KLM upgrades European business class

9 Feb 2011 by BusinessTraveller

KLM is poised to offer full fare passengers a better deal within Europe with more spacious seating and improved catering.

Fans of the Dutch national airline will say “not before time” because its current business product, branded Europe Select, offers nothing special irrespective of whether you take a 200 mile sector like Amsterdam-London or a 2,000 mile stretch such as Amsterdam-Tel Aviv.

The new “Europe Business Class” will debut on March 27 across KLM’s large fleet of B737s which form the backbone of its European operation including Tel Aviv.

What KLM has done is to bring its European product in line with what is offered by its partner Air France and its main rivals British Airways and Lufthansa.

Besides standard benefits like extra baggage allowance and FFP miles, speedier ground handling, lounges and so on, the big news is that KLM will guarantee the middle seat of three remains unsold.

It means that passengers will always get a window or an aisle seat and will have more space to work on board.

Says Erik Varwijk, executive VP KLM Commercial, “Extensive research among KLM business class passengers revealed a clear need for a better, more comfortable service to enable passengers to work on board or relax. We are delighted to meet customers’ needs by offering them a vastly improved, new and comfortable product.”

On-board catering is being modernised with more substantial meals (depending on flight sector) and improved presentation. The airline says that business class meals will now be served on tableware by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders which is similar to that found on long-distance flights. KLM claims that the meal service will match the quality standards of a top restaurant.

The improvements are to be welcomed. For too long KLM’s product has lagged behind that of its rivals.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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