KLM Business Class: a great way to travel

My recent trip to Amsterdam with KLM started off great. Then it got better.

I was expecting an economy ticket to be provided by the airline, which was getting me to Holland on behalf of the Dutch tourism folks. But woman in line at Pearson told me m ticket looked like one in business class. Sure enough, 6F.

I try not to take these things for granted, because no travel writer getting a free ticket to Europe should complain about being in coach. I always arrive at the airport expecting to go in economy class, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as arriving at the airport for a long, overnight trip and hearing that magic word, “upgrade.”

I took advantage of the opportunity to use the KLM/Air France/Alitalia lounge on my recent trip. The samosas were good and the spring rolls were better. They also matched nicely with an ice cold gin and tonic. They had small sandwiches, cookies and a coffee machine, but I didn’t bother.

I had the aisle seat in a three-across row on an older model of plane, with tons of space to stretch out and plenty of personal space between the fellow in the middle seat and I. There was, of course, champagne to start the trip, which I hardly sipped before take off began and I had to give it back. They also handed out some nice amenity bags with eye masks, ear plugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste and such.

They brought along some nuts to munch on as I checked out the menu, with a choice of beef medallions, chicken with maple and chipotle and, I believe, a pasta dish with veggies. I opted for the chicken, which was quite good and a bit smoky, served with rice and veggies and a salad and some lovely, smoked salmon (the dry kind, not the slippery junk you sometimes get). They had a variety of wines, mostly South American and European.

The entertainment system is quite extensive; with a ton of new releases and current flicks as well as oldies and family films. And they have nice seats that lay out into a bed; not completely flat like some airlines but pretty close; more than enough to let me catch two or three hours of sleep.

It’s a small thing to most folks, but a geography geek like me loved having several screens mounted on the wall that displayed the location of the plane and the time of arrival throughout the flight. I didn’t have to interrupt my movie (American Hustle) to find out if we were over Newfoundland or Iceland or Ireland, and I appreciated that.

I also liked all the moisturizers (and hair gel) in the washroom, as my skin gets dried out when I fly and I want to keep my youthful (or not) complexion. Some biz classes give you one type of moisturizer, but they had three styles with different scents. Not that I was flying with anyone I knew and had to impress someone with a swell-smelling neck and face.

Breakfast on the way into Amsterdam was quite good, with bread and cheese and jam and an egg dish and good coffee.

The staff was courteous and helpful and the plane quiet and super relaxing.

When we were getting close to landing, the flight attendant came by with a tray filled with small, white and blue Delft houses. Each passenger gets to choose a miniature house, of which there are several designs. As if that’s not enough, they’re filled with Bols liquer.

The guy next to me didn’t want his so the flight attendant gave me two, both of which might make their way into my Christmas village set-up at home next December.

All in all, a terrific way to get to Europe feeling very refreshed. So thanks to the folks at KLM/Air France for your generous support.

Just FYI, my flight back was on a newer plane but had similarly great service and terrific amenities. A bit more comfort in the seating, I’d say, but not a huge difference.


I love flying into a new airport. I was at Schiphol once before, but it was, I think, 1983. In other words, I didn’t recall squat about the place.

But it’s a gem, even during renovations. The shops are numerous and bright and colourful and there’s good signage. My bag arrived quite quickly, and the conveyor belt was so quiet I didn’t even notice the bags had arrived, having my head buried in my iPhone once I got off the plane.

I had a train to catch, but it couldn’t have been easier as the train station is connected to the airport and was only a few steps away. They had electronics shops, clothing shops, restaurants and lots more. And, again, the signage was great. And the train perfectly on time.

I was ready to give them the airport of the year award but my bags were delayed a good 40 minutes after my flight in from Rome to Amsterdam on my way home.

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