I Survived KLM TransAtlantic Economy…and dare I say it was pretty nice! Trip Report KLM Economy

by Adam

I had only been in Kiev since Sunday of last week when I received some sad news that required me to get back to US by Friday morning for a funeral. Luckily, our points hobby allows for plenty of flexibility, especially last minute. Timing was really important in this situation and so yesterday, I flew economy class across the Atlantic for the first time in six years. It’s not that I’m a business / first class snob, I’ve just had no reason to fly economy the last several years. If I was traveling for work, a business seat was standard. When traveling for pleasure, I always try to get the highest value for my miles and I like to indulge in a business or first class seat and sample new products.

Well, I survived, and dare I say it was pretty damn nice!

Boarding in Amsterdam…

Wow, the two separate jet bridges and I’m heading uphill to the Economy section…

Even with my Delta elite status, there were NO Economy Comfort seats available. I was however able to snag an exit row seat with great leg room.

I was also surprised with the size of the TV monitor, it was as big as some of DL BusinessElite screens and had a great selection of movies. I checked out Silver Linings Playbook, Hyde Park on Hudson, and A Good Day to Die Hard. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, and Django Unchained. I guess I should have realized that the back-end of the IFE system would be the same in economy, but it was great to be able to pause movies, start others, check out the moving map, and then return to the original movie.

This was my seat for the 7 hour flight! Blanket and pillow surprisingly provided. My only real complaint was the narrowness of the seat and the amount of people who congregated next to me to use the bathroom. It was totally worth it though for the unlimited legroom.

Even in Economy, meal service was about the two first hours of the flight, including several courses and a warm towel…

I went with chicken and rice for my main, which also included salad, cheese and crackers, bread, and dessert.

I was still hungry after dinner and the flight attendant asked if I wanted to try the pasta dish as well…sure

Speaking of, my service was actually better in KLM economy than it was in Austrian business. The flight attendant brought me a can of Perrier every 30 minutes or so…great service. I wasn’t in a drinking mood, but the people across from me definitely were. They had unlimited wine and beer the entire flight.  Next was ice cream for dessert….

About 1 1/2 hours before landing, a warm pizza-type creation was served…

The flight sort of flew by and I think I’ll have to re-evaluate my immediate rejection of economy class awards to/from Europe (especially when flying from the East Coast). It really wasn’t that bad at all. Makes that Virgin Atlantic 13K award shine a little bit more.

That said, I think the exit row made a huge difference. All middle seats were taken and that looked absolutely horrible, especially in the center rows of 4. Unfortunately, today might not be as pleasant as the seat map is still showing no Economy Comfort or Exit Row seats available. Luckily, I at least have an aisle seat.

UPDATE – On the 777-200 now in a middle row aisle seat. No Economy Comfort or Exit Row available. The flight is completely sold out and the TVs are significantly smaller than the 747!

Trip Report – KLM Business Class 747-400

Interested in using your miles for a flight on KLM but can’t find availability? Consider using Juicy Miles for award booking assistance!

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Jamison @ Points Summary June 15, 2013 - 12:10 pm

i was surprised at economy service when I flew on KLM last year.. they even have hot towel service!

NB June 15, 2013 - 2:32 pm

Fairly standard for Y. Just avoid all US airlines which won’t give you a drink.

Stefan June 15, 2013 - 5:30 pm

You can still get some decent service in Y with European and Asian airlines. Just avoid N American carriers

joseph m June 15, 2013 - 6:37 pm

I’ve had no complaints and pretty decent flights with KLM over the past few years. Last flew them to IST via AMS during December. Also, their club at AMS airport is awesome!

Aeroman380 June 15, 2013 - 9:57 pm

KLM is really a great airline. I am not sure why people are so surprised to just find that out. Maybe people just don’t know the Dutch.

Going across the Atlantic from the east coast is only 6-8 hours which fly by.

I made the mistake of booking Delta (cheapest) this past March to AMS and when I asked for more coffee I was told that they only do 2 rounds and left my coffee cup empty. 🙁 I would rather pay a little bit more for European/Canadian carriers.

egwg June 16, 2013 - 3:52 pm

Sorry about your loss. Did the guy next to you in the middle seat wear a suit for the whole 7 hour flight?

adam June 17, 2013 - 10:10 am

@egwg – Thanks, much appreciated. Hah, yes he suited it up for the entire trip!!!

Amy February 16, 2015 - 9:28 am

What is the name of that dessert? It looks so good…

2european January 10, 2022 - 5:18 am



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