Review of KLM Cityhopper flight Amsterdam Humberside in Premium Eco

Airline KLM Cityhopper
Flight KL1489
Class Premium Eco
Seat 6F
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 17 Jun 22, 12:55
Arrival at 17 Jun 22, 12:55
WA   #20 out of 68 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 444 reviews
MD-90
By 410
Published on 26th June 2022

INTRODUCTION:
Hello and welcome to another trip report. Today I am covering a recent flight I took on KLM Cityhopper from Amsterdam to Humberside, in the Lincolnshire county of England. Lincolnshire is quite out of the way from any major cities geographically and since my trip began in continental Europe it made sense to make use of the daily flight operated by KLM between Amsterdam-Schiphol and Humberside Airport. 

 This flight is a very convienient 45 minutes long, and is flexible with the times of day it operates depending on what day of the week you are flying. However, the downside to the flight is it is quite expensive. For my ticket booked about two months in advance I paid $289 AUD which included free seat selection, as well as 12kg of carry-on baggage and 23kg of checked baggage. I found this to be quite pricey for such a short flight, however KLM has no competition on this route they can basically charge whatever they like. 

During my stay in Amsterdam, two days prior to my flight, I was sent an email by KLM warning me of security and customs delays at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and advising me to arrive 3 hours prior to my flights scheduled departure time, as it turns out I would need most of this extra time on the day as the lines in terminal for check-in and security were some of the largest I’ve ever seen. This however was a little inconvienient, as it meant the time I spent on the ground at Schiphol Airport was longer than the entire duration of my flight multiplied by three but not KLM’s fault.  


CHECK-IN:
For my scheduled 12.55 departure, I arrived at the airport at about 09.30 via a taxi from Amsterdam Centraal. The taxi driver was very friendly and advised me of a quicker way to get through the security lines at Schiphol which were already stretching out the terminal doors at 09.30am. Unfortunately, security and airport staff had already caught onto passengers making the same shortcut and were redirecting passengers to the main check-in and security lines.

In order to get through the queue at check-in, it took around 30 minutes, even with all check-in desks manned by KLM staff. It was good to see lots of trainee’s at the check-in counters showing that KLM is doing its best to rectify the long wait times experienced by passengers. When I finally reached the check-in counter, the whole process took less than five minutes and soon I had my boarding pass and was on my way to join the even-longer queue for security and customs. 

Overall, to clear security and customs it took around 45 minutes and even as a Economy Comfort passenger I was not entitled to any priority security or boarding so I was forced to wait in line with all the other passengers. 

BOARDING:
Once security and customs were cleared, I was free to roam around Schiphol’s departure area which is more akin to a shopping mall then an airport terminal featuring luxury brands such as Gucci and Yves Saint-Laurent, as well as the usual mammoth duty free stores that can be found at most major international terminals. 

After getting a cheap bite to eat at McDonalds, I made my way to my departure gate D6, which is located almost directly below the central food court area just after customs and border controls. Because I was flying with KLM Cityhopper, this flight was boarded via two buses with shuttled passengers from the Gate D6 lounge to the aircraft on the other side of the airport. Heading down the stairs to Gate D6, I was greeted by the friendly KLM staff who checked my boarding pass not once but twice. 

In the Gate D6 lounge, there is ample seating with some great ground level views of the apron and the aircraft pushing back and departing (depending on what runway is in use). My boarding pass listed 12.00 as the boarding ti,e for my flight to Humberside, a rather optimistic 55 minutes prior to the scheduled time. In reality, boarding via the buses commenced around 12.20, so while I waited I snapped this shot of a KLM 777 readying for departure a short distance away: 


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Soon enough boarding commenced in zones, with priority Zones 1 and 2 boarding first via the first bus and about 5 minutes later Zone’s 3 to 5 were invited to board via the second bus and after a five minute ride on the bus across the airport we reached our aircraft for the flight PH-EXP, a 4 year old Embraer E-175 operated by KLM Cityhopper seen below: 


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THE SEAT:
Upon boarding the aircraft, I was greeted by the friendly cabin manager who directed me to my Economy Comfort 6F. Arriving at the seat, I was impressed to find excellent legroom (around 32 to 33 inches) and a seat pocket containing an in-flight magazine titled “Holland Herald”, as many airlines have removed in-flight magazines altogether using Coronavirus as an excuse.

Other than the above mentioned, the seat was just a standard economy seat which unfortunately featured no power outlets or in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens. However, for the short flights this aircraft operates they are not really required. It should also be noted this aircraft is not equipped with wi-fi, however the in-flight magazine had some good articles and proved more than enough for this short 45 minute flight to Humberside. 

The seat and view out the window on the ground are shown in the images below:   


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DEPARTURE FROM AMSTERDAM:
About 10 minutes after boarding had finished, the baggage handlers finished loading the baggage and pushback commenced slightly late. 

Soon enough, engines were started and after a remarkably short taxi, we soon blasted off into the beautiful, clear summer skies above Europe bound for Humberside. The departure made for some excellent views shown below: 


photo 6b89dabd-1548-43be-97d9-777256beda66

SNACK SERVICE:
To my surprise, the two flight attendants immeadiately sprung into action after the seatbelt sign was turned off serving the business class passengers, before commencing a snack and drink service for economy class passengers. Only one type of snack was offered, a packet of crisps, however a large number of complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages were offered. I chose Coca-Cola as my drink, as shown below. 


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About fifteen minutes later, we had already started our descent into Humberside and the flight attendants returned once again to collect rubbish. By this time, we had already crossed the English coastline near Norwich and the weather had become noticeably more cloudy, however the ride was still ever-so-smooth.


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ARRIVAL INTO HUMBERSIDE:
As we descended into Humberside, passengers on the right-hand side of the aircraft like myself were rewarded with some spectacular views of the Humber Bridge, River Humber and port city of Hull; before we made our final turn to line up with the runway at Humberside. The flight touched down slighty behind schedule at Humberside and after a short taxi we reached the quiet terminal, at which we were the only aircraft.

For whatever reason, the disembarkation process took an awfully long time as the ground crew were very slow in putting the stairs onto the aircraft. My only other qualm with the arrival process at Humberside was the huge queue at passport control which was manned by only a single UK Border Force officer, who it should be noted was very friendly.

After clearing passport control we were straight into baggage claim, which looked more akin to a garden shed than an airport terminal, however my suitcase was already waiting for me and within a minute I was outside the terminal into the carpark ready to begin my Lincolnshire adventure. 

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Verdict

KLM Cityhopper

8.3/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.5

Amsterdam - AMS

7.1/10
Efficiency2.0
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Humberside - HUY

6.4/10
Efficiency3.5
Access5.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

VERDICT:
As a first time flyer of KLM, I was impressed by their consistent level of friendly service, new and clean aircraft and in-flight service on such a short flight, as well as the convienience of the flight from Amsterdam to Humberside. However, the experience also had a number of weak points, for only some of which KLM was to blame. The most notable of these negative points was the extremely long queues for check-in and security at Schiphol Airport, partly due to industrial action and partly due to huge numbers of staff leaving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Another dissapointing aspect was the price of the flight, which was very expensive considering the length of the flight and probably too expensive for most budget travellers to afford.

All in all, KLM has friendly staff, clean aircraft and a solid product and I look forward to flying with them again in the future.

RATING:
Ground Experience: 7/10
Crew: 8/10
Meal Service: 7.5/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
In-Flight Entertainment: 8/10
Wi-Fi: N/A
Seat: 10/10

GRAND TOTAL: 50.5/60

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