A Review of KLM Longhaul Economy Class
It was time for our annual trip back home to the United States and this time we would be traveling on KLM on what would probably be our last flight on a 747. We had been searching airfares online for a long time and we eventually settled on flights from Berlin to Houston on KLM and back on Air France.
We have always had great experiences with KLM and it remains one of our favorite airlines. KLM uses a 747-400 Combi aircraft to Houston but these planes are slowly being retired from the fleet so this was most likely our last time on the “Queen of the Skies.”
We had a very early connecting flight from Berlin to Amsterdam and arrived very sleepy at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Schiphol airport is a great hub to transfer though in Europe. The airport is all one building with various piers where the planes park at the gate.
The central area is named “Holland Boulevard” and has many eateries, bars and shops. One can really tell they are in the Netherlands as many shops sell typical Dutch goods. We had to refrain from buying a wheel of Gouda cheese!
We enjoyed a nice cold Heineken beer (just because we were in Amsterdam) and before long it was time to head to our gate for the flight to Houston. At the gate, we were greeted by what would be our flying home for the next 10 hours.
It was finally time for boarding and we entered the relatively spacious aircraft. Despite the age of the plane, KLM does an excellent job of maintaining the cabins. We were greeted warmly by the typical friendly and professional crew and headed back into economy class.
The economy class seats were decent with average legroom. Nothing special but then of course this is economy class. Normally in the fall season, the flights are never too full and we have room to spread out. Unfortunately, this flight was packed but we were amused because most of our fellow passengers consisted of a very large group of seniors returning home from a cruise. They were very friendly and talkative throughout the flight.
We pushed back and taxied to the runway and before long we were rolling down the runway and lifted off heading westbound.
Soon after, it was time for the drink service. The cabin crew started off by serving warm towels. KLM seems to be one of the last airlines still giving out hot towels in economy class. This was followed by a pack of almonds and two more Heinekens for us.
We explored the inflight entertainment system. Usually KLM offers a decent selection of movies and TV shows but there was nothing that really peaked our interest on this flight. We ended up keeping our screens on the moving map during the flight.
Our lunch was served and it was the typical “chicken or pasta” choice that seems to be the norm on economy class flights with so many airlines. We both went for the chicken and were satisfied but of course not blown away. It was decent and had somewhat of an Asian flavor and was served with rice and vegetables.
The daytime flight was smooth and passed relatively quickly. The flight attendants regularly walked down the aisles with drinks and a snack basket was put out in the rear galley. We were treated to spectacular views flying over Greenland but unfortunately did not have our camera close by.
Shortly before landing it was time for the second meal service. Another warm towel was handed out and then everyone was served something that was apparently pizza. It actually tasted pretty good and eating always helps pass the time on long flights.
We started our descent soon after over Louisiana and before long were flying through the sunny skies of Texas. We made a smooth landing at George Bush Intercontinental airport.
We made it through customs very quickly and happily greeted our families.
We have nothing but good things to say about KLM. We have flown KLM often and the staff are always very friendly, professional, and the service is consistent. Schiphol airport is also one of the best European hubs to transit through and we always enjoy our time there. We will definitely be on a KLM flight again in the future.