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Old Jul 17, 17, 8:16 am   #1
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New KLM A La Carte Meal Service

Since so many of us fly KLM, especially since GUCs are easier to use on them, I thought I'd point out a change to KLM meal service.

KLM is moving to a la carte, on demand meal service. As of July 1, KLM is starting the service on AMS/JNB and JNB/AMS routes, to be expanded to BKK, SIN, and eventually across the board.

I got to fly on the July 3rd AMS/JNB and July 12th JNB/AMS flight. Very much enjoyed the new service, and is a vast improvement over IMO, one of KLM's few flaws.

July 3 - Depart AMS approx 1030am

Main meal service after departure (basically what have been used to in the past)
Once meal service is over, the remainder of the flight is a lengthy a la carte on demand service. I've lost the menu for this direction, but have the one for JNB/AMS, which will show how it works, albeit in reverse.

July 12 - Depart JNB approx 2330

Opposite of AMS/JNB. A la carte is available starting right after departure. Can choose to eat something right then, or wait and order on demand. Approx 1.5 hours prior to AMS arrival, the Breakfast meal is served.

Menu

Anytime for You

Choose and combine;

Beemster mild and royal cheese plate with blue cheese served with dried fruit and crudites

Trio of smoked salmon with horseradish cream, dill and caper berries

Tomato and roasted red pepper soup served with bread straw, bread roll, olive oil and an apple and fennel salad

Spaghetti with crayfish in a creamy white wine sauce

Lady beef steak with mushroom sauce, vegetable gratin and French beans

Fresh Fruit Salad

Chocolate and salty caramel tartlet

Vanilla panna cotta tartlet

Breakfast - served approx 1.5 hours prior to arrival at AMS

Continental Breakfast - Fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, homemade granola, jam, Beemster cheese and cold cuts, hot rolls and danish

Breakfast a la carte -

Crumpet with spinach, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce and Parma ham crisps

or

French toast with creme anglaise and blueberry compote

both served with fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, jam, hot rolls and Danish
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Old Jul 17, 17, 8:47 am   #2
  
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I'm flying AMS-ATL in late August. Would be nice to try out.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 9:01 am   #3
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I'm flying AMS-ATL in late August. Would be nice to try out.
It's a gradual roll out. I doubt it'll be on the BKK/SIN flights by then. They have to rotate all the FA through on the JNB flights to train them. The FA seemed to like the new service.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 10:41 am   #4
  
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Nice!

As FlyerCO already mentioned the next destination will be BKK and is planned for October. (The reducation of the -1CA at KLM has been delayed 1 month to 1 October, this might have something to do with it. KL's B777's will be first while the A330's & B787's will be having a full cabin crew again in 2018).

Looking at the 'anytime for you' options, they sounds familiar (Cheese plate, tartlets; normally those might be KLM dessert options).

Can you comment please on the quality/amount of the "Anytime for You" options as it looks to me you can skip the regular service and create your own meal.
Pick for instance the Tomato and roasted red pepper soup served with bread straw, bread roll, olive oil and an apple and fennel salad as appetizer.
Spaghetti with crayfish in a creamy white wine sauce as the main entree with the Beemster mild and royal cheese plate with blue cheese served with dried fruit and crudites as dessert.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 10:48 am   #5
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Nice!

As FlyerCO already mentioned the next destination will be BKK and is planned for October. (The reducation of the -1CA at KLM has been delayed 1 month to 1 October, this might have something to do with it. KL's B777's will be first while the A330's & B787's will be having a full cabin crew again in 2018).

Looking at the 'anytime for you' options, they sounds familiar (Cheese plate, tartlets; normally those might be KLM dessert options).

Can you comment please on the quality/amount of the "Anytime for You" options as it looks to me you can skip the regular service and create your own meal.
Pick for instance the Tomato and roasted red pepper soup served with bread straw, bread roll, olive oil and an apple and fennel salad as appetizer.
Spaghetti with crayfish in a creamy white wine sauce as the main entree with the Beemster mild and royal cheese plate with blue cheese served with dried fruit and crudites as dessert.
Plenty of food. I almost didn't take breakfast becsuse i was so full. H0owever decided to do so for complete evaluation. I loved the French toast. BTW I order the soup and fruit twice during flight. No issues.

