Overview of KLM Boeing 777-200 Business Class

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is Netherlands’ flagship carrier. The airline is part of the Air France–KLM group and a member of the SkyTeam alliance.

KLM flies several different aircraft, some with 1-2-1 business class configuration, but the route from Amsterdam (AMS) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) has the 2-2-2 business-class layout.

I flew from Berlin (BER) to Amsterdam to Chicago in business class in October 2022. The first flight, Berlin to Amsterdam, was just over an hour long and since intra-European business class is nothing special, that flight doesn’t warrant a separate review.

I redeemed 67,000 Flying Blue miles and 318 euros in surcharges to book my trip. The easiest way to acquire a good number of Flying Blue miles is to transfer American Express Membership Rewards. Amex often offers transfer bonuses between Membership Rewards and Flying Blue. Thanks to the opportune timing and the 25% bonus, I had to transfer only 52,000 points to book my flights.

Flying Blue miles are easy to earn because Flying Blue is a transfer partner of all major transferable “currencies,” including American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Capital One and Marriott Bonvoy.

I used part of the welcome bonus earned with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express to book this trip.

KLM Check-In at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport is about 30 minutes away from the city center by Uber, taxi or train. My departure was at 9 a.m., and when I arrived at the airport about two and a half hours before my flight, it looked empty and quiet. This was surprising because I’ve been to this airport before at different times of day, and I encountered crowds as well as long check-in and security lines on my previous visits.

There’s a separate business class check-in counter and priority security line for business-class passengers. Those flying in business class can check two bags for free, so I checked my bag and was on my way.

The priority security line moved quickly, and the whole process took less than 30 minutes.

It was a pleasant flight, and I would definitely book and fly KLM again if an opportunity to book another business-class flight presents itself.

Lounge Tempelhof Brandenburg Airport

Lounge Tempelhof, Berlin Airport

Lounge Tempelhof, Berlin Airport

KLM doesn’t have its own lounge in Berlin airport so it uses Lounge Tempelhof, a contract lounge. The lounge is located in Terminal 1 near Gate A20 in the Schengen area and is accessible only to passengers flying intra-Schengen flights.

There was no line to get in, and it was practically empty this early in the morning.

I had just enough time to grab a quick breakfast. The food selection was pretty basic and included a couple of hot dishes and a few European breakfast staples like freshly baked bread, yogurt and muesli.

Lounge Tempelhof

As is customary in European lounges, a full bar is available all day, even in the early morning hours.

Lounge Tempelhof

The lounge has a few seating areas as well as showers. Overall it’s a comfortable space to pass some time and grab a drink or a snack before a flight.

I have a lot more to say about the KLM Lounge at Schipol Airport, so stay tuned for a separate review.

Boarding KLM Flight at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

As mentioned, my flight from Berlin to Amsterdam wasn’t anything special, so after I landed in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, I had some time for a quick visit to the KLM lounge and then headed to my gate.

I’ve read horror stories about the chaos and long lines at Schiphol, but I’m glad to report that my layover of one hour and 40 minutes was more than enough to go through the passport control and walk to another terminal. Schiphol is huge, but all the terminals are connected, so I didn’t have to take any trains or buses to get from one terminal to another.

The flight from Amsterdam to Chicago was delayed by about an hour, and the boarding started later than anticipated. The gate agents gave us regular updates, and when I talked to an agent at the podium, she explained that the plane was being serviced and the catering service was loading the in-flight food and drink, so that was a good sign that we would depart shortly.

I find the boarding process of most European airlines to be extremely chaotic. Business-class passengers and top-tier elites board first, and then all economy passengers board. So usually as soon as you approach the gate, you see a long, snaking line of people waiting to board. If you have priority boarding, thanks to status or flying in business class, you practically have to fight your way to the front.

In this case, I was sitting close to the gate, so I was able to avoid most of the boarding chaos.

KLM Boeing 777 Business Class Cabin and Seats

KLM Business Class

The business class cabin on my flight had 34 business class seats arranged in the 2-2-2 configuration. The seats don’t offer much privacy—there’s only a small divider between the two seats, but the cabin has an open, airy feel.

I was traveling solo and wanted direct aisle access, so I requested a seat in the middle section of the aircraft.

KLM Business Class

The seat is also lacking in storage space. There’s a small side pocket that doesn’t fit much and a tiny shelf on the right hand side that’s only big enough to fit a pair of headphones and some other small items. This is also where the electrical outlet and the USB charger are located. Not the most convenient place for an outlet if you’re right-handed and want to plug in your laptop.

The easy-to-use seat controls and tray tables are located on the center console.

The footwell is in a natural position, right in front of the seat, but it’s quite narrow, which could be an issue for someone tall.

I found the seat to be comfortable for lounging and for sleeping. There’s good cushioning, and the provided decent-sized pillow was comfortable.

KLM Boeing 777 Amenities

The amenities on this flight are comparable to other airlines that I’ve flown between the U.S. and Europe.

Business-class passengers get one hour of free in-flight messaging. It was working reasonably well for the first 30 minutes, and I was able to use WhatsApp to chat with my family. However, during the second half hour, I started losing signal and would occasionally receive an incoming message, but my outgoing messages weren’t going through.

