Dutch airline KLM has fallen in line with its European rivals.

The carrier has introduced a three-tier tariff structure not just within Europe, but also covering North Africa and Israel.

Business Traveller reported on this development across the Air France KLM group in November, but it has only now been implemented across the Dutch carrier’s systems.

Air France and KLM standardise economy fares

As before KLM will continue to provide drinks, snacks and meals on board free of charge.

The three tariff tiers are: Light, Standard and Flex. Each has its own benefits and/or restrictions.

  • Light is a hand-baggage only (HBO) tariff. Changes can be made for a fee of €70 plus any difference in price.
  • Standard is the same, except that you can take along one piece of checked luggage.
  • Flex provides SkyPriority service. Changes and cancellation can be made free of charge.

KLM’s director Netherlands Harm Kreulen says, “We strive to offer our passengers the best possible experience. The introduction of these new ticket options offer transparency and enable passengers to choose the best fare for their needs.”

How much will you pay ?

Based on a typical peak time round-trip London Heathrow-Amsterdam flight taken next week, a Light ticket costs £332 with Standard at £372 and Flex at £431.

Of course some prices will be higher, some lower. It all depends on the time of day, day of the week and so on.

Off-peak flights (those which operate between lunchtime and mid-afternoon) cost less.

On the increasingly popular London City-Amsterdam route the prices are different again.

KLM returns to this route (after absence of eight years) on Monday February 6.

It is hosting a trade function on that day in Central London, and it maybe that further details are to be announced at that time.

But KLM is getting off to a slow start.

In the first week or so of service KLM will operate only a single daily (except Sunday) service in the morning. Only in the weeks to come will flight frequency increase.

For now KLM relies hugely on Irish airline Cityjet (with whom it maintains a codeshare agreement) to carry the bulk of its passengers between London City and Amsterdam.

And that’s where KLM’s new fares conflict with those of Cityjet.

Why? Because Cityjet has no cheaper HBO option. And therefore in the early days of service the prices charged by each carrier differ.

At the time of writing it is unclear whether or not KLM will maintain the codeshare arrangement in the long-term.