The airline with the best average rating is KLM with 7.4/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 9 minutes.More information
Given that I had to position myself to Frankfurt am Main for my work after a little rest at home, I had either an option to stick to a train for 5 hours or activate my return leg from the previous flight I had arriving from Frankfurt. Previously I booked my return flight at the 27th of November as I had no clue when it was necessary for me to return to Frankfurt and it was at that time the last date one could use for a free change due to Covid-19 regulation with KLM. Given that I had no clue whether I would use that return flight anytime, I opted to change that return leg to the 27th of September. The website did allow me to change it, but gave me an error upon trying to pay my booking, so I called the priority hotline of Flying Blue and spoke within a minute to a friendly guy from their support who changed my flight in no time for only 22 EUR (Fare difference).
On the day of my flight I decided to travel to the airport by public transport which usually takes 90 minutes in total for me to reach (1h by Bus & 30m by Train). My car was not an option to me as I would not have a clue by when I would be back and I did not want to pay over 100+ EUR on parking fees when public transport would only charge me 15 euro to reach the airport.
The trainstation of Schiphol is perfectly located beneath Schiphol Plaza which seems to be very buzzing like pre-covid after the Dutch government pretty much released most of it's Covid-19 restrictions.
I went straight up for departure hall 2 in which KLM's Sky Priority check-in is located for my departure to Frankfurt, which was quite busy at the time of arrival and required me to wait up to 5 minutes for me to check in. KLM currently offers a home upload system in which you can upload all your travel documents required for your departure and will receive an approval by KLM (between 6am to 22pm) beforehand to certain destinations which allows you to download your boarding pass online. It also speeds up the process when you need to drop off your luggage and you didn't have a boarding card yet as the check-in member sees a mark behind your name and does not require to verify your documents anymore.
Security was performed in a matter of minutes as I had access to the priority lane for security and went straight for KLM's lounge, which is neatly decorated by a few plants and was quite overcrowded. A good sign of recovery for aviation I would say as it was not nearly as full as it was now comparing it to about four months ago.
The morning buffet offered a variety of sandwiches, wraps, coffee and english breakfast on the other side (I unfortunately did not capture the other side as I didn't fancy any hot meals and it was quite busy at all times).
I settled down at one of the tables near the buffet as this area was the least crowded of all and I could do some of my work online in the meantime to kill my time for departure.
Unfortunately my hand is not that steady anymore as it used to be, so precious coffee was spilled. Had a few bites of the buffet too, but it was nowhere near as impressive in taste.
The seating section was on the other side of the entry counter and was completely packed with little to no chairs available, so I did not bother to capture some photos.
About 10 minutes to boarding I decided to exit the lounge and buy some duty free items (for much cheaper) as the lady at home requested before proceeding to my gate B24.
Other than the abundance of KLM planes, I spotted this A319 of Vueling which is being pushed back for it's departure as VY961 to Florence, Italy. Definitely a destination I want to pay a visit.
On the opposite side of the terminal was our ride for today. PH-EXW would do the honours today to bring us over to Frankfurt. It is an Embraer 175 which is currently 3,5 years old (at day of flying) and has solely flown for KLM Cityhopper in it's current lifespan.
Boarding was delayed by 20 minutes due to the aircraft arriving late, but was eventually called with respect to new guidelines. KLM announced a few weeks ago that it would implement a zone boarding at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to improve boarding times.
Legroom is of course slightly better than the Economy cabin (minus the comfort section), but is obviously not as impressive if you compare it to a Business cabin with a non-European airline.
Also the windows are not aligned with the seats, so expect some neck pains if you're watching out of the window for more than a few seconds like me, but the photo below shows you the view I have for today's flight with an E-190 of KLM Cityhopper parked next to us who would depart a few minutes ahead of us to Dusseldorf.
I'd say it's one of the few indications within the aircraft that indicates your flying with KLM Cityhopper. Definitely would love to see more touches to personalize the image of the Airline within the cabin if I may say so.
While boarding was delayed by 20 minutes, boarding was quickly completed. Unfortunately the Captain announced that they missed their slot and would require a new one due to that small delay. He would do his best to start up as soon as possible, but the delay remained 20 minutes when we were in pushback as it was quite busy with departures. We were fourth in line with this Bombardier Challenger 350 of VistaJet being the first to depart to Nice.
Second one was a Boeing 737-800 of KLM to Malaga, Spain
The third one and the last one prior to us was a Boeing 777-300ER of KLM too with destination Lima, Chile. Definitely a better destination than I am currently flying to.
Off we are with a delay of twenty minutes. The new taxiway next to Taxiway Q (The one the TAP is currently taxxing on) over the motorway is progressing a lot.
An aerial view in our departure
And this is one of the reasons a KLM business class on regional routes is never as good as you will find with some other carriers. Remember my J flight from Frankfurt to Amsterdam (which is the return flight of this aircraft)? I received a full breakfast box with food, while this flight serves you only a dry cheese roll which was not nearly as enjoyable as it should be.
For those who didn't read it, this is the meal I was served on KL1766 a month earlier….
Back to the current meal, it was wrapped in a paper newspaper. Like I said, the food was dry and I could not process more than a few bites without any sips of the bottle….. After three bites I just gave up on it.
Both flight attendants however were very friendly and did their best to accomodate us, but were not as streamlined as I've seen with some other crews. I opted for a coffee with milk, received a coffee minus the milk which he had forgotten, but went straight back to the galley to fetch me some milk and so did he with some other business class passengers where he brought water to someone who requested a coke and a sprite to someone who ordered a cup of tea. A bit chaotic.
After my coffee, I went to the lavatory in the forward cabin which is definitely a challenge for me to use as the ceiling is very very low and the room is definitely smaller than the one of the aft, however the toilet cabin was very very clean, so props to KLM for keeping them well-maintained.
By this time we were already in approach to Frankfurt with another excellent aerial view.
Overflying the skyline of Frankfurt for our arrival to Runway 25R as 25C is closed due to work in progress.
It took another ten minutes after landing to be parked on our stand with a delay shortened to 12 minutes in total. Parked next to us was a Boeing 757-200 of Condor which arrived about 40 minutes earlier from Lamezia Terme, Italy and was done for the day.
Said our goodbyes to the friendly flight attendant in front and captured a final picture of the aircraft that brought us over. We're being shipped to the terminal by bus with no separation for J and Y class, so no rush needed either as you would wait for the entire cabin to clear.
Baggage drop would be today in No. 45 and just like a previous experience in Brussels, Sky Priority tags showed up as last one on the belt…. I think instructions should be much clearer from KLM to handling to provide these bags to customers first and not as the last ones.
Too many inconsistencies within the KLM service of J Class on regional routes, flight attendants were very friendly yet a tad too chaotic to my likings and the flight itself was ok.. Meal was terrible.