Review of KLM flight Washington Amsterdam in Premium Eco

Airline KLM
Flight KL652
Class Premium Eco
Seat 14J
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 07:30
Take-off 13 Mar 13, 19:15
Arrival at 14 Mar 13, 07:45
KL   #50 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 627 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 9229
Published on 24th May 2014
Hi Everyone,

I took this trip last March. It was my first trip to South Africa and I was very excited. Although I am a frequent flyer, this was going to be my first time crossing the Equator. Having status with Delta, I try to fly exclusively on SkyTeam. Here is the Routing that will include KLM and Air France.

Washington Dulles IAD-Amsterdam Schipol AMS, KLM, A330-200, Economy Comfort[YOU ARE HERE]
Amsterdam Schipol AMS-Johannesburg O. R. Tambo JNB, KLM, B777-200, Business Class
Johannesburg O. R. Tambo JNB - Paris Charles de Gaulle CDG, Air France, A380-800, Economy [COMING SOON]
Paris Charles de Gaulle CDG - Washington Dulles IAD, Air France, A380-800, Economy [COMING SOON]

Three of us are travelling to South Africa, a friend from PA and another friend who is also from DC. Since we weren't sure when our friend from PA was going to get to DC, we didn't reserve a SuperShuttle like we normally would to get to Dulles. Instead, we opted for Uber, which is way more classy anyway :-)

The towncar arrived at 3:30PM

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The traffic in the DC area is normally horrendous, but luckily we did not have any back ups since it was still pretty early. It only took us 35 minutes to get to the airport–in normal DC traffic, it can take over an hour.

We were dropped off in front of the AF/KL ticket counters

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Not very many people in line, and the SkyPriority line is completely empty.

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Check in is quick and all bags tagged to JNB. We then head to the Premium lanes at the security checkpoint.

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There is no wait at security, which is kind of rare at Dulles. A few minutes after getting to the security checkpoint we are airside and headed to the train.

This SV 777 in SkyTeam colors greets us as we arrive in the Concourse.

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I can see just a portion of our plane. Because it is on the end of the concourse, it is mostly hidden from view.

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A VS A330 next door

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We then head to the Air France lounge across from gates A20/22 (The AF A380 gate).

It's pretty empty this early and my favorite section, on the far side of the lounge in the corner by the window, is free.

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Pleasantly empty lounge.

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The new Pope had just been elected several minutes earlier and it was all over the news.

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The SV SkyTeam 777 heading back to Jeddah

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Corporate shot

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Pretty screensaver

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My favorite corner

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A United RJ…such an uncommon site :-P

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The AF lounge has a pretty decent selection of food with baguette and croissant sandwiches, cheeses, salads, fruits, deserts, etc.

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AF lounges always have Champagne…but the glass is soooo small…
It's like drinking out of a thimble, lol

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Travel Documents

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Aaw, look at that cute little thing.

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A South African tail seen from the lounge…we're going to the same place!

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And a northern African…an Afriqiyah A330, a rare site at IAD indeed. It was a Lybian government charter I believe.

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Stars and stripes
#America

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An AF vehicle parked right below our window.

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The SAA A343 SAA heading back to Johannesburg (via Dakar)

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Boarding is called in the lounge at 6:30PM. There is no line in front of us in the SkyPriority lane so we are among the first to board the aircraft.

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Good pitch in Economy Comfort.

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Winglet!

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The cabin starting to fill up. Here you can see the screens they use to separate Y from Y+
I think they used to have a problem with pax sneaking up to those seats so now they try to make a distinction with the little separators.

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Winglet again!

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UA 772 neighbor

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Pushback is 5 minutes early.

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Taxi time is very short so we are on our way to AMS well ahead of schedule.

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The IFE comes to life shortly after takeoff.

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Once we get above the clouds it's almost night out.



Tonight's menu on the screen.

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A before dinner drink service is done about 30 minutes after takeoff. I always pay attention to airline service protocol and doing a seperate drink service first is always a good sign. Sadly, AF has recently done away with this on shorter transatlantic flights, but KL continues to do it.

