, I did decide to do some aircraft spotting too!

This Airbus A330-300 (N817NW) of Delta Airlines would be departing soon to Minneapolis as DL 161.


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An Iran Air A330-200 (EP-IJB) who would serve as IR 724 to Tehran. This route was upgraded from A300/A310s to A332 not long ago when they obtained some new airplanes, but unfortunately the blockade of Iran was reinstated by Trump and they were forced to cancel their remaining orders…. 


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A Boeing 767-300ER (N174DZ) of Delta who would fly as DL 163 to Minneapolis too.


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An Airbus A330-200 (PH-AOF) who would serve as KL 767 to Bonaire with a stopover in Oranjestad (Aruba). An odd thing about this flight is that it would serve as KL767 on all it's legs until it has set foot in Amsterdam again.


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A Boeing 777-300ER (PH-BVP) from KLM that would serve as KL 871 to New Delhi about 30 minutes after our original departure.


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Another 747-400 (PH-BFN) that would serve to Willemstad, Curacao as KL735.


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With about 30 minutes to spare down prior to my departure, I was at the end of E-pier. The good thing about this pier is that you are able to sit in front of the windows with many aircraft passing by to park and to depart like those Turkish, Emirates and China Eastern.



With about five minutes to spare, a line was already build up for a while. I probably would never understand why people would do such thing.

Meet PH-BFH. A boeing 747-400 (Combi config.) named after the city of Hong Kong that would serve our flight today down to Nairobi. It has solely been in service for it's entire 28.9 years and was delivered to KLM on the 26th of April in 1990.


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Boarding was called on-time and I was one of the last ones to join the line which went on a decent pace, though there was no structure of boarding in any matter.


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Flight


I quickly went to my seat and noticed that the middle seat of my row would be unoccupied today. The legroom itself was sufficient to generous I must admit, however the tv screen was very very old… Prehistoric perhaps? Though I could completely understand why KLM would not update it as this aircraft is going to retire by 2021.


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A splendid view from my seat to two engines and it's wings.


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While everyone was boarded, the captain checked in with us reporting that our flight had a short delay as ground staff was still busy loading cargo and luggage. I ended up having a chat with a very friendly guy next to me and he was rather shocked when I told him about my journey to Bangkok via Nairobi.


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A short look to KLM's literature.


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And probably the best page of KLM's magazine. Though their page is not reporting it, KLM is going to retire the Boeing 737-700s very shortly to be replaced by Boeing 737-800s. (no orders for any max yet).


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Flight attendants came around to serve us their headphones prior to push back. Push back was initially started about 20 minutes after departure time.


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Departure for today was out of 18L, but it took a while to get to there as 27 was in use for landing aircraft.


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About 12:39, we were finally rolling for take off.


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Shortly after take off, we disappeared in those depressing clouds. About ten minutes later, we were finally through to them and awarded with a magnificent view.


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A look of the flight path we would take for today at 35.000 ft.


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About 50-60 minutes in flight, the flight attendants appeared to serve us some water and refreshing towels.


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And another thirty minutes later, the meal service started. The two options for today were Chicken with Rice or a Vegan pasta. I opted for the chicken rice, which was pleasant to eat and was served together with a salad, crispy bread and some sort of almond spiced cake. To drink I opted for a white wine, which was going to be a South African Sauvignon Blanc from ''The Elements by Julien Schaal'', which was an enjoyable wine.


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About 30 minutes again, the flight attendants came around to clean our tables and asked us if we would like any coffee, tea or liquor. I opted for a cup of coffee and some baileys next to it. Always a very pleasant treat!


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While slowly sipping my drinks, I simply enjoyed my ride by watching the view.  To be honest, a 747 still remains one of the most comfortable aircraft out there.


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It was now time to pay a visit to one of the toilets and made a quick picture of the cabin I was in. Despite having a big galley in front of you and one next to you, I found this part of the cabin still one of the most comfortable ones to be in.


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While it was a rather old looking toilet, it was yet ok in terms of cleanness and everything was still working as intended to. The only amenity available was some soap to clean your hands. 


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While I continued to finish my movies, the sun was setting. Even though the flight attendants were pro-active, I was surprised that no flight attendant came around with some drinks to hand out, but they were eager to serve you drinks if you requested one.


