Review of KLM flight Amsterdam Dubai in Economy

Airline KLM
Flight KL427
Class Economy
Seat 34A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 07:10
Take-off 03 Jul 21, 14:20
Arrival at 03 Jul 21, 23:30
KL   #36 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 1060 reviews
KL651
By 1469
Published on 8th July 2021

Welcome to this loooooong awaited first long haul flight since the pandemic started.

I originally thought US borders would have reopened to Europeans by the summer so I had taken a few days off in anticipation.
But early in June I realized it wouldn't probably happen so I had to settle to one of the few long haul destinations open and easily accessible, Dubaï was one of them.
LH and LX were the cheapest option, but I've read too many bad stories about how they handle refunds/vouchers, in case you change your plans or entry rules evolve.
So I chose AF+KL instead, they've always been quick and efficient to react on all the cancelled/changed flights I had with them since last year.

The routing would be:

CDG-AMS KL 737-800
AMS-DXB KL A330-300
DXB-CDG AF 77W

After a quick and almost full CDG-AMS leg, I had 2,5 hours befor my flight which I was glad as it gave me time to enjoy the moment, and stroll around the airport.

A full departure screen, a nice sign :-)


photo 20210703_122709-copy


I did some shopping before going through immigration.
Once it was cleared I found myself in a much quieter part of Schiphol, clearly intercontinental flights has not recovered like short haul flights have, and there weren't many passengers.


photo 20210703_150320-copy


Iberia sending the A330 to AMS seems common, I assumed for cargo, even though it was parked at the D Gates.


photo 20210703_152621-copy


Delta aircrafts used to be everywhere at AMS, but I only saw this one on that day


photo 20210703_123747-copy


On the way to the F gates, I passed the small Rijksmuseum exhibition (the biggest museum in Amsterdam, which I highly recommend).


photo 20210703_123934-copy


I was delighted to check it out, especially as I had it to myself. I love Dutch paintings and I thought the 10 or so paintings they exhibited were pretty good examples.


photo 20210703_124022-copyphoto 20210703_124052-copyphoto 20210703_124115-copy


As I said the E, F andG piers (for long haul flights) were mostly deserted except for the area around gate F3 where my flight would depart from.

Here's my plane, PH-AKF, named Hofplein, a square in Rotterdam.



photo 20210703_124845-copyphoto 20210703_195121-copy


The boarding gate was F2 as per the boarding pass, but this gate was actually used to perform a temperature check and to have you fill out a paper stating you had no symptoms, then they sent you to F3 where the plane really was.

A call was made for many passengers to come to the counter for a document test (i.e PCR test), the test had been controlled in CDG already but they asked for it again. The gate agents weren't the friendliest.

A QR 77W in FIFA livery had arrived in the meantime.


photo 20210703_184540-copy

A 20 minutes delay was announced and I went to a quieter part of the F gates where I watched the boarding of a 787 to Chengdu that took 30 minutes for maybe 20 passengers in total.

I went back to the gate at the new announced boarding time and indeed, it had started, being a Skyteam Elite I was able to board after Business and Sky Priority passengers, a nice thing as this would clearly be a full flight


I was really excited to board a widebody for a real long haul flight.
(Sure I had done a MAD-ORY on a 787 in September 2020, but that was nowhere near as nice as really going far away for the first time in 18 months.)


photo 20210703_140507-copy


The cabin, a pretty old one, as it's the same as when these birds were delivered in 2010-2014.


photo 20210703_140533-copy


The pitch was good, there was a blanket on each seat but no pillow.

Also no inflight magazine in spite of KL still having it on European flights.


photo 20210703_140739-copy


I had a seat neighbour, there only a few middle seats free in the whole economy cabin.

The captain made a detailed announcement about the covid safety rules and how we must comply with them as this is the only way the UAE authorities allowed flights to operate. He especially mentionned to minimize movements around the cabin, not to gather in the galleys and keep our masks on all the time except during meal times of course.
He then went on with the more usual flight information 6H25 minutes to Dubai and an on time arrival in spite of the delay due to a "longer than expected preparation of the aircraft"

We pushed back and had a quick taxi to the runway.


photo 20210703_165641-copy


The engines did their work and in no time, we were in the air.
That take off was really special and emotional to me.


photo 20210703_152818-copy

(Note the stored Jet Airways 77W since the company went bankrupt, KL is said to be buying it for parts.)

I love the way widebodies aircraft take wider and longer turns than 737s or A320s, so much more graceful.

The beautiful Dutch green landscapes are always a treat to see


photo 20210703_150056-copyphoto 20210703_150127-copy


Service started with a big bottle of water, headsets and a kit containing a sanitizing wipe and some hand sanitizer gel


photo 20210703_151622-copy


We had reached our cruising altitude in the mean time.


photo 20210703_150012-copy


I tried exploring the IFE, but it was not touch screen, the remote had to be used and didn't respond well at all, each button had to be pushed twice to work.

