Review of KLM flight Lima Amsterdam in Business

Airline KLM
Flight KL744
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 12:25
Take-off 15 Apr 15, 20:15
Arrival at 16 Apr 15, 15:40
KL   #30 out of 74 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 957 reviews
giancarlo330
Published on 18th April 2015
Dear Readers,

Another report this time on my return to Europe from Lima on KLM.
This report is not as detailed as other past reports because I had the luck to arrive a bit late to the airport for check in and then having some kind of KLM deadhead (maybe pilot? he was a very nice and friendly seatmate I must say) on the way back to Amsterdam seated next to me…so I wanted to avoid catching more attention than usual :P

After a long drive I managed to arrive to Lima Jorge Chavez Airport. This is a small/medium unique terminal building with a single runway (15/33) and handles aprox. 16 million passengers/year. It is a big hub for Oneworld (LA,LP) and StarAlliance (TA/AV). There are concrete plans to start the building of the T2 next year 2016 with the second runway (15R/15L) which will make the airport handle 35million passengers for 2030.

photo IMG_4677

After checking in at the joint check in desk of AF/KL ( Handling KL744 772 Dep:2015 and AF483 77W Dep:2120 I proceeded for the security control and immigration check. The airport is very busy but it is well managed and everything takes little time , as a remark this airport has been awarded the Skytrax Best South American airport for 6 years in a row and is one of the top 50 airports in the world for quality of service. It has 20 jetways and many remote parking positions.

After all checks were done I walked to the Sumaq VIP lounge, the international area has two lounges, both operated by private handlers. Sumaq and VIP Club managed by the airport consortium. There are plenty of seats and relax areas on the lounge, unfortunately as I state this airport is overcrowded and exceeds easily its capacity. I was lucky enough to find a seat as most passengers were flying to Europe at the same time.

My selection was the peruvian national drink 'Pisco Sour' - Pisco is a distilled spirit of white grape grown in the South of Peru since the 17th century- This cocktail has been featured lately worldwide and according to the history it was created by an american bartender back on the 1920's in Lima- consists of pisco, lemon juice (squeezed), egg yaw and bitter, shaken and served chilled.It is one of my favorite cocktails by the way…

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After some minutes I proceeded to gate 19. KLM flight 744 to Amsterdam was ready to board. The bird today was PH-BQN with the old style 90's World Business Class seat. I was greeted at the L2 door and shown to my seat 1A. After settled on my seat I was welcomed with the amenity kit and Nicolas Feuillate, standard for KLM.
Leg room shot:

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After some few minutes door was closed and we were ready for pushback.

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We started taxi to RWY15 and being number 1 we had to wait aprox 20 minutes for departure due non stop landing traffic(aprox 10 airplanes) mainly TACA/AVIANCA and LAN narrowbody airplanes except the A-330 of Avianca landing from Miami on Star Alliance livery (N280AV)

We took off with that beautiful roar of the 777 engines and headed south over the Pacific Ocean to gain altitude and turn right again to cross the Andes Mountains just a few miles away from the water shores of Lima. The highest peaks on the Andes can reach 25,500ft.

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Menu was handed out, options are the usual for KLM. I decided not to take pictures as the menu was the same as many lately WBC reports published here. Starter, I choose the potato and leek soup, it came together with a small portion of garden salad and warm bread. Cabin crew service was outstanding on manners and friendliness.

Wine options were varied, more options than chez AF…quality was so so, let's say the wines offered are for everyday table use at home. I remember on white Marques de Caceres Verdejo which is alright for a day at the beach or a sunset evening and on the red Marques de Caceres Excellens and a french Bordeaux which was adequate.

Voila:

photo IMG_4686

The main options were fish, beef or pasta. I decided for the beef with red wine sauce, veggies and rice. This was a huge let down again on the meal quality of KLM. Beef was good but there were only three pieces of sliced beef (3) yes , only 3! this was worse than BA's first class beef cut which is a shame already.

Here is the testimony of this outrage! :D

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Following the ''light'' meal , dessert trolley came and I decided to try the caramel cheesecake, which was not a cheesecake by any end I have seen before, once again quality was below standard. Cheese was fine, presentation was a shame though.

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Some few minutes later the tray was collected by the excellent cabin crew working on my aisle, I declined for any digestive and unfortunately I forgot that KLM doesn't have an espresso machine aboard…such a shame nowadays :(

I managed to reach a solid 4 hours sleep and woke up around almost over the Azores Islands. Now comes the interesting part, I love KLM serving pure fresh orange juice, which is a premium over other carriers including sister AF. But the breakfast was…OMG I don't have words to describe it. First of all, comparing trip reports from back 2006 on the same route they have cut the size of the servings to less than a half. The options were savory (eggs) or sweet (danish) I have had bad experiences with eggs on airplanes on the past so I opted for the latter. The danish was from the size of my fingers and it was old as the seat itself…this was the biggest shame , the biggest disappointment of KLM Lima's catering division ever!

