Review of KLM Cityhopper flight Berlin Amsterdam in Economy

Airline KLM Cityhopper
Flight KL1824
Class Economy
Seat 16F
Aircraft Embraer E-195-E2
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 15 May 21, 12:15
Arrival at 15 May 21, 13:35
WA   #33 out of 75 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 385 reviews
ThomasDutch
By SILVER 616
Published on 16th May 2021

Introduction


While I did finish my working duty with my company in Leipzig Halle Airport the previous day late in the afternoon, there was no chance for me to return home on time via train, so I made a simple request to my company office to book me a flight back home the following day via Berlin as that would drastically reduce my travel time by about three hours for a few euros more in total and would give me a chance to do a rapid test, which is mandatory to enter the Netherlands as a flight crew, which was not available at Leipzig at that moment.

A few minutes later I did receive my booking and found out that I'll be flying on KLM's newest E-195-E2, which is also a first one to be reported on flight report.  


Routing

  • KL1824 - Economy - Berlin → Amsterdam - Embraer E195-E2 You are here

While it is only mandatory for the Netherlands to show a rapid antigen test as a flight crew which is done within 24 hours from departure, I decided to book myself a slot for a rapid PCR test with Medicare which can give you a valid PCR result within 40 minutes and is located in the departure hall of Terminal 1-2. It's not cheap, but it does solve me a lot of issues I've had as a commercial pilot myself entering the Netherlands on several occassions and the company would cover my costs anyhow.


Day of flight


While staying in Schönefeld (close to the old Schönefeld airport), I ordered a taxi about two hours prior to departure which dropped me off in front of terminal 1-2 for approximately 18 euros for a ride that would not take more than ten minutes in total. 

After many miscalculations, fights and wrong estimations, the airport finally opened it's doors to the public in November 2020 and is partially named after a former German chancellor Willy Brandt.


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I entered the departure hall via one of the doors from the drop off section and ended up in a large open space with several blocks of check-in kiosks and while it does look pretty nice and modern, I would not be surprised this terminal to be very crowded in better times due to the lack of larger open spaces… There were already certain hotspots where it became easily too crowded in Covid-19 times….


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KLM uses the check-in island no. 9, which was in the aft of terminal 1 in a somewhat separate building attached to the main departure hall and another flaw is easily noticed here as these huge pillars are blocking a large portion of your view when you are que to check-in. You may wonder what kind of lousy job has been done by either architecture or decoration… Can't say that I'm impressed as of yet.


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Dropping off my luggage which took another 5-10 minutes to clear as one of the guys in front of me was denied boarding for not having a valid identification with him (had only his driving license), my own check-in progress was done within a minute and went straight for security, which again was not really properly signed. Eventually found it in the aft corner and it took about 15 minutes to clear with appropiate distances due to Covid-19. One of the only airports I've been yet where social distancing was properly managed by security staff.


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After a short walk through an empty hallway you end up in a duty free shop, which you need to cross to enter the terminal itself…. A phenomona that is becoming more popular over time and I personally am not a huge fan of it either.


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Once you are airside, you will end up in a large open space with a variety of restaurants and duty free shops, unfortunately most of the restaurants were shut due to the ongoing pandemic and those restaurants that were open did only provide a take-away option by providing a minimal selection of drinks, coffee/tea and sandwiches.


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And of course it is not a German airport if they didn't showcase a German sports car like almost all airports do in Germany.  An interesting choice of colour for this BMW M4 though.


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Berlin does not publish your gate till about 90 minutes prior to your departure, so I sat myself down at gate B03 with this Airbus A320 of Eurowing sitting idle and being serviced by a mechanic for a potential afternoon departure. In the back of the photo you could also see a large portion of EasyJet's fleet that is based in Berlin being stored pending for better times.  Berlin does however give you pretty sights over the tarmac and good opportunities to spot aircraft.


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About fourty minutes to departure, I decided to move myself to gate A02, which was the gate for our departure to Amsterdam and it didn't take long for our aircraft to arrive. Gate A02 however is not the best one to have as it doesn't contain any seating area and if you wanted to find a seat for yourself, you had to move to the seating area of Gate A03, which was already crowded due to a departure of Hop! to Paris around the same time.


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Our flight would be performed by PH-NXC, which is KLM Cityhopper's newest E195-E2 with an age of only 0.1 years old and was delivered to them on the 25th of March 2021. It is currently equipped by two Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines and is configured with 132 seats with an European business class. No Wi-fi as of yet, though KLM is making plans of adding it to their regional fleet.


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The Airbus A330 blocked gate A02 for a while as it was not fully ready for pushback when our aircraft arrived and did delay our flight by a few minutes, but it was soon ready for it's flight to Istanbul. Given that it was parked at our gate, it makes me believe that the current set up allows Berlin to use any gate for either Schengen or International departures with the upper floor being for international non-schengen departures. I'm not 100% sure, but it is highly likely. A clever set-up if it was so that you do not need to worry about the use of these gates.


