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
Whilst I am an avid British Airways & OneWorld flyer, I am also a regular Skyteam customer and I often enjoy myself a number of flights on the worlds oldest airline- KLM.
Whilst its not my main source of travel, I'm a semi-regular Skyteam & KLM traveller. Having done 20 KLM flights since March 2015.
I got my Flying Blue account before I joined Finnair Plus, and I was able to keep them both going with OneWorld as my main tool and Skyteam as my back up. I also have a Star Alliance program with Lufthansa Miles & More- but its effectively empty.
So far KLM is my third most flown airline (behind British Airways & Ryanair) having done various European & North American trips on them flying on a list of aircraft diverse as the Fokker F70 (including the last KLM Fokker flight), Boeing 747-406M, Boeing 787-9, Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 737-NG. By 2020 I was able to book a return trip from Amsterdam to Toulouse for 12,000 miles + £35 in taxes. That was my last flight on any KLM or Skyteam airline prior to the pandemic. Until now!
Two of my fondest KLM memories include the Farewell Fokker F70 flight (October 2017) and flying to the USA for the first time on-board a KLM Boeing 747-406M.
My miles were standing at 4,900 award miles. With all but 1,200 due to expire on December 31st 2021, So with the UK at the time only requiring a Lateral Flow Test on Day 2 after my trip, and being able to go to Amsterdam Schiphol and remain airside on a "Transit" without requiring a PCR Test- I took the plunge to secure my miles and keep my account topped up until late 2023.
Flying this time would see a fair few changes- currently on the Boeing 737-NG fleet (mainly 737-800) operate to London Heathrow, with KLM Cityhopper now only seen at London City currently as well as operating from Terminal 3, whilst Terminal 4 remains either closed or only accepting "Red List" Destinations.
I've flown on various KLM Aircraft both past & present including the Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 787-9.
Whilst 4,900 award miles probably doesn't sound like a lot to most frequent flyers- to me its a solid amount worth keeping an eye on. Especially as its a quarter or halfway to me being able to either upgrade or cash in the future, especially as I do semi-regular trips and on multi city trips away from the UK, its nice to try other airlines.
I've linked to/from Amsterdam on KLM from various locations in the UK, USA, Caribbean, France and Norway.
I will hopefully make a report eventually on my out-bound flight, my flight from Amsterdam to London had the juiciest content, so I'm posting this one now!
Anyway, lets dive into the main part shall we!
So I decided as I had 4-5 hours at Amsterdam Schiphol, I decided to jump into buying lounge access to the KLM Crown Lounge! I got 10% off the standard price as a Flying Blue member at their basic level (Ivory/Explorer).
Anyone here a fan of Dutch Delftware?
Not a cheap lounge- the stay cost me £41. For those who don't use British Pound Sterling- that translates into either 48EUR or $54US.
Entering the KLM Crown Lounge 52, You are met with an entrance with an elevator and as you ascend- on the right hand side, KLM has displayed various KLM Delftware houses they give out to long haul business class travellers. KLM changes the design every year.
I opted to start off with the Sky Bar, the lounge is split off into four areas you can visit with a different theme, and the Sky blue bar focuses on the fact you have fantastic views of the Airport.
Red velvet cookies and a hot tea- YES PLEASE!!!
Despite the terrace being closed (no reason given) on that day, the views were still on point!
The restaurant was closed off still, and so was the outside terrace, but the internal bar area was open and in full operation. I started off with some interesting red velvet cookies and a tea, enjoying the view and some taxiing aircraft at Amsterdam Schiphol, before going back to get a Heineken beer and an orange liqueur.
Having spent a good 90 minutes up in the bar area, I decided to visit another area of the lounge, so I went into a dimly lit section of the Lounge which appeared to be more for relaxing and doing office work over hot beverages. I decided to try out a booth and use the built in sockets to charge up my phone and GoPro for a while.
I opted to get another Heineken- self served by draft, but I had to quickly get it refilled as I might have botched it up!
