KLM to improve economy class catering

Back to Forum
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

  • Alex McWhirter

    Nothing is being done about the onboard seating.

    But KLM has just announced it will be providing improved economy class catering on its long-haul network.

    To be introduced on eight routes from July 1. To be extended to all long-haul routes from October 28 (the start of the winter timetable).

    Not sure what KLM staff will be thinking because there will “be one crew member less on a large number of intercontinental flights” because of “a service in economy class that is more efficient.”

    The initial statement (so far only in Dutch) is below.



    Alex, I have been reading the statement in Dutch on the KLM website. KLM states that they will be improving both the service and the quality of meals on-board on long haul (intercontinental) travel in economy class. This is mainly done by adapting the trays used. Therefor more trays will fit in a trolley and service to passengers can be improved by servicing more passengers out of one trolley.
    The “one less crew member” on particular flights is part of the outcome of trade negotiations and the subsequent deal between KLM and the unions. Whether as a result of this deal KLM had to increase the efficiency of service or that they increased efficiency and therefor could cut the amount of crew members remains unclear.

    If this is really an improvement or just another cost cutting measure remains to be seen. I wonder how many airlines will follow this model.


    KLM should really think about improving catering in World Business Class!

    Vegetarian meals can be the same Worldwide no matter which station loads it, very poor balance of nutrition especially protein, lack of any innovation, bland. Thinking of the cost of meat, and fish, i could put together some meals i have had for 1-2 Euros at home, just vegetables that everyone else has, and nothing to replace their main dish. i would not pay for these in a restaurant, and prefer the dishes in the Airport1
    Salads can be tomato and lettuce, and last time the second dish, the same + one sliced into 4 Olive, next on the tray!
    Think of The most fantastic vegetarian food around The World in all cultures, Thai, (Many Asian Cuisines) Moroccan, Mediterranean, Oceanic, (Australian, NZ, Pacific), and other European countries, we get very poor meals.

    I see no “Star Chefs, or “Top Hotels”, putting any effort into colourful, appealing, nutritionally balanced vegetarian food.
    More effort and balance is in the Business Class box on KLM European flights, than Long Haul business. The crews know this too, complaints all the time, but Management do nothing!

    I have actually avoided KLM Long haul due to two dire return flights with the same mushy dishes, or a plate of vegetables with no flavour or protein.
    If i come across it again, i will be taking my own food on board IF i choose KLM and this continues. I claim my Euros 180 MCO E voucher when this happens, as advised by one Senior Purser in future.

    Their “Fresh from the Kitchen” Hotel style innovation 5 years ago, fizzled out, and no one mentions it anymore, and “straight out of the burnt foil pack” is back!
    All Airlines need their fantastic Chefs, to address this issue, it is so obvious, 40% more British people in the last year are increasing their intake of Vegetarian foods, and cutting down on meat. The market and demand, and the expectation is there now!


    I’ll be flying ABZ > AMS > KGL on 7 July 2018 so will experience the new, improved / more efficient service!


    others could follow suit, Qatar’s economy class food is terrible (a ropey burger eaten in the airport would be preferable)


    I’ve always thought to KLM economy class catering was reasonably good and better than most of the competition.


    KLM also have Economy Class Themed meal trays to purchase, and they will on board for around 20 euros.


    I cant see their general meals being any better than this… Far better than flying WBC on KLM, that still has no pre-ordering.
    I would think Airlines would make a good income from these, passengers it is just a small charge, and much less waste, or choices that run out, tailored for each passenger. Win/Win, catering exactly for all.

    KLM should seriously look at a Premium Economy cabin, not just Economy comfort seats on Medium/ Long hauls, for a 150 Euros +.
    With only 2 classes, and these “Economy Comfort” extra space seats, they would benefit financially, and their already high reputation, be added too.
    Out of this Mid Range fare, and a Dutch version would be truly innovative, and bring in a great Income for The Airline, as they already have the space and seats. Most PE cabins charge 2-3 times the economy cabin seats, so very profitable.
    With First Class being phased out more, and Business Cabins appearing more as First once was, the PE is the place to innovate, and create something very special these days.


    I personally don’t find the KLM economy meals that bad, but there is always room for improvement. As with almost any flag carrier the meals are adapted to the taste of the country. Just 2 weeks ago on a flight from AMS to the USA on a US carrier I bought a sandwich at the airport and was proven right to do so.
    My experience with KLM on WBC is that meals are tasty and well prepared, but I can imagine people from other countries with different tastes might disagree. KLM team up with renowned Dutch chefs that develop the WBC meals and try to incorporate environment and animal friendly products in their menus. And yes, there seems to be a tendency to use less meat in their meals. Something that I personally approve as these meals are easier to digest, especially on long flights where I am sitting and lying down for a long time.
    I have had some good and bad experiences with BA, IB, and LH long haul, but also quite recently experienced again that on 5 star Asian carriers the Asian food is typically very good, but the Western options leave quite a bit to be desired.
    It’s all a matter of taste. For a good meal I would never turn to an airline, but rather select a decent restaurant. Although that is not an excuse to serve me an inedible meal.


    My kind advice to you would be to travel AF rather than KL as anything you seems to miss onboard KL flights has alraedy been implemented by AF for quite a few years including improved catering in business class, pre-ordering meals and a real premium economy.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Cover of November 2020 - January 2021 edition of Business Traveller
Cover of November 2020 - January 2021 edition of Business Traveller
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below