Music and film selection was reduced, or maybe is it due to this older IFE, anyway, I settled for the moving map,  I really felt like contempating on this flight.


photo 20210703_165439-copy


Meal service started, there was no choice, but it was still nicely offered by the crew "Would you like to have lunch? We have vegetarian pasta today"

They insisted on offering 2 drinks to each passenger.
I noticed some cost cutting as there was no bread and cheese/butter.


photo 20210703_155154-copy


The pasta without cover


photo 20210703_155225-copy


The cabbage salad was good and the pasta was ok. However the dessert was really good, a stroopwafel mousse.

When the crew collected trash, I asked if there were any desserts left and she kindly brought me two extras.


photo 20210703_161906-copyphoto 20210703_162426-copy


By the end of the meal we were flying over Bulgaria.

Coffee and tea were offered, but no more Baileys or Brandy like before the pandemic.
Don't know if it's on all flights, or because we were flying to Dubaï, or the flight's duration.


photo 20210703_164226-copy


We then flew over the Aegean see


photo 20210703_172018-copy


As I wasn't in the mood for a movie, I took a nap for about an hour.
Most passengers had closed their window blinds and the cabin lights were turned off as well.

When I woke up, realized we'd be flying straight over Tel Aviv.
Something unthinkable up until a few months ago, where all flight to a Gulf country would fly over Lebanon or Egypt, but certainly not Israel.
But that changed with the establishment of official diplomatic relationships between Israel and the UAE.


photo 20210703_182920-copy


I used the call button to get a Diet Coke as my neighbour was sleeping and quickly got it from the crew.
The passenger in front of me had to call the crew because here screen had stopped working.
They tried to reboot it, but to no avail. Clearly that IFE system has reached the end of the line.

The sun then slowly started to set


photo 20210703_184119-copy


And over the Arabian Desert, we were treated to beautiful colors.


photo 20210703_190725-copy


Once it was fully dark some fires from oil refineries could clearly be seen but no good picture came out.

About 1,5 hour before landing the cabin lights were turned on and the snack service began.

It consisted in a really tasty cheese sandwich with your choice of drinks, I had tomtato juice and water.


photo 20210703_193904-copy


Getting closer


photo 20210706_022723-copy


The captain announced we'd land at 11:20PM, in northwestern direction and the temperature was 36° Celsius! :-(

The urban sprawl was soon visible.


photo 20210703_210129-copy


Short final


photo 20210703_210913-copy


And we touched down to a quieter than usual DXB, there weren't so many planes taxiing.


photo 20210703_231339-copy


We parked next to the Air France flight like KL almost always does.


photo 20210704_023434-copy


The flaps and slats were not retracted as the procedures requires when the weather's too hot.
That's to prevent a false overheat alarm I was explained.

Deplaning took a while as the crew enforced the row by row.

Then we took the train to the main terminal where I quickly cleared immigration.

Overall it was a pleasant flight, crew was friendly and courteous as most of the time on KL, catering was tasty (even if some slight cost cutting was done) and the seat was comfortable.

The only issue was the IFE, which did not work well and had limited choice.

See more

Verdict

KLM

7.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi4.0
Meal/catering8.0

Amsterdam - AMS

8.6/10
Efficiency9.5
Access5.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Dubai - DXB

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

Conclusion

Overall it was a pleasant flight, crew was friendly and courteous as most of the time on KL, catering was tasty (even if some slight cost cutting was done) and the seat was comfortable.

The only issue was the IFE, which did not work well and had limited choice.

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) Dubai (DXB)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 26 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Amsterdam (AMS) → Dubai (DXB).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Emirates avec 8.4/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 6 heures et 42 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 575704 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
    Well isn't this a pleasant surprise! I had no idea you were going to DXB until I saw it on the Twitters. Congrats on you 1st Long-haul in over a year!

    Delta aircrafts used to be everywhere at AMS, but I only saw this one on that day

    Yeah, I'm sure they'll be back soon considering Americans can now go to the Netherlands without a Covid Test since the US was added to NL's safe list.

    The cabin, a pretty old one, as it's the same as when these birds were delivered in 2010-2014.

    It's so weird that KLM updated Y cabins on every other a/c type, including 332s, but didn't on 333s, even when they added the new J seats--I guess it's because the 333s had newer old cabins at the time, but now they're super old compared to other fleets.

    Service started with a big bottle of water, headsets and a kit containing a sanitizing wipe and some hand sanitizer gel

    Sad replacement for an aperitif service ?

    Meal service started, there was no choice, but it was still nicely offered by the crew "Would you like to have lunch? We have vegetarian pasta today"

    Odd not to have a choice of meals...I wonder if they just ran out before getting to your section and just made it look like there was only one option--I've seen cabin crews do that before. Nevertheless the single option looks quite good and it's nice they made up for the lack of options with an offer of multiple drinks.


    Thanks for sharing!
  • Comment 575903 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 657 Comments
    I guess you've had one of the A330 that is yet to be refurbished, however I'm not entirely sure they will continue to do so considering that the A330s will be phased out by 2025.

Login to post a comment.