I later chilled out with a small hot chocolate whilst observing the activities of the other lounge guests.
I also decided to go an enjoy the shower facility. I had a small issue getting my key card to work, but I got assistance and managed to enter. Overall a very nice shower facility for an airport lounge. It was clean with a modern shower which worked effectively and I quite liked the scent of the body wash provided. I always enjoy a shower at an airport when its available.
The shower facilities are great for an Airport lounge, I found this slightly nicer than the Madrid Lounge the previous week!
The last section I used on my visit was the restaurant facility for a pre-flight dinner. I know KLM would only do a bar and snack item on such as short flight, so I got some decent food. I opted for a beef stew, rice and a side of tomato soup with some grated Dutch cheese. I had a cola drink and a repeat of the nice orange liqueur.
It might not look like much, but I really enjoyed the food!
So when travelling out of Amsterdam Schiphol, you go to a separate gate area to get your Covid related travel documents checked out as well as your passport. When I went the process only took about 10-15 minutes and they were solely doing flights to London Heathrow and Manchester at this gate, flights to other locations were being done at other check points.
PH-BXE, our Boeing 737-800(WL) at the gate, spot the Orange Pride Boeing 777-300(ER) in the background?
I got to my gate to be welcomed by a Boeing 737-800(WL) wearing the registration of PH-BXE, another new airframe for the KLM flights in my log. This aircraft was delivered to KLM brand new from Boeing in May 2000, making it 21 years old at the time of this trip. The aircraft was designated "Hawk/Havik". From November 3rd 2020 until February 10th 2021 the aircraft was in storage due to the pandemic.
As I don't have any status with Skyteam (or KLM) I opted to board the aircraft last, before taking my seat in 12F, which as you can see, offers an amazing view of the engine and wing of our Boeing 737-800.
We pushed back a few minutes behind schedule, but the captain assured us this wouldn't affect our arrival into London Heathrow. However I was more so disappointed by the fact we were heading out to the Polderbaan runway at AMS, again! Its just my luck isn't it!
Oh boy… Off to the Polderbaan, again!
We got to the runway and departed on what could be described as a beautiful evening, this flight was flying in the heart of the "Golden Hour". The sunset allowing for some amazing in-flight footage and pictures. We quickly passed over the Netherlands and trekked onwards across the North Sea for the United Kingdom.
Views like this would do a blind person very proud!
Being a 45 minute flight time, the crew quickly began the bar/snack service, KLM (and Air France) being one of the last legacy carriers in Europe to offer complementary snack service still without offering a buy on board. I am not sure how long this will last, but I enjoy it.
I went with a can of Heineken (I didn't have one on my morning flight out) alongside a cheese bun roll. Nothing fancy, but ample for an economy class flight of 45 minutes.
We arrived into London Heathrow a few minutes ahead of schedule, we came in from the West flying in over Berkshire, where I once lived for the best part of 21 years. We passed Terminal 5 and touched down on the Northern Runway at London Heathrow.
We taxied over to Terminal 3, which is still looking unusual with airlines normally associated with Terminal 4 occupying space that has been left due to airlines reducing schedules due to the ongoing travel restrictions around the world.
Whilst the flight load wasn't full, it had a healthy number of passengers both in Business Class and Economy Class, so it was nice to see an international flight with a more normal capacity that would have been common place in 2018/2019.
I exited the aircraft as one of the last passengers off, I waited to visit the flight deck- it was permitted and I had a brief chat with the pilots, however they had asked me to not take any photographs or film, which was fair enough. I hadn't experienced this on KLM on previous flights, but this could be new due to the pandemic.
Regardless it was an amazing flight and lounge experience, I wasn't disappointed by the KLM Lounge. It was great to be back with KLM and with my miles secured- I think I'll be fine if I need to sit out flying with them a bit longer…
KLM Lounge- The place was great, it lived up the reputation I've heard from other people in the Frequent Flyer community.
KLM- Solid product as ever, I always enjoy flying with KLM when I can!