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We’re spending Halloween in Romania and Austria this year. To get here, we flew KLM World Business Class from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and then on to Bucharest’s Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP). I wrote more about the second flight’s breakfast here. The longhaul flight was a great flight with attentive service, comfortable seats, and a tasty menu.
Anthony’s Take: It’s been a few years since I have flown KLM to Europe and this was my first time on its Boeing 787-10. I enjoyed the flight and found the service, hard and soft product, and overall experience pleasant. Transferring in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) was also a breeze since we were connecting non-Schengen to non-Schengen and did not have to clear security or customs. We grabbed Starbucks and went right to our connecting flight’s gate.
This flight was booked as a one-way award ticket using Flying Blue miles. I took advantage of a Bilt Rewards transfer offer a few months ago (more here). The ticket from ORD-AMS-OTP was offered for 105,000 miles. Because the Bilt Rewards promo offered a 100% transfer bonus, it only cost me 55,000 Bilt Rewards points. I thought this was an excellent value and was happy I made the transfer. I did this twice so that for 110,000 Bilt Rewards points I was able to have the two of us fly World Business Class.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is my home airport and I know it well. KLM uses Terminal 5 (along with almost every other international flight except American Airlines and United Airlines). Terminal 5 offers lots of food and beverage as well as shopping options.
Delta Sky Club® (Gates M11-M14)
When flying KLM in World Business or as a SkyTeam Elite Plus member in any travel class on a KLM flight grants access to the Delta Sky Club®. I have reviewed this lounge before (review here). It’s a great space and we had a snack and some drinks before heading to our departure gate.
Our aircraft had several maintenance issues and required a lengthy wait. The captain came out several times to provide updates. The gate agents were fairly rude and brushed off any passengers concerned about connections. I asked about changing to the Air France flight that was departing from a nearby gate and the gate agent snapped that they would not be moving anyone unless the flight cancelled. I understand this on the one hand, but we had no checked bags and the Air France flight was boarding in a few minutes. Had the KLM flight cancelled, we would have had to wait until the next day to take the same flight as there were no other same-day options.
We selected seats 1D and 1G as the bulkhead seats provide larger footwells. Both my husband and I have large feet (US 13) and this space is appreciated. We both liked how open the seats felt and that we were able to easily converse. There is a privacy divider between the seats if you’re traveling solo.
At the seat was a pillow, blanket, amenity kit, bottled water, headphones, an extra tube of lotion, and a menu.
The amenity kit included a pen, socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and several other toiletries.
The seats on this Boeing 787-10 are comfortable and do not induce claustrophobia like others (like the Polaris® coffins). The seat had multiple controls for different positions, several lights, and more.
It’s surprising to see scuffs and chips on a relatively new aircraft. While in decent shape, the finishes do not seem to be holding up well.
Each seat has a remote control for the entertainment system, a power outlet, and a headphone jack.
The monitors operate as touchscreens, but when reclined it’s easier to use the remote.
Menus were already at each seat when we boarded. I like that KLM has a nice variety of beverage choices and offers a full menu.
Pre-departure beverages were offered with a choice of water, orange juice, or champagne. I will never understand why so many airlines treat every flight like it is departing at breakfast time. Offer passengers a choice of beverages before departure and at the very least a choice of non-alcoholic drinks.
I selected an orange juice.
A prepackaged moist towelette was distributed shortly after.
Mixed nuts (not warmed) and a choice of beverage were brought out next. I chose my usual: ginger ale.
The meal service started about 75 minutes after departure. I chose to start with the Chunky Corn Chowder. It was hot and perfect for dipping my roll. I love soup in general and am always happy when it’s served in flight. This was served with a Grilled Watermelon Salad. I picked out the mozzarella and left the rest.
For my main course, I selected the Tasting of Local Delicacies. I’m not sure what locale these came from, but they were definitely not Dutch. They all tasted fine, but it was a random mix to have for dinner including Fiesta Cheese Quesadillas, Pulled Barbecue Pork, Grilled Sweet Potato Fries, and Mexican Beans.
For dessert, I chose the Petit Grand Dessert. It offered a nice assortment, but the macaron was soggy and the whipped cream needed sugar.
After dessert, flight attendants came through with adorable chocolates shaped like Delft Houses. Midway through the flight, more chocolate, stroopwafels, and other packaged snacks were placed on the counter above my seat.
About 60 minutes prior to landing, flight attendants brought out breakfast. I had the Poached Egg with Hollandaise Sauce, Creamy Spinach, and Potato Wedges. It was served with a croissant
The Wi-Fi did not work for the first hour of the flight. Once it was operable, it was speedy and reliable until we landed. The cost for the full flight was €18 or €8 for one hour. This is reasonable for a transatlantic flight.
It did not help my anxiety that it periodically flashed that we were delayed. We made up some time in flight and our connection was fine.
The flight attendants were warm and friendly. They were constantly offering drink refills and to chat. I enjoyed my conversation with one of them about Romania and thought they genuinely cared about the passengers in the World Business Cabin. Towards the end of the flight, we were each allowed to select one Delft House. I have several others at home and look forward to adding to my collection. This always leaves me deplaning with a smile from KLM flights.
We departed late, but we arrived in time for an easy connection. The service was excellent, the seat was comfortable, and the food was tasty, overall. This KLM flight was a nice experience and I look forward to flying the Dutch carrier again.
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