The Complete Guide to KLM Business Class

The KLM business cabin layout on some planes offers direct aisle access for every seat.
Elina Geller
Paul Rubio
By Paul Rubio and  Elina Geller 
Edited by Meg Lee

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SkyTeam alliance member KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of the largest international airline carriers in the world, servicing over 170 destinations with a hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The airline offers a solid international business class product called World Business Class, which includes lie-flat seats, premium dining and more. Depending on which plane you fly, the layout of your business class cabin could offer aisle access for every seat.

Here’s our guide to KLM business class, including how to book it with Flying Blue miles, how to upgrade into this cabin and which planes offer every business class passenger direct aisle access.

About KLM business class

KLM offers several types of seats including economy, Premium Comfort and business class.

  • The airline’s long-haul international business class is called World Business Class, and offers seats that recline into fully flat beds, premium food and drinks, and personal entertainment.

  • The business class product offered on European (and other short distance) flights is different from World Business Class and is more in line with economy, but with some additional perks like extra legroom.

Preflight perks

KLM Sky Priority check-in lane

The World Business Class experience begins before takeoff. At the airport, you can check in using the dedicated SkyPriority lanes that are reserved for KLM elites or those flying in a premium cabin.

This expedited experience doesn't stop at check-in, either. Business class passengers have access to priority lanes for baggage drop-off, passport and security checks, boarding and even when retrieving baggage at their destination.

Two free checked bags

The KLM business class baggage allowance permits up to two checked bags weighing up to 70.5 pounds per passenger, free of charge. You can also bring up to 40 pounds of hand baggage onto the flight. This includes two items of hand baggage and one accessory, like a handbag, briefcase or laptop.

KLM and partner airline lounge access

When flying in business class, passengers have access to a KLM Crown Lounge or SkyTeam lounge. The airline’s hub in Amsterdam has two Crown Lounges (one for Schengen and another for non-Schengen flights).

Flying Blue Platinum and Gold elites, SkyTeam Elite Plus members and those traveling in business class gain entry to Amsterdam’s Crown Lounges.

The two-floor, non-Schengen KLM Lounge in Amsterdam is used by passengers departing the Schengen zone. The lounge has showers, premium food and drinks, sleep cabins and more. The lounge is open daily from 4:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.

On the plane

Seat configurations depend on the aircraft

Though KLM has been revamping its business class cabins and slowly transitioning from 2-2-2 layouts to 1-2-1 layouts, not all planes have the newer layout.

1-2-1 seat layout in KLM World Business Class

Seat 3K in World Business Class in 1-2-1 seat configuration on the Boeing 787-10. (Photo by Elina Geller)

On KLM’s 787 aircraft, rows in World Business Class are configured in a 1-2-1 layout, meaning every seat is considered an aisle seat (with two doubling as aisle plus window). In June 2023, KLM announced a new business class cabin on the Boeing 777, which will include a 1-2-1 layout and each seat will have a sliding door privacy screen.

If you’re traveling solo, either of the window seats is a good choice, since you won't have a neighbor next to you. However, if you’re traveling with a companion, you can sit next to each other by booking the two seats in the middle of the cabin.

2-2-2 seat layout in KLM World Business Class

World Business Class 2-2-2 seat configuration on the Boeing 777-300. (Photo by Elina Geller)

On the carrier’s Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft, business class rows are configured as 2-2-2. Once all the cabins on the Boeing 777 are redesigned, only the Airbus A330 will have the 2-2-2 configuration.

In this layout, there's always a seat next to you, which can be a good option for those traveling with a companion since you can book seats side by side. However, if you’re traveling solo, it's not an ideal layout, especially since the privacy screen isn’t very large.

Regardless of which cabin you end up in, each seat reclines to a fully flat position, promising 78-81 inches in length, once horizontal. Each seat offers a personal entertainment screen, 16 to 18 inches, stocked with over 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.

KLM amenity kit

Flights on KLM World Business Class begin and end with swag. Arrive at your seat to discover a comfort bag stocked with items for use throughout your flight, plus blankets and a pillow.

As the journey comes to an end, 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.

An assortment of KLM houses. (Photo by Elina Geller)

Today, there are 104 collectible homes, each embossed with a number on the back.

🤓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.

Food and beverage menu in KLM business class

Depending on the origin, your 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 begins, with the number and size of meals based on flight times and the route.

Breakfast in business class on a KLM flight from Amsterdam. (Photo by Elina Geller)

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.

How to book KLM World Business Class with miles

Flying Blue is the loyalty program used by KLM and Air France. To book award flights on either airline, you'll redeem Flying Blue miles. Here's an overview of the program, including how to earn and redeem points for business class.

Step 1: Earn 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.

Air France and KLM are also partners of all five transferable point programs (AmEx Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards®, Marriott Bonvoy, Citi ThankYou and Capital One Venture), so getting Flying Blue miles into your account is straightforward. Also, watch for transfer bonuses from these programs, since KLM frequently pops up as a transfer partner.

Other ways to earn Flying Blue miles include spending on a co-branded credit card, such as the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®, or by shopping at one of the airline’s many partners.

Step 2: Redeem Flying Blue miles

The number of miles needed to book a World Business Class ticket is based on the origin, destination and date of your flight.

Head to the KLM website and navigate to the flight search page. Select the tab marked "Book with miles" to start an award search.

booking award flights on klm

After logging into your Flying Blue account, browse available flights and adjust times and dates to see flight options.

Be sure to cross-reference cash prices with the number of points required to book to make sure you're getting a good deal. You can check out the airline’s award price calculator, which will show the starting price in miles for your trip.

For example, if you’re looking to fly from Chicago to Amsterdam, the calculator will tell you what you can expect to pay for each cabin.

It's important to note that these are starting prices and the lowest fares may not always be available.

A flight search for this particular route in November 2024 showed an available award ticket for 50,000 Flying Blue miles + $228 in taxes and surcharges.

Foreign carriers are notorious for adding carrier-imposed surcharges on flights, which can easily put off many people from redeeming their miles.

Despite the high carrier-imposed surcharges, KLM has some award sweet spots that are a good use of Flying Blue miles. Flying Blue miles are worth 1.2 cents per mile, so if you’re extracting more than that from your redemption, it's a good use of your miles.

🤓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.

How to upgrade to business class on KLM

You can also upgrade your flight to Premium Comfort Class or business class. Upgrades are possible while checking in online, at the airport or after you’ve checked in.

🤓Nerdy Tip

You may also receive a last-minute upgrade offer but that offer will correspond to a specific flight rather than your entire itinerary.

You can upgrade using Flying Blue miles or cash. The upgrade price depends on your itinerary and seat availability.

Final thoughts on KLM business class

World Business Class from KLM is a solid product that delivers comfortable seating for working, relaxing or sleeping during your 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 (except 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 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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