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-   -   Best Airline for ATL - AMS (currently) (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-france-klm-other-partners-flying-blue/2082034-best-airline-atl-ams-currently.html)

EasternTraveler Jun 6, 22 1:36 pm

Best Airline for ATL - AMS (currently)
 
Well strangely enough my travel is re-starting. What that means after two years of COVID is that I have no airline status on anyone, just a whole bunch of miles. I get to choose up to economy plus on a business paid trip from ATL to AMS. I am looking at KL or DL for the flight, but then the question is do I book it on DL metal with Flying Miles or SM or do I book on KL metal on Flying Miles or SM? I have not done this in two years, so I don't remember the pros and cons of each option. I used to book KL on DL and with my status would get a bump to upper deck and the treasured ceramic houses. However, all of that is gone now, so from a economy plus purchased with all cash and no status option, what would the experts suggest?

BubbaX Jun 6, 22 2:04 pm

KL hasn't rolled out their premium economy offering yet (but will soon). "Comfort Plus" is just more legroom. So DL wins on that score -- until you can get PE on KL.
​​​​​​
Of course, if you like to move about the cabin, DL pilots tend to be more aggressive with the seatbelt light, and you always get a few bumps over the Atlantic.

Catering in the back will be largely the same I'd think.​​​​

roelb Jun 6, 22 2:22 pm

As stated by BubbaX, KLM has a much more relaxed attitude towards moving around in the cabin and congregating in the back galley. Good opportunity to have an interesting talk with a fellow passenger during a long flight. They usually have a tray with snacks and drinks out in the galley for passengers to grab as well.

If you are flying on KLM metal, you have the option for a paid day-of-departure upgrade to the J cabin, either at check-in, in the lounge or at the gate, as long as there are seats remaining That is something that is not possible on DL metal. You can be offered those seats at online checkin, but it never hurts to ask at checkin or in the lounge either. Offers at the airport can be better than the ones at OLCI.

You are looking at premium econoy. Keep in mind that some AMS-US / US-AMS routes have quite good Flying Blue awartd pricing for a seat up front, and Flying Blue also has promo awards each month, discounting some locations. AMS-JFK or the other way around can be had for 57.5k miles + EUR 260 in business, which is quite a good deal IMHO. You could add on a Skymiles award ticket ATL-JFK on Delta and self-connect at JFK.

As mentioned by others, there is no real premium economy cabin on KL yet, but they have just announced a cabin makeover including actual premium economy, similar to Delta's product, starting this summer, probably by the end of July. There is another topic on that here. You can't buy this yet, but upgrades will be offered to customers ticketed on those flights as soon as they know what flights will offer the premium product.

One disadvantage for Flying Blue award tickets over Skymiles: the EUR 50 redeposit fee.

irishguy28 Jun 6, 22 3:14 pm


Originally Posted by roelb (Post 34312614)
AMS-JFK or the other way around can be had for 57.5k miles + EUR 260 in business, which is quite a good deal IMHO. You could add on a Skymiles award ticket ATL-JFK on Delta and self-connect at JFK.

I'm not sure that's a helpful suggestion; as I understood it, the OP will be buying a ticket to be purchased by/reimbursed from the employer, from ATL-AMS, and in a class no higher than Economy Comfort (or whatever Delta's premium economy is called). The OP may be thinking of using their own miles to further upgrade this ticket once purchased, but as I understand it, spending their own miles to get the ticket in the first place isn't the goal here - they need to buy a ticket conforming to the employer's restrictions. Given that someone else is paying, I would insist on a direct, non-stop flight. And I don't think many employers would come up with any suggestions on reimbursing an employee who flew on their own personal mileage balance in a manner than the frequent flyer would find acceptable.


Originally Posted by roelb (Post 34312614)
One disadvantage for Flying Blue award tickets over Skymiles: the EUR 50 redeposit fee.

This fee is currently waived.

A greater disadvantage for Flying Blue award tickets is the almost total absence of any Delta flights available for redemption.

mlin32 Jun 6, 22 3:49 pm

If you're US based, then stick with Delta SM as thé reward availability for Flying Blue with DL in North America is terrible.

As for DL versus KL métal, I'd go for DL in this instance/route.

