KLM Short Haul Business - Great Service

Old Jan 2, 20, 12:12 pm
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KLM Short Haul Business - Great Service

Wow, so impressed with KLM team on short hop AMS-LHR.

Everyone was friendly and helpful. They served snack and multiple rounds of drinks in the less than 45 minute flight. All with smiles and without seeming to be in a hurry.

Pilot kept us updated on LHR traffic delays in three languages and with good humor.

Wish Delta was more like this - took them 45 minutes to serve single round of drinks on the connecting flight.
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Old Jan 3, 20, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by becks1 View Post
Wow, so impressed with KLM team on short hop AMS-LHR.
Nice to hear that they provided proper service, but I'm not sure what's so impressive about it?

Until they removed their proper J class seats I used to fly BA regularly on this route, and they provided a full meal service, not a snack.

Back in the Good Old Days one would even get a hot dinner on very short flights, in economy class!

Johan
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Old Jan 7, 20, 2:03 pm
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Couldn't agree more! Courteous, friendly and polite. Never had a bad flight with KLM
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Old Jan 7, 20, 5:25 pm
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Agreed too, I am consistently impressed with their short/medium haul service in Europe
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Old Jan 8, 20, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by caliform View Post
Agreed too, I am consistently impressed with their short/medium haul service in Europe
KL mostly provides the services they advertise and that I pay for. That's in line with my expectations, but I still fail to see what's so impressive about that. They are doing a decent job doing their job, that's all there is to it.

I get on a plane, sit in a none too comfortable seat, usually depart pretty much on time, get something borderline halfway decent to eat and drink, then generally arrive more or less on time. If somebody can explain to me why I should be impressed, then I'm all ears. I have an open mind (at least some of the time).

I'll grant KL one thing, though: consistency. You almost invariably get exactly what they promised, outliers in either direction are few and far between. In the longer term one must of course adjust one's expectations, since KL's intra-European in-flight service levels have been spiralling slowly downwards for as long as I can remember. I have six decades of experience flying 'm.

Finally, Schiphol has become an overcrowded dump, which makes flying KL less appealing. I don't hold that against the airline, though.

Johan
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Old Jan 8, 20, 5:28 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Nice to hear that they provided proper service, but I'm not sure what's so impressive about it?

Until they removed their proper J class seats I used to fly BA regularly on this route, and they provided a full meal service, not a snack.

Back in the Good Old Days one would even get a hot dinner on very short flights, in economy class!

Johan
Ask any Boomer, and they will tell you how flying used to be better in the old days. Fair enough but failing to mention that fares are much more accessible to everyone.

It's much more productive to compare an airline hard/soft product to today's competition and I would say KLM Crew is certainly top-notch compared to their counter parts, including the French colleagues, or like how OP compares it to Delta. Information like that is much more useful for me to book my next flights, than how something used to be in the sixties.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
KL mostly provides the services they advertise and that I pay for. That's in line with my expectations, but I still fail to see what's so impressive about that. They are doing a decent job doing their job, that's all there is to it.

I'll grant KL one thing, though: consistency. You almost invariably get exactly what they promised, outliers in either direction are few and far between. In the longer term one must of course adjust one's expectations, since KL's intra-European in-flight service levels have been spiralling slowly downwards for as long as I can remember. I have six decades of experience flying 'm.

Johan
You could say this for restaurants, too. There's better restaurants than some of my favorites and go-tos, but consistency is not just nice, it's really quite difficult to achieve. Whether that is making a hard product or a soft product or a combination of both as in the case of KLM, it's really nice when it is delivered. I haven't had a bad experience, but have had many great ones ó that stack up as great worldwide, compared to American and Asian carriers. That's impressive, and that makes me happy.

And yes, flying used to be so much nicer. That's fine. That was a long time ago, and flying was different then.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
KL mostly provides the services they advertise and that I pay for. That's in line with my expectations, but I still fail to see what's so impressive about that. They are doing a decent job doing their job, that's all there is to it.

I get on a plane, sit in a none too comfortable seat, usually depart pretty much on time, get something borderline halfway decent to eat and drink, then generally arrive more or less on time. If somebody can explain to me why I should be impressed, then I'm all ears. I have an open mind (at least some of the time).

I'll grant KL one thing, though: consistency. You almost invariably get exactly what they promised, outliers in either direction are few and far between. In the longer term one must of course adjust one's expectations, since KL's intra-European in-flight service levels have been spiralling slowly downwards for as long as I can remember. I have six decades of experience flying 'm.

Finally, Schiphol has become an overcrowded dump, which makes flying KL less appealing. I don't hold that against the airline, though.

Johan
Getting planes to depart and arrive on time in the current airspace and the extensive schedules is something you should be impressed about, as well as the improved catering from KLM both in Y and J. KLM offers more than average comfort in both Y and J (legspace) but most importantly, they really have the X factor in their soft product. The crew is typically very engaged, relaxed, friendly and making sure everybody on board has a good experience. The crew is open for a small chat, not stiff and are very well trained from a communication point of view. The easiest would be to follow protocols but KLM goes much more beyond that, they offer a true experience if you compare it with other carriers, even compared to Air France,
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Old Jan 9, 20, 4:17 pm
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Well gosh . . . some are easily impressed, others are not. Guess we are all different.

