KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Few transportation moments rival walking down the aisle of an international flight, looking around at all the people who you will share oxygen with for the next eight hours, and wondering what their stories are. For me, there is always a sense of excitement that we are a group of strangers traveling in a massive aircraft that flies over seas and land. When the plane touches down, everyone will catch connecting flights and be on their own way. But, for the next eight hours, we are all together, sharing one common goal: to make it through the LONG flight.

My flight from Chicago to Amsterdam on KL612 was (somehow) a very enjoyable eight hours, and KLM will forever be my preferred airline to fly with.

The acronym KLM means Royal Aviation Company in Dutch. In English, the company is generally referred to as KLM “Royal Dutch Airlines.” Founded in 1919, it is the oldest airline in the world operating under its original title. The main airline hub for KLM is Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. (Why, yes! I did read the in flight reading material provided by the airline!)

My great experience with the airline started the night before my flight when my mom and I logged onto the airlines webpage. We had a good time moving my avatar from seat to seat, strategically trying to determine the best row to sit in. We finally decided on an aisle seat with one other person sitting by the window, but no middle passenger. Our strategy worked, and I ended up sitting with an open seat!

We also checked out the in flight food online. When you move your cursor, a spotlight would fall upon the dish. Airline food is typically less than gourmet, I appreciated KLM’s theatric presentation of their airline food. Bravo!

In typical Rich Payne travel fashion, I arrived at my gate 4 hours before my flight. To play it safe!! “Always play it safe with airports, Reagan, you never know about security.”!!

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The shameless parent send-off shot before going through security. Love this big guy!

Boarding the plane was well organized by the airline, and flight attendants greeted all guests and maintained a strong presence helping people to stow luggage. Just a few minutes after the flight took off, I was served a bag of almonds and first beverage. Nearly immediately after my first ginger ale was gone, I was served another one. And then a meal. And then a wet towelette. Then another snack. Another drink. Breakfast. Coffee. I’ve never been so overwhelmingly showered with airline food and service. I opted for the vegetarian pasta – the best airline food I’ve had. The meal was complete with bread, cheese, a salad, desert and crackers. Breakfast was a muffin with yogurt and a fruit cup – all very delicious!

I think the real credit of why this airline is so great is due to their online entertainment options. Flight attendants distributed earphones, and I was patiently waiting for whatever preselected uniform movie to play on my personal screen. It was surprising to see people holding remotes down the aisle, and after a good five minutes of searching for my remote, I finally found it under my armrest.

On the TV I found a menu of a huge variety of entertainment options. The TV category had about 10 genres to chose from, with a huge variety of popular shows under each genre and in multiple languages. Under the movie category, I saw many familiar titles that had won awards a few nights prior at Golden Globes. They had game options, children’s shows, music, a huge selection of movies and televisions, travel television, and even an on-flight Dutch language tutorial!

I ended up watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower (CRIED), Bend it Like Beckham, An Idiot Abroad (British travel documentary series by Ricky Gervais), 30 Rock, New Girl, a travel documentary on Amsterdam and took some Dutch lessons. Ik spreek een heel klein beetje Nederlands!

The on-flight reading material provided fantastic travel tips and included fascinating articles on topics from around the globe. I much preferred this Arts & Culture type magazine to the typical Sky Mall. WHICH BY THE WAY my mom has Sky Mall delivered to our house.

Overall, I had a fantastic time flying with KLM. We even arrived to Amsterdam 20 minutes early! I hope the Dutch are proud of KLM, because as a foreigner traveling to the Netherlands, this experience started my trip off with a very impressive display of quality and a positive impression of the country.

Posted on by Reagan J Payne in Recommendations

2 Responses to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

  1. RTWgirl.com

    Haven’t flown KLM but if you like inflight entertainment, you must fly Emirates. I was fully occupied for 20 hours of flying with world music, film, tv shows, info about where you are flying to, flight info, etc. The food options were really great for a flight. International travel is so much nicer. Cathay has chargers and USB plugs. Little things like that make me happy. Now if we can just get wifi on long haul flights. Haha.

  2. Aunt Susan

    Just to be clear, that “4-hour before flight time OCD” is only present in the your Dad and his twin. The rest of us Payne’s are sane, just-in-time travelers!
    And, yes, KLM is better than any of the typical US airlines!

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