Enjoy:

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I tried to forgive this big mistake and just enjoy the final minutes of my flight to Amsterdam. Few moments after, we started our descent and landed on the north oriented runways of AMS (hence a quick taxi to the E gates).

I thanked personally the cabin crew lady working on my side of the aisle, which spoke excellent english and spanish and we exchanged some opinions on KLM's service and I gave her my feedback from the catering serving which was nicely welcomed by her promising that she would let the management know about it. The issue is when us the passengers don't complain of something we are not happy about, the airline has no way to know that someone (usually a genius seated behind a computer and a desk at KLM's main HQ) is messing up something on the service in order to save some cents to the company , but cutting costs on the wrong corners when the air tickets at least on Business Class are not cheaper now than they were 10 years ago.

Bonus:

Cityhopper Blue to Cologne/Bonnphoto IMG_4696

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Verdict

KLM

5.8/10
Cabin4.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering4.0

Independent Sumaq VIP Lounge

7.4/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services7.5

Lima - LIM

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Amsterdam - AMS

7.1/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

As I stated before KLM is a reliable airline. It manages to make their service work, take you safely and almost always on time without any luxury as other Business Classes (specially of the bling bling ME carriers) but I do like some points of it, for example I was given two KLM's signature delft houses as a gift which was greatly appreciated. We can say crew is natural and not forced or following a script like some asian or middle eastern airlines.

Amsterdam is a pleasure to transit and with all the issues of the catering which is truly a shame on KLM to offer that kind of service to a premium cabin everything went fine, flight on time and sort of rested on the 'sliding' old seat of WBC.

I am a big fan of KLM because of its history, I feel safe with them as also with AirFrance and mainly all legacy airlines. I am a Flying Blue Elite Plus since 2010, with that in mind I sent already a complain to the catering department letting them know this is not acceptable. I truly do hope they can correct this and be able to compete against EK/QR/EY etc and be able to keep their position of reliability for many years to come.

Thanks again for reading everyone and I apologies for the lack of pictures on this opportunity. I promise more pictures on my upcoming flight reports to Asia next month on AF NEV4 J 777/KL NEW WBC 747 and MU J A320.

Happy and Safe Flying!

Giancarlo.

Information on the route Lima (LIM) Amsterdam (AMS)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Lima (LIM) → Amsterdam (AMS).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 12 hours and 19 minutes.

  More information

15 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 134272 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 9182 Comments

    Ciao Giancarlo ! thanks for your report.
    On time arrival and a good crew save this flight from being bellow average. It's time to refurbish all the cabins with the new seats as those far below standards. Catering is a big disappointment and I would probably have given a lower grade.
    As you mention ,when good, American or European crew are able to deliver very good service and do provide a more genuine friendly service than M3 carriers where every line is written. Asian can go beyond protocol and give also a personal touch. The problem is consistency as not all crews are good and it's like a lottery , you'll never know in advance if your crew will be good.
    Looking forward to your coming reports.

    • Comment 314195 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Merci SkyteamCHC!

      Indeed, I was following the airplanes flying to Lima on the days before my departure but the chances of getting the 772 with the new WBC were slim. They even received PH-BVN (the brand new 77W) the day before my departure, sadly I got the old seat but well this was my last chance to try it as next month I will be seated on the B747 from Asia to AMS and on December from South America to AMS on the 777 with the new Business Class seat as the refurbish will be completed on the whole 15 -200s by then. Yes, catering is below standard as we discussed and I will revise my mark , maybe I was too generous? :)

      Asian carriers yes they can be genuine, though I have a doubt about Chinese or Korean carriers but I will try at least CZ and MU next month so I will report how the lottery was on those flights as well as my future KL flight...fingers crossed I get the same lady working on this LIM/AMS flight...she was outstanding,funny and very professional.

      Glad you enjoyed my report. Have a nice weekend, GC.

  • Comment 134301 by
    lagentsecret 12360 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    The usual weakness of KL : 90s cabin and seats and poor catering

    Asian carriers like SQ, CX, TG, JL are in another league than Chinese or Korean carriers

    See you soon for your next report

  • Comment 134312 by
    eminere™ 272 Comments

    No delft house offered on this flight?

  • Comment 134441 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1780 Comments

    GC, thank you for sharing this report.

