The Seat: Okay, this one threw me for a loop. When I chose the seat online, I thought I was getting a bulkhead seat aboard this KLM 737-900 and I was. KLM’s Europe Business Class looks just like a normal economy cabin but with slightly more legroom than in back. What’s interesting is the moveable divider that allows the airline to adjust how far back this section can go. I’m not entirely sure when they do this or if it’s something they do by length of flight (…or whatever). What I DO know is that if you booked regular economy and are given the option of sitting in rows 10 or below, then you absolutely should take it as you’ll benefit from the added legroom and power outlets these rows provide.
Legroom in these up-front rows is just slightly better than what you’ll find in a typical economy configuration (33″ of seat pitch). With the exception of the exit row (KLM charges extra for these), you’ll be jammed into a pretty tight space …a whopping 30″ of seatpitch. Roughly 2″ less than what’s offered aboard a mainline US carrier in economy.
Service: New levels of nothing special. Everyone said hello, everyone said goodbye. This was a well practiced routine full of scripts and half-smiles.
Food: The cheese buscuit style snack was bland and barely cheesy. Maybe my near-dairlyland upbringing makes me a little picky but it was truly nothing special. Buy some Doritos before you board.
Summary: When it comes to reviewing economy seats, I’d like to spend more time on ones that are considered “premium” or provide some sort of advantage (exit rows, bulkheads, extra legroom seats). This one was technially a normal economy seat, but had the legroom of the premium cabin and a standard power port for charging my gadgets. Anything rows 1-10 offer these features. Nice seats if you can get them at economy prices.
Rating: 4 hops (of 5).
Strategy: Book a typical economy ticket aboard KLM at their website (or if you’d like to help us out). If seats in the premium section are blocked, have another look when you check in. If there’s a charge for these seats, it will depend on your financial judgement whether the deal they offer is a good one but the couple extra inches of legroom might help
How I got it: Off peak fare offered by Delta. I obsessively check the “mileage run” board at flyertalk.com to see what insane routings people can fly to build status with airlines. Ocassionally, a deal will pop up that isn’t neccearily a great mileage run, but is a great fare. In this case it was just over $300 (taxes included) to London (via Amsterdam).