Review Of KLM’s 787-9 Business Class



KLM 641
Amsterdam (AMS) – New York (JFK)
Saturday, February 2
Depart: 1:25PM
Arrive: 3:45PM
Duration: 8hr20min
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Seat: 7K (Business Class)

We boarded through the second set of doors and turned left into the business class cabin. KLM’s business class cabin takes up the entire space between the first and second set of doors on the 787-9, and consists of a total of 30 seats.

KLM 787 business class cabin

KLM has reverse herringbone seats on these planes, so there are four seats in each row — one along each side of the fuselage, and then two in the middle.

KLM 787 business class seats

KLM 787 business class seats

I had assigned myself seat 7K, the window seat on the right side in the second to last row. Ford was seated in front of me, in 6K.

KLM business class seats 787

I quite like KLM’s finishes, as the blue makes the cabin pretty distinctive.

KLM business class seats 787

As is the standard with these reverse herringbone seats, the TV flips out from the seat in front.

KLM business class seats 787

The footwell was a decent size. In general it’s a little less spacious on the 787 than on the 777 with these types of seats, since the cabin isn’t quite as wide, and therefore the seats aren’t as angled.

KLM business class seat footwell 787

To the side of my seat was a storage compartment that also had a mirror, as well as the entertainment controller, reading light, and headphone jack.

KLM business class seat storage 787

The tray table also extended from the right side of the seat, and could be folded over in half.

KLM business class seat tray table 787

The seat controls were to the right of the seat, and were really stupidly placed — they were right where you might rest your arm, so I must have accidentally changed the seat position at least a dozen times during the flight.

KLM business class seat controls 787

Then the USB and 110v outlets were located underneath the seat and to the right.

KLM business class seat outlets 787

On the opposite side of the aisle was an armrest that could be raised or lowered, depending on whether you prefer the support for your arm, or prefer a wider sleeping surface.

KLM business class seat armrest 787

KLM has air nozzles in the overhead console on the 787, which is something I value immensely, given how many airlines keep their cabins warm.

Waiting at my seat upon boarding were a decent pillow and blanket — KLM’s bedding is neither bad nor great.

KLM business class pillow & blanket

There was also a solid pair of noise canceling headphones.

KLM business class headphones

Every seat was taken in business class, so the crew was busy during boarding (and the entire flight, for that matter). About five minutes after boarding amenity kits were distributed. KLM has two styles of amenity kits.

KLM business class amenity kit

Since Ford got one style, I asked if I could have the other style. The flight attendant responded that they usually run out of the female kits, but she’d bring me one if she had enough.

I found this odd, because on the previous flight the flight attendant said I could pick whichever one I wanted.

She returned a few minutes later with a “female” kit for me. I was curious to compare the contents, since I didn’t think there were any differences. And as it turned out, there was no difference, just the color of the socks.

KLM business class amenity kit contents

KLM business class amenity kit contents

About five minutes after that, pre-departure drinks were served, with the choice of water, orange juice, champagne, or beer. I had a glass of champagne, which was Nicolas Feuillatte.

KLM business class pre-departure champagne

While all Dreamliners have mood lighting, KLM’s color choices were especially cool, in my opinion.

KLM 787 mood lighting

At 1:20PM the captain announced that they were just loading the last cargo, and that we should be departing shortly for our 7hr25min flight to New York. He explained that we’d be flying northwest towards Scotland, and that some turbulence was expected during the flight.

We pushed back at 1:35PM, at which point the safety video was screened, and five minutes later we started our taxi.

Pushing back Amsterdam Schipol Airport

Schipol Airport is huge, and we had quite a long taxi to the runway. We ended up taking off from runway 36L at 2PM.

Taxiing Amsterdam Schipol Airport

Taking off from Amsterdam

View after takeoff from Amsterdam

Our climb out was smooth, and the seatbelt sign was turned off just five minutes after takeoff.

KLM 787 entertainment selection

As we climbed out I played around with the entertainment system, which was every bit as good as on the previous flight. The system had a great selection, was extremely responsive, and had no ads.

KLM 787 entertainment selection

KLM 787 entertainment selection

KLM 787 entertainment selection

I also loved how customizable the moving map feature is, as you have so many settings you can choose from.

Moving map enroute to New York

Moving map enroute to New York

I ended up watching an episode of “Undercover Boss.”

KLM entertainment selection

KLM’s 787s also have Panasonic wifi, with the following pricing:

  • 5EUR for 20MB
  • 10EUR for 50MB
  • 30EUR for 200MB

It’s unfortunate that they charge based on data usage, as that’s some steep pricing. The good news is that KLM is changing up their wifi offering, and soon will be charging based on time rather than data used. So soon 30EUR will get you a wifi pass with no data caps, which is awesome.

KLM wifi pricing 787

KLM wifi pricing 787

Service began 20 minutes after takeoff, as the purser passed through the cabin to distribute warm towels. She took a moment to talk with each passenger, which was a trend with the service on this flight. Every flight attendant had a conversation with just about every passenger every time they did anything.

On one hand that’s awesome because it allows the crew to develop a relationship with passengers. On the other hand, it meant service took forever.

KLM business class warm towel

Flight attendants distributed the menu and wine list shortly after distributing warm towels.

