Decided to visit Amsterdam (KLM-654 / IAD-AMS) & Paris (Trip report for AF-26 / CDG-IAD will follow) for our summer vacation for a week, and here is my first ever trip report, so please be gentle with your comments
Check-in at IAD:
We decided to wait till we got to the airport to check-in and when we got there, we were offered an upgrade to World Business Class for 289Euro. I remember checking KLM’s website a week before departure and these seats were costing around ~6K, and Expedia showed that all but a few seats were sold-out. To my surprise, the check-in kiosk showed me only 2 seats were occupied in business class, so we had plenty of choices to pick from. After paying for the upgrade & getting our boarding passes, a ticketing agent pointed us towards our gate, and instructed us to use the AF lounge by our departure gate. After going through security and boarding the train, we were at our terminal in less than 10 minutes.
Lounge at IAD:
Well, not much to write about the lounge since the lounge attendant refused us entry since we were only “upgrades”
. I informed her that the KLM agent at check-in informed us to use the lounge prior to boarding, but to no avail, so we decided to leave (Resolution for this is in my conclusion) and wait at the gate.
Boarding was at 9:40 PM and we made our way to our seats 1A&B, where we were greeted by Lou who helped us settle-in into our seats. Pre-departure drinks of Champagne or orange juice was offered, followed by amenity kits (Viktor & Rolf designed), hot towels & dinner menu.
Menu - Page 1
Menu - Page 2
Menu - Page 3
On-board | Flight KLM 654 | IAD-AMS:
Push-back was right on time, and wheels up without any delay. Climb out seemed rather bumpy although I didn’t recall any bad weather in IAD vicinity but it subsided about 20 mts after that, and the FA’s came around apologizing for the turbulence (Not that they can control any aspect of it). Soon the crew sprang into action handing out more drinks and warm nuts. Then out came the trolleys, and Lou went over the menu and asked for our choice. The choices were halibut or beef, and I had the beef and the Mrs. had the halibut. The meal was fantastic, beef was cooked just right and the fish was flaky and not rubbery. Soon the tables were cleared and it was time for desert, Lemon Almond Tart and it tasted great, accompanied by coffee. After a great meal, it was time to catch some zzzz’s and I only managed about an hour or so.
Dinner - Seared filet of beef
Dinner - Seared Halibut
Dessert - Lemon Almond Tart
Breakfast - Muffin & Croissant
Arrival at AMS:
Before we knew it, the lights were turned on in the cabin and it was time for breakfast and our choices were a quiche-like dish or a banana chocolate-chip muffin. The muffin looked more appealing to my taste hence I had that, while the Mrs. tried the other, and since neither one of us was really hungry, we weren’t too keen on breakfast. At this time, the FA’s came around the cabin and presented us with a parting gift of the famous KLM Delft Blue houses. Soon after, it was gear-down and a smooth touch down on the Polderbaan followed by a 20 minute taxi to the gates and we were out the door and before we knew it, was on a train towards Amsterdam Centraal.
This was my first time on KLM World Business Class and comparing them to others I have experienced, BA, US Airways, AF & Icelandair, they rank right up there with BA. The cabin was clean and comfortable, meals were delicious, but most of all the FA’s (Lou especially) were friendly (True Dutch style) and attentive. Now for the update on my lounge situation @ IAD..I contacted KLM after I reached AMS and after they checked my booking they confirmed that I was supposed to have access to the AF lounge, regardless of whether I booked in business class or upgraded to it. They sincerely apologized for the incident and offered me some Flying Blue miles for the inconvenience. Regardless, this was an excellent flight and KLM is truly world class!