In this review, we will take a KLM flight in economy class on the Boeing 737-800 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Bucharest (OTP).
After spending some time in KLM’s beautiful new Crown Lounge, I made my way to the boarding gate for my final flight this trip.
At this point, I was pretty tired from the long journey as my arrival in Bucharest would be a full two calendar days after my departure from Latin America.
As I left the lounge a bit late, I was one of the last people to board the plane. If you do arrive early at the gate, priority boarding for business class passengers and frequent flyer elites is normally well-adhered to at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, especially so when flying KLM or another Sky Team airline.
Amsterdam (AMS) to Bucharest (OTP) on KLM
Flight KL1379 – Boeing 737-800 – Economy class, seat 3F
Departure: 9.45pm – Arrival: 00.30am (+1)
Flight time: 2h45m – Distance: 1,111 miles
Costs: 450 EUR, as part of an OTP-PTY return ticket
KLM Boeing 737 cabin and seat
Being one of the last on board the aeroplane, I didn’t have the opportunity to snap any good pictures of the cabin and seats. Therefore I will just recycle some old pictures from a previous flight I took in business class on a KLM Boeing 737-800.
As far as economy class seats go, these seats have a decent amount of legroom and seat pitch. They are certainly comfortable enough for short to mid-haul hops within Europe.
For the flight to Bucharest, I was seated in 3F directly behind the two-row business class cabin. This seat was designated a front row “economy comfort” seat and have a greater seat pitch compared to normal economy class seats (84cm/33inch to 76cm/30 inch).
Normally they command a premium, but as a Flying Blue platinum member I could assign myself the seat for free at the time of booking. Otherwise, I would certainly not have bothered paying any money for a wee bit more of legroom.
There is however one major advantage of these economy comfort seats: they have power sockets, which normal economy seats do not have on board the KLM Boeing 737.
At online check-in, you can assign every normal economy class seat free of charge with KLM if you don’t hold frequent flyer status which allows you to pick a seat for free before check-in opens.
We departed on time from Amsterdam Airport. As it was already pitch black outside there weren’t any views as to speak of from the window.
I was happy that seats 3D and 3E next to me remained empty during the flight, which allowed me to stretch my legs a bit. Given that I was completely exhausted from the trip, this was a big relief as it surely made the flight more comfortable.
Normally KLM serves a sandwich or something similar on routes within Europe with a flight time of under three hours. However, this flight to Bucharest is one of the exceptions as KLM served a proper hot meal.
I’ve been told that KLM does this on a select few destinations in Europe where their direct competitors have a full meal-service as well, which is the case when you fly with Romanian flag carrier TAROM.
Other examples of intra-European flights where KLM serves hot meals are their routes to Moscow and Istanbul to be able to compete with Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines.
On this flight, everyone was given the same vegetarian meal, which was some Middle Eastern/Northern African inspired dish (I forgot what it was exactly). Although it may not like much, in fairness it was actually tasty and not as bland as most of KLM’s meals tend to be.
Wine and beer are complimentary on KLM flights, so you can enjoy some booze if you like to. Of course, there are soft drinks and juices too. After the meal, coffee and tea was served.
Overall, service on the flight was pro-active and excellent. I often complain about grumpy and arrogant KLM crews, but on a good day KLM crews can be among the most professional and cheerful in the skies. Too bad that all my KLM flights seem to be one extreme or the other!
KLM’s Boeing 737s aren’t equipped with WiFi internet or with personal in-flight entertainment screens, so if you want to entertain yourself you better bring your own book, tablet or laptop.
For the rest of the flight, I just dozed off for most of the time. Before I realised it, the cabin crew was already preparing for landing at Bucharest Otopeni Airport, where we had a smooth landing and on-time arrival.
I had an overall excellent flight on KLM. With a comfortable seat and a decent amount of legroom, the hard product of KLM’s economy class product is pretty good.
Do however note that only front-row ‘economy comfort’ seats have power outlets and that KLM’s narrow-body fleet is not equipped with WiFi internet. On this aspect, KLM clearly lags behind its partner airline Air France.
The in-flight service was however pretty good. Although the flight to Bucharest is an anomaly given that hot meals are served in economy class, even on other intra-European flights you can look forward to a complimentary snack and free-flowing drinks.
If you need to fly within Europe in economy class, I can certainly recommend KLM as it clearly scores above your average European carrier.
End of the trip
The arrival back in Bucharest marked the end of a fun trip to Panama. If you managed to read all the chapters of this trip report, a big thank you for following along during the entire journey.
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Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘A Piece of Panama With a Bit of Bogota and a Slice of San Jose‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Air France Economy Class Bucharest to Paris (Airbus A320)
2. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Airport Terminal 2E – Hall K
3. Review: Air France Economy Class Paris to Bogota (Boeing 787)
4. Review: Hotel Morrison 114, Bogota, Colombia
5. A Short One-Day Stopover in Bogota, Colombia
6. Review: Copa Club Bogota Airport, Colombia
7. Review: Copa Airlines Economy Class Panama to Bogota (Embraer RJ-190)
8. Review: Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro
9. How to Visit the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal
10. Into the Casco Viejo – Exploring Panama City’s Old Town Centre
11. Isla Taboga: A Day Trip to the Island of Flowers
12. A Panama Day Trip to the Portobelo Forts and Tropical Isla Mamay
13. Review: Copa Club Panama Tocumen International Airport
14. Review: Copa Airlines Economy Class Panama to San Jose (Boeing 737-800)
15. Destination San Jose: A Day in the Capital of Costa Rica
16. Review: VIP Lounge Costa Rica, San Jose Airport (SJO)
17. Review: KLM Economy Class San Jose to Amsterdam (Boeing 787)
18. Review: KLM Crown Lounge (Non-Schengen) Amsterdam Airport
19. Review: KLM Economy Class (Boeing 737-800) Amsterdam to Bucharest (current chapter)