KLM is the national carrier of the Netherlands and a member of the SkyTeam alliance. Its Amsterdam Airport Schiphol hub is one of the busiest in Europe, connecting passengers around the globe.

The airline also enjoys a joint venture with Delta Air Lines and Air France, and as a result, it carries significant connecting traffic from North America to points in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

I was aboard one of my regular flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam (typically, I take the 10:30 p.m. departure), and my experience was as pleasant as usual. Here’s what you can expect on an overnight flight with KLM in World Business Class.

Check-in, security and lounge access

My business class boarding pass gave me SkyPriority access, and this expedited my check-in and security screening process. I was able to head straight for the Delta Sky Club. In Atlanta, KLM passengers can access any of the Sky Clubs, and I chose to head straight for the Terminal F lounge since it has an outdoor Sky Deck and my flight was departing from that terminal.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

The lounge had a crowd, but it began to thin out as the night wore on, given my late departure. I was able to tuck into some of the buffet options, which included salads, hot proteins, fresh fruit and soup.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

There was also an open bar, all of which are the standard, elevated Sky Club experience, and I loved that this lounge had a popcorn machine.

🤓Nerdy Tip

While Delta nixed the option to access Sky Clubs for SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers in the SkyMiles program flying economy and premium economy, access is still available to top-elite members of other airline programs in SkyTeam.

Boarding and seats

Passengers boarded by zone quickly, and I was happily aboard one of KLM’s newly transfigured Boeing 777-300ERs with all-aisle access in World Business Class. This means a 1-2-1 configuration that provides all-aisle access.

The planes that have this favorable seating also have the new Premium Comfort (premium economy) cabin; planes that do not have premium economy have the 2-2-2 seating configuration.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

The seats have a fixed shell for privacy, and recline to 180 degrees at the touch of a button. It was actually too easy to touch the button by mistake while leaning on the armrest, and the seat would immediately start reclining. The tray table easily folds out of the side, and even when extended, it was easy to reach the touch-screen entertainment options.

A blanket and pillow were waiting at my seat as was a bottle of water. A small closet opened to reveal a mirror and noise-reducing headsets. I really loved the wireless charging panel on the armrest, which worked very well, even through my phone case. A small storage area is beneath the screen, and there are additional USB and power outlets within reach.

🤓Nerdy Tip

You’ll want to keep a close eye on the KLM seat map for your flight, as some aircraft, including some Boeing 777 and Airbus A330, still have a 2-2-2 configuration in business class. In this configuration, not every passenger has aisle access, so you may have to climb over your seat mate.

No matter what wide-body plane you are on with KLM, you are always assured of a flat-bed seat in World Business Class.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

Once most passengers were seated, the flight attendants came around with their signature tray of crystal stem glasses with sparkling wine, water or Heineken beer. I perused the menu in my seat (KLM personalizes these menus for each flight with the departure and destination, as well as departure date) and amenity kit. Before I knew it, we were off.

In-flight experience

Given the late-night departure, the dinner service is a bit abbreviated. There is an aperitif service with the option between mixed nuts and Dutch cheese. After this first drink trolley, the entire meal is presented altogether on one tray. On flights that depart earlier in the evening or on daytime flights, the pace is more leisurely with a soup and salad with warm bread after the aperitif. Drinks are constantly topped up.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

Then the hot main meal arrives, but on a late-night departure, the carrier chooses to prioritize sleep. This means the late-night meal is different than the normal long-haul experience. I enjoyed a sampler with a chicken quesadilla, small salad, shrimp and vegetarian wrap. It was more of a hearty snack.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

If you’re on a day flight, the meals will be served in courses with a soup and salad option before the main dish.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

Ninety minutes before landing, the mood lights slowly turned on. (They’re meant to simulate the sun rising.) The smell of coffee wafted through the air, and soon, breakfast options were arriving with the choice of sweet or savory. I went with the Denver omelet, which came on an English muffin and was wrapped up like a breakfast sandwich. It came with a side of cheese, meat and oatmeal with fruit.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

While this was not the case on my late-night flight, KLM does offer a dine-on-demand service on several long-haul routes. You can choose when you want to enjoy your first and second meals. After the meal, coffee, tea and chocolates are offered.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

All of KLM’s in-flight service ware is the handiwork of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, and the blue patterns and Dutch design provide a lovely sense of place.

In-flight entertainment

KLM has touch-screen and remote control-operated entertainment screens that have a decent range of movies, short-subject films, sitcoms and music to enjoy. Given the late departure, I did not watch more than the moving map to see where the aircraft was and how fast we were flying. On day flights, though, I enjoy the variety of international programming.

🤓Nerdy Tip

KLM still produces its popular Holland Herald in-flight magazine, which includes route maps for the airline, city guides for its destinations, and thoughtful articles about travel and culture. A favorite for me is the section on aviation, where pilots and experts in the industry share insider details on how planes operate.

Not all aircraft are equipped with Wi-Fi, and the service is not free. On my late-night flight, I chose to sleep instead of work. The cost, even in business class, is 8 euros (~$9) for an hour, 18 euros (~$19) for the entire flight and 30 euros (~$32) for a streaming pass for the flight (on A330 and B777 aircraft only). Messaging is free.

Other perks of KLM business class

Before landing, KLM has a ritual in World Business Class, and it’s one that turns ordinary professionals into giddy collectors. The airline gives away a complimentary Delft-style house to business class passengers its long-haul flights. Guests can choose their gift in the app, ideally picking one their collection is missing.

(Photo by Ramsey Qubein)

There are 104 in total (one for each year that KLM has been in operation). Officially, KLM is the oldest airline in the world operating under the same name.

Additional perks include:

  • Extra checked bag allowance. Two bags are allowed per passenger with a maximum weight of 32 kilograms (about 70 pounds). Those who book a “light fare” can check only one bag, however.

  • In-flight snacks. In between meals, a basket with snacks is available near the galley. It includes chocolates, nuts and the famous Dutch stroopwafel cookies.

A great World Business Class flight with KLM

Even if you’re not visiting the Netherlands, a flight with KLM feels like you spent some time sampling Dutch flavors and culture for a few hours.

The onboard entertainment, menus, in-flight magazine and the Delft blue house parting gift all lend itself to that. And in World Business Class, you get to take a piece of that home with you for your collection, too.

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