Friday, 8 November 2019

KLM short haul business class review

When checking in for a flight from Venice to Amsterdam, I received an offer to upgrade to business class. Although my wife and I already have lounge access and de facto priority lane security, the benefits were limited to enjoying the onboard business class experience and having access to the Skyteam lounge.

On the latter I can be brief: if you have a priority pass, you'd better go to the Marco Polo lounge. It's bigger, it has better food and offers better views of the tarmac. Don't bother with the Alitalia/Skyteam lounge.

The boarding experience on Venice was horrible. Large queues throughout the airport, but especially at the KLM boarding gate, where there was no priority boarding area at all - and if it were there, it wouldn't be accessible through the sheer crowd. As it's a bus gate, the misery doesn't end there, but continuous in a very crowded bus and the crowds then storming the two plane stairs.

Talking about people boarding: why do you not only take a child on board, but also two suitcases per person, have assigned seats on row 29 and then enter the plane at the front while the back door also has stairs? Come on folks, use those brain cells.

Having seats 1D and 1F things improved after having boarded. Given that Europe short haul business class is basically just a blocked middle seat and some better catering, my expectations were low. Given those low expectations, we had the bulkhead seats with two 'private' windows and some breathing space.

Also, catering turned out to be quite good. KLM puts attentio to details, using specially designed cups and glasses, and not to forget little disposable orange clogs as pepper and sault sets. I really enjoy having my food and drinks from real plates, real crockery, using real cutlery. Maybe I'm easy to please.

Also, considering this is short haul business class, the drinks menu was fine, with two kinds of red and two kinds of white wine, in addition to some other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. And the salad served tasted really nice. Together with the friendly, personal yet slightly chaotic service, I'd pay the premium again.

We paid slightly less than 60 euro per person for this leg, in addition to the economy comfort fee we'd already paid before (10,80 euro). When you don't already have lounge access and priority security, and you're not on a budget, I'd say this is a no-brainer. Recommended.

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