As far as ATC goes, the European Union (note the word "union" here) has singularly failed to implement its European Single Sky project, despite decades of trying. If that's impressive, then it's an impressive failure. I won't hold that against KLM, though.

The catering? No idea what goes on in Y, but in J lunch has been enhanced away on shorthaul flights. I'm not impressed. Anytime For You is indeed a welcome improvement, but only available on a handful of routes, and even there they have backtracked by discontinuing the concept on night flights. I'm not impressed.

I'm Dutch enough to be able to rub along amicably with the crew, cultural quirks and all, but that's always been the case. Nothing unusual or special about that, and it is certainly not impressive.

What other carriers offer, provide or do is neither here nor there. When I fly KLM, I know what to expect (I've sure been flying them long and often enough), and they pretty much deliver on their promise, with only the odd exception. Fine, I'm happy to fly them, always have been. Consistent mediocrity is good enough for me. I'm just not impressed. Only jaded.

Johan
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Old Jan 9, 20, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I'm just not impressed. Only jaded.

Johan
I feel like that could be your signature on here
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Old Jan 10, 20, 12:15 am
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Originally Posted by becks1 View Post
Wow, so impressed with KLM team on short hop AMS-LHR. [...]

Wish Delta was more like this - took them 45 minutes to serve single round of drinks on the connecting flight.
Delta is usually very friendly as well. I actually find DL service better, KL FA and pilots can occasionally almost be too chatty.

In any case, the price differential between DL domestic first and main is typically more reasonable than the price differential between short-haul J and Y on KL.
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Old Jan 17, 20, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
KL mostly provides the services they advertise and that I pay for. That's in line with my expectations, but I still fail to see what's so impressive about that. They are doing a decent job doing their job, that's all there is to it.

I get on a plane, sit in a none too comfortable seat, usually depart pretty much on time, get something borderline halfway decent to eat and drink, then generally arrive more or less on time. If somebody can explain to me why I should be impressed, then I'm all ears. I have an open mind (at least some of the time).

I'll grant KL one thing, though: consistency. You almost invariably get exactly what they promised, outliers in either direction are few and far between. In the longer term one must of course adjust one's expectations, since KL's intra-European in-flight service levels have been spiralling slowly downwards for as long as I can remember. I have six decades of experience flying 'm.

Finally, Schiphol has become an overcrowded dump, which makes flying KL less appealing. I don't hold that against the airline, though.

Johan
I tend to agree. KL is predictably mediocre. My biggest frustration is the reduction in value for money in short haul Y. When I started flying them regularly in 2003 on the HUY-AMS route I would pay £60 a return in the sale, and I would receive a sandwich, snack and a choice of drinks. Luggage would be included, and service on KLM UK used to be brilliant (not just solid).

NB. When Johan sent me an invitation to Silver I was also able to enjoy lounge access whenever I flew with them as Silver Elites still received lounge access back then (thanks again Johan Rebel! ).

Now I admit, that at that time KLM probably offered too much for the price. However, I now resent having to pay £120 for a basic return with hand baggage only. For that kind of money on a 40 minute flight I'd expect more this day and age.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 2:36 am
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Youíre talking about Economy class, though, right? I think the OP is referring to Business class, along with Johanís subsequent comments. For the Economy basic thing I think all the airlines are going the same way and in many cases the prices are creeping back up too. Early last year I was in Business between AMS and LHR and I too was truly impressed at how good it was for such a short flight.

But what impresses me is European Economy class (excepting the shortest routes) where you nearly always get a friendly engaged crew and something passably good to eat (Beemster sandwiches, wraps) and a choice of drinks from the bar, including wine and beer. Thatís becoming increasingly rare (Lufthansa service is really poor, even in Business) and many airlines have the horrid BoB (such as BA).

So yes, like the OP I was impressed with the business class service (other sectors included flying to FRA and DUS, all pretty good). But then, I like everything about the Netherlands and could easily live there.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
As far as ATC goes, the European Union (note the word "union" here) has singularly failed to implement its European Single Sky project, despite decades of trying. If that's impressive, then it's an impressive failure. I won't hold that against KLM, though.
I am not sure what constitutes your definition of "failure", but the SES programme was implemented on 2008 from conception in 2001. In order to organise a flight plan within Europe the airline has to request one through EuroControl.

It works pretty well to handlethe traffic and I'd say it's accomplished its aims of maintaining a safe, reliable airspace pretty well.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by caliform View Post
Agreed too, I am consistently impressed with their short/medium haul service in Europe
I assume that you have never flown on routes like AMS-NWI, where the service for the whole plane is completed in approximately 4 to 6 minutes and where business class service consists of the delivery of a little bag containing a bottle of water and a "sandwich", typically consisting of a slice of cheese in between two slices of bread and a stroopwafel or similar?
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