KLM B777-300ER EconomyBack to Forum
Anonymous12 Jan 2013
Flight KL810 is serving Jakarta (CGK) to Amsterdam (AMS) with intermediate stop at Kuala Lumpur (KUL). This review took details of the first portion of the journey.
At Jakarta International Airport, the ground handling for KLM was handled by third party. At check-in, the ground staff were wearing KLM uniform (blue colour). There are three check-in area; one for Sky Priority, one for internet check-in (baggage drop), and lastly is economy class check-in section.
Arriving 2 hours ahead for my 19.25 departure and having checked-in on the internet (web check-in opens 30 hours prior to scheduled departure), I proceed to internet check-in area which was relatively empty. After my bag was weighted and the airport tax was paid (Rp150,000 per person for international flight), I proceed to immigration. Immigration line was also a breeze and I was at airside departure area in no time.
Boarding was printed at 18.50 but boarding call was made at airside departure area shortly after 18.10. I walked leisurely to Gate E7, going through another security check before entering gate area. The gate was in walking proximity from immigration and airline lounges. There were two separate lane for entering the gate; one for Sky Priority and another lane for the rest of passengers. Line was formed in the general lane but it was moving quickly. Gate agents (wearing the purple uniform of the third party company) were welcoming the passengers. As I entered the gate area; the plane was already sat there. It was a B777-300ER PH-BVB named National Park Fulufjalet. It’s wearing KLM Asia livery design and I’ve been on it for more than half dozen times.
Boarding was made shortly before 18.50 based on priority and row sequence for economy class passengers. I was among the last group to board as I was seated on row 23, the first economy class section behind the business class.
Boarding completed around 19.25 right in time for 19.25 scheduled departure time. We were pushed back from the gate at 19.33 and due to runway congestion, we had to take turn to take off. Our plane was cleared for take off at 19.56 from runway 25R.
After reaching cruising altitude, the fasten seat belt sign remained on. Apparently the weather condition was rather rough. Cabin crew walked around the cabin to distribute headphones and in-flight entertainment was soon switched on. However, there is no hot towel service as was in other KLM intercontinental flights.
Meal service followed soon with cabin crew distributed kids meal first. Before the crew got any chance to start meal service, weather got rougher and forced meal service to be delayed.
Rough turbulence was soon experienced by the plane. It does not helped of being a larger aircraft to have a smaller effect of turbulence. The cabin felt shaky for few minutes and it repeated several times until we were approaching Singapore that the weather was getting better. With half-an-hour remaining flying time, the cabin crew rushed to distribute the rest of dinner service with no coffee/tea service followed afterwards. Also, inflight-sales service was also skipped.
Having ordered a vegetarian meal; I was quite pleased with the offering. KLM served a full tray of 3-course meal. It had a nice presentation however the quality is a different story. I had a papaya and mango salad for appetizer, a slightly Asian dish. For entree, it was potato cakes served with boiled potato vegetables – clearly a Western dish. For dessert, it was a jelly with slice of apricot on top – another Western dish. Adding the meal tray was a cup of mineral water and warm bun with butter. The appetizer was quite good – both in taste and presentation. For entree, there is a mismatch of nutrient that one needs for a balanced diet – why serving too much potato for single serving? Also, the vegetables are overcooked – signalling that the dish was prepared when the plane left Kuala Lumpur before coming to Jakarta and being left too long at the food warmer. For dessert – it was nothing to rave about but the excessive coloring on the jelly did stick to the canned fruit. It’s a courtesy of the airline to serve meal to passenger, but with current offering, it’s hardly a sign for KLM to symbolized its meal offering with “quality” and “being healthy”.
I had the same inflight entertainment program for 2-month straight traveling on KLM (it was the same program offered in December 2012 as in January 2013). While the choice is extensive, but not updating IFE program on monthly basis can leave frequent travelers in boredom especially those who fly intercontinental flights couple times a month.
Good thing about economy seat of B777-300ER for KLM is there’s no IFE box below the seat (in B777-200ER, entertainment box is located on seat A and H reducing legroom and flight comfort for long hour flight). Seat pitch was of industry average but it still felt roomy. With economy cabin of B777-300ER is set at 3-4-3 configuration, there is a considerable less aisle width as compared to the aisle of B777-200ER that the company operates. Also, B777-300ER economy seat has larger TV screen and better IFE console, one would feel like returning to dinosaur era when flying B777-200ER aircraft – two of the aircraft which KLM use alternatively for this route.
If there is a constant plus point for KLM is its service from the crew. However, KLM needs to standardize its inflight offering to ensure that the guest receive the same experience each time flying on it. Things like hot towel service, inflight sales, and others which have been performed on this route but not consistently.
We touched down at Kuala Lumpur International at 22.25 (scheduled arrival time was 22.25) and was at the gate some 10mins afterwards. All passengers need to disembark the aircraft with transiting passengers required to collect transit card and return to the gate in 30mins time.
A rather bumpy ride for a short hop from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur. Inflight entertainment may offer sufficient entertainment for the passengers – but it was not updated on monthly basis. Meal service was rather disappointing but the excellent service from the crew made up the whole experience. Overall, there is room for improvement for KLM to have a more standardized offering to complete passenger experience.
On a side note: it is rather amusing to find a passenger who asked for the “smoking lounge” onboard aircraft these days. On this flight, I found this passengers while on previous KLM flight of the same leg, I found passenger who was caught smoking in the lavatory until the crew came and reprimanded that passenger.12 Jan 2013