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OE-ICT was taxiing out for a departure to Hurghada. A better destination indeed and hopefully soon their will be more flights like these to sunnier destinations.


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Boarding did start about 10 minutes to our departure and was done in a speedy manner…. Within 15 minutes everything was on board and it took no more than five minutes longer for our pushback. Despite KLM Cityhopper being able to carry the same amount of passengers as the E190 due to some disagreement with their pilot union about the payment, the cabin was pretty full. I think the load may have been somewhere between 80 to 85%. A promising load.


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I was located at 16F with an older Embraer of Hop! parked next to us and you can clearly see one of the major adjustments between old and new as the wing of the newer E2 is a larger and more streamlined without winglets.


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The seats are of a new variant too which I am not a fan of. A iron board without a proper headrest and it would be uncomfortable for longer flights of two or more hours…  though what I loved about the E2 is that the windows are very very large. (The photo was taking after disembarkation and not of my row as seat 16F is perfectly aligned to the window, but the cabin itself was very neat upon boarding).


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I'm about 1.83m tall (or 6" for Americans) and legroom was of no issue. It is definitely better compared to their older normal E190s, but is most likely due to the seat design of these seats.


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And these newer seats also come with an usb plug to charge your devices.


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The table size is reduced quite a lot compared to the older cabin and it is now equipped with a cupholder, which is pretty sturdy for the cups being used by KLM Cityhopper. Logical of course! and the literature you could find at the bottom of your seat near your legs.


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A shot of the very modern and clean cabin.


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And every seat is outfitted with an individual airplug, a button to call your flight attendant and a small, but bright reading light if you wished to read at night.


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Boarding the aircraft did not take more than 10 minutes to complete and five minutes later we were pushing back after the captain welcomed us on board for our flight to Amsterdam.


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About 14 minutes past our original departure time we were rolling on runway 25R for our departure to Amsterdam with a bit of bumpy weather due to several build ups in the vicinity. 


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Also I must admit that I do love the look of those wings and it gives me an impression that we're flying in a larger jet than we're actually in.


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The literature in the seat pocket is KLM's magazine Holland Herald, a sickbag with one of their delft blue houses on it and a safety card. KLM is one of the few airlines that do publish their magazines in Covid-19 times. Unfortunately the aircraft is not equipped with any wi-fi as of yet.


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About twenty minutes into flight, the very friendly and pro-active cabin crew came out to serve us. Most drinks were available minus the alcohol ones as KLM does not serve them on regional flights in the morning and early afternoon. I ordered a glass of water and it came with some vegan crisps and an antibacterial tower. 

KLM announced a year ago that they would only serve vegetarian dishes on regional routes for durability and environmental reasons and recently announced that they will cut plastic cutlery too by replacing them with wooden cutlery and to serve meals with a longer expiry date, so that they will be able to throw less food away and could cut down on aircraft needing to be serviced for catering.

While I am okay with this in general, I find it quite odd about the fact that they served us crisps on a flight that departed at 12.15….. Can't say that I'm much of a fan of eating them so early, so I didn't really touch it.


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While the table itself is quite a lot smaller than the previous ones, they are equiped with a phoneholder, so you  easily can watch a video on your smartphone.


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An impression of the cupholder, which again was pretty sturdy as the cup didn't move an inch during turbulence.


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Loving the view too.


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About 10 minutes prior to landing, the captain checked in with us again to inform us that we were in approach to Amsterdam and that we would be 10 minutes ahead of arrival time. Thanked us for flying and while I was expecting an approach to runway 27 itself, the pilots made a circle to land to runway 06…. which is not a common approach, but it would drastically reduce our taxi time though.


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Landing was done professionally and it took us no more than five minutes from landing to start our disembarkation. Cabin crew announced that they would call us per row and to not move when our row was not called, but the moment the aircraft came to a complete stop, the entire cabin stood up and the flight attendants did not proceed with the procedure they just explained a few minutes earlier. 

While those procedures may work to increase social distancing, it would not work in practical use as the majority simply do not listen to their calls. 


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A last view of our aircraft that brought us over.


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Parked at gate C06, it was a short walk to our baggage claim and it took a total of 15 minutes for my luggage to arrive which is very uncommon for Amsterdam as it sometimes could take up to an hour for them to appear. No border check nor PCR verification check was performed by any border agent other than the check-in lady in Berlin.


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Given that Amsterdam was pretty fast with luggage today, I could catch an earlier train resulting in me being home about 30 minutes earlier than I expected to be. Sweet!


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Thanks for your time!

See more

Verdict

KLM Cityhopper

7.2/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering6.0

Berlin - BER

6.2/10
Efficiency6.0
Access4.5
Services5.5
Cleanliness9.0

Amsterdam - AMS

6.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access6.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Though I'm not a massive fan of KLM's newest seat for the E195-E2, the aircraft itself was a great experience with large windows and a quiet cabin. The service given by the flight attendants was great, though I did not understand the catering by serving us crisps as somewhat of a lunch. A sandwich, muffin or a cookie would have been a more suitable option.