KLM Business Class Amenity Kit

KLM Business Class Amenity Kit

KLM Business Class Amenity Kit

I really liked the signature blue-and-white amenity kit. The pouch is lightweight and pretty, and I can see myself reusing it in the future as a small cosmetics bag. It came stocked with the standard assortment of things you might need onboard, such as an eye mask, ear plugs, toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, hand cream, socks and a small pen.

KLM Business Class Entertainment

I liked the fairly large entertainment screen and the provided headphones. Some airlines start collecting headphones a long time before arrival, sometimes 40 minutes before, but on this flight I was able to keep using the phones until we landed.

The in-flight entertainment system’s remote and touch screen were intuitive and easy to use. There were enough different options to keep me entertained for a while, including some TV shows and a decent assortment of movies. I wish there were more recent TV shows offered, but when I found the latest movie in the Downton Abbey franchise, it helped pass the time during the mealtime.

KLM Business Class Pre-Departure Amenities

Flight attendants came around with welcome drinks during boarding. We had a choice of water, orange juice or Champagne.

KLM Business Class Menus

KLM Business Class Menu

KLM Business Class Menu

When I boarded, the menu was waiting for me on the center console, so as soon as I put my bag in the overhead bin, I engaged in one of my favorite activities on a business-class flight—choosing my meals.

KLM Business Class Wine Selection

KLM Business Class Wine Selection

KLM Business Class Beverage Selection

KLM Business Class Beverage Selection

KLM Business Class Meal Service

KLM Business Class

The flight attendants passed through the aisles during boarding and took passengers’ orders for the first, main meal of the flight. Soon after departure, we were offered a pre-meal drink with a choice of nuts or cubed Dutch cheese served in pretty Delft ceramic dishes.

This was a daytime flight, so the main meal served was a hearty lunch. I ordered soup as my appetizer and fish as my main course.

KLM Business Class Meal

KLM Business Class Meal

Soup and salad were served on one tray, followed by the main course. The tiny salt and pepper shakers shaped like a pair of Dutch wooden shoes were a nice touch.

KLM Business Class Meal

KLM Business Class Meal

For dessert, we had a choice of cheese plate or a selection of small pastries. I asked for pastries and some tea and definitely didn’t regret my choice. The pastries were delicious, and the tea was served in a pretty ceramic mug shaped like a traditional Dutch house with some dark chocolate on the side.

KLM Business Class Meal

Overall, my lunch was quite delicious—not gourmet quality but comparable to other business class meals I’ve had on different airlines.

The service throughout the meal service, and the whole flight, was friendly and attentive. The flight attendant serving my side of the plane passed by a couple of times offering additional bread and drink refills. It did take a while to serve all the courses, and I wished that the lunch service had gone a little faster so I could go to sleep.

The second meal was served about 90 minutes before departure. And while I appreciate that it wasn’t breakfast, but rather another lunch, a meal more appropriate to the midday arrival time in Chicago, my hamburger was a disappointment. It tasted more like fast food than business-class food. However, the lemon meringue pie was delicious.

KLM Business Class Ceramic Delft House

KLM Business Class Ceramic Delft House

KLM Business Class Bed

KLM offered only a pillow and a nice, cozy blanket on this flight. No slippers or pajamas were offered, but I always bring a pair of hotel slippers in my carry-on bag to wear on the plane.

I found both the pillow and the blanket on my seat when I boarded the flight. KLM doesn’t offer any additional bedding on the Amsterdam-U.S. routes, but it would’ve been nice to have a mattress topper like you get in the Polaris cabin on United Airlines flights.

I thought the seat was comfortable and not too hard. It didn’t feel cramped, but I’m an average sized woman. Because the footwell is quite narrow, someone significantly taller than me might find it a little tight.

The cabin was kept at a comfortable (for me) temperature. After the meal service was over, the flight attendants dimmed the lights and asked passengers seated in window seats to lower the blinds. I usually don’t sleep well on planes, and it was a daytime flight, but I did manage to get a couple of hours of sleep.

KLM Boeing 777 Business Class Family Friendliness

I think the 2-2-2 layout is quite family-friendly. The younger passengers don’t have to sit alone, and it’s easy for an adult to assist them with anything they might need during the flight. If you choose the two seats by the window for yourself and your young companion, they can watch takeoff and landing.

Overall Impression of KLM Boeing 777 Business Class

It was a pleasant flight, and I would definitely book and fly KLM again if an opportunity to book another business-class flight presents itself. While the food wasn’t the best I’ve had in a premium cabin, the comfortable seat and the Delft souvenir house made up for it.

Final Thoughts

I was a little hesitant to book this KLM flight because of all the news coverage of delays and pictures of mountains of lost bags coming from Amsterdam airport. However, by the time I traveled through Amsterdam in late fall of 2022, things had gotten much better and I wouldn’t hesitate to connect in Amsterdam again. I didn’t find it any worse for connecting than Frankfurt Airport (FRA), another European hub where I find myself often. My checked bag also made it safely to my final destination.

Considering Flying Blue’s reasonable redemption rates and frequent transfer bonuses from American Express, I’m looking forward to flying KLM again. In fact, next time there’s a transfer bonus, you’ll find me on Flying Blue’s website booking my next European adventure.