KLM Fokker 70 Europe Business Class


I arrived at Schiphol airport at 1810 for the 1850 departure on KL1027 which was far too late but as usual I was blaming everyone else for it.

I had already checked in and with the business class ticket could access a supposedly fast track immigration queue, but in fact this funnels you into the “Any Passport” queue instead of the “European Passports” queue, and it was very slow, with one person actually being led off to another room for further questioning before I could get my turn.

The stress of standing there waiting when I knew my own check would be quick was a salutary lesson for those of us making a habit of arriving late at airports – it just isn’t worth the stress.


I never saw it. I looked at the screens and then did that pathetic walk / jog movement of the middle-aged business traveller as quickly as possible to Gate D5, pausing only to trip over someone’s wheelie bag.

I then went down the steps (on my feet), and then realised there was a security check with a body x-ray system. The lady in charge seemed amused when I asked “Was this a proper body check?” She said, “Yes, we aren’t kidding around”. The Dutch have very good language skills. Then a couple of minutes later we were bussed out to the aircraft.


I was on the first bus to the aircraft, and because there were quite a few of us and I was last off the bus, I stood on the tarmac and looked up at the aircraft (registration PH-KZH), a KLM Cityhopper, before walking up the stairs. I was in business class, in seat 3A, for a seatplan, click here.

On this flight the curtain for business class had been set between rows two and three, so just in front of me. I asked the flight attendant if this was correct and showed my boarding card, and she apologised and a few moments later the curtain was moved back to behind row four, which was empty in any case.

Business class gives you the seat next to you free (in my case, 3C), so I could stretch out sideways, but not forwards, since there is very little leg room on this aircraft, but then, it is a very short flight.


Among the business class seats, there isn’t much between them. Choose a seat on the left hand side of the aircraft if you want no one next to you and so have unimpeded access to the aisle while having a window seat.


We taxied for a very long time, especially since we rarely stopped but seemed to do a complete circuit of the airport. Eventually we took off, and the meal service began shortly after we had reached cruising altitude.

This was the dinner menu:

  • Amuse: Barley and Reypenaer cheese salad with a cream of garden peas and fillet of trout
  • Meal salad: Indonesian ketoprak salad served with Thai chicken with the Better Life Hallmark and banana.
  • Dessert by Patisserie Van Wely: orange praline dessert.

I didn’t see a wine choice, and I didn’t ask about it.

About halfway through the flight the captain came on to say we would soon be commencing our descent, and that it was good weather at Heathrow, but then we suddenly had some very severe turbulence, which was later explained to us by the captain as being caught in the wake of an aircraft in front of us – it was quite alarming, since it was sudden, and had us swaying from side to side, and yet I could see that it was a cold and clear night. The flight attendant told me it had taken them by surprise as well, and they had spilled their orange juice in the galley.

We landed at Heathrow on time, but then taxied for about 10 minutes before pulling up at an air bridge.


A good quick flight, and good service.


Tom Otley

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  • I’ve had similar experience of a KLM captain coming on to say that the turbulance was being caused by being “too close” to the wake of the previous aircraft. Perhaps not the best thing to say during the later stages of a decent into LHR. Honest yes, but maybe a rare case of being too honest!

  • Yes. Alex McWhirter has said that around that time two A380s were due to land into LHR so he thinks that might have been the cause of the turbulence.

    I’m not sure I take much comfort from that!

  • I smiled at your phrase that it was a “salutary lesson for those of us making a habit of arriving late at airports…”: very many years ago, I used to pride myself on my “amazing” ability to arrive just in time at check in until, one day, I cut it too close and missed the flight which meant a really inconvenient return journey in the early hours of the morning. Never again!

  • Yes, it’s always tempting to cut it fine, especially if you add up all the time you’ve wasted at airports by getting there far too early.

    I used to kid myself that I was productive in the lounges, but actually, I just eat peanuts and read magazines. Of course, if you really ant to hang around in airports, nothing beats missing the flight – so it’s a balance.

    We once ran a piece in the magazine, many years ago, where we interviewed paramedics at Heathrow. One of them said that he’s seen business travellers rushing for a flight, have a heart attack, and still drag themselves through security and try and get on the flight. A haunting image.

    I tell myself I would never do that, and then find myself sprinting through the airport towards the gate while trying to pull a wheelie bag behind me….

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