Information on the route Berlin (BER) Amsterdam (AMS)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Berlin (BER) → Amsterdam (AMS).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 1 hours and 20 minutes.

  More information

13 Comments

  • Comment 573901 by
    Plainfreak 40 Comments

    Hi Thomas!

    Nice report. The E2-seats look so hard/uncomfortable ;-)
    With all the fancy talk about sustainable catering, the offer does get less each time they make an announcement. Well maybe KLM-passengers should be happy they still receive something 'for free'.

    Best, Daniel

    • Comment 573906 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 542 Comments

      I found the patching of the seat to be quite uncomfortable and it would definitely re-think booking a flight on one of them if it was over two hours long, but it somehow does compensate you with some extra legroom. I guess giving the current trend, we should be fortunated to receive somewhat of catering as it's only one of the select few to offer something in Europe for free.
      -
      thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 573902 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5521 Comments

    Hi Thomas thanks so much for sharing the first report on the new KLM E195-E2! While the cabin looks sleek and spacious, the seats in the back half look really hard visually. This is another example of this new trend with several carriers of installing more basic and thinner seats in the rear half of aircraft. I suppose that’s fine if the lowest fares actually end up there, but having worked in airline operations, I suspect that’s not always the case. From what I’ve seen of the KLM E2s so far, the forward cabin seats look quite nice with better padding and adjustable headrests.

    In general, I like that KLM included USB ports, which should be standard for legacy carriers on new aircraft these days, but surprisingly many still receive new aircraft with no power source in Y (LX 220s and 32Ns come to mind).

    Either way, I’m a fan of E-jets for their comfortable wide cabin and spacious 2-2 configuration. The larger windows and seemingly higher ceilings with larger overhead bins make the E2 a great overall experience for a small aircraft.

    Beautiful photos throughout!

    • Comment 573907 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 542 Comments

      Hi Kevin,
      Indeed KLM's cabin does offer headrests to those who're willing to pay a bit more extra for more comfort, but the seats minus the headrest are just as uncomfortable as the ones in the back. Unfortunately is a trend with all airliners and there is no real difference between legacy and lowcost carrier if this trend may continue in Europe.. The USB plug however is very appreciative indeed as it gives you a good chance to load any of your devices via an usb portal.
      Thanks for stopping by~!

  • Comment 573904 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 360 Comments

    Hi Thomas and thanks for sharing this report of the E195-E2,

    The cabin looks fresh and modern, however, it's sad that the plane isn't equipped with Wi-Fi or personal device entertainment.
    BER looks like a really nice airport, fresh and modern.
    I agree with your comment that catering could be better on this route, but still, crisps are better than Lufthansa's water-bottle only service at this time.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the KLM E195-E2 and thanks again for sharing!

    • Comment 573908 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 542 Comments

      Hey ISTFlyer,
      -
      Well I think Lufthansa is going to retire that bottle of water soon too as I believe they'll start to implement BoB very soon, but KLM announced recently that they will start to implement wi-fi on their fleet for European routes. Not entirely sure when, but it should be soon. It may be that the following E195-E2 jets to arrive do have it.
      -
      Oh definitely it is somewhat appreciative to have somewhat of catering being served to you, but what I do not understand is that KLM says it is going to serve food to their passengers that is more durable so they do not need to throw it away, but serving crisps at 12:30 is simply not well thought of in my opinion. I don't fancy them at that time haha :).
      -
      BER is clean indeed and felt brand new, however I'm still not sure if it is competitive to Frankfurt or Munich in that way.
      -
      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Comment 573931 by
    Matthevv GOLD 135 Comments

    Hey Thomas,

    Thank you so much for this report! I’ve been waiting for someone to report the KLM’s E2, and it’s nice to see the new BER airport too.

    Despite some issues with the airport design, and the poor comfort of the seat, seems like it was an enjoyable flight anyway.

    I hope to try KLM soon and I shall try the E2 next month, yet the Helvetic one.

    Take care,
    Matt

    • Comment 573937 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 542 Comments

      Hey Matt,
      -
      Thanks for stopping by. The E2 is definitely a pleasant aircraft with a spacious cabin and large windows, however the lack of comfortable seats on newer birds is apparent. Though I would strongly suggest you to pay a few more euros for a flight less than two hours if that gives you a chance to fly on one of these birds.
      -
      Have a good one.

  • Comment 574012 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 13679 Comments

    Thank you Thomas for sharing !

    The jet looks nice, especially the forward part with the "business" section. Do the seat recline ?

    Have a lovely week-end!

  • Comment 574043 by
    emyrrs 111 Comments

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

    you end up in a duty free shop, which you need to cross to enter the terminal itself…. A phenomona that is becoming more popular over time and I personally am not a huge fan of it either.

    I'm not a fan of this too...

  • Comment 575937 by
    ChrisB GOLD 302 Comments

    Dank U wel Thomas for the report!
    A new plane, a new airport but unfortunately a new seat too! I really hate these ironing board seats, similar at the ones you can find on the old AF A318, some BAW old birds and dare I say most of the low-costs...

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