KLM Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Amsterdam (AMS) (Review)

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It took some work in routing, but I managed to book a frequent flier (FF) ticket in KLM business class from ORD to Tel Aviv Israel (via Amsterdam) in one of their classic double decker Boeing 747s.   

The route was listed in a Flying Blue promo sale for only 39,000 FF miles (one way) an absolute steal, as these seats usually go for 2x-4x more in miles.  I only had to pay some modest taxes+fees – in other words, it was free!  God bless FF miles.

Some of my quick impressions:  The check-in was a breeze.  The KLM lounge at O’Hare was ok, nothing special.  Frankly, all of O’Hare Airport needs a makeover, it’s getting a bit dated, stuck in the 1980s.  

I sat on top deck of the KLM Boeing 747 (this one was named “Seoul”) which felt like a private airplane experience.  It’s rare experience and it won’t last much long as KLM is retiring all their 747s in the next few years.  Too bad as I think it’s one of the coolest planes ever made – the end of an era.

Overall, KLM business class service was impressive. The food was great — cocktails, champagne and lobster at 35,000 feet.  Real silverware, too.

KLM seats were comfortable and lay flat.  Unlike most American airlines, KLM employees take more pride in their work, and the A+ service made the experience.

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The business class seating does combine two side-by-side, which was fine with me.  The KLM entertainment video system could use an upgrade, however.

KLM has a couple “unique” signatures to their business class of service: the “Flying Dutchman” gin cocktail, signature Jantaminiau amenity kits, and a ceramic Dutch house figurine filled with gin, all which made the trip into something memorable.

Compared to their partner, Air France, I would say Air France is still a bit better in some regards, but KLM still offers a fine product on their trans-Atlantic 747s.

Arriving at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was like being jettisoned into the future – the airport is super modern and well organized. Even with the flood of daily passengers, it still felt manageable. 

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The recently completed KLM Crown Lounge was a show stopper – encompassing two floors, it has to be the largest and most modern business class lounge in the world.  It has every available amenity (lockers, showers, food, drink) including a full length bar on the second floor.  It’s amazeballs.

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