KLM A330-200 European Business ClassBack to Forum
Anonymous26 Jul 2011
This review relates to the Amsterdam – Kigali – Entebbe service, which continues back to Amsterdam. I left at Entebbe.
My journey started in Glasgow, aboard a 737 on a beautiful early morning. Surprised to hear about bad weather in Amsterdam – strong winds restricting runway access so we were told to expect an hour’s delay which shrunk to 20 minutes. Relaxed in the adequate KLM Crown Lounge at Schipol and then headed to the flight. Boarding as a Platinum Card holder was fast and I was seated in my Economy Comfort seat before the bulk of Economy passengers boarded.
It is worth commenting on Economy Comfort because it has been, unfairly, compared unfavourably to the Premium Economy product of other airlines such as BA or QF. This it is patently not a valid comparison but no claim is made that it is!! Most importantly, the premium that is paid is minimal compared to other airlines PE product. The price for a seat in the Economy Comfort zone is from EUR 60 to 150 per one way, depending on the duration of the flight. If you are a Flying Blue Platinum member or if you travel on a fully flexible Economy ticket, you can get a seat in the Economy Comfort zone free of charge. Flying Blue Gold members and SkyTeam Elite Plus members of our partner airlines receive a 50% discount. Flying Blue Silver members pay 25% less. With my card, I was automatically seated in this zone, comprising 4 rows of 2-4-2 and one row of 2-2 at the front on the A330. Economy Comfort Zone gives you up to 10 cm (4 inches) of extra legroom and up to double the reclining angle. This does make a significant difference for general comfort and makes working with a laptop easy. I was seated in 12B, an aisle seat, and my neighbour slept through to Kigali so I was not disturbed.
Departure was delayed by one hour because there were not enough Greek air traffic controllers on duty!! Evidence that the cuts are starting to bite?? In the event we made up most of the time en route to Kigali and actually arrived in Entebbe on time. KLM’s catering was surprisingly good – Economy Comfort have the same as the rest of the cabin. My lunch was cous cous salad and Chicken Tangine (a much better choice than Vegetarian Pasta) – confirming my general preference for a spicy option in the air, if one is available. Desert was a tasty lemon cheesecake. Ice cream was served half way there and a snack of pizza and fruit shortly before landing in Kigali.
The A330 offers seatback IFE but I either work or read on flights so did not use it beyond Flight Tracking. No indication that KLM knows that Sudan is now two countries – hardly a surprise. However, we also flew over Titograd in the former Yugoslavia which has been called Podgorica since 1992 – wake up, KLM!!
Passengers continuing to Entebbe could not deplane in Kigali so the aircraft was serviced while we walked around etc – not an ideal way of doing things. Amsterdam-bound passengers then boarded and we were airborne again for the 45 minute hop to Uganda.
Immigration at Entebbe has improved beyond recognition since my last visit two years ago and I was through in 10 minutes, having paid for my visa on arrival ($50). My luggage was first out and I was in a car to Kampala within 25 minutes of landing. All in all a good experience and a seating arrangement in Economy Comfort which, if you don’t have a Platinum card, is well worth the small extra cost.26 Jul 2011
I am not sure how this post got gremlinized as European Business Class when it should have read Intercontinental Economy Comfort – maybe BT can change this?
Ivornomates, I hope you like “gremlinized” – its there for your benefit!!29 Jul 2011