KLM business class menu

Usually airlines just reuse the same menus for the entire month for a given route (or region), though it’s cute that KLM customizes the menus, and lists the route, flight number, and date on them.

KLM business class menu

The menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows:

We were off to a good start, as the drink cart started to be rolled down the aisle just 25 minutes after takeoff , which is faster than usual. As mentioned above, the crew really took their time though, and it was 50 minutes after takeoff before they reached my seat.

To drink I ordered KLM’s signature cocktail, The Flying Dutchman. It had gin, blueberry liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and sugar syrup, and was way too sweet for my liking. With drinks I was also offered mixed nuts and/or cheese. I loved the presentation.

KLM business class lunch — drinks and snacks

As my drink was served, the flight attendant also took my meal order using an iPad, and asked “are there any special requests we need to know about?” I don’t think I’ve ever been asked such an open-ended question on a plane…

While I had selected fish for my main course, about 80 minutes after takeoff the flight attendant came by my seat and explained they were short on fish, and asked if I wouldn’t mind changing. She didn’t force it and made it clear I didn’t have to switch, but also explained “we have to work with what we have in the air.” So I volunteered to switch.

90 minutes after takeoff tablecloths were distributed, along with another round of drinks. This time I had champagne and still water.

KLM business class lunch — table setting

Then about two hours after takeoff the first course was served. There was the choice of either smoked trout or a sweet potato curry soup, and both were served with a simple salad. The soup was excellent.

KLM business class lunch — soup & salad

At this point we had about 5hr20min remaining to New York…

Moving map enroute to New York

Then it once again took quite a while until the main was served. Mains were brought out about 2hr30min after takeoff.

Since they were out of the fish, I selected the roasted chicken thigh Picadillo with avocado compote, mashed corn, and bell pepper. Personally I didn’t like the dish at all — it just tasted so saucy and oily, and that’s just not my preference.

KLM business class lunch — main course

Ford ordered the braised veal in mustard jus with sautéed potatoes, carrots, and pickled onions, which he said was okay.

KLM business class lunch — main course

Just over three hours after takeoff the crew came through the cabin with dessert. I ordered a coffee, as well as the calamansi citrus mousse with creme anglaise. The dessert was pretty good.

KLM business class lunch — dessert

Over 3hr20min after takeoff trays were cleared, and then several minutes after that the crew brought around bottled water and a cute box with chocolates that looked like Dutch houses.

KLM business class lunch — chocolates

By the time the meal was done we were just about at the halfway point of our flight, and had just over four hours remaining.

Moving map enroute to New York

The food was not great, in my opinion, while the service was incredibly friendly and personalized, to a fault. I can appreciate the crew putting so much effort into connecting with passengers, but a meal service shouldn’t take this long.

At the conclusion of the meal I checked out the lavatories. There are two at the front of the cabin, and they’re pretty typical for 787s, except for the cute Dutch house wallpaper they have.

KLM 787 lavatory

KLM 787 lavatory

Once back at my seat I reclined my seat and tried to get some rest. I found the bed to be quite comfortable.

KLM 787 business class bed

KLM 787 business class bed

I slept until about 1hr45min before landing, at which point the cabin lights were turned on for the pre-landing meal… just over two hours after the previous meal concluded!

Moving map enroute to New York

The pre-landing menu read as follows:

Neither option sounded great, though I selected the pizza with black pepper oil. For an airplane pizza it actually wasn’t too bad, even though it was definitely on the dry side. This was served with a side salad.

KLM business class pre-landing snack

Next up the crew brought out warm chocolate lava cake, which was ridiculously delicious, and the best thing I had on the flight. Yeah, just what I need, pizza and chocolate lava cake two hours after my previous meal…

KLM business class pre-landing snack

Then about 45 minutes before landing the crew distributed Dutch houses.

KLM business class Dutch houses

I made sure we selected two different ones than what we had on the previous flight.

KLM business class Dutch houses

As we approached New York I watched “The Hotel Inspector,” which I hadn’t seen before, but which I found oddly entertaining.

KLM entertainment selection

The views on approach to New York were beautiful. At 3PM New York time the captain announced that we’d be landing in 30 minutes, and that we just started our descent.

View approaching New York

View approaching New York

The seatbelt sign was turned on at 3:15PM, and at 3:25PM we touched down at JFK.

View approaching New York

Final approach to JFK

From there we had a 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 4.

Arrival gate at JFK

We bid farewell to the lovely crew, and cleared immigration. Since we we were connecting on Delta we didn’t even have to change terminals, which was at least convenient.

KLM 787 business class bottom line

I’m a bit conflicted on KLM’s 787 business class.

On the plus side, the seats and entertainment were great, and the crew was exceptionally warm and friendly. They really wanted to build a connection with each passenger. On top of that, I love KLM’s uniqueness, ranging from their Dutch houses you can take home, to their Dutch house chocolates, to their Dutch house wallpaper in the lavatories.

I’m pretty neutral about their bedding and amenities, and also about their wifi based on the pricing. As they switch to no longer having a data cap, I’m much more a fan of it.

But at the same time I was disappointed by the food — which was alright at best — and the pace of service. I’m in no rush, but having just over two hours between meals to rest really isn’t ideal, especially after coming off a redeye and then having a long layover.

If you’ve flown KLM’s 787 business class, what was your experience like?


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