Tried & Tested

KLM Fokker 70 Europe Business Class

20 Mar 2013 by Tom Otley

CHECK-IN

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.

THE LOUNGE

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.

THE SEAT

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.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?

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.

THE FLIGHT

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.

VERDICT

A good quick flight, and good service.
 

klm.com

Tom Otley


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