EasternTraveler Jun 6, 22 6:24 pm


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 34312786)
I'm not sure that's a helpful suggestion; as I understood it, the OP will be buying a ticket to be purchased by/reimbursed from the employer, from ATL-AMS, and in a class no higher than Economy Comfort (or whatever Delta's premium economy is called). The OP may be thinking of using their own miles to further upgrade this ticket once purchased, but as I understand it, spending their own miles to get the ticket in the first place isn't the goal here - they need to buy a ticket conforming to the employer's restrictions. Given that someone else is paying, I would insist on a direct, non-stop flight. And I don't think many employers would come up with any suggestions on reimbursing an employee who flew on their own personal mileage balance in a manner than the frequent flyer would find acceptable.



This fee is currently waived.

A greater disadvantage for Flying Blue award tickets is the almost total absence of any Delta flights available for redemption.

You are spot on in your assessment. I have to book a paid ticket for reimbursement. After the purchase any upgrade with dollars on miles is on my own. Thanks for understanding.

EasternTraveler Jun 6, 22 6:27 pm


Originally Posted by EasternTraveler (Post 34313293)
You are spot on in your assessment. I have to book a paid ticket for reimbursement. After the purchase any upgrade with dollars on miles is on my own. Thanks for understanding.

Are you disagreeing with ROELB when he said, "If you are flying on KLM metal, you have the option for a paid day-of-departure upgrade to the J cabin, either at check-in, in the lounge or at the gate, as long as there are seats remaining That is something that is not possible on DL metal. You can be offered those seats at online checkin, but it never hurts to ask at checkin or in the lounge either. Offers at the airport can be better than the ones at OLCI."?

Sleepy_Sentry Jun 7, 22 8:52 am


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 34312786)
A greater disadvantage for Flying Blue award tickets is the almost total absence of any Delta flights available for redemption.

This is not to be overlooked. In all of years as a FB member, I have never seen a DL flight show up.

Goldorak Jun 7, 22 1:02 pm


Originally Posted by Sleepy_Sentry (Post 34314764)
This is not to be overlooked. In all of years as a FB member, I have never seen a DL flight show up.

The availability is very low but not zero. But sometimes, you get lucky. Over the new year 2021/2022, I managed to find the exact multi-city ticket I was looking for, in J at the dates I wanted, involving AF for transatlantic and DL for domestic connections. No need to say that I booked it very quickly.

EasternTraveler Jun 10, 22 9:46 am

Am I understanding it is better to book on KLM so there is a chance of paying for an upgrade to first?

Am I also to understand that a paid upgrade to first on DL is unlikely?

mlin32 Jun 10, 22 10:56 am

KLM does not offer first class. If you want an upgrade to business, it's better to buy the ticket with the airline you want to fly but I think DL's hard product is superior to that of KLM.

Goldorak Jun 10, 22 3:59 pm


Originally Posted by EasternTraveler (Post 34323918)
Am I also to understand that a paid upgrade to first on DL is unlikely?

Paid upgrades on DL domestic flights are frequent and easy. Pull out the booking in DL app and you’ll see if there is an offer. It can be done at anytime after booking until checkin.

EasternTraveler Jun 15, 22 11:30 am


Originally Posted by Goldorak (Post 34325080)
Paid upgrades on DL domestic flights are frequent and easy. Pull out the booking in DL app and you’ll see if there is an offer. It can be done at anytime after booking until checkin.

Except this is an international flight.

Goldorak Jun 15, 22 5:19 pm


Originally Posted by EasternTraveler (Post 34338640)
Except this is an international flight.

Indeed, sorry I got confused because you talked about an upgrade to First. There is no first on long haul DL, but business class (same for KL). AF has both business and first.

EasternTraveler Jun 15, 22 6:09 pm


Originally Posted by Goldorak (Post 34339637)
Indeed, sorry I got confused because you talked about an upgrade to First. There is no first on long haul DL, but business class (same for KL). AF has both business and first.

Business Class / First Class, just semantics of the front of the plane. In reality Business class is usually lie flat seats where first is just a big seat. When the opposite used to be true. You can call the classes anything you want, really there is back - middle - front and sometimes just back and front. Unless you get on a wonderful 747, then the best is upper deck. JMHO


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