Gin & Tonic for me with nuts

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There's a pretty good selection of new movies.

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The meal is served as we fly over Boston. It was rather good overall, especially the mashed potatoes. The wine, however, is not very good. It's still waaaaay better than the box-wine you get in the back on DL….yuck.



After-dinner drinks are offered along with coffee and tea.
An Amarula for me.

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After dinner I finished watching Life of Pi, then I went to sleep for practically the entire ocean crossing.

I wake up as we're flying over Ireland.

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The mood lighting is turned on for breakfast

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Breakfast is served in a little box…everything is delicious with KL

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Underwhelming on the inside..it's the same thing AF serves on short TATL flights.

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The sun is starting to rise as we fly over England.

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Morning Winglet



Seeing this beautiful morning light is always my favorite part of a transatlantic flight.

Snowy Britain

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We leave the English coast behind.



We're getting closer to Schipol.

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Short connections are displayed on the screen. Since we have more than two hours in AMS, our flight is not shown.



An announcement is made that due to volume at AMS this morning, we will be put in a holding pattern before being cleared to land. What is this, LHR? LOL

And we circle back over the North Sea.

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Then we are cleared for arrival and we head towards the Dutch coast. Looks like it snowed here as well.



Despite the wait, we are still a few minutes early.

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The moving map shows our holding pattern

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Some planespotting during the taxi.

KLM Asia 744.

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Cathay Pacific A340-300

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Corendon Airlines 737-800

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Business class as we disembark

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Our A330.

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We head straight for the KLM Crown Lounge to get a shower and wait our flight to JNB.

Thanks for reading! I'll try to post the next leg soon.
See more

Verdict

KLM

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.0

Air France Lounge

7.1/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services7.5

Washington - IAD

7.1/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Amsterdam - AMS

8.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Overall a very good flight with KLM.

Comfortable seat with good legroom and decent recline.
Cabin crew was pleasant and attentive.
The meal was pretty good. I would say it's not as good as AF, but better than DL (to compare to the TATL JV partners)
IFE was good with a good amount of movies, etc
Perfect on-time performance

Information on the route Washington (IAD) Amsterdam (AMS)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Washington (IAD) → Amsterdam (AMS).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 7 hours and 19 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

  • Comment 109283 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 9688 Comments

    Thanks for sharing Kévin!
    The main meal looks pretty good, must say, even tempting :p
    About the breakfast, sorry, no, it is not the same as AF. AF does serve the plain, sugar, fat and taste free yogurt. Needless to say that those are simply disguting without loooooooooooots of sugar addition.

  • Comment 109438 by
    marathon GOLD 9445 Comments

    Was it your spoon, or that of the PAX on the previous flight, in the seat pitch picture ?
    That window seat being overwing, with an IFE box in the way, it seems more like a Y- seat :)
    AF's Y+ seat is very uncomfortable for sleeping. How does KL compare with AF, overall ?
    Thanks for this FR !

    • Comment 294847 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4858 Comments

      I don't remember for the spoon. I know I didn't notice it until I saw the picture, so it was probably already there. I can pretty much sleep anywhere and don't have much problem sleeping on AF Premium Economy seats, though I understand why someone would have a hard time finding a good sleeping position. AF Premium economy is clearly better than KL, as AF's is a true premium economy product with a wider seat, which to be is important for comfort on a long-haul flight. KL seats have more pitch and more recline than normal economy, that's about it.

    • Comment 294998 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4858 Comments

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, the A330 was comfortable; the 2-4-2 config is definitely pleasant. It sucks that KL followed AF's lead and installed a 3-4-3 config on their 77Ws.
      I love Amarula, so delicious :-)

  • Comment 109513 by
    Chibcha 425 Comments

    Those KL 333s look really cool, I bet they're among (if not the best) KL widebody to fly in comfort wise (e.g. the 2X4X2 config compared to the 3x3(4)x3 of the 777s), and the mood lighting looks cool too.

    The catering looked great on the first serving...I'd like to have some Amarula sometime, I keep telling myself to try some when going to the US but I never seem to be in the right moment to try it. The second serving looked really miserable.

    Thanks for sharing!

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