    KL and AZ have been sharing catering notes ;)

    KL and LH are both way behind the times in updating their J-cabins. Those angle lie-flat seats are atrocious. At least the new KL cabin looks better and looks more comfortable.

    The presentation looks poor throughout. I wonder how much this is down to LIM and not KL. I consider KL to have pretty solid catering overall, which makes most people over look the antiquated seats. I had a similar experience with a series on CA, where only the flight departing IAH had terrible catering, so I chalk the mistake down to the catering company they use at their foreign airports. It's not even worth it to criticize that breakfast, everyone looking at that picture can come to the same conclusion.

    • Comment 314324 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Hi NGO, how have you been?

      Yes, sadly only 5 of the 15 777's of KLM are refitted with the new WBC which is a huge improvement over the old product. Regarding catering is not about LIM , I mean I have flown many times out of LIM with AA/LP/CO and lately AF Business and the catering was standard to over standard. So , this means is KLM as itself cutting costs on a decent meal and the breakfast as you well say it is a big shame. I already did complained and expecting an answer on the following days from the KLM team.

      I think LIM catering for KLM is served by Gategourmet. In any case, I have another flight with KL on the new WBC (747) from CTU/AMS next month so let's hope it is better than out of LIM , but I honestly doubt that the catering out of China is going to be any better than a deep South America route were the tickets are nothing cheap compared to the deals lately being offered from Europe to Asia on KL.

      Thanks for the feedback,

      GC

  • Comment 134663 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5969 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this return flight. Kind of funny that flight 744 is operated by a 772 :-)
    I like that KLM personalizes the menus by the destination--it makes for a nice souvenir for AvGeeks.
    Those old WBC seats are not great for long overnight flights so it's good that you managed to get some sleep. The breakfast is really pathetic for such a long flight. So a light dinner and an almost non-existent breakfast--very disappointing. KLM crew are consistently great, so at least that helps to make the experience more pleasant.

    • Comment 315568 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Hi Kevin , thanks for the feedback. Yes the breakfast was totally crazy, I got a reply from them saying they are taking note of my complain and was awarded 5,000 Flying blue miles because of the 'incident' :D

      God knows how much KLM pays for the catering out of Lima, but I tried AA and DL out of Lima and the offer was outstanding including wine selection and in general meal presentation , so that means KLM is probably paying peanuts for the meal service offered on KL744 LIM/AMS.

      Safe travels!
      gc.

  • Comment 135901 by
    SebastianRDCD 23 Comments

    Very nice trip report! I really liked it! I am from London, but live in Lima and I travel this route very often, however I try to fly in the 777-300ER not the -200ER, you see, even though in some of the 300ER models dont have the new WBC they have flat beds and a bigger IFE system. KLM operates 4 weekly the 300ER and 3 weekly 200ER, but by the end of this year its going to operate the 300ER 5 weekly. Sometimes I fly the 777-300ER from Air France that operates on the Lima-Paris route. Isaw your trip report on Air France, I liked it. Say, do you like better the 200ER or 300ER more? Keep on going with this nice trip reports! :)

    • Comment 315567 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Hi Sebastian, thank you for your feedback on the report. Yes , I do travel also this route maybe twice a year, I have tried AF 777-200 on the LIM CDG (last January I was lucky enough I got the BEST cabin on that sector) and my opinion is that catering offered on AF is far superior including wine selection over KLM , which is weird as they both are part of the same holding but well who knows...it is often discussed how KLM's catering is under average compared to AF.

      I have flown the KL 773 and yes it the same seat as AF NEV 3 seat which is not offered to LIM, now all flights are NEV4 or randomly the BEST configuration. Starting August KLM will offer the new WBC on all flights to Lima operated with the 772. I will try them on December flying KL744 again and will sure post my review here!

      Thanks for reading and safe travels!

      GC

    • Comment 315593 by
      SebastianRDCD 23 Comments

      Hi thanks fro answering, here are some links about KLM and Airfrance equipment eschedule to Lima:

      KLM add 5 weekly 77W service:
      http://airlineroute.net/2015/04/06/kl-s16update2/
      Air FRance 77W service to Lima Northern Winter seson:
      http://airlineroute.net/2015/01/15/af-lim-w15/
      Air France 77W Service to LIma Northern Summer:
      http://airlineroute.net/2014/02/11/af-lim-s14/

  • Comment 560394 by
    steveq21 5 Comments

    Yes, catering is below standard as we discussed and I will revise my mijn simpel mark , maybe I was too generous? :) so that means KLM is probably paying peanuts for the meal service offered on KL744 LIM/AMS.

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