SkyTeam alliance member KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of the largest international airline carriers in the world, servicing over 150 destinations worldwide with a hub at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Though the airline has a long-standing reputation for an aging fleet and tired business class product, it has been busy modernizing via investments in new aircraft to transform its entire fleet in recent years. Now, KLM's aircraft — both new and old — host a world-class experience for business flyers, called World Business Class.
You can book any international ticket on KLM (beyond intra-Europe flights) and expect a high-end first class experience. Here’s our guide to World Business Class from KLM.
» Learn more: The points collector's guide to KLM/Air France
Dedicated check-in lane
The World Business Class from KLM experience begins before takeoff. Once at the airport, you can check-in using designated SkyPriority lanes.
This expedited experience doesn't stop at check-in, either: Business class passengers have access to priority lanes through baggage drop off, passport and security checks, boarding, and even when retrieving baggage at their destination.
Free checked bags
Drop up to two checked bags weighing up to 70.5 pounds per passenger, free of charge. You're also able to bring up to 40 pounds worth of hand baggage onto the flight. This includes two items of hand baggage and one accessory, like a handbag, briefcase or laptop.
Passengers have access to a KLM Crown Lounge or partner lounge and enjoy complimentary food and beverage.
» Learn more: 5 reasons you should be using airport lounges
On the plane
Seats and layout
On KLM’s 787 aircraft, rows in World Business Class are configured as 1-2-1, meaning every seat is considered an aisle seat (with two doubling as aisle plus window). On the carrier’s Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft, business class rows are configured as 2-2-2.
While the exact style varies by plane, each seat reclines to a fully-flat position, promising 78-81 inches in length, once horizontal. The cabin also comes with privacy screens to separate neighboring seats.
Each seat offers a personal entertainment screen, 16 to 18 inches in size, stocked with more than 1,000 hours of entertainment. In-seat power outlets accept most international plugs, including standard U.S. and European ones, while 787s also have two separate USB outlets. Wi-Fi is available on select aircraft, with pricing based on data usage.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
Flights on KLM World Business Class begin and end with a bit of swag. Arrive at your seat to discover a comfort bag stocked with items for use throughout your flight, plus sealed blankets and a pillow.
As the journey comes to a close, flight attendants offer collectible KLM houses, each a replica of a famed gable house in Amsterdam, as a parting gift. These miniature Blue Delft pottery houses, filled with gin, have been a KLM business class tradition since the 1950s.
Nerdy tip: To keep the house in mint condition, don’t touch the Dutch gin inside — instead, order a taste from the flight attendants, who keep large bottles of Bols gin in the serving carts.
Today, there are 101 different collectible homes, each embossed with a number on the back.
Food and beverage service
Depending on your origin, the flight may or may not begin with a preflight drink of champagne, water and/or freshly squeezed orange juice.
After takeoff, drink and meal service commences, with the number and size of meals based on flight times and routes flown. Typically, you’ll get a three-course meal during the flight, and some flyers will also get the Anytime For You treatment — this includes an additional five dishes that can be ordered later in the flight.
Unlike previous KLM World Business Class menus, which have offered multiple wine options plus printed lists of hard liquors, the new COVID-era menus feature scaled-down options.
KLM World Business Class award flights
Any member of the airline's Flying Blue rewards program, a joint loyalty program between KLM and and Air France, can purchase award tickets with miles. Here's an overview of the program, including how to earn and redeem points for business travel. Be sure to check out our Points Collector's Guide to KLM to dive deeper into this topic.
Earning Flying Blue miles
Flying Blue miles can be earned by flying KLM, Air France or any of their partner airlines. As members of the Skyteam Alliance, there are many familiar airlines to fly and earn Flying Blue miles.
Other ways to earn miles include spending on a co-branded credit card, like the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®, or by shopping at one of their many partners.
Redeeming Flying Blue miles
The amount of miles needed to book a World Business Class ticket is calculated based on the origin, destination and date of your flight.
Simply head to the KLM website and navigate to the flight search page. Click the tab marked "Book with miles" to start an award search.
After logging into your Flying Blue account, browse available flights and adjust times and dates to see all flight possibilities.
Be sure to cross-reference cash prices with the number of points required to book to make sure you're getting a good deal. Or skip the research and book one of the award sweet spots we've found for Flying Blue points.
Nerdy tip: Be sure to check out the airline's Promo Rewards. Every month, KLM releases discount routes for certain city pairs; flyers can get up to 50% off standard award rates in business class.
The bottom line
World Business Class from KLM is a solid product that delivers comfortable seating for working, playing and sleeping while in flight. There’s an array of elevated amenities and food and beverage offerings. Most important is the guarantee of a full-flat bed in every seat, on every KLM World Business flight (beside intra-Europe routes).
World Business Class from KLM isn't quite as lavish as the business class of Qatar Airways or Emirates, but it looks and feels fresh and stylish. It’s superior to and more predictable than the international business classes of most U.S.-based airlines and is worth the splurge for a long international flight if the price is right.
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