Wish i had the outbound, the options were even better. (Geared toward a day flight)
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Old Jul 17, 17, 11:41 am   #6
  
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Plenty of food. I almost didn't take breakfast becsuse i was so full. H0owever decided to do so for complete evaluation.
FT appreciates your sacrifice!

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Lady beef steak
although I haven't been able to work out what this was a typo/autocorrect for, or if that's just a Dutch thing.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 2:45 pm   #7
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A positive change indeed.

AF has a lighter version, for the second meal option on the ORY-JFK flight (not sure if they have the same in the CDG-JFK flights). Basically you can choose the second meal at anytime you want, and there is a hot option and a cold option. I don't find it as nice as KLM's A La Carte service.

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Old Jul 17, 17, 4:14 pm   #8
  
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Glad to hear KLM is working on their catering; it's easily their biggest flaw.

I've never been really sold on the value of anytime meal service, though: usually, on an overnight flight (the vast majority of TATL/TPAC segments), the middle of the flight is for sleeping. By doing an ordinary meal service, commotion is minimized during the remainder of the flight and everyone gets their food faster than a random on-demand process.

It seems notable that the rollout flights are ones that have odd timing that doesn't fit that mold (particularly JNB). I can see this working well for the listed segments, but it'll be interesting to see how it translates to ordinary TATLs.

Has KLM improved their wine selections at all as part of this change, or are they still pouring $6.79/bottle swill?
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Old Jul 17, 17, 5:24 pm   #9
  
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I'm flying JNB/AMS on Wednesday night so I'll report back with my findings!
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Old Jul 17, 17, 5:37 pm   #10
  
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In the middle of October, I will be doing KLM ORD-AMS-CPT so I hope this service is on that route by then.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 4:32 am   #11
  
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Interesting and positive, I think.
Something I noticed flying the 1015 pm KL JFK-AMS.
First time was late 2016 and there was a regular airline multi-course meal and a light choice. Two weeks ago, really only a lighter meal with choice of entrees served all at once. The light meal was fine with me on a 10 pm flight.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 4:47 am   #12
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FT appreciates your sacrifice!



although I haven't been able to work out what this was a typo/autocorrect for, or if that's just a Dutch thing.
Sacrifice I did.

As for Lady beef steak, that's what is listed. I've never heard of it myself.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 5:38 am   #13
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Forgot they also now give a pre-departure amuse bouche (spelling?) along with PDB. Actually quite tasty.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 3:35 pm   #14
  
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I flew Paris-Dubai on Air France last August in paid business-class. Exceptional. Truly exceptional in all regards -- food, coffee, wine (including bottomless champagne) and service. Perfect timings for meals, drinks and so forth.

On the return, I did KLM. It leaves at an ungodly hour, but KLM still did a meal service basically limiting the ability of anyone to fall asleep right away. This problem was maximized by the fact that the business-class was 2x2x2, as it's difficult so sleep if your seatmate is eating a full meal. Then, KLM must have turned the lights on and started breakfast 90 minutes out from Amsterdam.

Had it not been for the many glasses of wine before the flight at the Sky Team lounge in Dubai, I wouldn't have slept at all.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 3:55 pm   #15
  
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I flew Paris-Dubai on Air France last August in paid business-class. Exceptional. Truly exceptional in all regards -- food, coffee, wine (including bottomless champagne) and service. Perfect timings for meals, drinks and so forth.

On the return, I did KLM. It leaves at an ungodly hour, but KLM still did a meal service basically limiting the ability of anyone to fall asleep right away. This problem was maximized by the fact that the business-class was 2x2x2, as it's difficult so sleep if your seatmate is eating a full meal. Then, KLM must have turned the lights on and started breakfast 90 minutes out from Amsterdam.

Had it not been for the many glasses of wine before the flight at the Sky Team lounge in Dubai, I wouldn't have slept at all.
I only take KLM on daytime flights. Their pillows and bedding are terrible. This reinforces my choice.
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