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About two hours prior to landing, a small meal was provided. It contained an almond cupcake once again with a hot pizza snack. An enjoyable treat, but rather small I must admit.


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With about 90 minutes to landing, tables were cleaned once again.


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The captain announced himself and reported to us that we would be on ground in approximately thirty minutes from now with the current weather update given by Nairobi. After he thanked us for choosing KLM and to wish us a pleasant stay or onward journey.

About five minutes ahead of our scheduled landing, we touched down in Nairobi. 


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We were parked at gate 15 next to a Kenyan Boeing 787-8, which turned out to be the aircraft that was going to bring me over to Bangkok in about an hour and fifty minutes.


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One last look of the plane that brought me over. It was a very enjoyable ride.


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The only task for us now was to go through security once again to be back in the same terminal… Took about ten minutes to clear.


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Verdict

KLM

8.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Amsterdam - AMS

7.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Nairobi - NBO

2.9/10
Efficiency3.0
Access3.5
Services1.5
Cleanliness3.5

Conclusion

A lovely flight. Flight attendants were pro-active and involved with their passengers, while the seats were sufficient to good for a longhaul flight. The IFE system however was rather old and had limited media, but you can't blame KLM for not investing in it as this specific type is going to retire by 2021. While the first meal was good, the second meal could be a bit upsized.

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) Nairobi (NBO)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → Nairobi (NBO).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Kenya Airways with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 7 minutes.

  More information

9 Comments

  • Comment 489565 by
    edsong14 7 Comments

    Great report! Yeah I see where you're coming from with the meals. I flew the KL 787-9 from IAD-AMS-IAD during break en route to GOT, and the meals could've been a lot larger (we didn't even have a side dish or anything for the second one-it was just a tiny little pizza the size of a hockey puck).

    • Comment 489573 by
      ThomasDutch GOLD AUTHOR 385 Comments

      Hi edsong,
      The first meal was sufficient I must say, but the second one was indeed very small. I guess KLM is not really serving a proper meal on a flight less than 9 hours as I know that they serve two proper meals on flights of 10 hours or longer (like to Bangkok for example).

      Thanks for stopping by though.

  • Comment 489581 by
    KL651 TEAM 4455 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Beautiful view on the engines.
    Though pleasant looking , KLM new meals are actually smaller than in the past which is not the improvement they announced.

    • Comment 489647 by
      ThomasDutch GOLD AUTHOR 385 Comments

      Yes and no. In terms of size, the newly updated meals are not an improvement. In terms of quality, I found the meals tastier compared to their old meals...... Especially the 2nd meal service could be improved greatly.

  • Comment 489650 by
    East African 1508 Comments

    Very nice report and interesting routing!
    May I ask how much you've paid?
    What are the yellow bits in the salad?
    " a line was already build up for a while. I probably would never understand why people would do such thing."=> to be quicker on the plane and get the space in the overhead bins maybe?
    Many thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Comment 489655 by
      ThomasDutch GOLD AUTHOR 385 Comments

      Hi East,
      Of course you may. I paid about 600 euros for this route. Never seen it cheaper (except the UAE carriers and Aeroflot). Eventually I ended up paying 775 as I won a bid to business class from Bangkok to Nairobi for 175 euros.
      I believe those bits were some sort of cheese, though I couldn't really make up the taste.
      ** to be quicker on the plane and get the space in the overhead bins maybe? -- Probably, but it would at least be an extra 30 minutes of sitting. Not worth it for me.

  • Comment 490377 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4994 Comments

    Hi ThomasDutch, a very nice report as usual! How nice to be going back to Thailand already after your recent trip. Lucky you! I absolutely love Thailand and have been several times as I have friends who own a hotel there.

    Love the planespotting! AMS is great for that...though this time of year it's typically cloudy.

    Overall looks like it was a nice flight, especially with an empty seat next to you. It's a shame KL didn't upgrade the IFE when they installed the new J on there 744s, but the seats themselves are quite comfortable, in my experience. As you say, I guess it makes sense considering the 744s will be retired in a few years :-(

    Thanks for sharing!

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